West Bank Unrest Points to Hamas
SHIN BET REPORTS DRAMATIC INCREASE IN WEST BANK ATTACKS ON ISRAELIS: A month after Operation Guardian of the Walls, the IDF continues to struggle to maintain calm in the West Bank. With Israel’s attention focused on the Gaza Strip, the flames of violence in the West Bank are at risk of exploding.
According to the Shin Bet’s (Israel Security Agency) data, there were 592 attacks in the West Bank and another 178 in Jerusalem in May, compared to a total of 104 in April (80 in the West Bank and 24 in Jerusalem). The May attacks included 401 fire bombings, 33 pipe bombs, 87 arson attacks, 47 small-arms fire, two grenade attacks, one vehicular attack, and others. One Israeli civilian, Yehuda Guetta, was also killed in a shooting attack at the Tapuah junction in early May by 44-year-old Muntasir Shalabi. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAELI RESEARCHERS MEASURE CONTINUOUS TRAUMATIC STRESS FROM ROCKETS: Israeli scientists have created a new and unique methodology to measure rocket attacks’ impact on traumatic stress.
Published in the open-access online academic journal PLOS ONE, the study by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev worked to identify three very distinct factors: exhaustion/detachment, rage/betrayal, and fear/helplessness. The study examined 313 adults who either were or were not exposed to ongoing security threats from December 2016 to February 2017. The exposed participants lived in communities along the Gaza border area in southern Israel, where rocket attacks from Gaza are frequent and there is often a window of only 30 seconds to reach a shelter. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL DELAYS ENTRY OF VACCINATED TOURISTS UNTIL AUGUST DUE TO COVID UPTICK: Vaccinated foreign tourists are not going to be allowed in Israel before August 1, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government decided Wednesday as Israel faces an increase in coronavirus cases.
In addition, the obligation to wear masks indoors will be restored if the average daily cases will exceed 100 for a week. “Our goal at the moment, first and foremost, is to protect the citizens of Israel from the Delta variant which is raging in the world,” Bennett said. “At the same time, we want to reduce as much as possible the disruption to the daily life in the country. Therefore, we decided to act as early as possible, right now, so as not to pay a heavier price later on, by taking responsible and quick actions. It is up to us. If we adhere to the rules and act responsibly, we will succeed together.” (JPost / VFI News)
CHRISTIAN CONVERTS PUT ON TRIAL IN IRAN FOR THREATENING STATE: Three Christians are standing trial in Iran after a new amendment to the Iranian penal code was passed through the legislature.
The Christian defendants of the Church of Iran denomination of Christianity were put on trial in Karaj in northern Iran on Monday after converting to Christianity, being charged with “sectarian” activities. The defendants, Amin Khaki, Milad Goudarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi, originally stem from Muslim backgrounds. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN OFFICIAL SAYS US HAS AGREED TO LIFT OIL, SHIPPING SANCTIONS: Iran said on Wednesday that Washington had agreed to remove all sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping, and take some senior figures off a blacklist, at talks to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with global powers which are now on a pause.
The remarks, by outgoing president Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff, were consistent with previous assertions by officials in Rouhani’s pragmatist camp that Washington is prepared to make major concessions at the talks, underway since April in Vienna. The talks adjourned on Sunday for a break, two days after Iran held a presidential election won by hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran’s judiciary who is on the US blacklist. Raisi is due to replace Rouhani in August. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN CLAIMS SABOTAGE OF ITS ATOMIC ENERGY ORGANIZATION FAILED: A sabotage operation against one of the buildings of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) in Karaj, near Tehran, failed and caused no damage or casualties on Wednesday morning, according to Iranian media.
The incident is under investigation by Iranian authorities. According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, a quadcopter was used in an attempt to sabotage a building at the AEO, but failed and was eventually shot down. Earlier in the day, the Iranian ILNA news agency reported that a drone attack targeted the Barakat Pharmaceutical Industries complex in Karaj, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine but subsequently removed the report from their website. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL HAS ALREADY TESTED A DIGITAL SHEKEL CRYPTOCURRENCY: Israel has already conducted a pilot test of a digital shekel cryptocurrency, Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Andrew Abir said, perhaps inadvertently, at a recent conference of the Fair Value Forum of IDC Herzliya.
Toward the end of a panel discussion, Abir said the Bank of Israel had already run a digital currency pilot. Another member of the panel seemed surprised and asked: “You have already issued a coin?” Abir responded in the affirmative. However, Abir said he was not optimistic that such a central-bank digital currency (CBDC) would ever be launched. (JPost / VFI News)
GERMAN MEDIA GIANT: IF YOU’RE ANTI-ISRAEL, DON’T WORK FOR US: Workers who complained about an Israeli flag being posted outside Europe’s largest digital publishing house should look for new jobs, Axel Springer SE CEO Mathias Döpfner told the company’s 16,000 employees last Thursday.
“I think, and I’m being very frank with you, a person who has an issue with an Israeli flag being raised for one week here, after antisemitic demonstrations, should look for a new job,” he said in a video conference with employees around the world. Berlin-based Axel Springer, which was founded in West Germany in 1946, is the largest digital publisher in Europe. It owns Bild, Die Welt, Business Insider, Politico Europe, and many other news brands, as well as Israel’s largest classified-ads website, Yad2. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff