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Resources updated between Monday, October 15, 2018 and Sunday, October 21, 2018

October 19, 2018

The Damascus Gate to the Old City in Jerusalem, where the property allegedly sold is located

Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested a Palestinian-American citizen on suspicion of involvement in a real estate transaction with Jews in east Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The man's family has notified the US State Department of his arrest.

Palestinian sources said that the man, a resident of Bethlehem, had worked for the PA Ministry for Local Government.

'The 55-year-old man, who is a US citizen, is being interrogated by the Palestinians security agencies in Ramallah for his role in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish organization,' the sources told The Jerusalem Post.

They said the man was suspected of acting as a 'solicitor' between the owner of the house and the Jewish organization that bought the house.

A senior PA security official in Ramallah refused to comment on the arrest of the US citizen.

US government officials said they were aware of the arrest and expressed concern that he would be treated fairly. They said the State Department was in touch with the PA regarding the arrest.

The Post has obtained a copy of the man's US passport, but due to the sensitivity of the case has chosen not to publish his name.

Last week, the Palestinian Islamic religious authorities in east Jerusalem reaffirmed a fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting Palestinians from selling their houses and lands to Israelis. Some Palestinians have called for imposing the death penalty on those who violate the ban.

One source told the Post that the man was suspected of receiving $25,000 in commission for his role in the sale of the house, which belonged to a Palestinian widow from the Muslim Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The source said it was not clear at this stage whether the man was suspected of involvement in the recent sale of another house in the Muslim Quarter to Ateret Cohanim, a yeshiva group that has long been purchasing Arab houses and lands in the Old City and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Earlier this month, Jewish families moved into the Joudeh family house near the Temple Mount, triggering a wave of protests in east Jerusalem and among many Palestinians. The PA government recently announced that it has formed a commission of inquiry to investigate how the house was sold to a Jewish organization.

The Joudeh family has strongly denied selling their house to Ateret Cohanim. Members of the family said they sold the house to Khaled al-Atari, a businessman from east Jerusalem with close ties to the PA's General Intelligence Force headed by Gen. Majed Faraj.

They said they originally sold the house to a Palestinian living in the US called Fadi Elsalameen, but canceled the contract after he failed to pay the agreed sum. Elsalameen is believed to be closely associated with deposed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, an arch-enemy of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Elsalameen claims that the PA exerted pressure on the Joudeh family to cancel the transaction and sell the house instead to Atari. He has also accused Faraj and the PA General Intelligence Force of facilitating the sale of the house, which is located a few hundred meters away from the Temple Mount, to the Jewish organization.

The Joudeh family has published a copy of a document issued by the Justice Ministry's Land Title Register Authority (Tabu), which shows that the ownership of the house was transferred to Atari on August 23, 2018.

On the same day, the ownership of the house was transferred to an overseas company called Daho Holdings Limited, according to the document.

Atari, the east Jerusalem businessman, has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation as to how the house ended up being registered under the name of a foreign company, which apparently acted as a front on behalf of the Jewish organization.

Last week, Palestinian activists in east Jerusalem summoned Atari and a representative of the Joudeh family for what some Palestinians described as a kangaroo court in an attempt to find out who sold the house to Ateret Cohanim. A video of the 'court' hearing that was later posted on Facebook has gone viral, with many Palestinians calling for the 'execution' of those involved in the transaction for 'high treason.'

On Thursday, the Israel Police arrested three east Jerusalem residents on suspicion of incitement for their role in organizing the 'court' hearing and threatening Atari. The three are: Abdullah Alqam, Fadi Mtur and Kamal Abu Kweider. The three were arrested hours before the second 'court' session was scheduled to convene on Thursday evening.

Palestinian Authority Arrests Palestinian-American For Property Sale To Jews Document

October 18, 2018

October 17, 2018

At U.N., Cuban diplomats disrupt U.S. event on Cuban political prisoners

Israeli security forces inspect the building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip

A rocket fired from Gaza landed on a Be'er Sheva home while another landed in the sea off the shores of a city in central Israel early Wednesday morning, prompting an IAF retaliatory attack in the strip.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot decided to cut short his trip to the United States following the rocket attack, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings and the reduction of the strip's fishing zone to three nautical miles.

The Security Cabinet's meeting planned for Wednesday morning, to assess whether the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire talks with Hamas are bearing fruit, was postponed in light of the situation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold security consultations with Defense Minister Lieberman, Deputy IDF chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the National Security Council, the director of the Shin Bet and other senior defense officials.

The rocket attack came a day before Kamel Abbas, the head of Egyptian intelligence, is due to arrive in Israel to discuss the ceasefire talks with Hamas.

After the early morning rockets, Hamas and Islamic Jihad released a joint statement in which they said they "oppose rocket fire that hurts the efforts to lift the siege."

The rocket alert siren went off at 3:39am in Be'er Sheva and surrounding communities in the Negev region, following which a rocket hit a house, breaking through two floors of concrete.

Seven people were treated for shock after the attack, including a 39-year-old mother and her three children aged 9, 10, and 12, who were in the house when it was hit. In addition, three people were taken to the Soroka Medical Center in the city suffering from light bruising sustained when falling as they were running for shelter.

"The mother and her children said they went into the safe room and immediately after they locked the door, they heard a big explosion and everything shook," said an MDA paramedic who treated the family.

Attorney Ora Tamano, said her sister Miri, whose Be'er Sheva house was hit by the rocket, is "a lioness. She was sleeping downstairs and the kids were in three rooms upstairs. She simply grabbed them and forcefully pulled them into the safe room. It saved their lives."

"She's still frightened and disoriented. I think she's not entirely realizing the magnitude of the disaster. Nothing is left of the house except for the safe room," Tamano added.

Police forces extracted the family from the safe room, while firefighters called to the scene started scanning the house and worked to disconnect power sources. The street was then closed, with police sappers arriving on the scene to neutralize the fallen rocket.

Due to the size of the rocket and the force of the impact, heavy damage was caused to the house that was hit and it is at risk of collapse. A house next door was hit by shrapnel from the rockets, and its balcony collapsed. Debris was scattered throughout the street, damaging parked cars and adjacent structures.

The rocket that hit the sea off the shores of one of the cities in central Israel had a bigger payload than normal.

School was cancelled in Be'er Sheva, Sderot and the Gaza border communities following the rocket fire, though Ben-Gurion University announced classes will be held as normal.

The Palestinians reported extensive Israeli airstrikes following the rocket fire, with IAF fighter jets attacking Hamas and Islamic Jihad posts east and south of Gaza City, on the beach near Beit Lahia (which may have belonged to Hamas's naval commando unit) and targets near the border fence.

At around 8:30am, the Code Red rocket alert was once again sounded in southern Israel, this time in two communities in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. There have been no reports of injuries or damage. An IAF aircraft attacked the terror cell that tried to launch rockets at Israel.

The last time a rocket was launched at Be'er Sheva was over 2 months ago, on August 8, which was the first rocket launched at the city since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. Wednesday morning's rocket was the first to hit inside the city in four years.

Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip has dropped in recent months, while the launching of incendiary and explosive balloons and rioting on the border continued unabated.

Last weekend, some 20 terrorists blew up a hole in the border fence and infiltrated Israel. The IDF opened fire at them, killing three and forcing the others to retreat back to the strip.

Since then, Defense Minister Lieberman has been calling on a daily basis to deliver a "serious blow" to Hamas, arguing it was the only way to ensure an end to the violence.

The defense minister visited the Gaza Division on Tuesday and held a situation assessment with the deputy IDF chief, the GOC Southern Command and other senior commanders.

"We are not willing to accept the level of violence we see one week after another," the defense minister told reporters, adding "a serious blow to Hamas could bring us at least five more years of quiet."

Rocket fired from Gaza hits Israeli home Document

October 16, 2018

October 15, 2018

UNRWA staff distributing UNRWA supplies (File photo)

If not for UNRWA, there would be no Palestinian refugee problem Article

A United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in Gaza

"A United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) job posting published last month offered a starting salary of over $100,000 for the position of director of external relations. The well-paid post comes despite the fact that the organization finds itself in serious financial trouble.

In the posting, UNWRA offered an attractive compensation package, including an annual salary starting at $108,189 tax free. The benefits also included dependency allowances, subsidized living, education grants for children, travel expenses, 6 full weeks of annual vacation and extensive insurance package.

The position that UNRWA is advertising pays over 14 times average annual income for a Palestinian in 2017, $6960.
...
In late September, UNRWA announced that Palestinian schools and health centers might soon have to shut down due to a gap in funding of $185 million..."

UNRWA Advertises Cushy PR Position Article

19-year-old arrested at Eliyahu Checkpoint in the West Bank, October 12, 2018

Armed Palestinian terrorist arrested at West Bank checkpoint: 'I came to kill Jews' Document

Israeli Supreme Court Justice David Mintz (File photo)

Israeli Supreme Court Justice narrowly escapes attack by Palestinian terrorists with hammers Document

The scene of an attempted stabbing attack

A Palestinian would-be terrorist tried to stab a soldier standing at a bus stop at the Gitai Avishar Junction on Highway 5 in the northern West Bank on Monday and was shot dead by soldiers from the Artillery Corps' 55th Battalion, who were on the scene. No Israeli troops hurt.

The Gitai Avishar Junction is a busy and central intersection on the highway linking the settlement of Ariel to central Israel. Hundreds of Palestinian workers travel through the junction on their way to Israel to work.

The junction was also the site of several attacks in the past, and is constantly guarded by two soldiers, who were the ones to shoot and neutralize the terrorist.

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, arrived at the scene of the thwarted attack.

"The soldiers' vigilance and them taking action saved lives and prevented a terror attack," Dagan said.

This is the third terror attack in the northern West Bank over the past eight days. An IDF reservist soldier was moderately wounded and a civilian woman was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack Thursday outside the Samaria Territorial Brigade base. The terrorist was able to escape initially, but was captured several days later.

Last Sunday, terrorist Ashraf Na'alwa murdered two Israelis-Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hagbi, 35-in a shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone. He is still at large.

Terror attack thwarted in Israel Document

Hamas terrorists (File photo)

Senate passes bipartisan bill to stop use of human shields Article