Temple Mount Sees Pesach Violence
OVER 150 INJURED, 400 ARRESTED AS PALESTINIANS AND COPS CLASH ON TEMPLE MOUNT: Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Temple Mount early Friday morning, April 15, as spiking tensions, threats of terror, and the observance of major holidays all converge around the flashpoint holy site.
Skirmishes between police and worshipers at the site were reported around 6:30 a.m., with officers entering the compound and clashing with people barricaded inside. Police said in a statement that at around 4 a.m., dozens of young people began marching in the area. Some bore the Palestinian flag, while others carried green banners associated with the Hamas terror group. Police said they waited for morning prayers to end before entering the Temple Mount to disperse the rioters, and that some of them threw stones at the Western Wall below. The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency group reported that 158 people were hurt in the clashes. It said the vast majority were treated at East Jerusalem’s al-Makassed Hospital or at a field hospital set up by medics, without giving details on the nature of the injuries. (TOI / VFI News)
SIX EXTREMIST JEWS ARRESTED FOR PLANNING ANIMAL SACRIFICE ATOP TEMPLE MOUNT: Six Jews in their 20s were arrested Thursday morning, April 14, after police suspected they were planning to sacrifice a goat at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City ahead of Passover.
The suspects, residents of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, were detained and taken in for questioning after police found a goat in one of the suspects’ homes. The “Returning to the Mount” extremist group, which advocates the construction of a third Jewish temple on the site that once housed the two biblical temples, has circulated a flier offering a cash prize to anyone who managed to offer a living sacrifice on the Temple Mount, and to anyone arrested trying to do so. The “Returning to the Mount” group said that in addition to the arrests, a number of their members have received phone calls from the Shin Bet warning them not to proceed with their plans. “Despite all this, the goats are on their way to Jerusalem.” Israeli authorities have vowed to stop any attempts to bring sacrificial animals to the complex, as they have in years past. “Police will continue to operate in Jerusalem and anywhere else together with all security agencies, 24/7, covertly and overtly, against any person who attempts to violate the order and laws in place at the Temple Mount and the other holy sites in the city,” a police statement read. The statement added that “publications that raise suspicion of a potential criminal violation will be treated accordingly.” (TOI/VFI News)
ISRAELI FORCES ARREST PALESTINIAN CELL PLANNING ‘IMMINENT’ TERRORIST ATTACK: Israeli security forces arrested a number of Palestinians on Wednesday night, April 13, in the towns of Silwad and Kobar, north of Ramallah, who were planning an imminent terrorist attack against Israeli targets.
IDF soldiers, Shin Bet operatives, and officers from the Border Police’s counterterrorism unit took part in the arrests. The Israeli forces entered the area after Maad Hamad, who had been in the custody of the Palestinian Authority for carrying out a deadly terrorist attack in 2015, escaped from custody. Israeli citizen Malachi Rosenfeld was killed and three others were wounded in the shooting attack carried out by Hamad near Shvut Rahel in 2015. The Shin Bet received intelligence on Wednesday that Hamad had escaped and was planning a terrorist attack against Israeli targets in the immediate future. After a number of hours, Hamad was arrested by Israeli forces in Kobar, and three additional Palestinians suspected of promoting terrorist operations with Hamad were arrested in Silwad. Security forces surrounded the house where the suspects were hiding and after the suspects refused to exit, they fired at the house and the suspects surrendered without being injured. The suspects were transferred for questioning by the Shin Bet. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN’S IRGC QUDS FORCE HEAD THREATENS ISRAEL: Iran’s head of the IRGC Quds Force Esmail Qaani gave a recent speech in which he praised the late Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi, a key IRGC figure; and slammed Israel.
He praised “Palestinian martyrs” in his speech. “We are in the middle of the battlefield. The Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of the scene against global arrogance and international Zionism, and we will continue on the path of their honor and greatness, thanks to the martyrs,” he said. He hinted at Hejazi’s key role in Iran’s threats against Israel in the past. The commander of the Resistance Front said: “One of the steps of Martyr Hejazi to achieve martyrdom was his sincerity, and although he was the deputy commander of the IRGC, he came and became the deputy commander of the Quds Force and did his job with seriousness and effort.” Qaani does not give long public speeches often so this one is of great interest to understand his mindset. Ostensibly the speech was about Hejazi but it is also about what Iran’s “Resistance Front” is doing today in the region. This refers to the IRGC, Hezbollah, Houthis in Yemen, and Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria. He accused Saudi Arabia of being backed by Israel. He claimed that Israel is in decline and that Iran is rising in the region. (JPost / VFI News)
ISIS CALLS FOR MORE ATTACKS IN ISRAEL, EUROPE: Close to a month after two deadly Islamic State attacks in Israel that claimed six lives, the spokesperson of the Sunni terror group has called on supporters to carry out more attacks.
Giving an address for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Abu Omar al-Muhajjr called for a “global offensive” in revenge for the death of the group’s leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi last February during an operation by the Americans in Syria as well as the group’s former spokesperson al-Muhajir Abu Hamza al-Qurashi. “We announced, with the help of God, a blessed battle to avenge the two sheikhs, Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi and Sheikh al-Muhajir Abu Hamza al-Qurashi,” he said in the address released on Telegram. In his address titled “Fight them, and God will chastise them at your hands,” Muhajjr called for more attacks to be carried out in Europe since “the opportunity is ripe for you” because it is “preoccupied” with the war in Ukraine. Citing the March terror attacks in Israel claimed by the terror group, he called on supporters to “follow their path and arm themselves with weapons and carry out further attacks.” “These acts caused pain to the Jews and showed the world that there is a difference between those who fight and die for God and those who fight for empty political slogans,” he said. He praised the attackers, saying that “they fought and were killed for the sake of Allah” and said that Jerusalem could only be liberated with the return of the caliphate, not by the Palestinian leaders who he called “secular terrorists.” “Modern Muslim politicians trying to liberate Jerusalem are nothing more than puppets in the hands of Israel and the West,” he said. (JPost / VFI News)
HEZBOLLAH MP SAYS ONLY $9 BILLION NEEDED TO DESTROY ISRAEL: Mohammed Raad, the head of the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc in the Lebanese parliament declared on Saturday, April 16, that it would take a mere $9 billion to obliterate the State of Israel.
“The resistance only needs $9 billion and there will be nothing left called Israel in the region,” said Raad, who previously met with French President Emmanuel Macron, according to a news broadcast by Lebanese outlet MTV. MTV tweeted Raad’s remarks to its 1.4 million followers on Twitter. The Islamic Republic of Iran — the world’s worst state-sponsor of terrorism as defined by the US state department — is the main financier of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah. Raad also said that $900 billion was spent to destroy Yemen during the unfolding civil war. France has outlawed Hezbollah’s military wing yet continues to block a full terror designation of Hezbollah within the EU. Meanwhile the US, the Arab League, Germany, Japan, Canada, Austria, the United Kingdom, and additional European and Latin American countries classify Hezbollah’s entire organization as a foreign terrorist movement. (JPost / VFI News)
LAPID SAYS ISRAEL’S GOV’T CAN LAST TILL NEXT PASSOVER, IF ‘WE DO IT RIGHT’: “This government will be here next Passover as long as the coalition crisis is managed correctly,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday, April 14, as he explained that it was possible to continue to operate without a Knesset majority.
“The current political crisis is not easy, but it can be managed. If we work correctly, this government will be here next Passover and the one after that. It will not be simple, but we will make it happen. “This is an excellent government, and every effort will be made to ensure that it continues,” Lapid said. He spoke more than a week after MK Idit Silman (Yamina), resigned from the coalition that she chairs. The move dropped the coalition from a narrow majority of 61-seats to 60, out of a 120-member parliament. “There were governments in Israel with far fewer than 60 seats that did great things,” Lapid said. Lapid told reporters that the government could remain stable at 60, particularly since the right-wing block headed by Likud party leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu only had 54 seats. Lapid said that he was checking into the legal possibility of approving a one-year budget rather than a two year. The government, he added, has enough support to pass a budget. (JPost / VFI News)
BRITISH PM WISHES JEWS A HAPPY PASSOVER: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday, April 15, released a video in which he wished Jews in the UK and across the world a happy Passover.
“For the first time in far too long, this year the Seder table will once again be thronged with family and friends, every seat occupied by an actual loved one, rather than the unblinking eye of a phone camera or laptop,” he said. Johnson also commented on the situation that many Ukrainian Jews will be facing during Passover as they hold their Seders in bomb shelters or in unfamiliar new countries to which they escaped. “The story of Passover is about a journey to freedom, about faith in the midst of hardship, and a reminder that there will always be better times ahead for those who hold God as closely and tightly as he holds us,” he said. “I hope this Passover brings not just a reason to celebrate today, but also a renewed hope for tomorrow. Chag Sameach,” he concluded. (INN / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made byVFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff