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Thursday, Jul. 30 '15, Av 14, 5775



HEADLINES:
1. EARTHQUAKE HITS ISRAEL, NO INJURIES, DAMAGE REPORTED
2. A DAY AFTER DEMOLITION, NEW HOMES PLANNED FOR BEIT EL SITE
3. MK OREN: BRING POLLARD HOME NOW, NOT IN FIVE YEARS
4. AG, JUSTICE OFFICIALS PAN SHAKED'S LAND COURT IDEA
5. PRISONS CAN FORCE-FEED HUNGER-STRIKING TERRORISTS, KNESSET SAYS
6. WHY IS SUPPORT FOR MIKE HUCKABEE ESSENTIAL?
7. FALLEN SOLDIER'S FATHER SAYS SON'S DEATH 'ON KERRY'S CONSCIENCE'
8. 'YOU CAN'T LABEL SETTLEMENT PRODUCTS MADE IN ISRAEL'


1. EARTHQUAKE HITS ISRAEL, NO INJURIES, DAMAGE REPORTED
by Moshe Cohen

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake occurred early Thursday in Israel. The quake was centered on an area near the Dead Sea, and several people reported feeling its effects in southern Israel. Residents of the north also said they felt vibrations, and investigators are checking whether there were indeed two quakes around the same time.

No injuries or damage were reported from Thursday's quake.

The last earthquake in Israel took place on June 27, when a a 5.2 magnitude quake was felt throughout the country. The earthquake's epicenter was some four kilometers southeast of Nuweiba, in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula which borders southern Israel.

But the tremors were felt throughout Israel as well, from Be'er Sheva, Arad and Eilat in the south, to Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Rehovot in central Israel, and even as far north as Nahariya, Acco and Afula. Flights from Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport were halted for ten minutes, due to the tremors which were felt there as well.


2. A DAY AFTER DEMOLITION, NEW HOMES PLANNED FOR BEIT EL SITE
by Yaakov Levi

A day after the tractors that tore down the Draynoff Houses left the site, the Judea and Samaria Council and the Beit El Local Authority will hold a cornerstone-laying at the site – for the construction of new homes there. The new homes, according to spokepeople for the Council and Local Authority, will not experience the same problems the previous structures did – because, unlike previously, all the paperwork for planning and construction is in place before building is to commence.

Demolition of the contested Draynoff homes in Beit El, in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, took place Wednesday, a day before a High Court deadline for them to be torn down. Legal maneuvers to keep the demolitions from taking place were exhausted after the Court refused to issue an injunction, a move that project supporters had hoped would be implemented after the Civil Authority last week retroactively authorized the building plan for the project.

Previously, the state had argued that the project was illegally built, as it had not been properly "grandfathered" into a law passed in 1979 that discussed construction of homes on areas that had been previously been closed military zones. Now that the approval has been given by the Civil Authority, plans can be submitted for the new construction to planning commissions and other panels that need to approve them.

The cornerstone-laying follows government approval Wednesday of the construction of 300 new homes in Beit El. The 300 units were promised by the Israeli government three years ago after the relocation of the Ulpana houses in Beit El. In addition, 91 housing units in Jerusalem will be marketed, and planning will begin for 24 homes in Pisgat Ze'ev, 300 homes in Ramot, 70 homes in Gilo, and 19 units at Har Homa.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the approvals, reiterating that "settlements are illegal under international law, an impediment to peace and cannot be reconciled" with Israel's "stated intention to pursue a two-state solution," his spokesman said in a statement released in New York. Ban urged Israel "to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace" his spokesman said.


3. MK OREN: BRING POLLARD HOME NOW, NOT IN FIVE YEARS
by Moshe Cohen

Kulanu MK and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren on Thursday told Arutz Sheva that the government should make every effort to bring released spy Jonathan Pollard to Israel as soon as possible. 
Pollard, who is to be released from prison in November after serving a 30-year term, will not be allowed to leave the U.S. under the terms of his parole for at least five years. Oren said that the government should make every effort to convince the U.S. to waive this condition of his release.
"It would have of course been better had Jonathan been released many years ago, but better now than never," said Oren. "He needs to begin rehabilitating himself physically and spiritually, in order to prepare himself to come home to Israel."
Oren said that as Israeli ambassador to the U.S., he had visited Pollard several times in prison. "It was shocking to see a man who had been stuck in jail for 26 years at the time," said Oren. "As a nation, we took responsibility for Jonathan's actions. We apologized to the U.S., and I personally handed President Obama asking for mercy, not a pardon. I am very happy that the parole committee decided to release him."
Pollard has been jailed for 30 years - half of his life - after using his role as a US naval intelligence officer to pass intelligence to Israel about regional security threats to the Jewish state. He was handed a life-sentence, unlike spies from other allied or even enemy nations that got off with a tiny fraction of his sentence.
A senior Israeli diplomatic source revealed on Monday that if Pollard is released in November as planned, he won't be allowed to come to Israel for fear he will receive a hero's welcome. "The Americans are very worried of a situation in which Pollard will be received as a hero in Israel, and therefore they likely will prevent Pollard from leaving American territory," the source told Yedioth Aharonoth.

Asked about the possible connection between Pollard's release and the approval of a nuclear deal with Iran, Oren said that he didn't see any connection between the two. "We are very happy that Jonathan is being released but that will not stop us here in the Knesset from raising our voices against the Iran deal which all of us agree is a bad one, dangerous for Israel, the U.S., and the world."

Israeli politicians, such as Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), have said the potential release is unrelated to the Iran deal. And yet, a previous parole hearing was held in July 2014 and rejected on the basis of a now declassified document, that critics say included largely trumped up charges against Pollard.

Lynch echoed Shaked's statement. "It would have been extremely far-thinking of people 30 years ago to sentence Mr. Pollard and set this mandatory release date to coincide with the Iran deal. And if they were able to pull that off I would be quite impressed."

Explaining the latest parole hearing in November, she said, "our sentencing structure has changed in the late '80's and early '90's to where now a life sentence is in fact a life sentence. But under the law in which he was sentenced and the laws of our country which we abide it's not really a recommendation needed from us."
 



4. AG, JUSTICE OFFICIALS PAN SHAKED'S LAND COURT IDEA
by Moshe Cohen

Current and former members of Israel's legal and court system slammed a proposal by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to establish a special court to deal with housing disputes in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to giving the High Court sole jurisdiction over the matter. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Thursday thar the idea had no chance of becoming law. According to a report in Yediot Achronot, Weinstein has discussed the matter with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and is of the opinion that such a court would never be accepted in the international community.

Shaked has been known to long support the idea. In the wake of the demolition of the Draynoff Houses in Beit El, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that time stablish a special court to deal with housing disputes in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to giving the High Court sole jurisdiction over the matter.

"The system is broken," Shaked said on Thursday. "The High Court does not accept evidence and arguments in these cases. Two lawyers for leftist group Yesh Din are able to set the agenda for the High Court, and turn it into a leftist agenda."
With that, Shaked added, she had great respect for the Court, and that many of its decisions were "groundbreaking" in a very positive way. Nevertheless, she said, the High Court, which rules on matters of state, civil rights, constitutionality, and other matters is no place for petty disputes about whose deed of sale or contract was the more accurate one. "In Ra'anana, they send cases like these to the local civil court, not the High Court," said Shaked. "Judea and Samaria should not be any different."
Speaking on Israel Radio, former Justice Ministr Tzippy Livni said that the idea was a bad one for Israel. "This will be a tool to be used by the BDS supporters," Livni said. "The 'evidence' used in this court will be automatically transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague as evidence of Israeli land theft. This will remove from Israel one of its few advantages on the international fron, the sense that it abides by international law."
Analysts said that the High Court would be reluctant to give up its status as the "court of last resort" in matters such as land disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. Shaked's proposal seeks to relieve the High Court of the burden, and allowing judges to focus on the specifics of cases, instead of the "greater issues" and matters of state, such as the extent to which Israel should allow Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, she said.
"Such cases must be heard in terms of their specifics, with witnesses and evidence relating specifically to the issue of rights and ownership," Shaked said. "We will work to set up such a court system." According to Shaked, the idea was not actually her own, but that of former High Court Justice Edmond Levy, who had written about the matter years ago.


5. PRISONS CAN FORCE-FEED HUNGER-STRIKING TERRORISTS, KNESSET SAYS
by Yaakov Levi

The Knesset on Thursday approved on its second and third reading a law that would allow prison officials to force-feed hunger-striking prisoners. Prison wardens will be able to make requests of the courts for a permit to force-feed a prisoner, based on the recommendation of a doctor, to prevent the prisoner from doing harm to themselves.
The criteria for granting such requests will be preventing the prisoner from doing irreversible damage to their body, or endangering their life. If the court authorizes force-feeding, officials will be able to administer only the minimum amount of nutrition necessary to keep the prisoner alive. In addition, officials will be required to use "all means at their disposal" to persuade prisoners to willingly end their hunger strike.
If, despite that, force-feeding is to take place, the law requires that it be done in "as dignified a manner as possible," and in private. If the prisoner actively refuses being fed, prison officials will be allowed to use "reasonable force" to make them eat.
Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons have long used hunger strikes as a tactic to be let out of prison – a tactic that worked most recently just several weeks ago, when Israel released Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan following a 56-day hunger strike that allegedly brought him near death. Adnan was re-arrested the day after being released for violating terms of his release.
In a note accompanying the bill, Knesset supporters wrote that the use of hunger strikes by terrorists "is a known phenomenon that has been going on for years. Sometimes these hunger strikes involve a great many prisoners, who continue with their hunger strike for an extended period of time, to the point that they endanger their lives. These challenges require us to form an appropriate response, and this bill constitutes that response."


6. WHY IS SUPPORT FOR MIKE HUCKABEE ESSENTIAL?
by Uzi Baruch

Why should Mike Huckabee be the candidate of choice for supporters of Israel? Dr. Joseph Frager hosted Huckabee, and discusses his support for the man, and the candidate, and discusses his thoughts with Arutz Sheva.

[youtube:2006533]




7. FALLEN SOLDIER'S FATHER SAYS SON'S DEATH 'ON KERRY'S CONSCIENCE'
by Tova Dvorin


The parents of murdered soldier Hadar Goldin spoke to the press Wednesday, marking nearly one year since Goldin was killed and his body abducted by Hamas. 

"I was in a fish shop and I heard that something happened and someone was kidnapped," Simcha Goldin, Hadar's father, recounted in a special Walla! News interview. "As soon as I got home the IDF commander for the city was speaking with my wife. They announced that Hadar was missing and then explained that he was probably kidnapped." 

Simcha explained the difficult decision to break Shabbat (Sabbath) to see what was happening with their son. 

"We continued as usual until noon that day, we prayed for him to be returned, but no one from the army would give us any answers," he said. "We decided to push aside Shabbat due to pikuach nefesh, the commandment to save lives, and we opened our laptops and saw that the IDF was leaving Gaza [...] so we went to the press and stated that Israel could not abandon our son in Gaza if he were kidnapped." 

"On that Saturday night, after midnight, we found out that Hadar had been killed and that his body had been kidnapped." 

Simcha stated that Hadar was not one to go without a fight, and praised the IDF for attempting to rescue him under the assumption he was still alive. The real blame, he said, lies with the US and the UN. 

"Hadar and his friends have been killed because of a cease-fire," he said, blaming specifically US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for placing pressure on Israel.  "And I'm very disappointed in the American Secretary of State, three fatalities are on his conscience."

Regarding Hamas, "it has been accepted since the times of Ancient Greece that nations return bodies after a battle," he said. "Only Hamas would think they could put a price on them." 

Goldin, a first lieutenant in the Givati Brigade, was killed on August 1, 2014 at the height of the operation after Hamas terrorists breached one of several ceasefires to attack his unit on the outskirts of the city of Rafah. 


8. 'YOU CAN'T LABEL SETTLEMENT PRODUCTS MADE IN ISRAEL'
by Yoni Kempinski

[youtube:2006519]

Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Israel, told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday that the EU is opposed to boycotts of Israel - but also said he understood why there are such boycotts.

"The EU is totally against BDS, boycotts, isolation. We want dialogue and we think that it’s the best way to get our points across and get Israel to work in the direction that we would like to see," said Faaborg-Andersen.

At the same time, he continued, "There are other groups in Europe and also in the United States that are advocating for BDS but there are also corporations and others taking decisions to disengage economically from Israel, and they are not in our control."

He warned that Israel could find itself in a situation "where it has fewer friends in the world, if a solution is not found to the problem of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Faaborg-Andersen acknowledged that "it takes two to tango" but added, "What we don’t like to see is the parties taking steps that are bringing us further away from the solution."

Those steps, according to the EU envoy, include Israel’s "expansion of settlements that we have seen in recent years".

With regards to products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Faaborg-Andersen said that labeling them as "made in Israel" would be misleading.

"That’s in accordance with existing legislation in the EU when it comes to consumer protection," he said. "A number of member states have already enacted guidelines on this particular issue, and I think that in the not too distant future, there will also be an EU-wide arrangement on this issue."

However, said Faaborg-Andersen, guidelines with regards to labeling are not only enacted when it comes to Israel.

"This is not different for Israel or any other country in the world. It is a fundamental premise that the consumer must be assured that the product he or she is buying is correctly labeled," he said, adding, "You cannot write that a product comes from country A when it comes from country C."

"I want to make the point that this a general legislation that’s applied from any product coming from anywhere in the world. It has to be correctly labeled," added Faaborg-Andersen.

As for the issue of Palestinian Arabs who are employed in Israeli-owned factories in Judea and Samaria and would be affected by a boycott of products from the region, Faaborg-Andersen called for a broader perspective.

"Settlements are currently affecting 60% of the area, and there are many reports from the World Bank and from the IMF showing that giving Palestinians access to just a couple of percentages of this territory would add millions to their GDP," he explained. "So when you’re making up the overall calculation as to what is the cost for Palestinians of the settlement enterprise, I think you have to take that into account as well."





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