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A Win for Israel in Area C

Israel approved the creation of seven Israeli nature reserves in Area C of the West Bank, just one week after Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced that he had embarked on a campaign to ensure that the area remains under the control of the Jewish state.

According to the Defense Ministry, it’s the first time since the 1993 Oslo I Accord that such an approval had been issued. The Defense Ministry’s announcement of the move also includes the expansion of 12 already existing nature reserves.

“Today we are greatly strengthening the Land of Israel by developing Jewish settlement in Area C – with actions, not words. Judea and Samaria have natural sites with amazing views. We will expand existing sites and develop new ones…. I invite all Israeli citizens to get up and walk the land, to tour Judea and Samaria, hike, discover new things and to continue the Zionist enterprise.” Bennett said.

In Area C battle, IDF approves 7 Israeli West Bank nature reserves, by Tovah Lazaroff, Khaled Abu Toameh. Jerusalem Post –  January 15, 2020

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Appointment Cancelled!

AFSI is always concerned about the enemies from within who seek to harm Israel and Lea Tsemel is certainly one of them.

Israel’s Bar Association voted to reappoint controversial lawyer Lea Tsemel as the head of its Military Courts Committee on Sunday.

However, following widespread outrage from bereaved families of terrorism, the Bar Association decided to freeze her appointment on the following day. In the past few years, Tsemel has gained notoriety for defending terrorists. Her clients range from Abdel Aziz Salha, who took part in the 2000 lynching of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah, to – most recently – Arafat Arafiah, who murdered and raped 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher last year.

The Bar Association canceled the appointment after receiving a letter from more than 100 bereaved families of terrorism.

Israel’s Bar Association cancels appointment of lawyer who defends terrorists, by Deborah Dahan. Jerusalem Post – January 14, 2020

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The Evil Ways of the European Union

The European Union and the Palestinian Authority have developed a plan to destroy Israel; it’s called, “European Joint Strategy in support of Palestine (EJS),” and the “Palestinian Authority National Policy Agenda (PANPA).”

According to the PANPA, their mission is to “reassert full Palestinian sovereignty over the whole of its territory on the 1967 borders; to end Israel’s illegal, methodical and continuing expropriation of Palestinian land, resources and water; to lift the protracted siege of Gaza while ensuring a geographical link with the West Bank; to cease and reverse Israel’s calculated attempts to dismember east Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine; and to dismantle the illegal separation wall that entraps tens of thousands of Palestinians.”

Let’s not forget that the EU, in continuing violation of the Oslo Accords, also provides financial support for PA residents who move illegally into Area C, which under the accords is under full Israeli control. These Palestinean Arabs build homes without obtaining permits. The EU also funds illegal building by Bedouins in Israel as well as the NGOs which defend the Bedouins in the legal system.

Neither the EU nor the PA refer to history, since the connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is well documented in text and archaeology. This joint effort is nothing more than an ongoing effort to demonize and delegitimize Israel, the only Democratic peace-loving nation in the Middle East.

The EU-PA/PLO strategy to destroy Israel, by Moshe Dann. Jerusalem Post – January 11, 2020

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Not Met: Havat Gilad’s Important Need

In the Samaria town of Havat Gilad, continuous power outages make it difficult for residents to live a normal life, especially when outages in cold and stormy weather leave families without a reliable source of heating. Imagine what it’s like for them to observe Shabbat in the dark. UNACCEPTABLE!

It’s been two years since the Israeli government recognized Havat Gilad as completely legal, yet the situation is the same as it was before regarding electricity. Residents of Havat Gilad are now demanding that Defense Minister Naftali Bennett immediately provide a solution for the issue.

Yael Shevach, whose husband Raziel was murdered in a terror attack in January 2018, told Arutz Sheva: “For many years we were not connected to the electric grid, and we suffered insufferable power outages. A few years ago we were connected to the electric grid, but in an amateur and primitive fashion, and we continue to suffer the same problems.”

Havat Gilad is a small community in Samaria that holds a special place in the hearts of AFSI and its many members. AFSI has visited there often and was especially alerted to the need for security after Rabbi Raziel Shevach’s murder. On May 15, 2018 a terrorist was apprehended using information recorded by a new camera system AFSI funded.

Electricity problems in Havat Gilad have become ‘an existential problem,‘ residents say, by Nitzan Keidar. Arutz Sheva – January 9, 2020.

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Netanyahu and Trump Speak: What Does It Mean for Israel?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau and President Donald Trump discussed in a phone call “critical bilateral and regional issues.” The phone call between the two followed just one day after the US took decisive action last week to eliminate IRGC’s Qassem Soleimani.

While specific details of the conversation were not given, Israeli officials believe Iran is unlikely to attack Israel in retaliation for the US airstrike that killed Soleimani in Iraq.

AFSI is grateful that Israel continues to have a true partner looking out for its best interests. We thank President Trump for his continued concern for and support of Israel.

Trump and Netanyahu discuss ‘critical’ issues after Iran missile strikes, by TOI Staff and Raphael Ahren. Times of Israel – January 9, 2020

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Fixing Issues That Linger: US Considerations Explained

US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, spoke at a major conference this week emphasizing that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are not in violation of international law.

Friedman has been in office three years now. “Since coming here I’ve worked to add one more item to a busy agenda: helping to find a fix to the issues that still linger from the Six Day War.”

US Amb Friedman: Jerusalem, the Golan – and now Judea & Samaria, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva – January 8, 2020

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Bennett’s Policy is Very Clear: EXPANSION

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett toured the Jordan Valley on Monday with Jordan Valley Regional Council Chairman and Chairman of the Yesha Council David Elhayani.

On their tour, they observed the town of Petza’el from Highway 505. The observation provided the minister with a comprehensive overview of Arab construction and the massive takeover of state land in Area C. Subsequently, the minister passed through the emergency center of the Jordan Valley to the Council and the IDF, where they heard about the daily work of the hotline staff.

Bennett said: “I will start from the end: I am not from the UN. I am fully in favor of settlement [sic], this is my policy. As Minister of Defense, I have a clear position on expanding settlement [sic] in Judea and Samaria in the quickest, best and most powerful way. In Area C, there is a campaign here and we are on the scene. I have defined the mission of IDF and the security system to prevent all illegal Palestinian construction. This is political construction with the aim of gaining as much of our land as possible. Our goal is to build and maintain as much as possible in Area C. Our policy and the commander’s spirit are very clear.”

Bennett: Our goal is to prevent all illegal PA construction in Jordan Valley, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva – January 6, 2020

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Speaking of Expansion…

The Supreme Civil Planning Council met over the past two days and approved building plans for about 1,936 housing units throughout Judea and Samaria.

1,150 of the units were approved for deposit, the first stage of the planning process. 786 units were approved for final planning.

Among other things, a plan was approved for 258 housing units in Haresha, 180 housing units in Mitzpeh Dani, 147 housing units in Mitzpeh Yericho, 107 units in Elon Moreh, 100 in Neve Tzuf, and 40 in Peduel.

The Yesha Council responded to the approval of the units: “To our delight, construction in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley is commonplace and we are pleased to see that every few months plans are up in the Supreme Planning Council…..The time has come for extremist Leftist organizations to accept that the U.S. has also declared that settling in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley is not contrary to international law and that applying Israeli Sovereignty is a consensus in the State of Israel.”

1,936 new housing units approved in Judea and Samaria, by Mordechai Sones. Arutz Sheva – January 6, 2020

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Where is the Outrage? Anti-Semitism Strikes the Jewish People in New York Again

Rabbi Chaim Leibish Rottenberg in upstate New York had just concluded the Hanukkah candle-lighting in his home on Sunday. With dozens of Hasidim gathered for the lighting, a masked man entered Rabbi Rottenberg’s home with a machete, stabbing five people before making a beeline to an adjacent synagogue where congregants had barricaded themselves. In order to defend themselves, Jews present in the house resorted to throwing chairs and tables at the intruder.

Two people are in critical condition. Fears of anti-Semitism are reignited once again not only among the insular ultra-Orthodox community, but among Jews everywhere. Sunday’s attack comes just a month after another stabbing attack and amid what officials have described as a spate of anti-Jewish assaults in the New York region.

The attacker fled the scene, but police later said they arrested a suspect after locating a car connected to the crime scene in New York City.

A Hanukkah lighting turns bloody as knifeman sows terror at rabbi’s home, by Times of Israel Staff and Agencies. Times of Israel – December 29, 2019

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Results of a Non-Existent Gov’t?

Strong-arm manipulation of Israel’s caretaker government: As a result of a pressure campaign by Joint Arab List MKs, Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni will convene a hearing to deliberate the suspension of Amendment 116 to Israel’s Planning and Building Code, otherwise known as the Kaminetz Law.

The Kaminetz Law was passed to combat the scourge of illegal construction throughout Israel, a phenomenon classified by Israel’s Supreme Court as a national epidemic.

The hearing is essentially another stage in the maneuver carried out by the Arab MKs in the late-night hearing that dissolved the outgoing Knesset and rescheduled the next round of elections. Taking advantage of the looming deadline and the necessity to legislate an alternative date for elections, MK Ahmed Tibi and other Arab MKs threatened to cast the necessary votes only on condition that the Kaminetz Law is repealed or suspended indefinitely. After representatives of Regavim rushed to the Knesset in the middle of the night to head off the Arab parties’ attempt to overthrow the government, right-wing MKs formulated a temporary fix: Only if the Justice Minister calls for amendments to the Kaminetz Law, a hearing will be held in the Knesset Finance Committee, and not the Interior Committee, which was disbanded with the dissolution of the Knesset.

We are troubled by this news and can only say that with no official government in place for Israel, these are the kinds of things that will happen. It is our fervent hope that with the next round of elections in March 2020 that there will be a coalition formed – one that has Israel’s best interests at the top of the list.

Bowing to Joint Arab List demands, Knesset Committee to debate suspending Kaminetz Law, by Mordechai Sones. Arutz Sheva – December 30, 2019

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