Israelis suffered a number of terrorist attacks this week. Two Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers were killed and two others seriously wounded in a shooting attack in the West Bank. Thousands gathered for their funerals. In another drive-by shooting attack inside the West Bank, seven people were wounded including a 30-week-pregnant woman who was seriously injured. The baby was delivered in an emergency operation but died soon after. Two Border Police officers were also lightly hurt in a stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem. And an IDF soldier was lightly wounded in a car-ramming attack in Al-Bireh, northeast of Ramallah. JCRC shared a JFNA statement condemning the continuation of these awful attacks.
Nearly 90 percent of European Jews feel that antisemitism has increased in their home countries over the past five years, according to a European Union poll. According to the survey, the most common antisemitic statements Jews come across are comparisons between Israelis and the Nazis with regard to the Palestinians. In Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain more than half of respondents said they felt that people in their country frequently or always blamed them for the actions of the Israeli government.
After a two-month manhunt, Israeli forces found and killed Palestinian Ashraf Na’alowa, who allegedly killed his coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi in a West Bank factory, said the Shin Bet security service. Na’alowa appeared to be planning a second terror attack. When Israeli forces tried to arrest him, he shot toward them and was killed.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet next Wednesday to discuss Hezbollah’s cross-border attack tunnels, according to Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon. He will present Israeli material and findings related to the violation of its sovereignty by the tunnels, and argue that these prove a blatant violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701. Earlier this week, the IDF discovered a third attack tunnel.
Israeli and foreign engineers finally sounded the all-clear this week around three churches on the western bank of the Jordan River, near where Jesus is believed to have been baptized, after mines that had marooned the shrines for decades were cleared.The river banks were once a war zone between Israel and Jordan, and were littered with thousands of land mines and unexploded ordnance. The two neighbors made peace in 1994.
The Australian government will formally recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but the embassy won't be moved from Tel Aviv until the city's status is finalized under a peace settlement. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the foreign policy shift in a speech to the Sydney Institute on Saturday. The government will also commit to recognizing a future state of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution.
Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC
Shep Englander, CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
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