- Arabs and Israelis confronted each other on the temple mount, each one celebrating their own holiday.
- Explosions were seen at a base south of Bagdad. Israel did not accept blame for the attack.
- The anti-religious are attempting to unite Israelis in the next elections against Likud.
The Golani Brigade, the pride of Israeli Defense Forces, foiled an attack at the Gaza border fence early this week. Four Palestinians armed with RPGs, assault rifles, and grenades attempted to breach the wall and infiltrate Israel. They were shot dead and only one of the men was able to climb the fence and throw a grenade at the soldiers. Two Israeli soldiers were slightly injured from shrapnel. The body of the terrorist Abu Salah was taken by Israel. Abu Salah is a member of Hamas border patrol.
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Muslims are celebrating the holiday of the sacrifice. Two million Muslims gathered at Mount Afafat in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage to celebrate the sacrifice of Abraham the father of Ishmael of his chosen son recorded in Genesis. The place Mount Arafat is where Mohammed gave his last sermon. Those Arabs in Israel who could not make the pilgrimage gathered at the temple Mount in Jerusalem at their holy mosque Al-Aksa.
The same day Jews were celebrating the fast of the 9th of Av– the day when their temple was destroyed. On this day there are many religious Jews who feel it is important to go up on the temple Mount where the holy temple stood. At first the government of Israel closed the entrance to the temple Mount in fear of a confrontation between Israel Zionists and Muslims. Under strong police control over a thousand Israelis were allowed to enter the place of the temple Mount where once stood the temple. According to most authorities on Jewish law it is forbidden for Jews to go up on the temple mount for many reasons. There are extreme religious Zionists who disagree and each year visit the Holy temple on Tisha B’Av.
The Shin Beit arrested two suspects involved in the murder last week of an off duty Israeli soldier. The Shin Beit is the Israel security agency also known as Shabak.
Israel was blamed for the bombing of an Iranian militia weapons depot in Iraq this week. Explosions were seen at the base south of Bagdad. Israel did not accept blame for the attack.
The Palestinian authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas was confronted by the United Nations for hate speech and anti-Semitism. They are being accused of the expression of racism in their media and in school books. Abbas refuses to accept funds from Israel which are needed by the Palestinians people. He is seeking independence from Israel. This week, which is a holiday for Muslims, they need additional money for the celebration of their holiday. By not accepting Israeli help they are causing poverty and preventing Muslim Palestinians from enjoying their festival.
A Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, made a statement that Hamas is preparing for war with Israel. They are continuing to dig tunnels and plan to throw hundreds of rockets at Israel in a single barrage.
Elections are coming closer. Ehud Bark has shown opposition to joining a government with Avigdor Lieberman who has shown an interest in becoming Prime Minister even though his party is not as strong as Likud or Blue-White. Lieberman is right secular while Barak is left secular. They don’t blend together. The religious parties of Agudat Yisrael and Shas are gathering support to join Netanyahu as Prime Minister in the next elections.
A recent conflict occurred in the city of Efula in Northern Israel where a religious concert was cancelled because it was scheduled to have separate seating for men and woman which is the custom in religious Orthodox festivals. A Woman’s Liberation group opposed segregation of sexes. At first the High Court judged that the concert should allow for a compromise also for men and woman to sit together even if there was a place for separate seating. The Ultra-Orthodox refused any compromise. At the last moment the religious political parties of Shas and Aguda appealed the decision and the court allowed the concert with separate seating.
Since the concert was being held in a public area with the help of the city of Afula the courts first ruled against segregation. Political pressure changed the decision but the Left is still working to prevent Orthodox control of the Israeli society. Netanyahu was attacked by a member of the right religious Zionist party for being too liberal. Netanyahu took offense to the attacks made by Smoterich who is the minster of transportation. Smoleterich apologized. The anti-religious are attempting to unite Israelis in the next elections against Likud who is aligned with Agada and Shas religious parties. Netanyahu is having problems with unity in his camp which may cause him to lose votes.