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Prominent Israeli Advocate Murdered in Palestinian Terror Attack
by Ilse Strauss
Monday, 17 September 2018 | It started out as a Sunday like any other. At the Harim Mall, a bustling open-air shopping center in the Judean hills just south of Jerusalem, Israelis were going about the normal hubbub that characterizes the first day of the week. The parking lot and sidewalks were teeming with mothers stocking up on groceries, business associates meeting at one of the restaurants, motorists filling up on gas and passersby making a quick pit-stop to grab a cup of coffee.
The terrorist struck shortly before noon, sneaking up on his target from behind and stabbing him in the back. His victim was 45-year-old Ari Fuld, who had stopped by the Harim Mall supermarket to pick up a few things for his wife. Mortally wounded, Fuld still managed to chase and shoot at his attacker before collapsing on the sidewalk. Paramedics rushed him to a Jerusalem hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Fuld leaves behind a wife and four children.
A passerby shot and wounded the terrorist, a 17-year-old Palestinian from a village near Hebron. The terrorist was taken to a different Jerusalem hospital in moderate condition.
“A 17 y/o Palestinian terrorist, brainwashed to murder Israelis since he was a child, stabbed today Ari Fuld, a father of 4, to death,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted. “Although he was stabbed from behind, Ari (lion in Hebrew) fought like a lion. He chased the terrorist & shot him before collapsing. He was a hero.”
Fuld, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, made aliyah (immigration to Israel) from America in 1994 and lived with his family in Efrat, an Israeli community south of Jerusalem. Lauded by family, friends, peers and colleagues as “untouchable,” “a hero larger than life” and a “soldier to the last,” his achievements, activities, passions and contributions stand as testimony of a selfless, outstanding life.
As a young olim (immigrant) Fuld volunteered for military service in an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade in a combat role and continued to serve as a sergeant in an elite paratroopers unit in the reserves. He was also an active member of his community’s emergency squad. With a deep love and appreciation for the young men and women who keep Israel safe, Fuld worked for Standing Together, a non-governmental organization that supports and shows gratitude to Israeli soldiers. A prominent social media and marketing consultant, Fund was a passionate and respected pro-Israel advocate, who worked tirelessly to defend the Jewish state and its right to exist by addressing communities all over the world. According to The Times of Israel, he was scheduled to embark on a speaking tour in the United States over the next few weeks and was on the verge of launching a new Israel advocacy website in English.
“Ari Fuld was a true hero,” his sister-in-law said. “He believed in the people of Israel and the land of Israel according to the Torah of Israel. He loved the land. He was an educator, a teacher, and constantly fought to show the world the truth. This morning he went shopping, and a terrorist stabbed him in the back, hitting his lung. The people of Israel and the land of Israel lost a true warrior today. His entire soul and task was to sanctify God and the people of Israel.”
Late last night, thousands of mourners gathered to bid their final farewell to the man whose exemplary life and bravery in death turned him into a national legend.
“If there is one word to describe my brother, it was a hero,” Fuld’s brother Moshe told the mourners. “Who else could manage upon sustaining a fatal [stabbing] injury, to draw his pistol, jump a fence and shoot his attacker to make sure that his attacker would not hurt anyone else; only my brother, only my brother. He was a hero in every aspect of his life.”
Fuld’s wife, Miriam, spoke of her husband’s courage and conviction. “You were always running toward danger instead of away from it. You never backed down from a fight, because you knew you were in the right. You fought for what you believe in. You left behind a legacy for the entire world to savor.”
“We always watched the news together and wondered how families and wives could be so strong,” she continued. “But that is what we do. We get knocked down and we get right back up, because life is a package deal and we can’t pick and choose. We must accept the good and the bad. Now it is my turn to be strong and continue onward.”
Fuld’s daughter, Tamar, echoed her mother’s sentiments. “One sentence my father always told me, that has stuck with me forever is, ‘If life is easy, you are living it wrong.’ Life is meant to be hard. That is what I am doing now, it will be hard, I am sure, but at least I know I am doing something right.”
As Israel mourned the brutal murder of a husband and father, the Palestinian terror organizations ruling the Gaza Strip, Hamas, rejoiced. “We welcome the stabbing attack,” Hamas said in a statement. “The attack makes it clear that our people wish to continue the Jerusalem intifada [uprising].”
Yesterday’s attack took place in the Gush Etzion region, a cluster of Israeli communities and Arab villages tucked into the rolling Judean hills. At the heart of the region lays the Gush Etzion junction. Located south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the maze of streets and highways leading from cities, communities and villages all converge in this bustling node. The Harim Mall, an extensive shopping center sporting all the modern amenities like a large supermarket, restaurants and snack bars, gas stations, beauty parlors and hardware stores, surround the intersection.
This spot is the business, commercial and tourism hub in southern Judea. In the past, the junction and shopping center became an infamous hotspot for Palestinian terror. In late 2015, the Gush Etzion Junction and Harim Mall served as the stage for one shooting attack, four stabbings, six car rammings, 15 fire bombs and nearly 200 stoning attacks in which four people died and many more were injured—all in just over eight weeks.
Thanks to heightened security, increased intelligence and various checks and initiatives, Israeli security services managed to staunch the wave of terror and restore relative peace to the area for nearly two years. In fact, according to the Israeli Security Agency website, terror attacks in Judea and Samaria have steadily decreased, and only one such attack was recorded in July and August.
Now, in the aftermath of yesterday’s attack, as Israelis mourn and the blood of the innocent once again stains the soil that witnessed too many such murders in the past, those who call Gush Etzion home hope and pray that the flood of terror has not returned to their region.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 17, 2018.)
Photo Credit: Screenshot/Youtube/Jewish Journal
Pray for the family and friends of Ari Fuld. Ask the Lord to bring them comfort. Beseech Him to give Israel and the nations the wisdom and resources to put an end to the Palestinian reign of terror.
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
IDF: Syrian Forces “Indiscriminately” Firing Downed Russian Plane
Thursday, 20 September 2018 | The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] took the rare step of acknowledging airstrikes in Syria following the downing of a Russian plane, which it attributed to Syrian forces firing “indiscriminately,” The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
“Israel expresses its regret over the death of the crew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” a statement from the IDF’s spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.
“Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident. Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin later said that Israel was not responsible for shooting down the plane, but that the plane was hit as a result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances.”
The IDF’s response had been prompted by official Russian statements blaming Israel for the downing of the plane.
Earlier, an official from Russia’s Defense Ministry told the TASS news agency that the plane, identified as an IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft, disappeared from radar as Israeli F-16 fighters fired on targets in the western Syrian province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry accused Israel of using the plane as cover for its attacks on Syria.
“As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told TASS. “This absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of Russian–Israeli partnership. We reserve the right to take commensurate measures in response.”
IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis disputed the reported Russian claims. He explained that the de-confliction mechanism worked out with Russia, which was designed to prevent Israeli and Russian forces from clashing accidentally in Syria, “was in use tonight like it has been in use in the past.”
Reuters reported that an unnamed United States official had said that it appeared that Syrian armed forces had downed the plane of its ally, Russia.
The IDF statement was summarized in a series of tweets. While the IDF expressed sorrow over the deaths of the Russian personnel, it charged that the plane had been struck by “Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” and that the IDF “holds the Assad regime … responsible” for the incident.
The IDF explained that the military airstrikes in Latakia were against a facility that was used “to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons” that were to be transferred to Hezbollah. These weapons, the IDF explained, “posed an intolerable threat” to Israel.
The IDF maintained that the de-confliction mechanism was in use during the attack on Latakia, but that “extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (surface to air missile) fire” hit the plane. Moreover, according to the IDF, at the time that the Russian plane was hit, “IAF [Israeli Air Force] jets were already within Israeli airspace.”
“The Syrian anti-air batteries fired indiscriminately,” the IDF recounted, “and from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The IDF also promised to share the findings of its investigation into the events with the Russian government.
Although Israel doesn’t generally acknowledge its activities in Syria, earlier this week, shortly after an attack was carried out against buildings at Damascus International Airport, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would continue enforcing its red lines.
Earlier this month, the IDF said that it had struck over 200 Iranian military sites in Syria over the past year and a half.
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 18 September 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Kirill Naumenko/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Ask the Lord to comfort the families of those who lost their lives when the Russian plane went down in Syria. Pray that He will vindicate the IDF from the accusation of “irresponsible actions.” Pray that as the Syrian Civil War dies down, Israel will see an end to violence on their northern border.
Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.
Incendiary Balloons Ignite Fires in Israel, as Violent Hamas-Led Riots Continue on Border
Monday, 17 September 2018 | Two fires ignited by incendiary balloons broke out in southern Israel, as 12,000 Gazans participated in violent Hamas-led riots at the border with Israel, The Times of Israel reported Friday.
According to the army, the rioters burned tires and threw rocks at Israeli soldiers. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claimed that two people were killed.
Israeli troops discovered an improvised explosive device (IED) on the border fence with Gaza. They detonated the explosive remotely. It was the second IED discovered by the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] at the border fence in two days.
“Hamas continues to try to harm defensive infrastructure and security forces in the security fence area, while using residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields and as cover for terrorist activities,” the IDF said in a statement.
In addition to the fires, which were brought under control by firefighters, an airborne explosive device landed near a playground in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel.
According to the authorities, “Police forces, including a police sapper [combat engineer], were called to the scene and took care of the suspicious object and removed all danger.”
Hamas-led weekly rioting near the border with Israel resumed last week, after the Trump administration cut all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] (UNRWA). The agency failed to reform in response to earlier aid cuts.
Earlier this month, Gaza-based Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar acknowledged that the terror group’s impetus for orchestrating the violent riots was to divert attention from internal Palestinian conflicts.
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 14 September 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces @IDFSpokesperson/Twitter
Pray that the Lord will protect Israel’s infrastructure and security forces along the fence with Gaza. Thank Him for blessing the soldiers with the alertness to discover the IEDs before they could do any damage.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Twenty-five Years after Oslo: Palestinian Terror, Incitement Remain Main Obstacles to Peace
Monday, 17 September 2018 | On September 13, 1993, Israeli prime minister Yitzchak Rabin shook hands with Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, marking the signing of the Oslo Accords that were supposed to pave the path towards an independent Palestinian state and peace for Israel.
Looking back after 25 years, with neither of those objectives achieved and often appearing more distant than ever, David Ze’ev spoke to Joshua S. Block, CEO and President of The Israel Project, about the prospect of peace in the future.
Asked why the Oslo Accords failed to become actualized, Block replied that the “same ingredients and obstacles to mutual recognition and progress remain the same now than they were 25 years ago.” As examples he listed Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis; a culture of incitement found “at every level of Palestinian society”; The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and the perpetuation of the refugee problem; as well as the Palestinian leadership’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Block explained that the Israeli government and the Israeli public are largely in favor of the two-state for two people. However, “the question is do the Palestinians accept a permanent, sovereign Jewish presence in the land of Israel?” he asked.
Block said he “hoped” to see the peace process continue but lamented the Palestinian leadership’s failure to engage with their Israeli counterparts, American officials, and even Arab negotiators from Egypt.
The Palestinians “are putting themselves in a corner,” Block observed. “If they come out of that corner and want to engage in a peace process and genuine dialogue, I think there could be something successful.” Block cited the tectonic shifts in the region as a result of the Arab Spring and the “desire” for sustainable peace among Israel’s Arab neighbors.
When asked if the Trump administration was right to close the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., Block said that the “PLO, at the moment, is not engaging in an active peace process. They are rebuffing every opportunity to negotiate. They continue to give money to the salaries of terrorists in violation of the Taylor Force Act—money that governments around the world asked them not to give.”
He added: “You don’t need diplomatic missions if you don’t engage in diplomacy.”
US president Donald Trump has heralded the US-led peace initiative as “the deal of the century,” while Palestinian Authority [PA] president Mahmoud Abbas derided it as the “slap of the century.” The PA and Abbas have previously defied other efforts of the administration to facilitate peace with Israel.
The administration has criticized Abbas and the PA for blocking peace efforts. In December of last year, a White House official charged that Abbas’s rhetoric “has prevented peace for years.”
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 14 September 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/Flickr
Terror, incitement and an adamant refusal to pursue peace are the hallmarks of the PA. Pray that the Lord will raise up Palestinian leaders who will indeed be sincere partners for peace.
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.
Israel’s Massive Humanitarian Operation in Syria Draws to a Close
by Yoav Zitun
Friday, 14 September 2018 | The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] announced on Thursday evening that it is putting an end to its years-long operation that provided humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrian civilians who fell victim to the civil war that has ravaged the country since 2011.
The military said that it was terminating Operation Good Neighbor in the wake of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s return to control over the country, having almost fully recovered all territory lost in the seven years of fighting.
The operation, which was given its official name two years ago after years of the IDF already providing aid, is being brought to a close, the IDF said in a statement, “after two years of complex, diverse and extensive humanitarian activity which provided aid to tens of thousands of Syrian civilians.”
Many of the Syrians who were made homeless by Assad’s onslaught on rebel fighters have expressed open gratitude to Israel for the operation, which included the creation of field hospitals on its northern frontier.
In July, a Syrian refugee who fled the southwestern city of Daraa in Syria—along with tens of thousands of others—amid the fierce fighting in the area that had precipitated the flight of some 160,000 Syrians to the Israeli and Jordanian borders—praised Israel’s “noble stance” for the succor it had offered to the suffering refugees.
“We saw a very noble stance by the Israeli side, both by the aid that it sent and in its treating of the wounded,” said a man, identified as Sa’id, who escaped the village of Giza located on the outskirts of the Daraa province as Syrian government forces widened a major offensive against rebels.
The aid transferred by the IDF throughout the course of the operation has included food, medical supplies, clothes and more.
According to the IDF, the years-long humanitarian activity has seen the treatment of some 7,000 Syrian children in a field hospital which has been operating over the last year. Another 1,300 Syrian children were treated in other hospitals, including inside Israel, as part of a subsidiary operation known as Operation Doctor’s Appointment.
Over the last five years, the IDF has treated some 4,900 wounded Syrians, 1,300 of whom were treated as part of Operation Doctor’s Appointment and 7,000 of whom were treated in field hospitals set up on the border.
In total, the IDF transferred to southern Syria some 1,700 tons of food, around 630 tents, 40 vehicles, 20 electricity generators, 20 transportable buildings and approximately 1,100,000 liters of fuel.
It also supplied around 8,200 crates of diapers, 26,000 crates of medical supplies, 14,000 hygiene wipes, 49,000 loads of baby food and 350 tons of clothes.
“The extensive aid activities that were led by the IDF in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights is another expression of the values that guide its actions, including lending a supporting hand during the tribulations of civilians in need of help, even beyond Israel’s borders,” the IDF statement said.
In June, the IDF delivered about 60 tons of humanitarian aid to the Syrian Golan Heights in an overnight mission after some 120,000 fled the southwestern part of the country in the wake of the Syrian army’s onslaught in the area.
During the special overnight operation, some 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine and some 30 tons of clothes and shoes were transferred into Syria from four different spots on the border.
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/ idf.il
Praise the Lord for the compassion He has instilled in Israel’s military and leadership. Pray for a full recovery for each Syrian treated by the IDF and their courage to tell the truth about Israel’s incredible actions in providing top notch medical care to wounded Syrian civilians.
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Czech Leaders Issue Joint Statement Endorsing Embassy Move to Jerusalem
Friday, 14 September 2018 | The Czech president, prime minister, speaker of parliament and foreign and defense ministers issued a joint statement endorsing the nation’s move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
In April, President Miloš Zeman announced that the Czech Republic would begin the process of moving its embassy to Jerusalem by first reopening its honorary consulate in the Israeli capital. At the time, Prime Minister Andrej Babis had opposed the move in accordance with European Union [EU] policy.
The following month, the Czech Republic reopened its honorary consulate, which had been closed in 2016, when the previous honorary consul died.
A cultural center, known as Czech House, is slated to be reopened by Zeman in November during a planned state visit to Israel. Czech House is to house a number of government offices “including the foreign ministry’s Czech Center, the trade agency CzechTrade and tourism agency CzechTourism,” The Times reported.
Zeman is known as a staunch supporter of Israel and pushed for the move even as the prime minister, who controls the foreign ministry, opposed the embassy’s move to Jerusalem.
When the honorary consulate reopened in May, the Czech Republic insisted the move had “no influence on the final agreement on Jerusalem,” and that it “fully respects” the EU’s support for a two-state solution.
However, Zeman subsequently characterized the move as a prelude to moving Czech diplomatic missions to Jerusalem with the eventual intent of moving the embassy too.
When United States president Donald Trump opened the US embassy in Jerusalem, ambassadors from Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria attended the reception. The Palestinian Authority retaliated by recalling its envoys to those European nations.
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 12 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Screenhot/Youtube/ President Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin
Pray for wisdom and commitment for Czech and other European leaders as they work toward the establishment of their embassies in Jerusalem. Remind the Lord of His promises to bless those who are a blessing to Israel.
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Israel and Turkey Conduct Secret Talks to Normalize Relations
by Itamar Eichner
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 | Four months after Israel’s ambassador to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, was expelled from Turkey following the death of 61 Palestinian protesters during the “March of Return” riots, the two countries are conducting secret talks in order to normalize relations.
According to Israeli and Turkish officials, if there will not be another last-minute crisis, the two countries are expected to return their respective ambassadors after the Jewish holidays.
In addition, the Israeli Foreign Ministry recently published a tender for the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador to Turkey for the summer of 2019.
According to a Yedioth Ahronoth report, Turkey sent an economic attaché to Israel for the first time in years. The attaché is already active in promoting economic relations between the two countries.
Several factors are behind the resumption of talks between Israel and Turkey—the end of the Syrian civil war; Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, who is a common enemy; and Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.
Sources who follow the Turkish media say the country has surprisingly refrained from condemning Israel for the recent air strikes attributed to the IDF in Syria.
President Erdoğan—who is at odds with the US administration and is dealing with an economic crisis, which led to a drop in the Turkish currency—believes it is not a good time for an additional diplomatic confrontation to develop further.
According to a Plate Radar report, Israeli and Turkish governmental planes took off simultaneously at 9 a.m. on Sunday from Ben Gurion International Airport to the United Arab Emirates, making a short, midway stop in Oman.
The planes landed in Abu Dhabi at 2:30 p.m. and took off again this morning.
The purpose of the flights is not yet clear.
Also, both President Erdoğan and Defense Minister Lieberman spent the weekend in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and almost ran into each other.
Lieberman was invited to visit the Muslim state and held talks with President Ilham Aliyev and a number of senior officials in the country, which maintains extensive security ties with Israel.
According to foreign reports, Azerbaijan is one of the main purchasers of Israeli weapons.
The local media reported that Lieberman and his hosts discussed strengthening the security ties between the two countries, the continuation of regional cooperation, and a threat posed by the Iranian regime.
Erdoğan landed on Saturday in Baku in order to participate in a military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Azerbaijan from the Armenian-Bolshevik occupation.
Diplomatic sources stress that the visits of the two officials were a coincidence and no attempts were made by the Azerbaijanis to try and mediate between the sides.
It was reported that the closest Lieberman got to the Turkish president was seeing Erdoğan’s envoy return from the parade through his hotel window.
Photo Credit: US Department of State/Wikimedia.org
Pray for wisdom for Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders as relationships with Turkey are being reestablished, a move that will benefit both nations and provide stability for the region.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.
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