September 18, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

PA Reports on Murder of Israeli-American: "Israeli Forces Injure Palestinian near Bethlehem" (WAFA-PA)
    After Palestinian Khalil Jabarin stabbed and killed Israeli-American Ari Fuld, who wounded his assailant before he died, the official PA WAFA news agency reported the story with the headline: "Israeli Forces Injure Palestinian near Bethlehem."
    See also PA to Pay Family of Ari Fuld's Murderer - Gil Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
    The family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld on Sunday will receive NIS 1,400 a month for the next three years from the Palestinian Authority.

Monitor: Recent Israeli Strikes in Syria Killed 140 Iranians and Allied Militia (i24News)
    Israeli air strikes in Syria over the last five months have killed 140 people from Iran's military forces and allied militias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.
    113 of those were killed in the last two months.
    In addition, 28 Syrian government forces and allied personnel were killed in explosions at weapons depots due to accidents.

Palestinians Don't Trust Hamas - Muhammad Shehada (Forward)
    Earlier this month, senior Hamas leader and member of Parliament Atef Odwan posted a poll on Facebook asking: Would you re-elect PA President Mahmoud Abbas?
    But Odwan's poll backfired. In just a few hours, over 10,000 voted, 71% saying "yes" to re-electing Abbas instead of Hamas.
    Odwan removed the poll and posted a new one, accusing Fatah supporters of swarming to ruin the results.
    In the new poll, promoted by Hamas activists, more than 30,000 participated, with 54% voting "yes" to re-electing Abbas.
    A survey in July by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media & Communications Center reported that just over 10% of Palestinians trust Hamas the most.

Israeli Medical Team Teaches Emergency Medicine in Rural Kenya - Brian Blum (Israel21c)
    A delegation from Rambam Hospital in Haifa recently gave an emergency medicine course to local doctors and nursing staff in Nakuru, Kenya.
    The Israeli team taught their local counterparts CPR equipment maintenance, case-management techniques, basic and advanced resuscitation methods, and how to use equipment they had brought.
    "It was exciting to see how quickly the changes were made and how easy it is to make a difference," said Ravit Idelman, a senior nurse in Rambam's ER department.
    The team intends to return to Africa to do more training on a regular basis.

Daily Alert will not appear on Wednesday,
September 19, the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Syrian Regime Shoots Down Russian Military Plane - Barbara Starr
    A Russian IL-20 maritime patrol aircraft with 14 personnel on board was inadvertently shot down by Syrian regime anti-aircraft fire on Monday, a U.S. official confirmed. The Russian aircraft was hit as Syrian forces responded to an attack by Israeli aircraft. The Russian aircraft was shot down by an S-200 anti-aircraft system the Russians sold to the Syrians several years ago, the official said. (CNN)
        See also Russia Claims Israeli Jets Used Russian Plane as Cover during Attack in Syria (RT-Russia)
        See also Kremlin Stops Short of Blaming Israel for Plane Incident
    Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters on Tuesday that the Kremlin is analyzing reports about the shooting down of a Russian reconnaissance aircraft by Syrian missile defenses on Monday. He stopped short of blaming Israel for the incident, which the Russian military and the defense minister have done. (ITV-UK)
        See also Monitor: Israeli Missile Strike Destroyed Two Weapon Depots near Syrian Naval Base in Latakia (Pravda-Russia)
  • Russia Claims There Will Be No Offensive in Syrian Rebel Province after Agreement with Turkey - Maria Tsvetkova
    Russia and Turkey say they have agreed to create a buffer zone in Syria's northern Idlib province to separate government forces and rebel fighters and forestall the likelihood of an offensive by government forces. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said there will now be no new military operation against Idlib by Syrian government forces and their allies. (Independent-UK)
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May: "I Stand with Israel as the Homeland of the Jewish People" - Alison Little
    British Prime Minister Theresa May told the United Jewish Israel Appeal on Monday: "I stand with the UJIA. I stand with Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. And I stand with the entire Jewish community in Britain." She said she was "sickened" that Jewish people in Britain feared for their futures and she did not underestimate the threat posed by those who promoted anti-Semitism.
        "Criticizing the actions of Israel is never, and can never be, an excuse for questioning Israel's right to exist, any more than criticizing Britain's actions could be an excuse for questioning our right to exist. And criticizing the government of Israel is never, and can never be, an excuse for hatred against the Jewish people."  (Daily Express-UK)
        See also Text of UK PM Theresa May's Speech (Jewish News-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Mall Employee: Murdered Israeli-American "Saved My Life”
    Hila Peretz, who works at a falafel shop at the Gush Etzion shopping mall, told Channel 10 on Monday that she saw Khalil Jabarin fatally stab Ari Fuld outside the shop after serving the Palestinian. "I served him falafel; his hand touched mine. He went out, walked away, and sat on the railing outside the pizza shop. He sat there for at least 40 minutes." Then she "saw him pull out this big knife that was glimmering in the sun, and all of the sudden he plunged it into [Ari Fuld's] heart" from behind.
        Peretz said Jabarin began to run toward her with the knife drawn. She ran for her life. Security camera footage shows Fuld, with blood pouring down his back, chasing and shooting Jabarin. "The man that was killed really saved my life," she said. Peretz's husband, Moti, said, "[When Jabarin] saw her, he lifted the knife up to stab her. Just then...Ari got up...and started to chase him....Fuld saved her, and she owes him her life."  (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Attacks Palestinian Terrorists at Gaza Border - Yoav Zitun
    An IDF aircraft fired at "terrorists (who) suspiciously approached the security fence in southern Gaza and placed an object adjacent to the fence" on Monday, the IDF said. Gaza medics said on Tuesday that two Palestinians were killed in the Israeli missile strike. (Ynet News)
  • Hand Grenade Attached to Balloon from Gaza Lands in Israel - Hagay Hacohen
    A balloon launched from Gaza with a hand grenade attached to it landed in Israel on Monday, causing no injuries. Police disarmed the device and warned the public against approaching balloons and kites. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Releases Satellite Images of Strategic Sites in Syria - Judah Ari Gross
    Israel on Monday released satellite photographs of sites inside Syria including President Assad's palace and Damascus International Airport. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Harari, head of the Defense Ministry's space program, said, "Israel's independent satellite capabilities provide it with a significant edge in addressing the various threats. The quality of the images generated by the different satellites is excellent, and they provide us with invaluable intelligence information, proving that the sky is not the limit."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • If You Can't Mourn Ari Fuld, You Are An Accomplice in His Murder - Lt.-Col. (res.) Peter Lerner
    Ari Fuld was a friend. We had met a couple of times face to face and he was omnipresent on my Facebook feed. Khalil Jabarin stabbed Ari in the back. When Israel talks about the need for Palestinian recognition and acceptance of the Jewish State of Israel, it is in order to clarify once and for all that our Palestinian neighbors accept that we, the Jewish people, are here to stay.
        Some of the voices on social media were extremely disturbing, saying he "deserved it" because he was a "settler." When you side with a brainwashed teen who has an institutionalized support system, when you side with the politicians who amplify the calls to murder a Jew in Judea, then you are on the wrong side of history. If you accept this brutality, feel no sorrow for a father of four stabbed to death, then you are no different than the coward that sneaked up behind him and took his life. The writer is a former IDF Spokesperson. (Forward)
  • Mahmoud Abbas Has Fresh American Blood on His Hands - Bassam Tawil
    In a speech to the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on Sep. 15, PA President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas' allegation was quickly picked up by media outlets in the Arab world, the West Bank and Gaza. The headlines that appeared on websites affiliated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed that Israel is planning to permit Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
        Hours after reports were published of Abbas' allegation, a Palestinian fatally stabbed Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American citizen. According to Palestinian terrorist groups, the terrorist, Khalil Jabarin, decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli "crimes" against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Hamas senior official Husam Badran said, "This operation is in response to what Israel is planning to do in Al-Aqsa Mosque," confirming a direct link between Abbas' false charge and the murder.
        It is Abbas' anti-Israel incitement that is driving Palestinians to grab a knife and set out to stab the first Jew they meet. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Since 1948, the number of Palestinian refugees under UNRWA auspices ballooned from 700,000 to almost 5.5 million. Over 50% of the so-called refugees have found homes across the globe many years ago, and would not be considered refugees by any standard other than UNRWA's.
  • While the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working overtime over the past decade dealing with 30 million refugees, UNRWA operates with a budget that's four times larger. UNRWA also employs 30,000, a number three times as large as UNHCR.
  • Will the de-funding of UNRWA create short-term challenges? Of course. But those are quite realistically alleviated by transferring UNRWA budgets to either UNHCR or the Palestinian Authority, which as the governing body in the West Bank should also be in charge of education and social services.
  • One can only commend the current U.S. administration for attempting to remove one of the major obstacles to peace in our region.

    The writer, chairman of the Abba Eban Institute of International Diplomacy at the IDC Herzliya, is a former Israeli ambassador to the UN and the UK.