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Mandate Goes to Lapid: Another 28 Days, Many Difficulties

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday chose Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest rival, to try to form a new government. Lapid’s path to success is still uncertain.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving leader, has been fighting to hold onto office through four inconclusive elections since 2019. His 28-day mandate to put together a coalition ran out at midnight after he failed to agree on terms with potential right-wing partners. This opened the way for Rivlin to assign the task to another member of parliament. Now Lapid has 28 days to form a government.

Rivlin, in a televised address announcing his choice of Lapid, said the former finance minister had the pledged support of 56 of parliament’s 120 members, still short of a majority.

“It … became clear that Yair Lapid has the possibility to form a government that will win parliament’s approval, but there are many difficulties,” Rivlin said.

Never before have we seen an ongoing political crisis in Israel such as this. The next possible scenario is that Lapid forms a rotation with Naftali Bennett. Both Lapid and Bennett must pull together a majority coalition from an unlikely mixture of parties across the political spectrum. This includes the Islamist Ra’am party, which complicates everything. More important is that it raises the question of how stable such a government would be to begin with. That has us concerned.

President taps Lapid to form gov’t despite lack of majority, by Reuters and ILH Staff/Israel Hayom, May 5, 2021



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Cooperation Between Security Agencies Uncovers Mechanism for Terror

The Shin Bet, in cooperation with the Israel Police and IDF, uncovered a mechanism to use humanitarian assistance from the European Union to finance the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP} terrorist organization.

The investigation revealed that the funding was transferred to institutions and organizations in Judea and Samaria, which actually belong to the PFLP. They also operate under a ‘humanitarian’ cover, with an organization called the ‘Health Committees’ at their center.

A Shin Bet source stated: “The extensive financial activity promoted by the Popular Front organization joins a long line of terrorist activities, which have been thwarted by the Shin Bet in recent years. The Popular Front organization is a murderous terrorist organization which is responsible for the 2019 bombing in which Rina Shnerb was killed while walking with her family. The Shin Bet will continue to act and thwart the terrorist infrastructure and financial infrastructure of the PLFP organization, an organization that is constantly working to undermine security stability in Judea and Samaria and to promote organizational and military terrorist activity against Israel.”

AFSI applauds the spirit of cooperation among Israel’s security agencies. It uncovered a security loophole and will now benefit Israel’s security and help to keep it that much safer.

Shin Bet: EU humanitarian funds diverted to terrorism, by Arutz Sheva Staff/Arutz Sheva, May 6, 2021





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Samaria Regional Council to Sue B’Tselem

The Samaria Regional Council plans to sue the left-wing NGO B’Tselem for slander after it alleged that settlers from Yitzhar had set fire to fields near the Palestinian village of Burin.

B’Tselem tweeted a dramatic nighttime photo of the village with the flames burning in the background. In the tweet it stated, “settlers torched Palestinian fields in Burin.” At 8:10 am it also sent a release to the media about it, but within two hours, at 10:07am, it retracted the charges.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said the actual story was precisely the opposite. Palestinians “were the ones that ignited the fire that threatened residents’ homes.” Dagan said the initial tweets had been shared 2,000 times including by the left-wing NGO B’Tselem. The Council and Yitzhar have now asked an attorney to prepare a defamation case against B’Tselem.

“Freedom of expression is a sacred value, but not freedom of expression and defamation,” he added.

Settlers to sue B’Tselem for alleging they set Palestinian fields ablaze, by Tovah Lazaroff/Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2021





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Israel Works to Restore Calm After Terror Attack

Three 19-year-old yeshiva students were injured, two of them seriously, in a drive-by shooting at a bus stop at Tapuah Junction on Sunday evening, Israeli authorities said.

The shots were fired from a passing car at the Tapuah Junction south of Nablus. The victims were all civilians, according to the Israel Defense Forces. All three victims are rabbinical students at the Yeshiva Gedolah in the Samaria Jewish community of Itamar.

“IDF troops returned fire at the vehicle, which fled the scene. IDF troops are searching for the vehicle and are setting up roadblocks in the area,” the military said.

As of noon today, Yehuda Guetta, 19, is still in critical condition and there is an immediate danger to his life. Benaya Peretz, 19, is in very serious condition. The third wounded Israeli, Amichai Challah, 19, was released from the hospital after sustaining light injuries.

This attack is especially heartbreaking since it follows just days after the Mount Meron tragedy. In this terror attack, and in the Meron disaster, so many, but not all, of the victims were young people. Our friends in Yitzhar told us that the young people there are devastated with what has happened in both Meron and Tapuah.

Americans For A Safe Israel mourns the loss of all the victims involved and prays for a speedy refuah for all those who are recovering.

3 hurt, 2 seriously in West Bank drive-by shooting; IDF searching for terrorists, by Judah Ari Gross. Times of Israel, May 2, 2021


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Arabs Set Fire to Burn Down Kumi Ori

Arabs from the Arab village of Urif on Monday morning lit a fire near the Kumi Ori neighborhood of Yitzhar in Samaria.

Arabs set the fire near the Jewish neighborhood and shouted at IDF soldiers who were trying to secure firefighters.

AFSI has very close friendships with residents and officials in Yitzhar. We’ve traveled there on our Chizuk Mission trips many times. AFSI raised the money that installed fire breaks, which one resident told us has made an enormous difference. Our hearts go out to the residents of Yitzhar and we stand side by side with them as they work through this latest violation of Israel’s Sovereignty.

Arabs set fire near Jewish neighborhood in Yitzhar, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, May 3, 2021


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The Sovereignty Movement: Fifth Elections are Preferable to a Government Supported by Supporters of Terrorism

Rabbi Zvi Thau on Monday called for the creation of a 59-seat, right-wing coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This would rely on the parliamentary support of the Islamic party Ra’am and was initially refused by MK Bezalel Smotrich, who was joined by the Sovereignty Movement, headed by Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

Yehudit and Nadia sent out the following message by email and social media:

The Sovereignty Movement responds to the dramatic pressure that is being exerted to gain the agreement of the Right to establish a minority government with the support of the United Arab List (Ra’am):

“This pressure was expected with the approach of the expiration date of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s mandate to establish a government; however, the stressful timetable is not sufficient to transform darkness to light and impurity to purity.

Establishment of a government dependent on supporters of terrorism constitutes a mortal blow to the ability of the government to promote the Zionist vision and dream.”

Sovereignty Movement’s Pushback: Fifth Elections Preferable to Government Leaning on Supporters of Terrorism, by David Israel. Jewish Press, May 3, 2021


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From Joy to Horror. Tragedy at Mount Meron

Americans For A Safe Israel is in mourning with all of Klal Yisrael as the country processes and recovers from the Lag b’Omer tragedy at Mount Meron last Thursday night. Our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones and we pray for a refuah shlema – a speedy recovery – for all of the victims.

Dozens of people were crushed to death in a stampede that broke out in the early hours last Friday morning at the Mount Meron prayer compound, where tens of thousands of Jews had gathered. At least 45 people were confirmed dead and 150 people were injured, with dozens in serious condition and several defined as critical.

The incident happened at around 1:00am but the specific cause of the disaster was not immediately clear. Initial reports said a stand had collapsed at one of the services where thousands of people were taking part. However, Magen David Adom said the tragedy was caused by overcrowding at a narrow pass at the prayer compound.

A police official said dozens of participants in the service had “slipped” on a metal floor, falling on those around them and causing a crushing domino effect.

“The disaster at Mount Meron is one of the most difficult tragedy’s to strike Israel. We will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure this type of tragedy never happens again. Sunday will be a national day of mourning. Let us all come together and pray for the victims and their families and for the wounded’s speedy recovery,” Netanyahu said while visiting the scene Friday morning.

May the Jewish Nation State know no more sorrow. May they only know joy and peace.

At least 45 dead, 150 injured as tragedy strikes Lag B’Omer event at Mt. Meron, by Adi Hashmonai, Hanan Greenwood, Itsik Saban, and News Agencies. Israel Hayom, April 30, 2021



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Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is accused of telling Iran about Israeli operations and now there are demands for him to be investigated, and resign, over what he allegedly told them.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a leaked audiotape, claimed that while Kerry served as America’s top diplomat during the Obama administration, he discussed more than 200 operations that Israel had carried out in Syria against Iranian targets. Zarif said that he was astonished at the revelations.

This comes after Kerry’s additional meetings with Zarif, held as a private citizen after he left office, have also raised questions about what he has told Iranian officials over the years. In a Twitter post, Kerry called the claims “unequivocally false.”

The Iran regime certainly has no better friend than John Kerry. Since the nefarious activities that lead to the 2015 Iran ‘deal’, we’ve always known that Kerry has been in lockstep with this enemy – the #1 state sponsor of terror. Kerry’s actions then and now have thrown diplomacy out the window, especially when he has not been held accountable by US officials. Kerry’s leaking Israel’s covert information to the enemy is a flagrant betrayal of trust in the history of US – Israel relations. It puts Israeli and American lives in danger. In his diplomatic position, Kerry is charged with protecting the interests of the United States and its allies, not aiding and abetting the enemy. While we are glad Kerry’s warm and fuzzy relationship with Iran is being exposed once again, there must be an investigation into his illegal and inappropriate ‘diplomacy.’ John Kerry is a self-serving rat, a disgrace – and a danger – to the United States. Calls must be made for him to answer for his actions. Better yet, let’s call for him to be FIRED.


Calls for John Kerry to be investigated for what he told Iran, by Eric Shawn. Fox News, April 26, 2021

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Erdan On Return To JCPOA: Significant, Bad Mistake May Be Two Weeks Away

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan said on Thursday he estimated that the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement will lead to both parties striking a new deal within weeks.

“I say it with grief, the Americans presented before us the difficulties in the negotiations with Iran, but still, the estimates in Israel are that the sides will reach an understanding in the coming weeks,” Erdan said in an interview with the Ynet studio. “There may be some disagreements on how many sanctions [the U.S.] will remove and how [Iran] will return to abide by the agreement, but the Iranians have recognized that there is an overall desire to return to the old nuclear deal signed at the time of [former U.S. President Barack] Obama. We believe that returning to this bad agreement is a mistake, even a significant one.”

It is ludicrous to put a decision to further imperil Israel in the hands of the US, Iran, Russia and China!

Fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on us.

UN envoy says U.S., Iran may reach new nuclear deal within weeks, by Attila Somfalvi., April 29, 2021


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New Illegal Trail Uncovered – Has Anything Been Done to Combat It?

The Palestinian Authority has blazed a new illegal trail through the Jordan Valley, connecting the towns of Taysir and Tubas in Area B to its network of illegal outposts in Area C.

“The Palestinian Authority continues to carry out its masterplan for territorial contiguity in the Jordan Valley, and the State of Israel continues to allow it,” the Regavim organization said Wednesday in a statement.

Regavim alerted the Civil Administration and other relevant authorities in the early stages of the project, demanding decisive enforcement action against the illegal activity and those responsible for it.

Regavim stated, “Either knowingly or unwittingly, the inaction of the enforcement authorities and the State of Israel is enabling the Palestinian Authority to achieve its vision of territorial contiguity and control in the Jordan Valley.”

How the Palestinian Authority Connects Illegal Outposts in Area C to Villages in Area B, by Hana Levi Julian. Jewish Press, April 28, 2021

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