PACKERS CORNER: Israel Remains Stable Despite the Chaos in the Region

I’m not going to say that things got done in Israel this week, precisely because Prime Minister Netanyahu was in India most of the time. But…..

Two nights ago in Jenin (northern Samaria/West Bank), Israeli  security services finally caught up with some of the terrorist murderers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach of Havat Gilad. Some of the terrorists were killed and some captured, many details still remain unclear at this point. It would seem that at least one has escaped for now. Two Israeli security personnel were wounded in the operation and are recovering from their injuries. There is nothing unique about Israel tracking down terrorists. Israel is famous for this and that’s a very good thing.

Since the tragic murder of Rabbi Shevach, there has been alot of political discussion/statements/pandering(?) about legalizing his currently unauthorized community, Havat Gilad. A request towards this has been sent to the Israeli cabinet by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. This is very important and the chances of it happening will probably become more clear towards the beginning of next week. What’s even more important is some info that leaked out this week in connection to this. It was revealed, seemingly very credibly, that the Defense Ministry is actively working towards the authorization of upwards of 70 currently unauthorized Israeli communities in Judea and Samara (west bank).

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The “outposts” – as the unauthorized communities are called – issue has somewhat overshadowed some final authorization for building permits that were granted in Judea and Samaria last week. While its much slower development than potentially possible, I want to highlight 2 of the projects approved – those in a community named Alon and another in a community called Karmei Tzur. Both of these communities are very strategic as they sit on the edges of “consensus” areas – Karmei Tzur on the edge of Gush Etzion and Alon on the edge of the Maale Adumim area. AND BOTH ARE BEING DOUBLED IN SIZE! No way around it, that’s’ big. Of course the houses have not been built yet and anything can happen…..

Netanyahu’s visit to India seems to have gone quite well. Remains to be seen if India brings back the $500 million deal for weapons from Israel that was recently cancelled.

The police have begun to recommend some indictments in some of the various investigations into Netanyahu and his associates. No meaning to any of this yet, but the show goes on….

The Government coalition continues to be incredibly stable – the region, not so much. Drama everywhere.

President Trump has significantly cut funding to UNRWA – a UN front for supporting terrorism and the destruction of Israel. Also,there are reports/rumors that the US Embassy will move to Jerusalem within a year. Trump continues to cement his already unprecedented pro-Israel legacy. And Vice-President Pence arrives to Israel on Sunday, with a scheduled visit to the Western Wall and a speech to the Knesset.