- Hamas has escalated terror in preparation for the Israel elections to remove Netanyahu.
- The Attorney General will allow sex segregated concerts.
- The left can make a government only if Likud will agree to join them, which is possible.
Early this week in the vicinity of the entrance to the temple mount two terrorists attacked and stabbed a policeman on duty. The two terrorists were detected by the police patrolling nearby who shot one dead and the other was wounded. The entrance to the Temple Mount was closed to all Muslims Arabs under the age of 50.
The two US Democratic lawmakers were barred from entering Israel, Ilhan Omar and Rashinda Tlaib, because of their support for the BDS movement and the nature of their visit. Tlaib was later permitted to come to Israel to visit her sick grandmother about which she made a special request. Her request was granted but she changed her mind and canceled her trip.
Hamas threatened in the beginning of the week that, if Israel will not agree to their requests regarding several issues, they would begin again terrorist activity. There were several attempted terrorist attacks near the fence in Gaza. There was a car ramming attack in Gush Etzion. The car rammed into several Israeli waiting for an autobus. One teen was seriously wounded in the head and another was moderately wounded. The driver was shot dead. The IDF killed three armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Israel. They tried to cross into southern Israel shortly after was fired three rockets from Gaza.
Friday saw another terrorist attack in Samaria a family was hiking near the settlement of Dolev and a terrorist threw at them a grenade. A 17 year old girl was killed and her parents were seriously injured. Thursday night a Palestinian was shot approaching the fence armed with weapons. He was sighted by the border guards and neutralized.
Paraguay labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Brazil may also follow. This decision contributes to the international struggle against Iranian sponsored terror.
An explosion rocked an arms depot north of Baghdad Iraq. Several blasts hit an arms depot belonging to an Iranian Shiite military unit next to the Balad air base north of Baghdad. Israel with the help of America have been blamed for the attack. This is one in a series of attacks on Iranian bases in Iraq.
The US Embassy in Jerusalem cancelled a conference it was scheduled to hold in Ramallah, again in an attempt to bring the Palestinians in the West bank to peace negotiations. The cancellation of this conference was another attempt to circumvent the boycott of the US administration.
Israel has agreed to let the Palestine Authority collect $60 million in monthly fuel taxes which Israel usually collects on their behalf in an effort to help the burdening financial crisis on the West Bank. The payment of this money was stopped because the Palestinian Authority was using these funds to support families of terrorists killed or imprisoned in Israel. In protest they had refused to receive any money from Israel.
The Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit made a decision on whether or not to permit local authorities to allow segregated concerts (men and woman separate) as was done in Efula this month. The concert was first cancelled by the local court and then allowed after an appeal. The final decision was not made by the Attorney General until today August 22. He ruled that segregated concerts and events can be held on public property when it is done for a specific group of the Israel population and for the specific purpose of requiring segregated seating of men and woman. The question is if these events can be considered to step against human rights. He said, “The basepoint of our discussion is the principle of equality, which is at the heart of the democratic system and is anchored in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.” The decision is still not final until a public announcement is made.
A month before elections Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized by his opponents for not being able to stop terrorism. The Palestinians over the weekend fired four rockets within 24 hours at the city of Sederot in southern Israel. Three were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
The last week has seen an escalation of attempts to enter Israel from Gaza by terrorists. Also, there were some rockets shot from Gaza into Israel. The Palestinians want another Prime Minister than Netanyahu and they are trying to show that he has not solved the problem in Gaza. Iran wants another Prime Minister as well.
Avigdor Lieberman has again stated that he will join Blue-White party to make a coalition with them. He remains vehemently against the Charedi parties and Religious Zionist who he calls Messianic religious. Netanyahu is having difficulties uniting with the religious right. They have complained that he has been too liberal on several issues like separate seating for men and woman at religious concerts. In Efula there was an argument over a concert which had been scheduled but cancelled because of the petition of a Woman’s organization calling separate seating discrimination. The concert went on schedule and another concert was made in Haifa for men only.
Betzalel Smotrich who is the Minister of Transportation and a member of the right religious Zionist Party spoke out against mixed IDF units of men and woman soldiers. Former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon attacked him for his statements saying that the service of woman in the army is a help for Israel security. Prime Minister Netanyahu was quick to counter Smotrich’s words. He said he is proud of our female soldiers and fighters who contribute to Israel security.
The Ultra extreme Zionist religious party following in the footsteps of Rabbi Meir Kahane probably will not be allowed in the elections. This decision will be made soon. In the last elections they were not able to get even one mandate.
The united Arab parties have made a statement that they are willing to join with Blue-White and Benny Gantz. In the last elections the Arabs ran as two parties. Now they are united. This was the first time that an Arab party showed interest in entering the coalition. Nevertheless Gabi Ashkenazi, the fourth in line of the Blue-White Party made a statement that he would not invite the joint Arab list into his coalition.
Amir Peretz is leader the Gesher party also called Avoda the same party which Shimon Peretz and Yizchok Rabin ran under. Besides Blue-White on the left, Gesher strengthens the left. Added to the left is the more extreme left supported by Ehud Barak. Avigdor Lieberman who is right has given his loyalty to Blue-White.
The left is more united than the right with Netanyahu. Also there are members of Likud who call themselves right but are also left. It seems that Bibi and Likud may be able to get more votes than any other party but it is pessimistic that he will be able to make a government. The left can make a government only if Likud will agree to join them, which is possible. The religious may have to suffer. There are five candidates ready to be Prime Minister: Netanyahu, Gantz, Peretz, Lieberman, and Barak.