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The Daily TIP: U.S. Announces Landmark Water Deal Between Israel, Palestinian Authority

Posted by Tip Staff - July 13, 2017

U.S. Announces Landmark Water Deal Between Israel, Palestinian Authority
British Cop Nominated for Bravery Award After Saving Man from Jerusalem Attack
Palestinian Terrorist Admits PA Payments Encouraged Him to Kill Israelis
Israel Welcomed Record 1.74 Million Tourists During First Half of 2017, Up 20% from 2016

U.S. Announces Landmark Water Deal Between Israel, Palestinian Authority

Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s special envoy for international negotiations, announced on Thursday that Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached a landmark, U.S.-mediated water agreement.

Greenblatt highlighted the part of the deal that calls for Israel to sell the PA 33 million cubic meters of water, The Jerusalem Post reported. The desalinated water will "help not only Palestinians and Israelis, but Jordanians as well," he added. "As we all know water is a precious commodity in the Middle East," Greenblatt said, noting that the U.S. "welcomed" the deal.

Greenblatt said that the water deal, in addition to a deal made earlier this week to give the PA greater energy independence “provides another example of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that will lead to economic improvements in the lives of Palestinians.”

At the press conference, Greenblatt was flanked by Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and PA Water Authority head Mazen Ghuneim.

Hanegbi stated that while the canal won't be finished for five years, Israel will be selling the water to the PA before the project is complete. He acknowledged that negotiations had been ongoing for months and that a lesson from the successful conclusion of the talks is that "when you focus on the issues, not history or background or emotions or other disturbing elements, the common denominator is bigger than what separates us.”

Ghuneim clarified that some 10 million cubic meters of water will be earmarked for the Gaza Strip.

British Cop Nominated for Bravery Award After Saving Man from Jerusalem Attack

A British detective sergeant has been nominated for a bravery award for saving the life of an Israeli man in Jerusalem, Jewish News reported Wednesday.

The off-duty policeman was nearly killed and sustained serious injuries to his head, after intervening in a brutal assault against a Jerusalem resident by three Arab men. The incident took place near the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion, where Richard Burgess was visiting the grave of Oskar Schindler, who saved hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust.

Together with friends from the police, Burgess was making his first visit to Israel in February 2016 on a pilgrimage tour arranged by his local church.

The detective sergeant, 45, told Jewish News, “I saw three Arab-looking males assaulting a Jewish man wearing a kippah. I saw him being dragged and assaulted, and some sort of noxious substance appeared to have been sprayed at his face, because his eyes were streaming.”

The off-duty policeman ran towards them “without a thought."

Mr Burgess eventually fought off the three assailants, two of whom were later convicted for assault. The British policeman is based in Essex and has been with the police for 25 years. He previously served in the intelligence community.

His colleagues have nominated him for a Police Federation Bravery Award, which is due to be presented Thursday evening. It is awarded to officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off-duty.

Palestinian Terrorist Admits PA Payments Encouraged Him to Kill Israelis

A Palestinian man admitted to Israeli interrogators that the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying generous salaries to the families of terrorists motivated him to attack Israelis, according to a translated transcript published by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Monday. PMW shared the document ahead of Wednesday’s Senate hearing on the Taylor Force Act, which would cut aid payments to the PA until it stops compensating convicted terrorists and their families.

Khaled Rajoub was arrested after an unsuccessful attempt to murder Israelis and confessed during interrogation that “the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily.”

“Had Khaled Rajoub been killed by Israel during his terror attack,” PMW explained, “the PA would have declared him a ‘Martyr’ and this would secure his family a monthly PA lifetime allowance of 2,800 shekels/month ($730): 1,400 base pay, 400 for his wife and 200 for each of 5 children.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R – Tenn.) said following the hearing that the committee would soon be voting on the bill, Fox News reported.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D – Md.), the committee’s ranking member, said that the PA must stop paying terrorists and their families. According to Cardin, “it’s an incitement to violence.”

The PA issued payments to terrorists and their families totaling more than $1 billion over a four year period, according to a recent study by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Israel Welcomed Record 1.74 Million Tourists During First Half of 2017, Up 20% from 2016

The first half of 2017 recorded the best six months ever in the history of incoming tourism, according to a Tourism Ministry statement.

“We are implementing marketing activities and innovative processes to brand Israel and to bring new airlines and new routes into Israel and all this activity proves itself, month after month.. The significant increase in incoming tourism numbers makes an exceptional contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce. I am convinced that, with the correct activities, we will see continue to see good results in the coming months,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel recorded a 76% increase in tourism from China; a 30% increase in tourism from Russia and a 20% increase in tourism from the US in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same six months in 2016.

June of this year logged a 28.4% increase in incoming tourism, or 303,000 tourist entries, as compared to June 2016 figures.

The Tourism Ministry reports that in the six months — January-June 2017 — 1.74 million tourist entries were recorded, 26% increase on the same period last year (1.38 million) and 24% more than in 2015.

“The June tourism statistics bring us to record levels for incoming tourism in the first six months of the year. Our policy continues to prove itself and to bear fruit and we can see that the right marketing strategy can bring Israel to new heights,” said Levin.

(via Israel21c)

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