The Day In Israel: Mon Nov 1st, 2010
IDF forces arrested a palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack on an Israeli car on Saturday night.
A Palestinian man suspected of involvement in the shooting attack yesterday evening was arrested overnight by IDF forces. The shooting attack took place yesterday evening on the route leading from Har Gilo to Jerusalem, causing damage to an Israeli vehicle.
Following immediate searches in the area, an IDF force started a chase leading to the arrest of the suspect, Muhaned Muhamed Mahmud Aze, a 34 year old man from Betlehem in less than two hours from the incident. The suspect was questioned on the scene and confessed to taking an active role in the attack. He was arrested and taken for questioning by the ISA.
Ha’aretz adds some details, including that the man is an alleged Hamashole, as well as the slightly relevant fact that the majority of Hamas’ activities in Judea and Samaria are being orchestrated by terrorists formerly imprisoned in Israel, who returned to terrorism after being released.
Israeli security forces have arrested a Palestinian militant apparently linked to Hamas suspected of carrying out a shooting attack on an Israeli car near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday night.
The Israel Defense Forces’ Central Command believes that the incident, which occurred in an area relatively free of security violations, shows that Hamas has plans to carry out future attacks in the West Bank.
Security forces began combing the area immediately after the incident. The car in question had been driving in the area south of Jerusalem when its back end was hit by gunfire. None of the passengers of the car were hurt.
The security forces found a backpack containing a Kalishnakov rifle and on Sunday reported that an arrest had been made.
Four Israeli civilians were killed about two months ago in a shooting attack in the West Bank. Both that attack and two more shootings that occurred within days after and wounded several Israelis were carried out by Hamas.
About three weeks ago, Israeli security forces killed a number of militants from the Hamas cell behind those attacks and arrested several others.
The IDF believes that the majority of Hamas’ activities in the West Bank are being orchestrated by Palestinian militants formerly imprisoned in Israel, who returned to terrorism after being released over the last few years.
These cells are linked to Hamas commanders in both Damascus and in the Gaza Strip. Due to the successes of the IDF and the Shin Bet in cracking down on the Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank in recent years, the commanders have had a harder time keep in contact with these cells and many of the orders have been passed on through family members in a less organized fashion than before.
These cells have also had a harder time harboring weapons and ammunition, due to mass raids by the IDF and Palestinian Authority security forces.
But the Central Command believes that the Hamas cells are still intent on carrying out shooting attacks, and the IDF, Shin Bet and PA forces have intensified their crackdowns.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
4:46PM: The good:
Lonely Planet this week named Tel Aviv third in a list of the world’s best cities, praising the coastal metropolis for its art and music scenes and relaxed, liberal culture.
Tel Aviv came in third, with New York the somewhat predictable winner, and the Moroccan city of Tangier a surprising second. Iquitos on the Peruvian Amazon and Ghent in Belgium were also improbable entrants to the top 10.
“Tel Aviv is the total flipside of Jerusalem, a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill,” the publisher of popular travel guides said on its website. “Hedonism is the one religion that unites its inhabitants. There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple.”
3:48PM: Video of the medal ceremony (including Hatikva) after Sergio Britva won gold in the World Masters Weightlifting in Poland.
Bonus: The Iranian came in second.
Not nice: The Iranian refuses to shake Britva’s hand.
Sweet: The Iranian has to stand quietly throughout the Hatikva. Booya!
1:22PM: Pamela Anderson, due soon in Israel to make a guest appearance in the Israeli version of Dancing with the Stars, gets interviewed on Israeli television.
Meanwhile, she is already getting involved in “politics.”
Former “Baywatch” star and Playboy cover girl Pamela Anderson is now involved in…Israeli politics.
Israeli Daily newspaper Yediot Aronoth reported this week that a letter written by the Hollywood star and noted animal rights activist was received at the office of Israel’s Minister of Religious Services, Ya’akov Margi, of the religious political party of Shas.
Anderson, who is due to visit Israel in a few weeks to make a guest appearance in the Israeli version of popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars”, asked the minister to support a ground-breaking bill that would ban the use of animal fur for the making of clothes, hats and other products in the Jewish State.
“I urge you to support this historic bill and speak up for the millions of animals who are bludgeoned, electrocuted, and skinned alive for their pelts each year” beseeched Anderson in her letter.
She also implored him to watch a graphic video from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
No word on the minister’s response to the Hollywood starlet but according to the report, the minister has asked for the bill to be re-examined due to the fact that many ultra-orthodox Jews living in Israel traditionally choose to cover their heads with large hats made of sable tails.
The distinctive head covering, called the streimel, is worn by male adherents of various Jewish sects and is usually donned on the sabbath or high holidays.
While the market for the hats is small the price tags are not – milliners can fetch up to $5000 per streimel.
The sable covered hat is believed to have originated some 500 years ago in Russia after a government decree that all Jews identify themselves by attaching an animal’s tail to their skull caps. What began as a humiliation eventually turned into accepted fashion spreading throughout the Jewish communities in Europe.
I wonder if she will meet with the Minister of Religious Services while she is here. Now that would make for a great photo.
1:15PM: In the wake of the synagogue bombing plot last week, it has been revealed that Israel received warning of it before it was reported in the news, and has been reacting accordingly.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz hinted Monday that Israel received warning of the intent to send bombs to US synagogues on Thursday, before the plot was revealed to the public on the following day.
“Since Thursday Israeli representatives have been on location in sensitive airports around the world, securing shipments to Israel,” he said ahead of a large-scale drill at Ben Gurion International Airport.
“Reality is catching up to us, and we must prepare in order to prevent the worst of all scenarios. We are prepared to deal with a threat now recognized by the whole world. All airlines that fly to Israel are obligated to use the best security measures.”
Katz says he has been trying to persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to establish a national security agency, such as that operating in the US, which would “transfer the security of Israeli flights worldwide, as airlines like El Al want, to the hands of the state”.
10:42AM: Hamas has confirmed that 200-300 of its members were killed during Operation Cast Lead – way more than the 50 they had previously claimed – and that the so-called “police officers” killed during the first day of the operation were actually 250 Hamasholes.
Israel Radio indicated that these figures were consistent with the numbers initially reported by the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit immediately following the operation, which Hamas denied.
Remember the Goldstone Report?
34. To examine whether the attacks against the police were compatible with the principle of distinction between civilian and military objects and persons, the Mission analysed the institutional development of the Gaza police since Hamas took complete control of Gaza in July 2007 and merged the Gaza police with the “Executive Force” it had created after its election victory. The Mission finds that, while a great number of the Gaza policemen were recruited among Hamas supporters or members of Palestinian armed groups, the Gaza police were a civilian law-enforcement agency. The Mission also concludes that the policemen killed on 27 December 2008 cannot be said to have been taking a direct part in hostilities and thus did not lose their civilian immunity from direct attack as civilians on this ground. The Mission accepts that there may be individual members of the Gaza police that were at the same time members of Palestinian armed groups and thus combatants. It concludes, however, that the attacks against thepolice facilities on the first day of the armed operations failed to strike an acceptable balance between the direct military advantage anticipated (i.e. the killing of those policemen who may have been members of Palestinian armed groups) and the loss of civilian life (i.e. the other policemen killed and members of the public who would inevitably have been present or in the vicinity), and therefore violated international humanitarian law.
Then, later on (after citing the palestinian NGO casualty claims during Operation Cast Lead, including the 248 police officers, as well as the IDF’s claims these “police officers” were terrorists), it states:
361. The Mission notes that the statistics from non-governmental sources are generally consistent. Statistics alleging that fewer than one out of five persons killed in an armed conflict was a combatant, such as those provided by PCHR and Al Mezan as a result of months of field research,224 raise very serious concerns about the way Israel conducted the military operations in Gaza. The counterclaims published by the Government of Israel fall far short of international law standards.
In other words, this latest Hamas admission further puts Goldstone to shame.
Meanwhile, who said Hamas doesn’t have a sense of humor?
Hamad also denied allegations that al-Qaida operatives were active in Gaza. “We are moderate people, and we don’t like extremists or fanatics,” he told Al-Hayat. “We don’t need weapons or Jihad fighters – anyone who wants to help us can send money.”
6:05AM: PMW shines a light on the latest shenanigans of our “peace partners.”
A history program on official Palestinian Authority television has repeated an odious PA distortion of history.
Since its inception, the PA has been rewriting the history of Zionism, teaching that the Jews came to Israel not because of their historical ties to the land, but because Europe wanted to be rid of “the burden of its Jews,” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 12, 1998] and “wanted to get rid of the Jews and their problems,” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 15, 2009].
This message has appeared again in a PA TV history program, Witnesses and Testimonies. The program featured two Jordanian academics, who explained that the Jews’ behavior had been “harmful” to Europeans because of the Jews’ “great love of money.” They cited Shakespeare’s fictitious character, the moneylender Shylock, as proof of this “harmful” Jewish trait.
“This is how they harmed the societies that embraced them,” one of the academics explained.