“Any Palestinian cooperation with settlers is viewed as violating the law, as he cooperates with the enemy,” a senior Palestinian security official told The Times of Israel.
Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat and a lieutenant colonel in the army reserves, invited a few dozen Palestinian men from surrounding villages to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The Palestinians mingled with around 30 Israelis. “Everyone was very polite,” The Washington Post reported. “A Palestinian farmer sat next to an Israeli diplomat. They live a mile and a world apart. A rabbi from the settlement broke bread with a Palestinian stonemason. Guests shook hands, took selfies, patted one another on the back. Both sides seemed a little stunned to be together celebrating a Jewish holiday.”
“It is absurd that having coffee with Jews is considered a crime by the Palestinian Authority,” Revivi said after the arrests. “Initiatives that seek to foster cooperation and peace between people should be encouraged, not silenced. It’s time the Palestinian Authority asks itself whether it would prefer to fan the flames of conflict instead of working to bring people together.”
A Hamas terrorist was killed in a tunnel collapse on Saturday, marking the second time a member of the group has been killed in such a cave-in this past week. Nearly two dozen members of Palestinian terrorist organizations have died building tunnels since the beginning of the year.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday, “If [terrorists in the Gaza Strip] make the decision to stop digging tunnels, smuggling arms and firing rockets at us, we will be the first investors in the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip. We will be the first to invest in a maritime trading port, an airport and an industrial zone. Gaza could one day be the new Hong Kong or Singapore.”
Hamas spends an estimated $40 million of its $100 million military budget on building tunnels into Israel that can be used in future terrorist attacks. In July, an Israeli official estimated that Hamas digs some six miles of tunnels every month. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters in May that the tunnels were a sign that Hamas is preparing for another war against Israel. “They definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels,” he said.
In September, Israel began constructing a $530 million underground barrier along its border with the Gaza Strip to prevent further tunnels from being built into Israeli territory. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot described the barrier as “the largest project” ever undertaken in Israel’s military history.
The Israeli Air Force carried out strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after Palestinian terrorists launched a rocket toward Israeli territory. The rocket reportedly was short of its target and landed in the Strip. Terrorists fired rockets at southern Israel in two incidents earlier this month, one of which landed in a residential neighborhood in the town of Sderot.
Hezbollah will fight alongside Bashar al-Assad in Syria to the bitter end, the terrorist organization’s leader vowed in a speech Sunday. Hassan Nasrallah declared that the Syrian revolt is “not about the fall of the regime, but about targeting the axis of resistance”: in other words, that the goal of the rebels is not the fall of Assad, but a conspiracy targeting the alliance between Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime. Nasrallah has stated several times that the Syrian rebels are not actually interested in freedom from Assad’s tyranny, but rather are the puppets of the United States and “Zionists.” Hezbollah will stay in the fight until what Nasrallah called the “defeat [of] the apostate project.”
A ceasefire that was unilaterally declared by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia ended on Sunday, when airstrikes pounded rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Hezbollah is deeply complicit in the Syrian regime’s onslaught against Aleppo, and has lost several of its fighters there, including a top commander.
The United Nation’s top human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called Aleppo a “slaughterhouse… where the lifeless bodies of small children are trapped under streets of rubble and pregnant women deliberately bombed” and asserted that Russian and Syrian bombardment of the city “constitute crimes of historic proportions.” The United Nations Human Rights Council called for a war crimes inquiry into the bombings of the city.
The Syrian government, bolstered on the ground by Iran, Hezbollah, and Shiite militiamen and from the air by Russia, has besieged the eastern half of Aleppo since July, which is home to some 300,000 civilians. The Assad regime and Russia have carried out human rights atrocities such as the barrel bombing of civilians and the systematic targeting of aid convoys and hospitals. The regime has launched chlorine gas attacks on the people of Aleppo; it and its Russian allies have purposely targeted first responders arriving on the scene to help those trapped in rubble. Nearly 500,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war, the vast majority victims of the Assad regime and its allies.
A new pleasure cruise line connecting the ports of Haifa and Acre is proving to be a popular tourism attraction. The 45-minute sailing ride is a Tourism Ministry initiative meant to promote sightseeing in the northern Israeli cities. “This is the first such project of its kind in Israel, a complex one that I set as a central objective in developing the tourism infrastructure in the north, and this, after many years of talk but without implementation. This scheduled pleasure cruise line will serve as a fixed-price tourism attraction and will help significantly in promoting tourism to Haifa and Acre,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. The first cruise set sail on October 10. High demand for a sailing ride during the Sukkot holiday – which is now underway — has prompted the Tourism Ministry to add evening sailings, in accordance with sea conditions. (via Israel21c)