Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report
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Wednesday, Jun. 20 '18, ז' בתמוז תשע"ח



HEADLINES:
1. ISRAEL SCRAPS TEMPLE MOUNT POLICE STATION
2. COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT OPEN TO MOVING EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM
3. UNRWA TO REDUCE OPERATIONS IN GAZA
4. SHAS RABBI SCORNS 'GENTILE' GOVERNMENT DRAFT LAW BUDGETS
5. WATCH: GAZANS PREPARE, LAUNCH BALLOON BOMBS
6. BENNETT PROPOSES WORLD JEWISH SINGLES' GATHERING
7. HAMAS ROCKET LANDS NEXT TO ISRAELI KINDERGARTEN
8. IS ANOTHER ‘FREEDOM FLOTILLA’ ON THE WAY TO GAZA?


1. ISRAEL SCRAPS TEMPLE MOUNT POLICE STATION
by Arutz Sheva Staff

An Israeli police station on the Temple Mount has been removed, following meetings between Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and with US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.

The police station, which had been recently opened on the Mount, was situated near a sensitive archeological site not far from the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Supreme Court has ordered that no unsupervised work take place at the site, given the presence of antiquities there.

Israel increased its police presence on the site after Arabs were filmed conducting illegal construction work during the recent Islamic holy month of Ramadan, while the Temple Mount was closed to Jews.

But less than 48 hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with King Abdullah, and following the Jordanian leader’s meeting with the two US envoys, Israel scrapped the station.

Sources close to the Jordanian Waqf claim that the police station on the Mount was removed due to the Jordanian government’s intervention. The move, they said, would give them a free hand in monitoring and regulating the behavior of non-Muslim visitors to the Mount.

Jordan, which occupied Jerusalem from 1948 until June, 1967, was recognized by the local Muslim community as the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem as far back as the 1920s – a status Israel acknowledged in the 1994 peace treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom.

The Temple Mount is administered by the Waqf, a Jordan-based Islamic trust.

In response to the report, Israel Police issued the following statement: “Despite the claims by the Waqf, there has been no change to the policy of Israel Police regarding its role in law enforcement and keeping the peace. The claims are false, and are the responsibility of those who made them.”


2. COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT OPEN TO MOVING EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM
by Marcus M. Gilban, JTA

Colombia’s newly-elected president said that he would consider moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

Ivan Duque, 41, of the right wing Democratic Center Party, may turn Colombia into the third Latin American country, and the fourth in total, to follow the example of the United States.

Israeli officials say they believe Duque, who was elected in a run-off on Sunday to a four-year term, will continue the strong alliance between the two countries.

“We are talking about a person who is a friend of Israel, very positive,” Modi Efraim, the foreign ministry’s deputy-director general for Latin America, said on Monday. “He is an Uribe man, the person who essentially started Colombia’s strategic relationship with Israel,” he added in a reference to former president Alvaro Uribe, Israeli media reported.

In his first speech after the results, Duque declared on national television that he promises “a new generation” of leadership for a country still emerging from a half-century of civil conflicts.

“I will give all my energies to unite our country: no more divisions, let’s think of a country with all and for all,” he said.

Duque said on the campaign trail that he would consider moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and that his government would work “to maintain the best possible relations with the State of Israel.”

Efraim said Jerusalem hopes “there will be continued positive development in Colombia’s support for Israel in international forums.”

In September, Binyamin Netanyahu made the first-ever visit to Latin America by a sitting Israeli prime minister. Colombia, along with Argentina and Mexico, were included in the visit, leaving out the region’s strongest power, Brazil, poisoned by more than a decade of far-left anti-Israel governments.


3. UNRWA TO REDUCE OPERATIONS IN GAZA
by AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff

Facing a major funding shortfall, the UN refugee agency for 'Palestinian refugees' is planning to defer payment of salaries and suspend some of its operations in Gaza, an official said Tuesday.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees was thrown into severe financial crisis after the United States cut $250 million from its budget.

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov told a Security Council meeting that UNRWA is "weeks away from painful cuts to its emergency assistance for Gaza and elsewhere in the region."

"In Gaza, this would include a deferral of salaries to some of its workforce in July and the start of suspending core operations in August," he added.

The United Nations on Monday will host a pledging conference for UNRWA in New York - the second such donors' meeting in three months.

In March, it raised $100 million for UNRWA during a conference in Rome but fell short of the $446 million needed to keep the agency afloat.

The United States is the biggest single donor to UNRWA, which provides
schools and health clinics to 5.3 million to the descendants of refugees in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The cuts to UNRWA services in Gaza come amid warnings from the United Nations that the enclave is close to the brink of war after scores of rioters were killed during violent protests along the border with Israel.

In January, President Donald Trump's administration announced that it was reducing its contribution to the agency, arguing that UNRWA was in need of reform.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley has said Washington will not restore the aid until the Palestinian Authority agrees "to come back to the negotiation table" with Israel.


4. SHAS RABBI SCORNS 'GENTILE' GOVERNMENT DRAFT LAW BUDGETS
by Mordechai Sones

Shas party spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen attacked the Draft Law advanced by the Defense Ministry that includes economic sanctions against haredi yeshivas if the institution does not meet the statutorily imposed recruitment targets.

"We have a serious problem with enlisting yeshiva students; they threaten not to give us budgets. What, do we live according to these gentiles' budgets?" Rabbi Cohen said during a condolence call with Lithuanian leader Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, who is observing the seven-day shiva period after his son's passing.

Rabbi Edelstein replied to Rabbi Cohen that "everything depends on rights and there's no need to worry."

Despite the harsh statements made by the Council of Sages President, it appears that Shas' s Council of Torah Sages will be in line with Degel HaTorah rabbis who are expected to advance the Draft Law proposed by the Defense Ministry.

Yesterday, Degel HaTorah Chairman MK Moshe Gafni visited the residence of the Belzer and Vizhnitzer Rebbes to discuss details of the proposed law and try to establish a uniform haredi position on the law vis-à-vis the Prime Minister.

[twittervideo:2043948]


5. WATCH: GAZANS PREPARE, LAUNCH BALLOON BOMBS
by Arutz Sheva Staff

[twittervideo:2043965]


6. BENNETT PROPOSES WORLD JEWISH SINGLES' GATHERING
by Mordechai Sones

Education Minister Naftali Bennett today tweeted a proposal to organize a world Jewish single's gathering in Israel.

"What do you think about this idea." Bennett wrote. "A World Jewish Singles gathering in Israel, let’s say for 4-5 days before Passover. Coming to meet other singles, music & cultural events etc. Please tell me here what you think. I really want to hear."

[twittervideo:2043958]

Twitter responses were predictably diversified, with answers ranging between outright rejection of the idea in favor of what the respondent says the Minister ought to do instead, to enthusiasm and support. Some observers not known for their sympathy to Bennett's general political outlook nevertheless grudgingly approved the idea despite its timing, saying "sure, I'm all for more Jewish babies".

[twittervideo:2043962]

Bennett
Flash 90



7. HAMAS ROCKET LANDS NEXT TO ISRAELI KINDERGARTEN
by David Rosenberg

A rocket launched from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip landed next to an Israeli kindergarten early Wednesday morning, an IDF spokesperson said.

Overnight, terrorists operating out of the Strip fired 45 rockets and mortars at Israeli towns in the western Negev.

At least three of the rockets exploded in Israeli towns in the Eshkol Regional Council near the border.

While there were no reports of injuries, several buildings sustained damage in the attacks.

On Wednesday morning, pieces of one of the rockets were found next to a kindergarten in the Eshkol region.

“Hamas fires indiscriminately at Israeli civilians, including at kindergartens,” and IDF spokesperson said following the discovery Wednesday.

“Dozens of kids attend this kindergarten every day. It was only by luck that they were not harmed.”

Police were called to the scene, and closed down the area surrounding the school. A police bomb unit recovered the remains of the rocket, ensuring that the projectile was fully neutralized.

In response to the attacks overnight and a string of incendiary balloon and kite attacks in recent days, the IDF hit dozens of terrorist positions across the Gaza Strip.

"The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything that is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences for the terrorist acts carried out against the citizens of Israel. The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and is determined to continue its mission to protect the citizens of Israel," the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement.

In the first air strike in Gaza, IAF fighter jets targeted three military targets in a Hamas compound in the southern Gaza Strip.


8. IS ANOTHER ‘FREEDOM FLOTILLA’ ON THE WAY TO GAZA?
by ILTV

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