Thursday, April 26, 2012

Israel Celebrates Independence Day; Terrorists Carry Out Rocket Attacks

Israel is busy celebrating its 64th Independence Day, while terrorists in Gaza and Sinai carried out terror attacks in the form of rocket fire against Israelis in Ashkelon and Eilat.
An air raid siren was sounded on Wednesday night and one rocket exploded in the region. There were no reports of injuries or damages.

Residents told Ynet that at around half past midnight, at the height of an Independence Day party, a siren sounded. Some of the residents said that they also heard an explosion.

The rocket was most likely fired from the Gaza Strip and exploded in an open area within the regional council.
The Eilat attack was carried out from the Sinai, which has been a wild west free-for-all since Hosni Mubarak was deposed last year.
Terrorists fired at least one rocket at Israel's southern resort city of Eilat Wednesday night. No injuries or damage were reported.

Reports of large explosions had security forces canvassing the city. The remnants of a grad rocket were eventually found on a residential construction site.

The defense establishment believes the fire emanated from Sinai, although no terror group has claimed the fire so far.
Egyptian security hasn't been able to keep the region secured allowing terrorists to repeatedly attack the gas pipeline leading to Israel as well as rocket attacks and infiltrations in and around Eilat.

Meanwhile, in a bit of good news from the Palestinians, Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas is trying to convince Arab leaders that visits to the Dome of the Rock and al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City atop the Temple Mount is not a tacit recognition of Israel's territorial claims to the city.
Muslim faithful visit Mecca and Medina with the permission of Saudi Arabia. But seeking Israel's consent to get to al-Aksa is seen by some Muslims as acquiescence in Israeli occupation.

But this month, two Jordanian princes visited the mosque and adjacent Dome of the Rock, and Jordanian intelligence official Hussein al-Majali was seen at the sacred compound on Monday.

Their trips to Jerusalem must have been coordinated with Israel. Access to al-Aqka is guarded by Israel security forces, who protect all of Jerusalem's holy sites.

Abbas said there was a "long controversy with several prominent Arab and non-Arab figures, on visiting al-Aksa and Jerusalem". Some were saying "this visit is forbidden", he told an Arab youth delegation in Ramallah.

"There was an intense and important dispute between us and some of our brothers among Islamic scholars whom we respect," Abbas said. "But they mixed the religious with the secular, religion with politics, and partisanship with Islam. The result was that they've lost touch with what's right and just."

When prominent Egyptian cleric Mufti Ali Gomaa visited al-Aksa last week, there were calls for his resignation from the Islamist-dominated parliament in Cairo.
Fact is that before Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, there was a fraction of the religious freedoms now seen. Jews could not visit the Old City, let alone the Western Wall - Judaism's holiest spot on the planet. After 1967, Jews, Muslims, and Christians can peacefully visit the holy sites in Jerusalem under Israeli security.

It's disheartening to see Muslim religious leaders being castigated for visiting the holy sites precisely because some think this is tacit recognition of Israel and its claims on the city, but the fact is that Israel has guaranteed access to the holy sites where the Jordanians did not when they occupied the city from 1948 to 1967. Access is limited when the Palestinians use the holy sites as a focal point for rioting - and attacking Jews praying at the Western Wall.

Abbas needs the foreign leaders and dignitaries to come to help with tourism and building up the society, but he can't go so far as to delegitimize Israel. It's a balancing act but note also that these were Jordanian princes and intelligence officials who came - Jordan has a peace deal with Israel since 1994. That Jordanians are coming to visit the holy sites shouldn't even be notable, but it is a sign of just how cold the peace that Israel has already achieved with Jordan and Egypt.


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