Israeli stabbed by Palestinian woman in West Bank

Israeli security forces at the site where an Israeli man was stabbed and lightly injured, December 01, 2014. (photo credit: Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

Israeli security forces at the site where an Israeli man was stabbed and lightly injured, December 01, 2014. (photo credit: Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

Same attacker tried to stab soldier in 2011, according to Palestinian reports; victim lightly injured; assailant badly hurt

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5 IDF soldiers injured near Khan Younis in Gaza

A view of a tunnel dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013 (photo credit: David Buimovitch/Flash90)

A view of a tunnel dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013 (photo credit: David Buimovitch/Flash90)

Apparent Hamas mortar attack targets Israelis attempting to blow up terror tunnel; two soldiers in moderate condition

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Terrorists ‘aim to hit Israeli, Jewish targets worldwide’ in coming weeks

Counter-Terror Bureau issues strident warning, citing ‘concrete, very high’ threats in numerous countries

Suspected Hezbollah weapons cache uncovered May 2013 in Kano, Nigeria. (screen capture: Youtube/Euronews)

Suspected Hezbollah weapons cache uncovered May 2013 in Kano, Nigeria. (screen capture: Youtube/Euronews)

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Israeli and Jewish targets all over the world are likely to be sought out by terrorist organizations in the coming weeks, the Israeli government’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned in strikingly strident tones on Monday, listing dozens of countries where it said it had “concrete” indications of a terrorist threat.

It cited concerns about terrorist acts timed to coincide with the forthcoming Rosh Hashana (New Year), Yom Kippur and Succot festivals, and also said that the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US was likely to be “a favored period” for al-Qaeda and other global jihadist groups to attempt to carry out acts of terrorism.

Netanyahu to spend another $350 million so every Israeli has gas mask

Amid heightened tensions with Syria, PM concludes nationwide chemical defense drill by ordering ministries to equip 100% of residents with protective kits

A postal worker helps a child try on a gas mask in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

A postal worker helps a child try on a gas mask in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking Thursday at a meeting concluding this week’s Home Front drill, instructed government ministries to equip all of Israel’s residents with gas mask kits. The exercise, called “Turning Point 7,” tested the country’s readiness for chemical and conventional rocket attacks.

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When Israel hits Syria, it hones military edge for wider war

When Israeli jets bomb Syria to deny it or its allies “game-changer” weapons, they play according to one core rule: ensuring the Jewish state maintains the military superiority to swiftly prevail in any war.

An Israeli soldier carries another soldier as they walk with their comrades during training close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

An Israeli soldier carries another soldier as they walk with their comrades during training close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

(Reuters) – On Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s target list are four types of advanced arms, Russian- or Iranian-supplied, whose transfer from Syria to Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas next door would hinder Israel’s strategic options.

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Israel hits Syrian outpost in response to cross-border fire

Army post at Tel Hazeka targeted by IDF tanks after patrol comes under attack by light arms and mortar lands in Golan; no injuries or damage on Israeli side

An IDF tank in a firing position on the Golan Heights last year (AP/Ariel Schalit)

An IDF tank in a firing position on the Golan Heights last year (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli troops fired tank shells at a Syrian army post Tuesday night after Syrian fighting spilled over into Israel in two separate incidents.

The response came a few hours after an IDF patrol on the border came under light fire from across the border and a Syrian mortar landed in the southern Golan Heights. There were no reports of injuries or damage in either incident.

The attacks came shortly after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, during a tour of the border area, vowed to continue responding to cross-border Syrian fire.

The Israeli tanks hit an outpost at Tel Hazeka, close to where the patrol came under fire. It is not known if there were casualties on the Syrian side. The IDF said it “accurately targeted the source,” of the fire.

In the late afternoon, a shell fired from Syria slammed into Israel near Tel Fares.

Israel has come under spillover fire from Syria’s civil war from time to time, responding on occasions by shooting missiles back into the Syrian Golan Heights, where anti-Bashar Assad rebels are waging a bloody battle for control of the country.

IDF officials estimate that the cross-border fire is likely accidental, but fears of spillover violence have shaken nearly four decades of calm along Israel’s armistice line with Syria, with the UN peacekeepers in place since 1974 scaling back activities.

Earlier in the day, Ya’alon said that Jerusalem would continue to respond to fire from Syria, which he said may or may not be intentional.

“I visited the Northern Command to closely monitor the developments. Across the border there’s been a bloody civil war going on for two years, but we do not interfere as long as it does no damage to our interests,” Ya’alon said. ”When it does, by sporadic shooting that may or may not be deliberate, we respond by paralyzing the sources of fire, as has been the case already.”

Defense Minister Ya'alon during visit to the IDF Northern Command, Tuesday (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defence/Flash90)

Late last month, IDF soldiers fired a Tammuz missile at a Syrian army position in Tel Fares, from which shots were fired both that day and the previous day across the border into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The missile destroyed the Syrian post and reportedly wounded two gunmen there.

A military spokesman said the soldiers responded with “accurate fire toward the Syrian post from which they were fired upon.” He could not say whether it was regular Syrian forces or rebels who fired. He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Speaking Tuesday, Ya’alon, on his first visit to the IDF Northern Command since taking office, reiterated that Israel would act to keep Syria’s vast cache of chemical weapons from falling into the hands of jihadi fighters among the rebels or the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with the regime.

“We have acted to stymie this in the past and will continue to do so,” Ya’alon claimed, possibly alluding to a reported Israeli strike on what Syria called a research facility late last year. Media reports have surmised that a weapons convoy to Hezbollah was actually targeted.

However, added Ya’alon, “All in all, the Golan Heights is quiet.”

Syrian opposition forces on Monday night reportedly captured the northern city of Al-Safira, which is close to many ammunition factories and what is believed to be the regime’s largest cache of chemical weapons.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Encountering Peace: Israeli-Palestinian peace is achievable

This agreement is possible. The concessions within are not losses but gains and both sides will be able to stand tall and declare peace and victory.

US President Obama with Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas, September 1, 2010.

US President Obama with Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas, September 1, 2010. Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed

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Many of those who claim that a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty putting an end to the conflict is not possible are the very people who do not want it to happen. This includes those who say it’s too late, there are too many Israelis living beyond the green line, or too many new settlement houses have been built, and those who say there is no Palestinian partner.Until now there has been no partner for peace because the negotiations, even after 20 years of negotiating have not yet produced an agreement that is acceptable to both parties and ends the claims on all of the eight core issues of the conflict. But agreement is conceivable and after each side makes the concessions which must be made they will be able to stand up proudly before their people and declare “we got the best agreement possible and it is a victory for us!”
Here it is in short:
1. Palestinian statehood – this is already a fait accompli, clearly in the interests of both sides – the territorial expression of our national identity sealed by agreement, recognized by the international community, accepted by the United Nations and fulfilling the principle laid down in UN Resolution 181 from November 29, 1947 – the formal birth certificate of the two states – the establishment of two states – one Jewish and one Arab on the land known as Palestine/Israel.
2. The delineation of borders between the two states – not based on the map of 1947 but on the armistice agreement of 1949, the border line between the two states will divide the land with Palestine on 22 percent and Israel on 78%. The line will allow Israel to annex about 4% of the West Bank enabling about 80% of the Israeli citizens in settlement blocs to remain where there are.Palestinians will get in exchange equal territory from inside of Israel proper. They will be able to use those areas as development zones and as compensation for land taken by Israeli settlements.

3. Jerusalem – Israel will have full sovereignty over all of the parts of Jerusalem where Israelis live. Jewish Jerusalem will be united and recognized by the whole world as Israel’s capital. Palestine will have full sovereignty over all of the parts of Jerusalem where Palestinians live. Palestinian Jerusalem will be united and recognized by the whole word as Palestine’s capital.

Jerusalem will be like Siamese twins – connected at the most sensitive points and therefore will remain an open city with free movement throughout.

Both parts of Jerusalem will share many aspects of infrastructure and most importantly, both sides will be responsible to work together to provide real security throughout the city. The Old City and holy places will either work on the same demographic principles or will be managed by agreement by others on behalf of both peoples. The Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif compound will see the transformation of current realities into agreements with the Muslim authorities in control on top of the Mount over the mosques there and Jewish authorities in control of the Western Wall.

This arrangement can hold at least until the Messiah comes, who can make changes then if the reality allows for it. Hundreds of millions of Muslim pilgrims will be allowed to come to complete their Haj pilgrimage which brings them to Mecca and Medina and concludes in Al-Quds, Jerusalem.

4. Refugees – All Palestinians, always, wherever they are will be able to become citizens of their independent sovereign state.

Lands added to Palestine within the territorial swaps can be used for resettlement purposes enabling Palestine to say that there is a partial return to lands from before 1948.

Israel, Palestine and the international community all have an interest to give refugees a new beginning and therefore an international donor effort will be made with generous Israeli participation that will grant all refugees in need a chance for decent modern housing, education and work. New cities like Modi’in can be constructed in the West Bank. Palestinians with land deeds and businesses that were lost will be able to apply for compensation for their losses to an international commission and Israel will also generously participate in this fund.

An agreed-to symbolic number of Palestinians will be able to apply for return to Israel proper (somewhere around 50,000 people) noting that they will be then living in the State of Israel, under Israeli laws and sovereignty. Israel can call this a humanitarian gesture of family reunification and Palestine can call it the implementation of the right of return. Palestinian refugees will also have the possibility to apply for citizenship in other countries that may offer such a possibility always holding onto to the option of becoming a citizen of Palestine also and holding dual citizenship.

5. The physical crossing between West Bank and Gaza – a stretch of about 40 kilometers going through the sovereign State of Israel. The best option, I believe, is the rail link offering services to carry passengers, cars and cargo with one stop in Gaza and one in the West Bank. Other possibilities include a bridge, road, tunnel, sunken road or combinations of the above. I propose beginning to build it now, as soon as possible from the West Bank towards Gaza and ending one kilometer short of Gaza. Gaza will be part of the full agreement, but it will only be implemented when the regime in Gaza agrees to all of the terms of the agreement.

6. Economic relations – I believe the best option for Palestine will be an improved customs union which ends all of the leakages in the Paris protocol and enables Palestine to collect their own customs because their state will have clear and defined borders.

If they would like a different trade regime they should be able to propose whatever they want because the economic consequences for Israel are inconsequential.

Israel should do everything possible to allow for a prosperous Palestine.

7. Water – with double the amount of water available today because of desalination and reuse of waste water there is no real water conflict any more. Palestine will have to have an equitable share of all of the water available in the territory between the Jordan and the Sea and water has a wonderful characteristic enabling this – it moves. The two states will probably arrive at a reallocation agreement, but I would propose, in the interest of real peace, a joint management model which states that all of the water is a shared resource, not only the water underneath the West Bank. Gaza will need a desalination plant of its own and should already be working on that today.

8. Security arrangements – without security there is no agreement on any of the above. Security arrangements need to provide real security for both peoples. Primary security responsibility is in the hands of each side within its own territory. Security cooperation between the two must be robust. A multi-national force (similar to Sinai) led by the US or by NATO with Israeli and Palestinian participation will hold longterm responsibilities along the Jordan. International monitors will be on the ground to ensure full compliance of security arrangements.

More – there will be a Jewish minority in Palestine. The rights of the Jews in Palestine will be linked to the rights of the Arabs citizens of Israel. The borders between the two states should be as open as possible. Cooperation between the two states should be the goal of both sides in every field possible.

An agreement is meant to enable a new relationship taking both sides beyond conflict toward truly peaceful relations.

Our physical space is so small; we are both required to cooperate on all aspects concerning the environment and on many other issues that are cross-boundary concerns.

The agreement must build bridges of cooperation and not walls of separation.

Implementation of the agreement will be incremental, over time based on performance and upholding obligations within the agreements. A third party monitor/judge (likely the US) will be necessary for this purpose.

This agreement is possible. The concessions within are not losses but gains and both sides will be able to stand tall and declare peace and victory.

Gershon Baskin is the co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit.

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