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Early Elections – Who Will They Choose?

Too many Jewish lives have been lost to terror. Constant surrender to terror – ceasefires – will only do damage to the security of Israel in the long run.

That was the crux of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s argument nearly six weeks ago when he resigned in response to another ceasefire with militants in Gaza. It was also the breaking point of a government about to collapse.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the parties in his coalition decided to disperse the Knesset this week and hold an early general election on April 9.

PM Netanyahu said now that the urgent security matter of the Hezbollah terror tunnels has been dealt with, proceeding with early elections is possible.

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Weighing in on the Pullout

In the wake of President Trump’s surprise announcement that the US will pull out of Syria, the feedback continues.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot remarked publicly for the first time about the US pullout. Read what he said, HERE.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked says it’s “bad for Israel” and good for Erdogan.

Caroline Glick discusses the pros and cons of Trump’s decision HERE.

JNS-Jewish National Syndicate reports that secret talks reached an understanding with Russia that will enable Israel to retain the freedom to attack Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria.

In his Arutz Sheva OpEd, AFSI Chairman Mark Langfan thinks President Trump is clever!

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Where Does This Leave Israel? US Pulls Out From Syria

In a tweet yesterday t that surprised and shocked the world, President Donald Trump announced,“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

Two days before the decision was announced, PM Netanyahu was contacted by President Trump who advised him about the US decision to pull out from Syria. Netanyahu also received a follow-up phone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week. Netanyahu said, “They made it clear that they have other ways of expressing their influence in the area. This is, of course, an American decision. We will study its timetable, how it will be implemented and – of course – its implications for us. In any case we will take care to maintain the security of Israel and to defend ourselves in this area.”

Yet, the unofficial reaction from Israel is disappointment.

United States Senators say that leaving Syria will have grave consequences for both the US and Israel and “great benefits” for the enemies.

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Preserve the Special Status

In a preliminary reading in the Knesset, the “fabric of life in settlement” bill, also known as the “Regulation Law 2” was approved on Wednesday.

The bill was initiated by MK Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home and MK Yoav Kish of Likud, heads of the Land of Israel Caucus in the Knesset (both pictured here).

The purpose of the bill is to preserve the special status of young communities in Judea and Samaria that are in prolonged processes of normalization, a normalization that must include water and electricity. Just as Judea and Samaria residents have responsibilities, they must also have rights.

We are pleased to see steps toward full normalization building in the right direction.

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What We Don’t Need vs. What We Want

The Israeli government is now under pressure to take action following last week’s barrage of terror attacks with the top priority being normalization of the legal status of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.

We don’t need to hear the same promises over and over. We want words to become reality!!

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed the Supreme Court that 80% of Judea and Samaria land on which Jewish towns are built but whose legal status is in question can be legalized. He settled on a formula to approve the legalization of these buildings caught in legal limbo without the need for the “Regulation Law.” Could this be for real? Story HERE.

A bill was approved Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation that would likely legalize nearly 70 Judea and Samaria outposts. “The terrorists will know that we are here to stay. Attacks will not deter us,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett stated that with half a million Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, “They have the right to life like any other citizen of Israel. They have the right to quality of life, like any other citizen of Israel. The same rules apply to Judea and Samaria as to Tel Aviv – and that is why we need to act.”

We want normalization! Judea and Samaria residents are done being silent and protest in front of Prime Minister’s office. We are with them in spirit!

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Israel – A Week of Terror

Last Friday morning an IDF soldier was the victim of a terror attack in Beit El and is in critical condition. The terrorist infiltrated an IDF army post and bashed the head of the IDF soldier with a rock and also stabbed him with a knife.

Security forces arrested an additional 40 Palestinians in connection with last weeks string of attacks and for subsequent riots overnight last Friday. According to the IDF, 37 of them are Hamas operatives.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called for the UN Security Council to discuss last week’s attacks in Israel, recognize them as terrorism and condemn them immediately.

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Terror Attack Strikes Israel This Morning – Second Time in Five Days Third Attack Hours Later, Terrorist Killed

A terrorist opened fire on soldiers and civilians standing at a hitchhiking station at the junction near the community of Givat Assaf in the Binyamin region, between the towns of Beit El and Ofra. Two IDF soldiers were murdered, a serviceman was critically wounded and a civilian is in serious condition.

This latest attack follows on the heels of Sunday’s terrorist attack in Ofra.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin called on the government to respond by pushing forward legislation that would regulate hundred of homes in Judea and Samaria.

The Jerusalem Post reports that only hours later car ramming attack was foiled today in Al-Bira near the West Bank settlement of Psagot, north of Jerusalem, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. This is the third terrorist attack in five days.

Community leaders throughout Judea and Samaria are calling on the government to take action to stop the terror and will organize a general strike on Friday.

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Dear Airbnb, You Should Re-Think Your Decision

Airbnb’s decision to remove Judea and Samaria from its listings has spurred ingenuity and support from those who care about the REAL ISRAEL.

In our December 3 newsletter we reported that Koshbn is now operating as a portal of kosher friendly guest rentals around the world.

OlehStay is another guest rental site just started by two US born men (photo above). More HERE.

The town of Surfside, Florida condemned Airbnb on Wednesday for violating an agreement with the town that prohibits discriminatory boycotts amid Airbnb’s removal of Judea and Samaria from its listings. The Surfside commission unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Vice Mayor Daniel Gielchinsky. Source – JNS Jewish News Syndicate

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ANOTHER TERROR ATTACK IN ISRAEL AS UNITED NATIONS FAILS TO CONDEMN HAMAS

Sunday evening, a group of Israeli civilians waiting at a bus stop next to the town of Ofra in Samaria were shot at – the victims of another act of terror against Israel. Shira Ish-Ran (Shira Yael bat Liora Sara), a 30 year old pregnant woman was critically injured and though doctors successfully delivered her baby (Rach HaNolad ben Shira Yael) prematurely, the baby has taken a turn for the worse. Shira’s husband, Amichai (Amichai Yishai ben Galila), is in good condition and recovering from bullet wounds to the leg. Pictured above are Shira’s parents. Her father Chaim has been with AFSI on many of our tours in and around Jerusalem.

Hamas calls the shooters “heroic.” This is the same Hamas that the United Nations failed to condemn last week.

“We must put our own price on terror.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked urged PM Netanyahu to normalize the status of Ofra in Samaria, following the attack there last night.

Ambassador David Friedman wrote on Twitter, “The #US stands with #Israel against terrorists even if others won’t.”

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations blasted the UN vote, “Hamas praises yet another terror attack. You had the ability to help fight against terror. Is this what the UN wants its legacy to be?”

The United States drafted a resolution condemning Hamas at the United Nations and was voted on last week but failed to condemn Hamas’s terrorism against Israel.

“Is the hatred of Israel so strong that you will defend a terrorist organization, one that is harming the Palestinian people? Isn’t it time to let that go? For the sake of peace and the sake of this institution I respectfully urge my colleagues to this resolution,” UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

Reality tells us that this should have been a no-brainer to vote YES – condemn Hamas. There were 87 countries who supported the resolution with 33 abstained. Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon is taking last Thursday’s vote in a positive light stating that though the resolution failed to pass, the fact that the UN discussed the terror group was a victory. “We focused on condemning a terrorist organization – and this is a subject that is troubling the entire world.”

Despite Danon’s comment, this is another shameful act that occurred at the United Nations, a place where hypocrisy reigns. A place that no longer fulfills its charter of maintaining worldwide peace and security. Until there is full condemnation at the United Nations there can be little progress in the fight against terrorism.

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PROTECTING SOVEREIGNTY: Operation Northern Shield

Arutz Sheva reports that IDF security forces discovered and destroyed a terrorist tunnel Tuesday morning that leads into Israeli territory from southern Lebanon.

Apparently built by Hezbollah terrorists, the tunnel originates in the southern portion of the Lebanese town of Kafr Kela and crosses over into Israeli territory. It is believed to have been dug for use in an upcoming terror attack on Israeli targets.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton issued a strong statement on Twitter in defense of Israel:

“The US strongly supports Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on Hizballah [sic] to stop its tunneling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence. More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated, “Israel has the absolute right and obligation to dismantle the terror infrastructure that Hezbollah has built in preparation for infiltrating its northern border and attacking its citizens…”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry plans to submit a protest to UN Secretary General António Guterres and the president of the Security Council against aggressive actions emanating from Lebanon.

The Foreign Ministry also instructed its representatives abroad to stress that the digging of these tunnels constitutes an aggressive action and is a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty, not to mention, an additional violation of Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701. Source – Jerusalem Post

Read Mordechai Kedar’s take on discovery of the tunnel in his Arutz Sheva OpEd.

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