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Manhunt Continues for Ariel Junction Attacker

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19 Mar 2019
Manhunt Continues for Ariel Junction Attacker
The search continued Tuesday for a Palestinian man who carried out a stabbing and shooting attack at the Ariel Junction in the West Bank on Sunday, murdering 19-year-old IDF Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan and 47-year-old father of 12, Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, while a third victim, another 19-year-old soldier, was reportedly “out of mortal danger” although still in the intensive care unit of Bellinson Hospital near Petah Tikvah. "He is conscious, breathing on his own and talking to staff. His condition still remains serious," the said a statement from the hospital.

“Security forces continue in their pursuit of the terrorist who conducted the attack at the Ariel Junction and the Gitai Avishar Junction earlier this week,” the IDF said in a statement. “Overnight, troops searched the area of the village of a-Zawiya, southeast of Qalqilya.” The statement added that the search had uncovered several illegal weapons and resulted in the arrests of suspects wanted in connection with terrorist activity.

Phone Hacking at Center of Political Fracas
Tuesday morning brought some embarrassment for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a report emerged in a Saudi Arabian newspaper that Iranian intelligence had hacked into the smartphones used by his wife Sara and his son Yair, just a few hours after he had chided Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for the hacking of his phone by Iranian cyber-agents. However, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office declared that "after an inquiry made with security officials, it never happened" and the Shin Bet also denied the report. During a Likud Party event Monday evening, Netanyahu said that Gantz, who he reminded his audience was in charge of a cyber security firm that went bankrupt, “was supposed to protect his phone. That is his personal failure. If Gantz can’t protect his phone, how will he protect the country?”

In related news, Labor leader Avi Gabbay addressed a factional rally at Expo Tel Aviv on Monday using his speech to, among other things, beg Labor supporters not to cast their ballots for Blue and White in order to achieve their long-time hope of unseating Netanyahu. Polls show a large percentage of voters who supported Labor in the past plan to do just that.

Internal Feuding Among Palestinian Factions
In the latest sign of intense internal feuding between rival Palestinian factions, Atef Abu Seif, the Fatah spokesman in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, was reportedly accosted from his home in the Gaza Strip by unidentified gunman Monday afternoon and severely beaten, leaving him in critical condition. Fatah has accused the Hamas terror militia, which rules the Strip, of being behind the attack. Hamas has, in turn, accused Fatah of provoking street demonstrations against it in recent days. The protesters themselves, who have been brutally suppressed by Hamas security forces, say they are fed up with Hamas’ poor leadership and the economic hardship it has caused in the Strip.

Here is a video about Hamas activities

IAG Delegation in Tel Aviv Looking for Aviation Tech
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat this week as a large group of senior representatives from the International Airlines Group (IAG) arrived in Tel Aviv’s WeWork ToHa pavilion for presentations by some of the Jewish State’s cutting edge hi-tech suppliers. “Israel is one of the leading technology centers in the world, certainly for its size,” Dupsy Abiola, IAG head of Global Innovation, told The Jerusalem Post. “If you’re serious about understanding what’s interesting and bubbling up in technology, I think you can’t ignore Israel.”

In related news, an official at the Israel Export Institute told Reuters this week that the chip manufacturing plant Intel built and recently expanded in Kiryat Gat has been largely responsible for a massive increase in the volume of Israel’s exports to China over recent years. "Israel has the technology and China has the market – the space for cooperation is big," said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at ICWise, a semiconductor consultancy in Shanghai.

Israel Blesses the World
United Hatzalah, the Israeli medical first-response organization, opened a new franchise in the South American country of Columbia this week, standing up an initial unit in the city of Cartagena. Another unit is being planned for the capital of Bogota, to be deployed in the next few weeks. Citing the long wait time for an ambulance, local Columbian medics said that they were happy to copy the model they had seen work so well in Israel.


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