Newsletter : 20fx0910.txt
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>Israel News Faxx
>JN Sept. 10, 2020, Vol. 28, No. 181
IDF Raids Put 50 Hamas Terrorists behind Bars, Stop New Year's Attacks
By United with Israel
The IDF launched a massive series of raids, arresting more than 50 members of the Hamas
terror group operating in Judea and Samaria. The counter-terror campaign was the largest
such operation since 2014, The Algemeiner reported.
The IDF carried out most of the arrests near Bethlehem and Hebron, according to a Channel
13 report. The operation was described as part of a strategy to thwart terror attacks
designed to harm Israelis during the Jewish high holidays, which begin next week.
Arab-controlled areas within Judea and Samaria, such as Bethlehem and most of Hebron, are
overseen by the Palestinian Authority, which is embroiled in a violent decade-plus feud
with the Hamas terror group.
Hamas ran the PA out of Gaza in 2007, when it launched a bloody coup. While PA leader
Mahmoud Abbas cannot set foot in Gaza for fear of being assassinated by rival Palestinian
factions, Hamas bankrolls and controls terror cells in PA-controlled areas of Judea and
Samaria. These Hamas cells not only carry out murderous attacks on Israeli civilians, they
are also intent on undermining the PA's waning authority.
Palestinians are also members of the Islamic Jihad terror group, which vies for Iranian
funding with its rivals in Hamas.
Israel Faces Lockdown of Up to a Month from Next Week
By DEBKAfile, YnetNews & i24News
The steady spike in coronavirus infection 3,506 on Tuesday prompted
Israel's health authorities on Wednesday, Sept. 9 to urge a national lockdown lasting
three weeks to a month, and starting even before the High Holidays, namely, early next
This advice by Prof. Ronni Gamzu to the coronavirus cabinet also stems from the extremely
uneven response to the weeklong night curfews imposed on 40 hotbed towns and districts on
Tuesday. In blatant defiance of the directives, Hassidic rabbis staged a mass wedding in
Haifa, attended by Dep. Education Minister Rabbi Porush, and some schools opened as usual.
In other areas, schoolchildren in the southern town of Yeruham staged a party with lively
dancing, and revelers gathered at Tel Aviv bars all without masks and within close
hugging distance. The police, which until now treated violations with a light hand, were
instructed on Wednesday to remove the gloves. They will henceforth start breaking up
illicit gatherings and opening criminal investigations against offenders.
The week-long curfew in selected areas was to have been a pilot for the coming
comprehensive national lockdown. The Health Ministry's Director General, Prof. Hezi Levy,
commented in a TV interview that breaches of the health directives and lack of discipline
re the wearing of masks and crowding were prevalent in all walks of Israeli society. This
conduct kept the infection figures ballooning, although, when analyzed in depth, they
proved that no more than 3.3pc of all Israelis had been infected and, so far, the
hospitals were by and large coping with coronavirus victims and their other patients. At
the same time, they feared the approach of winter and the upsurge of seasonal ailments.
The government and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are taking constant flak for their
failure to curb the virus in its second stage, unlike the first. Due to major differences
among the coalition parties i.e. "politics" the restraints coming up now are
said to be several weeks too late to do much good. And it is feared that, when the
ministers meet on Thursday to chart the next set of restrictions, they will again water
them down for the sake of political compromise.
A senior physician at the Sheba Medical Center lashed out at the Israeli public rather
than the politicians. He said people were irresponsibly risking lives by ignoring the most
fundamental measures for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Quite simply, Dr. Gadi Segal told people that lockdowns and stiff restraints that were
painful for everyone could be avoided if only they donned masks when they got up each
morning and wore them all day, while strictly observing the requisite distance from their
fellows. The behavior he witnessed he called shameful. People are dying, he said, and it
was time for everyone to start taking the pandemic seriously.
Small business owners and self-employed workers on Wednesday threatened "anarchy" if the
government decides to reimpose a national lockdown in an effort to stave off the spread of
coronavirus. Already reeling from a lengthy and draconian coronavirus counter-measure
earlier in the year - the effects of which are still very much being felt - they have
vowed to keep their businesses open unless they are promised financial restitution in
At a Tel Aviv press conference Wednesday, Roee Cohen, president of the Israel Federation
of Small Business Organizations, said that "another closure is a death sentence for
businesses" and that the government has "long lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the
public," including the business sector. Cohen maintained that he suspected it unlikely
that these businesses - already shellacked once this year - would comply with the
government's instructions and close down.
"We are marching toward anarchy. We have children to worry about and mouths to feed," and
at the end of the day, "they are the ones we will have in front of our eyes, and not the
fines" imposed by inspectors.
Figures released on Wednesday by the Federation of Small Business Organizations warned
that the cost of a lockdown during the Jewish High Holidays, which start on September 18,
would be NIS 13.6 billion ($4 billion).
The threat of lockdown resurfaced after Israel has witnessed a massive spike in cases over
the last few weeks. Wednesday witnessed a record of more than 3,500 cases in a 24-hour
Palestinians Fail to Persuade Arab Ministers to Condemn UAE-Israel Deal
By Reuters & Israel Hayom
Palestinian leaders won renewed Saudi support for Palestinian statehood on Wednesday
but failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn last month's normalization deal between
Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
At a video conference of foreign ministers, the Palestinian leadership softened its own
censure of the UAE for the US-brokered Aug. 13 accord, which is to be formalized at a
signing ceremony at the White House next week, but to no avail. "Discussions regarding
this point were serious. It was comprehensive and took some time. But it did not lead in
the end to agreement about the draft communique that was proposed by the Palestinian
side," Arab League Assistant Secretary General Hossam Zaki told reporters.
The UAE-Israel accord was the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel
in more than 20 years, and was forged partly through shared fears of Iran. Palestinians
were dismayed by the UAE's move, fearing it would weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position
that calls for Israeli withdrawal from territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood
in return for normal relations with Arab countries.
A Saudi statement on remarks made by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud
included no direct mention of the normalization deal. But the prince said Riyadh supported
the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the borders in place before the 1967
Middle East war, with east Jerusalem as its capital, according to the statement.
The United States, Israel and the UAE have urged Palestinian leaders to re-engage with
Israel. On a trip to the Emirates, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser
Jared Kushner said Palestinians should not be "stuck in the past."
In televised comments at the meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
referred to the accord as a "surprise," and an "earthquake" for Arab consensus, and voiced
dismay at the failure to call an emergency Arab summit after the deal was announced. But
he avoided stronger words such as "betrayal" that Palestinian leaders had used in the
immediate aftermath of the announcement.
Maliki used tougher language against Israel, referring to "colonial and racist
occupation", and accused the United States of blackmail, pressure and assault against
Palestinians and some Arab states.
Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for Brokering Israel-UAE Agreement
President Donald Trump was nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the
normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Christian
Tybring-Gjedde, a lawmaker in the Norway parliament who heads his country's delegation to
NATO, nominated Trump, Fox News first reported.
Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the conservative-leaning populist Progress Party, told Fox
that Trump has "done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace
Prize nominees." Fox quoted from his nomination letter: "As it is expected other Middle
Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game
changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity."
Tybring-Gjedde and fellow Progress Party lawmaker Per-Willy Amundsen nominated Trump for
the same prize in 2018, citing his Singapore summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. "I'm
not a big Trump supporter," Tybring-Gjedde told Fox. "The committee should look at the
facts and judge him on the facts, not on the way he behaves sometimes. The people who have
received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump. For
example, Barack Obama did nothing." Obama, Trump's predecessor, was awarded the prize in
2009 "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation
Sale of US Ambassador's Residence in Israel is Finalized
Going, going, gone: The sale of the official residence of the U.S. ambassador to Israel
has been finalized. Neither the buyer's name nor the amount paid for the Herzliya
property, about 8 miles from Tel Aviv in central Israel, were made public in the U.S.
Embassy's statement announcing the sale. "The buyer was selected solely on the basis of
having submitted the highest and best offer," the statement said.
According to the statement, the embassy will vacate the property by the spring. There are
no plans to continue leasing or renting the property for use by the current ambassador to
Israel, David Friedman, or for any other government use once the title is transferred.
Reports in the Israeli media late last month said that billionaire businessman Sheldon
Adelson was in advanced talks to buy the property, which was put up for sale in January.
The asking price was 300 million shekels, or $87 million. Adelson offered the highest bid,
The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday, and there were two lower offers.
The sale of the property, which was convenient to the embassy when it was located in Tel
Aviv, is another signal that the embassy move to Jerusalem won't be easily reversed.
Globes reported last month that the Trump administration wanted to complete the deal
before the November elections "to emphasize that the transfer of the U.S. Embassy from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem is a `fait accompli.'"
Bride Dies after Collapsing at her Wedding
The bride who collapsed at her own wedding last month passed away Wednesday, Soroka
Hospital in Be'er Sheva reported. Dr. Shirley Arieli, a 33-year-old pediatrician, was
evacuated to the hospital in critical condition after she passed out during her wedding
following an apparent heart attack on August 31.
Following her collapse, the hospital told Channel 12 News at the time: "Our doctors who
were at the wedding did CPR on her until an ambulance arrived. Her condition is critical.
All the doctors are in shock. She was brought to the hospital in her wedding gown."
Wedding guests, including a number of doctors, continued their attempts to resuscitate the
bride as they waited for Magen David Adom emergency first responders to arrive. The
wedding was held in the backyard of a private home.
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