West Bank Violence Remains High
IDF THWARTS 500 ATTACKS IN PAST 7 MONTHS: The ongoing Operation Break the Wave in the West Bank has seen IDF troops and reservists crack down on increased Palestinian terrorism, thwarting over 500 attacks and arresting over 3,000 related suspects.
The operation began in late March after a series of terror attacks in Israeli cities left 20 people dead. Israeli security forces, including the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police have been carrying out raids against Palestinians suspected of terrorism. For more than six months, some 25 regular battalions have been deployed to the West Bank, along with an additional 84 of reservists deployed to the area by the end of next year. The large number of troops comes as the level of violence in the West Bank continues to remain unusually high, with massive amounts of gunfire directed against troops carrying out operational missions as well as against Israeli civilians. The past year has seen a marked increase in terrorism, with 281 serious terror attacks by Palestinians: 239 against soldiers and 42 against civilians. There were also a total of 8,483 violent incidents by Palestinians such as riots or stone throwing, about 40% of them against Israeli civilians and 60% against IDF troops. The number marked a significant rise of almost 20% from the 7,039 attacks last year. (JPost / VFI News)
BOOK OF PSALMS SAVED VICTIM’S LIFE IN JERUSALEM TERROR ATTACK: A man who was seriously injured in Jerusalem bombing last week was spared from what could have been a fatal fate by none other than his book of Psalms – or Tehillim in Hebrew – which blocked a shard of debris from piercing his body, said Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
The victim, a 62-year-old man, arrived to Shaare Zedek hospital in serious condition and underwent a series of operations to remove shrapnel from his body. While the man was recovering, visitors were stunned to discover that he had a book of psalms in his possession that was pierced almost entirely through by a shard of debris resulting from the explosion. The shard hit the back cover of the book and penetrated nearly all the way through – though stopping just short, and potentially saving the man’s life. The shard penetrated the book up to the 124th chapter of the Psalms before stopping at the line: “Our soul is like a bird that escaped from a box of hardships.” The psalm that the shrapnel stopped is obviously very notable, as the message in the psalm is about being saved from hardship. The bus station bombing in Jerusalem on Tuesday, November 22, killed two, including a 16-year-old boy, and wounded 18 others – including the fortunate man who had this book of psalms with him (JPost / VFI News)
POMPEO: ANTI-SEMITISM IS A CANCER, WE STAND WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE: Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, November 26, denounced anti-Semitism in a tweet which appeared to be a response to former President Donald Trump’s meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and controversial rapper Kanye West.
“Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary, I fought to ban funding for anti-Semitic groups that pushed BDS,” wrote Pompeo. “We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry,” he added. While the former Secretary of State did not specifically mention Trump, the former President has come under fire over the meeting with Fuentes and West, which took place at his Mar-a-Lago estate earlier the previous week. According to media reports, Fuentes and West were seen dining with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday, November 22, when West said he had asked the former president to be his vice presidential running mate in 2024. While sources confirmed to American media that Fuentes did attend the dinner with Trump and West, Trump told the news outlet that he had never met Fuentes before dining with him. “Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said in a statement. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.” (INN / VFI News)
IDF HOLDS AIR DRILLS WITH US, SIMULATING STRIKES ON IRAN AND PROXIES: The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, November 29, said it would be holding a series of joint aerial exercises with the US military, simulating strikes against Iran and its regional terror proxies.
In a statement, the IDF said the drills, set to take place over Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, would begin Tuesday. “Fighter jets and refuelers from the IAF and the US Air Force will take part in the exercise and simulate a number of scenarios in the face of regional threats,” the statement said. The joint drill was agreed upon during IDF chief Aviv Kohavi’s trip to the US last week. The IDF said Kohavi told American defense officials in Washington that the two militaries must accelerate joint plans for offensive actions against Iran. On Thursday, November 24, Kohavi said joint activities with the US military in the Middle East would be “significantly expanded.” “At the same time, the IDF will continue to act at an accelerated rate against the entrenchment of the Iranian regime in the region,” he added. Kohavi held meetings with senior American officials over five days, focused on the Iranian threat. “During the discussions, it was agreed that we are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its terrorist proxies in the region,” he said last week. (TOI / VFI News)
LAPID ATTACK: NETANYAHU, ALLIES INTEND TO DISMANTLE DEMOCRATIC FOUNDATIONS OF ISRAEL: Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid launched a blistering attack on prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, November 28, accusing him of “a crime of opportunity” in seeking judicial reforms that would affect his ongoing corruption trial.
The prime minister-designate and his expected coalition colleagues, Lapid charged, were seeking to remove all limitations on the political majority of the day, and to turn Israel into a country “without gatekeepers, without courts… dismantling the democratic foundations of the country.” “Netanyahu wants to decide who the prosecutor in his trial will be. Netanyahu wants to decide the identity of the judges who will hear his appeal,” Lapid told a conference of the Israel Democracy Institute. “Netanyahu wants to pass a law that would bar indictments against a prime minister, because he is a prime minister who has been indicted.” “This isn’t judicial reform,” Lapid added. “This isn’t ideology. This is a crime of opportunity.” Lapid, who is expected to become opposition leader once Netanyahu succeeds in nailing down his expected 64-seat coalition, said “we must stop this. This is what we are determined to fight against.” (TOI / VFI News)
CHINA DETAINS PROTESTERS, JOURNALIST IN CRACKDOWN ON RARE PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS: Chinese security forces detained people Monday, November 28, at the scene of a rare demonstration, as authorities worked to extinguish protests that flared across the country calling for political freedoms and an end to COVID lockdowns.
People have taken to the streets in major cities and gathered at University campuses across China to call for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedoms, in a wave of protests not seen since pro-democracy rallies in 1989 were crushed. A deadly fire last week in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang region, was the catalyst for the public anger, with many blaming COVID lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts. Beijing Monday accused “forces with ulterior motives” for linking the fire to COVID measures, saying local authorities had “made clear the facts and refuted this information and smears.” A British media outlet said one of its journalists had been arrested and beaten by police while covering the Shanghai protests, though China’s Foreign Ministry said the reporter had not identified himself as such. A British government minister Monday denounced the Chinese police’s actions as “unacceptable” and “concerning.” In the capital, at least 400 people gathered on the banks of a river for several hours, with some shouting: “We are all Xinjiang people! Go Chinese people!” Three people were then detained by police at the site, a journalist saw, with law enforcement preventing passersby from taking photos or video of the area. When asked why one of the people was taken away, a policeman said “because he didn’t obey our arrangements” before referring the reporter to local police authorities. (TOI / VFI News)
UK CENSUS FINDS 271,000 JEWS IN ENGLAND AND WALES: The latest British census results found that the Jewish population of England and Wales has increased slightly, from 265,000 in 2011 to 271,000 in 2021, according to Jewish British media.
The 2021 census, compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that while the Jewish community’s population has increased in the last decade, Jews have remained at 0.5 percent of the total population of England and Wales. However, ONS noted that the results may not be completely accurate given that religion was a voluntary question, with 6 percent of respondents choosing not to answer. The largest religious group on the 2021 census remained Christians, but for the first time less than half the population (46.2 percent) identified with the religion, down from 59.3 percent in 2011. “Few people today understand or appreciate just how important the census is. But there is nothing like it,” Dr. Jonathan Boyd, executive director of the Jewish Policy Reseach Insitute, told the news outlet. “Its extraordinary detail allows us to see and understand the UK’s entirely unique ways. It is, without question, the most important research exercise in the UK.” (INN / VFI News)
ISRAELI DRONES TO FLY MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO MAJOR HOSPITALS COUNTRYWIDE: An Israeli startup has developed an autonomous long-distance unmanned aerial vehicle that will fly medical supplies to all major Israeli hospitals across the country.
Rehovot-based aero-logistics company Gadfin recently inked an exclusive five-year partnership agreement with Sarel, the country’s biggest medical purchasing and logistics company, to create the first aerial drone grid that delivers urgent medical supplies to Israeli hospitals within 200 kilometers. “This will allow Israel to be the first country in the world that will have such a fast supply of urgent medical supplies to all the hospitals around the country from one center, which will end up saving lives,” Eyal Regev, founder and CEO of Gadfin, told Israeli media. “Within three years we plan to have the full aerial drone network to deliver medical supplies to 11 hospitals in Israel and we are also duplicating this network around the world.” Gadfin’s Spirit-One hydrogen-powered UAV can deliver payloads of up to five kilograms (11 pounds) in a 30-liter (eight-gallon) cargo compartment to locations up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) away without needing to change batteries. The contract will allow Sarel to ensure a constant supply of medical equipment, medicines, vaccines, blood, serum, lab samples and more, across Israel, at less than one hour from call, the two companies said in a statement. The Spirit One air-vehicle can also carry inside its cargo bay a standard cooled medical supply package at up to a temperature of minus 80 degrees Celsius, allowing for the delivery of organs, according to Regev. (TOI / 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