ISIS Fires Rockets at Eilat, Mysterious Explosion Rocks Gaza Tunnel

Today’s Top Stories

1. Four rockets were fired at Eilat from the Sinai. Islamic State in the Sinai claimed responsibility and promised more attacks.

Three of the rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome; the fourth landed in an open area.

2. Possibly related to the rocket barrage, there was an explosion in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt on Wednesday night, reportedly killing two Palestinians and injuring five more. Hamas claimed the explosion was caused by an Israeli air strike, a claim the IDF denied. Ynet writes:

However, a Palestinian security official later told Ynet that while the tunnel that was attacked was indeed used for smuggling weapons, the explosion took place, most likely, as a result of an Egyptian attack or an internal explosion while weapons were being transferred through it.

So, asks the Times of Israel, Whodunnit?

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3. Israeli Arab MK Haneen Zoabi has offered to help the International Criminal Court indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the contentious settlement law passed earlier this week. More at the Jerusalem Post.

4. Fighting BDS – Tips and Strategies: Check out our slideshare for advice on how you can combat the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Israel and the Palestinians

• The Palestinians fear being sidelined by the Trump administration and are mulling worst-case financial scenarios.

Senior Palestinian officials worry that Trump administration could force Ramallah representatives to negotiating table with threat of pulled funding.

• Israel uncovered a West Bank-Gaza terror cash pipeline in which couriers smuggled debit cards to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. More at the Times of Israel.

• The IDF struck an unspecified target in Syria after a tank fired a round into the Israel-controlled Golan Heights. AP coverage.

• The juxtaposition of these two headlines makes me go hmmmm:

– Russia promises to keep weapons out of Hezbollah‘s hands.
Hezbollah launches donation campaign: ‘Arm the Jihadist’

• Israeli diplomacy by the numbers, per Ynet:

102: Israeli diplomatic missions around the world
103: Palestinian diplomatic missions around the world
78: Countries where Israel has diplomatic representation
95: Countries where Palestinians have diplomatic representation
142: Iranian diplomatic missions around the world
1,941: Arab League and Iranian diplomatic missions around the world
4: Israeli missions closed for budgetary reasons in past year

• Israel apologized after a New Israel Fund senior staffer was delayed at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday for ‘national security’ reasons.

CNN: Venezuela may have given passports to people with ties to terrorism, especially Hezbollah.

• Israel made NIS 3b from exporting natural gas in 2016, according to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. And Israel has bigger ambitions, notes the Times of Israel:

“We have agreed with the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus, and Italy about holding a summit in Israel, sponsored by the European Union, in order to begin discussions on building the longest underwater pipeline in the world, that will lead gas from the reservoirs to Italy and from there supply gas to Germany, Austria and other countries. Our goal is to supply ten percent of the European energy market,” Steinitz said.

Commentary/Analysis

• Worth reading: What happens when two Jews, a Greek Christian, and Annika Hernroth-Rothstein watch a Swedish news report from Gaza?

We’re so used to this treatment — the lies and distortions and constant barrage of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish reporting — that we’ve gotten too desensitized to feel the outrage it deserves. Watching that report from Gaza alongside a non-Jew, seeing his shock and comparing his reality to mine, made me see how bad it has become and what anomalies I refer to as my normal.

• UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer discussed with the Wall St. Journal a recent report which found that UNRWA teachers in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria posting anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and jihadist incitement on Facebook. Are they poisoning the minds of the Palestinian kids they teach?

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

Haviv Rettig Gur: As Trump era begins, what does Israel actually want in the West Bank?
Anna Ahronheim: Will Abbas ever sever his ‘sacred’ security cooperation with Israel?
Alex Fishman: Hamas is hesitating, Israel is gambling
Amos Harel: Israel’s aggressive tone could spark unwanted Gaza war
David Horovitz: Netanyahu beware: Cheerleading for Trump risks Israel’s vital bipartisan US ties
Emanuel Miller: Why do peace organizations rely on ‘alternative facts’?
Dror Eydar: The Jewish state debate
Bassam Tawil: The Islamic jihad and peace with Jews
Jonathan Tobin: A false theatrical peace
Dr. Reuven Berko: Hamas’ double game
Shmuel Rosner: Shouldn’t Israel care about anti-Semitism?
Jagdish Singh: Trump must bury anti-Semitic UN resolution
Olli Heinonen: Iran’s missile tests reveal weaknesses of UN Security Council resolution

 

Featured image: CC0 tpsdave; flags CC BY-NC-ND Avital Pinnick;

 

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

 

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