Newsletter : 18fx0710.txt
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Islamic Jihad Threatens Revenge as Israel Closes Gaza Border Crossing
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
(Yisrael Beytenu) on Monday accepted the suggestion of IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to
close the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Israel. The closure will not apply to
humanitarian aid, including food and medicine, approved on an individual basis by
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rokon.
The decision comes in response to continued arson terror perpetrated by Gazan
terrorists via incendiary kites and balloons sent from Gaza into Israeli territory, as
well as other attempts at terror attacks. In addition to the closure of Kerem Shalom, the
decision was made not to allow the expansion of the fishing zone around Gaza to continue
throughout the season.
In a statement, the IDF said, "The State of Israel aspires and acts to improve the
humanitarian reality in the Gaza Strip in many ways. However, in light of the situation in
which the Hamas terror organization exploits the Gazan residents and launches arson and
explosive balloons and kites towards the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, Israel
decided to take these measures. The current situation does not allow the residents of
southern Israel to maintain their daily routine. Should these severe conditions continue,
Israeli measures will persist and intensify.
"The Hamas terror organization is accountable for the activities in the Gaza Strip and
their consequences. The Hamas terror organization is the one who is dragging the residents
of the Gaza Strip into an abyss, and the IDF will continue to operate as necessary to
safeguard the security needs of the State of Israel."
The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, Hamas' main ally in Gaza, on Monday, blasted
the Israeli government's decision to close the crossing, saying it was tantamount to "a
declaration of war against the Palestinians." An official statement by the Islamic Jihad
said that "given the aggressive policy, we see the declaration of the Israeli terror
government and its army as a declaration of war against the Palestinians. We will not
remain helpless and respond."
The group also pointed an accusing finger at the international community, saying, "The
entire world bears responsibility for its silence and its inability to curb the terror
policy adopted by the occupation, its government and its army against our people."
Estimate: 80,000 buildings in Danger of Collapsing in the Face of Earthquake
By the Jerusalem Post and World Israel News
80,000 buildings in Israel are in danger of collapsing in the face of a serious
earthquake in Israel, Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction Jackie Levy told The
Jerusalem Post on Monday. Levy issued a statement on the urgency of the issue, after
northern Israel experienced dozens of earthquakes over the past few days.
Levy says he has been fighting for greater action on this issue for several years, and
that while his ministry had budgeted NIS 60 million every year for the last three years to
reinforce buildings, that is only "a drop in the ocean. This needs a massive systemic
solution a national plan," he said, noting that his ministry has already put
together a five-year plan which he hopes will be approved soon.
The plan, which his ministry put together with the Finance Ministry, requires a budget
of NIS 250 million every year for five years which will deal only with the homes of
those who live on the Great Rift Valley, the highest risk zone. In addition, the remaining
homes of those who are in lower-risk areas will also need to be reinforced. All buildings
constructed before 1984 were not built according to standards which began to be enforced
that year for earthquake durability. "There are many old structures that will simply
collapse like a tower of cards during an earthquake," Levy said.
Due to the series of tremors that occurred over the past week in Israel, an emergency
meeting will be held Thursday with all relevant authorities who would have a role to play
in case of a major earthquake.
Homes have rattled throughout the north from Haifa to Kiryat Shmona as a series of
light earthquakes struck the region since July 4, measuring between 2.0 and 4.5 on the
Richter scale. Only a few of the roughly 30 tremors were actually felt, according to the
Israeli Geophysics Institute, although they have alarmed Israelis. Betzalel Treiber, the
former head of the NEMA, pointed out "It is the duty of the state to make the effort and
fix these buildings," he stated.
The other aspect that is not yet up to par, he said, is how ready the authorities would
deal with the aftermath, which is the point of Thursday's meeting. Treiber did sound one
note of optimism, however. "A new seismological web [of sensors] is being set up in Israel
will be completed by the end of the year."
It will be connected to the national warning system, he continued, and will enable
citizens to get at least a few critical seconds' warning of an upcoming earthquake
and if the epicenter is far enough away, it could even be dozens of seconds, he added,
which will be effective.
Watchdog Group: United Nations Ignores Anti-Semitism, De-Judaizes Holocaust
By the Jerusalem Post
The United Nations has failed to combat anti-Semitism seriously and in some cases has
de-Judaized the Holocaust, a Geneva watchdog group said on Monday. UN Watch accused the
world body in a report presented at a special event at the Knesset.
Israel has long argued that the UN's treatment of it is tantamount to anti-Semitism
because of the body's long record of excessively condemning Israeli actions above and
beyond those of other nations. "When it comes to Jews, when it comes to Israelis, the UN
has become a hostile and biased body," said Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid, who chaired the
Knesset event. "The organization that is meant to fight anti-Semitism, which is sworn to
fight anti-Semitism, is guilty of anti-Semitism itself."
The bulk of the report protested the failure of UN officials and relevant bodies,
including outgoing High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, to properly
address the problem of anti-Semitism. Zeid did not make a "single standalone statement" in
reaction to an antisemitic event during his four years in office, UN Watch said. He also
"trivialized and de-Judaized the Holocaust," the group said.
Among the examples it gave was Zeid's opening speech to the UNHRC in June 2017, in
which he "juxtaposed Hitler's concentration camps to Palestinian refugee camps." The
watchdog group added that Zeid "cynically instrumentalized the Holocaust to defend Muslims
and criticize Israel, but "has never used the Holocaust to defend Jews against modern
North Korea Reportedly Offered Israel to Cut its Weapons Sales to Iran if Israel Paid it
By World Israel News
North Korea's ambassador to Sweden in 1999 proposed to his Israeli counterpart: Israel
will give North Korea $1 billion in cash and Pyongyang will cancel its agreement to sell
missile technology to Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the report, based on the account of senior North Korean diplomat Thae Yong
Ho, Israel refused and days later offered food aid instead. The talks ended without an
Since then, North Korea has steadily supplied conventional and ballistic weapons and
nuclear technology to countries hostile to Israel, such as Iran and Syria. North Korea has
a history of selling dangerous technology, including helping Syria build a nuclear reactor
and providing the country with chemical weapons. Israel bombed the Syrian nuclear facility
As conflict spread across the Middle East since the Arab Spring in 2011, North Korea
has stepped up small-arms shipments to Libya and Syria. A North Korean machine gun called
the Type 73 has also turned up in battles in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, likely supplied by
Iran, which imported them in the 1970s and 1980s.
The account of the proposal, recorded in a 2018 memoir by Thae, the translator at the
supposed meeting who later defected to South Korea in 2016, demonstrates how North Korea
has used the threat of weapons proliferation as leverage for cash that could in turn be
used to finance its nuclear and missile programs. Israel declined to comment on the events
outlined by Thae.
Israel's ambassador to Sweden at the time, Gideon Ben Ami, said in a television
interview last week that he had three meetings with North Korean officials in 1999, but he
did not mention the North Korean extortion attempt.
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