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Balloon Terror Attacks Continue, Israel Retaliates

Israel attacked Sunday night in the north and south of the Gaza Strip. The reports cited unmanned aerial vehicles that attacked sites used by Hamas, including a compound east of Khan Yunis and another site in northwestern Gaza. The IDF spokesman’s version of the events included fighter jets that attacked a Hamas military camp and infrastructure located near civilian buildings, including a school.

The attack came in retaliation for four fires that had been ignited by incendiary balloons from Gaza in the Israeli Gaza Envelope communities earlier. The fires broke out in the Kissufim forest and the kibbutz’s avocado orchard, after more than a three-week hiatus. JNF firefighters took control of the blaze.

The incendiary balloon attacks are still a form of terrorism and are not in accordance with the recent ceasefire. Israel is within its legal rights to defend itself and protect its Sovereignty.

Source:
IDF Attacks in Gaza in Retaliation for Incendiary Balloon Fires, by David Israel/Jewish Press, July 26, 2021

 

 

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Judge Issues Ruling But Is It Just A Slap On The Wrist?

The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday harshly criticized the IDF Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria following a petition filed by the Regavim movement against the administration. The petition claimed the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has failed to enforce the ruling against the illegal Arab takeover of lands outside Kufr al-Dik on the Pedu’el ridge in Samaria – because they have more pressing priorities.

More than a year ago, the Regavim movement petitioned the court regarding five illegal structures built near the community of Pedu’el in Area C in Samaria (under complete Israeli control). Following the petition, the court ordered the Civil Administration to issue work stoppage orders. The orders were indeed posted on the illegal structures but were never carried out and the illegal construction only expanded.

Although the court rejected Regavim’s petition on the grounds that it could not intervene in the Civil Administration’s enforcement considerations, Judge Alexander Ron nevertheless harshly criticized the Civil Administration’s conduct in this matter. Judge Ron said the Civil Administration did not carry out adequate enforcement at the site and issued conflicting allegations throughout the legal process.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said in response to the court ruling: “With each passing day, the citizens of the State of Israel are losing more and more state lands, the price of which we all pay. The Israeli government must find a solution to make decisions at the political and operational level and stop allowing this deterioration of our sovereignty. The State of Israel must make decisions that will change this reality.”

Source:
Court Rebukes IDF Civil Administration: Doubtful It Took Effective Enforcement Against Illegal Arab Structures, by David Israel/Jewish Press, July 26, 2021

 

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I-Scream, You-Scream, We All Scream, “Boycott Ben & Jerry’s!”

While Judea and Samaria stands strong, is Ben & Jerry’s headed for a Rocky Road – or total meltdown?

Ben & Jerry’s announced earlier this week that it would end sales of its ice cream in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).” Also coming to light is that their original intention was to end sales of their product throughout all of Israel. The despicable action from the owners – two “woke,” JINO Jews – aligns itself with the anti-Semitic, hate-Israel ways of the BDS movement.

Numerous kosher stores, and even Morton Williams, a non-kosher supermarket, are removing Ben & Jerry’s products from their store shelves (Morton Williams will remove about 70%). Calls around the world have also ignited campaigns to revoke Ben & Jerry’s kashruth certifications. The Town of Hempstead, Long Island, announced a move to cut ties and municipal contracts with Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said that he has written to 35 United States governors noting that the decision by Ben & Jerry’s violates individual states’ anti-BDS legislation.

Did Ben & Jerry’s take into consideration that not selling their product in the “OPT” will force hundreds of PA Arab workers onto the unemployment line? The very people they take sides with will ultimately be hurt. What’s really behind Ben & Jerry’s move? Eugene Kontorovich, constitutional and international law professor and expert on legal issues in the Israeli-Arab conflict tweeted: “SCOOP (on Ben & Jerry’s): I’ve been told by (a Ben & Jerry’s) insider that company’s board invited Omar Shakir, a professional BDS activist, to advise them, rejected calls to hear experts on other side. This ain’t about the settlements.” Shakir, former Regional Director of Human Rights Watch, was kicked out of Israel in 2019 for being a BDS activist.

Since their announcement, thousands of memes and news reports began circulating like wildfire across social media, blowing up our phones, and flooding our personal inboxes. The decision by Ben & Jerry’s triggered a firestorm of strong reactions from Jews worldwide that work in Israel’s favor.

On the flip side, Avi Zinger, the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, has been fighting for years against BDS groups and has refused to implement the boycott.

In spite of all of this, the residents of Judea and Samaria are standing strong. Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan issued this statement in Arutz Sheva:

We will not give up Samaria, the ancient kingdom of Israel, for ice cream, nor will we give up Joshua’s Altar or ancient Shilo for a McDonald’s hamburger.

The people of Samaria and this country will stand firm long after Ben & Jerry’s ice cream melts and disappears from the world. We will not give in to this anti-Semitism that permeates Jews in the United States as well.

I call on all residents of the State of Israel and Samaria, and all lovers of Israel in the world, to stop consuming the ice cream that is trying to create a boycott of Israel.

We will not succumb to threats from either left-wing organizations or commercial companies that are willing to boycott Israel in order to flatter certain people. We will continue to build Samaria, enjoy culture, a good education and also ice cream. Not necessarily Ben & Jerry’s.

Who knew that a beloved summer treat could trigger such a strong public response that has united Jews in favor of Israel. If ice cream could drive such a backlash against Ben & Jerry’s, we wonder what it will take to change the worldwide narrative that works day and night to delegitimize Israel.

*** TAKE ACTION ***
Contact Ben & Jerry’s to demand they stop their discriminatory boycott of the 800,000 Jews in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

Ben & Jerry’s Consumer Telephone: (802) 238-4778
Ben & Jerry’s Twitter: @benandjerrys
Contact page with contact forms

Sources:
‘The people of Samaria will stand firm long after Ben & Jerry’s ice cream melts’, by Yossi Dagan/Arutz Sheva, July 21, 2021

Ben & Jerry’s ‘insider’ links company board to activist kicked out of Israel, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 22, 2021

Ben & Jerry’s boycott ripples through Jewish world, mixed with legal threats, by Faygie Holt and Sean Savage/Jewish News Syndicate, July 20, 2021

Morton Williams cracks down on Ben & Jerry’s over Israel controversy, by Lisa Fickenscher/The New York Post, July 19, 2021

Long Island town takes action against Ben & Jerry’s, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 22, 2021

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Approval Process Delayed Due to US Pressure

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has apparently slowed the approval process for construction projects in Judea and Samaria because of American pressure.

According to an Israel Hayom report today, Bennett has refused to let the Civil Administration Zoning Committee schedule a routine meeting for the approval of construction plans.

Delays in scheduling a meeting have gone on for over a month, the sources said. Those who spoke out on the matter are affiliated with the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. They alleged that this amounts to a de facto construction moratorium because no new plans can go forward without the committee’s go-ahead. “This is tantamount to complete capitulation to US dictates,” they said.

We cannot predict what Bennett’s strategy is here or if there is one at all. We do know that caving to pressure from the US is not exercising Israel’s Sovereignty over her legal right to build up Israel’s legally owned land in Judea and Samaria.

Source:
Report: Under pressure from US, Israel imposes de facto building freeze on Judea, Samaria, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 21, 2021

 

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In A Matter of Minutes Bennett Walks Back Jewish Freedom of Worship

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appeared to walk back support for the Jewish right to freedom of worship on the Temple Mount Monday, a day after seemingly endorsing a change to long-standing Israeli policy.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office responded to Arab stone-throwing incidents on and around the Temple Mount and protests against Jewish visits to the holy site, saying that the government would continue to enable Jews to visit the site, protecting their right to “freedom of worship” on the Mount.

But a day later, the Prime Minister’s Office clarified its comments regarding Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, telling Galei Tzahal that the status quo remains in place, and that the government would only ensure the right to Jewish visitation of the Mount – not freedom of religion at the site. Bennett’s office clarified later that he meant “freedom of visit” for Jews and not freedom of worship.

Mansour Abbas, a member of the Islamist Ra’am party in the Knesset and a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition, forcefully came out against the some 1,800 Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday to mark the day of Tisha B’Av. “Al-Aqsa Mosque is a pure right of Muslims, and others have no right to it,” Abbas stated in Arabic.

Is Bennett caving to the Ra’am party? We hope not. There is no law against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and AFSI is disappointed in Bennett’s about face even though he later issued a clarification. Prayer on the Temple Mount is a sacred right of the Jewish people.

Sources:
Islamist Member of Bennett’s Coalition Says Kotel Belongs to Muslims, by Aryeh Savir/TPS, July 19, 2021

Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount: Bennett walks back Jewish freedom of worship on Temple Mount, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 19, 2021

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Regavim to Bennett: “Come To Your Senses”

Following Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s announcement on Sunday that a formal request has been made to postpone the evacuation of the Bedouin town of Khan Al Ahmar, the Regavim movement is calling upon Prime Minister Bennett: “Pull yourself together and demonstrate who is really the head of this government. Evacuate Khan al Ahmar today.”

“Did someone say, ‘government of change?’” Regavim said in a statement.

“In all of its recent campaigns, the Yamina Party and Prime Minister Bennett explained that Netanyahu had to be replaced in order to fight the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Area C, to stop the loss of state land in the Negev to Bedouin squatters, to restore the rule of law to the Galilee, the Negev and Israel’s mixed cities – and yes, to evacuate the illegal outpost known as Khan Al Ahmar.”

“Bennett, it’s time to come to your senses and demonstrate that you are actually Prime Minister. Evacuate Khan Al Ahmar today,” stated Regavim.

Photo courtesy of Regavim

Source:
Regavim to Bennett: Pull yourself together, evacuate Khan Al Ahmar today, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 19, 2021

 

 

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Sovereignty: Likud MKs to Promote Legislation. Will It Pass Into Law?

The Sovereignty Movement on Wednesday endorsed the legislative initiative promoted by Likud MKs Miki Zohar and Nir Barkat which would call for the application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. It would also prevent the establishments of foreign consulates for the Palestinian Authority in eastern Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva reports that the Likud party is expected to promote the law next week, after years of refusing to promote such a move while in power, in order to embarrass the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. It’s expected that the Ministerial Committee on Legislation will reject the bill, but MK Zohar still plans to put it to a vote in the Knesset plenum to oblige MKs from the coalition, including those from the right-wing factions Yamina and New Hope, to vote against the application of sovereignty.

The Sovereignty Movement’s Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar stated: “The steps taken by MKs Zohar and Barkat are important for bolstering Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and for curbing international attempts to erode Israeli governability in its eternal capital.” However, they add that “alongside the significance of these steps, one must ensure and guarantee that Jerusalem and sovereignty are not transformed into pawns in political games.”

Sources:
New Likud sovereignty bill gets backing of Sovereignty Movement, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 14, 2021

Likud pushes sovereignty bill to embarrass Bennett, by Arutz Sheva Staff, July 13, 2021

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Can the Mughrabi Bridge Be Saved Before It’s Too Late?

Earlier this week AFSI reported on the deteriorating condition of the Mughrabi Bridge. Tisha B’Av is this weekend and concerns continue to grow in light of the thousands of worshipers expected at the Kotel.

The temporary wooden bridge leading from the Kotel plaza to the Temple Mount is on the verge of collapsing, and the government must intervene immediately to avert a mass casualty tragedy, a senior Jerusalem city official warned Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Fleur Hassan Nahoum, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, sent a letter to Bennett earlier this month warning that the Mughrabi Bridge, the only access point for non-Muslims to the Temple Mount, is in a dangerous and dilapidated state. She stated that the authorities’ warnings for the past 17 years have gone unheeded. “Despite the danger, despite the warnings, nothing has been done so far and thousands of worshipers may be injured as a result of the collapse of the bridge.”

Previous attempts to renovate the bridge were met with Jordan’s opposition and Muslim riots. The National Security Council has stated that “this is a complex political issue, which is currently being examined in depth by the relevant bodies. At the end of the examination, the National Security Council’s recommendation will be transferred to the political level.”

It’s been 17 years with no resolution to this now critical issue. Tisha B’Av is approaching and Israel does not want a repeat of the Meron tragedy. We pray that the authorities will intensify their examinations of the issue and come to a swift decision on how to fix the Mughrabi Bridge.

Source:
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Warns Bennett of Pending Disaster at Western Wall, by Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency/via Jewish Press, July 14, 2021

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The UN Funds Terrorism – How Do They Not Know This?

A report from Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu revealed Tuesday that some $40 million in funding from the UN was funneled to Palestinian NGOs that support terror and BDS from 2016 to 2020.

All of the 19 Palestinian NGOs that received UN funding support BDS, and eight of them have clear ties to Hamas or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror groups, the report said.

One group which received tens of thousands of dollars in funding from the UN, Al Haq, calls itself a human rights organization. Al Haq has ties to the PFLP, supports the Palestinian Authority’s pay-for-slay policy and is a member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which refused to sign an anti-terror pledge.

Another group that received over $1 million in funding, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), has extensive ties to both Hamas and the PFLP.

“Their names are innocuous and mislead people into thinking they promote human rights, but in reality they peddle malicious anti-Israel agendas,” said Eytan Meir, director of external relations and development for Im Tirtzu.

There is no excuse for the United Nations not doing a better job of researching where their funding goes. Remind us again…what is the mandate of the UN? Maybe they need a refresher course themselves. Shame on them!!

Source:
Report: UN gave $40 million to terror-supporting Palestinian NGOs, by Lauren Marcus/World Israel News, July 13, 2021

 

 

 

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Did Bennett’s Government Bow to Ra’am Ultimatum?

Ra’am party lawmakers said Monday they won’t balk at initiating coalition crises to get what they want. This news came about a day after the Islamist party briefly threatened to suspend work with the coalition.

Sunday saw ministers vote to immediately move the Authority for Development and Settlement of the Bedouin in the Negev from the Economy Ministry to the Welfare Ministry. The move had been planned to take place next week, but Ra’am demanded it be moved up, warning it could stop cooperating with the coalition if it were not.

News outlets quoted sources saying Ra’am was voicing general frustration about the government’s treatment of the party, arguing that it had made the most concessions and reaped the smallest gains of any faction in the coalition, particularly regarding its demands on construction permits for its Bedouin constituents in the Negev region.

The original coalition deal with Ra’am had called for the matter to be placed on the agenda several weeks from this point. However, the vote was moved up in response to the party’s demands and its vow to boycott Knesset committee sessions and plenum votes until further notice.

The ultimatum has drawn the attention of the Regavim Movement, a watchdog organization that monitors issues involving land grabs by the Palestinian Authority. “The extortionist demand that the Israeli government must dance to Ra’am’s tune endangers the Negev and the entire State of Israel,” Regavim Director General Meir Deutsch said in a statement. “It is inconceivable that the government’s policy in the Negev, which is at a crucial juncture, will be dictated by the Islamic Movement blackmail,” Deutsch said.

Source:
Ra’am lawmakers warn they may trigger more coalition crises to achieve goals, by TOI Staff/Times of Israel, July 12, 2021

Bennett Government Accedes to Islamist Ra’am Party Ultimatum, by Hana Levi Julian/Jewish Press, July 11, 2021

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