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Resources updated between Monday, May 03, 2021 and Sunday, May 09, 2021

May 7, 2021

Weapons found with the terrorists (Photo courtesy of the Israel Police Spokesperson)

Three Palestinians who opened fire at Border Police soldiers near a military base in the northern West Bank on Friday initially planned to commit a "major attack" against civilians in central Israel, army and police officials said on Friday.

The three attackers, all in their early 20s, were traveling on a bus with illegal Palestinian laborers en route to central Israel, and initially had plans to commit the shooting there, a security official said.

Forces had halted the bus near the border crossing between Israel and the West Bank as part of routine security efforts to stop illegal laborers from entering Israel. Shortly after, the three Palestinians got off the bus and opened fire at the soldiers.

"A major attack was prevented thanks to the sharp, determined and professional combat efforts of the border police officers," said the head of the IDF's Central Command Tamir Yadai, during a visit to the scene.

Yadai said forces had been on high alert and reinforced during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"According to our assessment, you managed to prevent the terrorists from carrying out an attack inside Israel," Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai told the officers at the scene.

A security official told Army Radio that forces had foiled "a Sarona 2," a reference to the June 2016 attack where gunmen opened fire on the upscale Sarona market and restaurant area in Tel Aviv, killing four people.

Channel 12 reported that the three were believed to have been trying to reach Jerusalem.

As the three were about to be searched, they opened fire.

"The terrorists fired at the gate of the base. Border Police officers and an IDF soldier responded by firing and neutralizing the three terrorists," police said in a statement.

Two of the attackers were killed and the third was critically wounded when officers on the scene returned fire. The injured attacker was taken by the IDF to the Emek Medical Center near Afula for treatment.

He was later transferred to Rambam hospital in Haifa, with very serious head injuries.

The official said there was no prior intelligence that the three planned an attack and they did not have a history of involvement in terror groups. Initial investigations indicated that the bus driver was unaware of their intentions.

However, Israel's Kan public broadcaster, quoting Palestinian sources, said the three were identified with the Hamas terror group.

They said two came from the West Bank village of Shuweika, while the third was from the city of Tulkarem

Aside from the makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun each assailant used, knives were found on each of their bodies.

Sergeant S. who led the force during operational activity outside the gate of the base said she and her soldiers identified three armed suspects running towards them, and opening fire.

"We loaded our weapons and grabbed cover as we responded with gunfire. During the gunbattle we heard bullets whizzing over our heads, she said, adding that she "hopes this will be the last event like this."

The attack came amid rising tensions in Jerusalem, the West Bank and along the Gaza border. Police bolstered their presence in Jerusalem on Friday ahead of prayers to mark the final weekend of Ramadan.

It came a day after the funeral of Yehuda Guetta, a 19-year-old student who was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting attack at Tapuah junction in the West Bank earlier this week, and who died of his injuries on Wednesday night.

Additionally, tensions are high in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah where there have been ongoing protests over the last week as dozens of Palestinians are at risk of being evicted following a long legal battle with right-wing Jewish Israelis trying to acquire property in the neighborhood, just north of Jerusalem's Old City.

The clashes have raised fears of sparking a wider conflict with the Hamas terror group and other factions in Gaza, warning of renewed violence over the issue.

On Thursday, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said Israel will be held responsible for "every drop of blood [that is] shed in Palestine," a day after a 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with the IDF.

Echoing similar rhetoric, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another Gaza-based terror group warned Israel "not to test the patience of our fighters," in a statement on Thursday night.

'Major attack' in central Israel foiled as 3 gunmen shot near military base Document

May 6, 2021

A demonstration at the Durban Conference in 2001

The federal government says it will boycott events commemorating the 20th anniversary of a United Nations anti-racism conference in South Africa, citing the event's legacy of criticizing Israel.

A government spokesperson said Canada will join the U.S. and Australia, which have announced already that they won't be attending any of the commemorations scheduled for September.

"Canada remains committed, at home and abroad, including at the UN, to advancing human rights, inclusion and combatting antisemitism, islamophobia and systemic racism in all its forms. Canada opposes initiatives at the United Nations and in other multilateral forums that unfairly single out and target Israel for criticism," said the spokesperson.

"Canada is concerned that the Durban Process has and continues to be used to push for anti-Israel sentiment and as a forum for antisemitism. That is why we do not plan to attend or participate in events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action."

The 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, also known as Durban I after the South African city in which it was held, was disrupted by walkouts staged by national delegations offended by anti-Israel sentiments.

Canada sent a delegation but then-foreign minister John Manley stayed behind and voiced concerns about the draft communique and a push by some countries to argue that Israel was founded on racist principles.

In the end, Canada issued a statement of reservation on its final declaration, which included a statement of concern for the "plight of Palestinian people under foreign occupation." The document stopped short of directly condemning Israel.

The Conservative government subsequently boycotted similar events in 2009 and 2011; then-immigration minister Jason Kenney called the conferences a "hatefest."

Earlier this year, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Canada signed an American statement which cited the Durban anniversary and called on countries to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. That led to speculation that the Liberal government would attend events in the fall.

B'nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) issued a statement urging Canada to boycott the event again.

"This process has received longstanding support from antisemites who have hijacked the conference agenda to advance their venomous attitudes towards Israel and Jews," they wrote in a media statement.

"At a time of continuously rising antisemitism worldwide, Canada must continue its longstanding policy of boycotting Durban and rejecting all efforts to glorify or honour the outrageous events of Durban I."

Canada boycotting events marking UN anti-racism conference over concerns about anti-Israel statements Article

A demonstration at the Durban Conference in 2001

Australia will not participate in the 20th anniversary events for the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, in which Israel was singled out for opprobrium, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

"We will not associate Australia with one-sided and contentious language that singles out Israel or [with] an event that champions such language," Morrison said at an event of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne. "This is entirely consistent with my government's very strong voting position on UN General Assembly resolutions, in the Human Rights Council and elsewhere. We will continue that same approach to Durban IV later this year."

In October 2020, Australia's representative told the UN Human Rights Council that Canberra "does not support the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. It represents a missed opportunity. Instead of achieving a consensus document, which could be embraced by all states – the kind of consensus document befitting such an important cause as fighting racism – the World Conference Against Racism, and the subsequent Durban Review Conference, were misused by a handful of states to serve an anti-Israel agenda. The Durban Declaration is tainted by this unconscionable bias.

"Racism is a problem throughout the world and yet Israel is the only country mentioned in the Program of Action," Australia's statement read. "Singling out Israel in this way is not helpful, and does nothing to achieve the Durban Declaration's goals. Countries with serious cases to answer are able to avoid accountability and reform for as long as Israel is solely targeted."

The 2001 World Conference against Racism, also known as Durban I after the South African city where it took place, was a hotbed of antisemitic and anti-Israel messages, and is thought to be start of anti-Israel activists using the accusation of apartheid against the Jewish state.

An early draft of the resolution adopted at the Governmental Conference at Durban equated Zionism with racism, leading the US and Israel to withdraw from the conference. The final draft did not condemn Zionism as racist, but the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the only one listed specifically under the section on "victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

The NGO Forum at Durban approved a resolution calling Israel a "racist apartheid state" and accusing it of genocide. Antisemitic materials, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were distributed at the event. Durban Conference secretary-general Mary Robinson refused to accept the document because of the language, saying "there was horrible antisemitism present."

The Zionist Federation of Australia welcomed the decision to boycott Durban IV.

ZFA president Jeremy Leibler said, the decision "continues [Morrison's] government's principled position of refusing to cooperate with the UN's anti-Israel resolutions and activities... Racism must be fought, and international events to highlight racism are important. But the Durban process was infected by antisemitism, which undermined its raison d'ętre."

Australia is the second country to announce it has officially withdrawn from Durban IV, after a US State Department spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that it would not take part in the event scheduled for September 22 in New York.

"The United States will not attend or participate in any events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action or the World Conference on Racism, which preceded it," the State Department spokesperson stated on Monday. "The United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the Durban process's anti-Israel sentiment, use as a forum for antisemitism and freedom of expression issues."

France is expected to pull out from the conference, as well, a diplomatic source said, but has not put out an official statement yet. Several other countries that boycotted the previous two Durban review conferences, including Canada, have yet to respond to queries from the Post on the matter.

Responding to a Parliamentary Question from Baroness Deech last Month, UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon noted "the antisemitic actions and speeches in and around" Durban III, and said the UK is will consider its attendance at Durban IV in light of developments between now and September, to gauge how likely the conference is to host antisemitism again.

The German Embassy in Israel said that a decision will be announced closer to the conference. Germany did not attend past conferences.

The US did not participate in the Durban II and III follow-up conferences in 2009 and 2011, respectively, because, as then-US president Barack Obama explained in 2009, the original conference "became a session through which folks expressed antagonism toward Israel in ways that were oftentimes completely hypocritical and counterproductive." Israel, Canada, Italy, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland also boycotted the conference. In 2011, for Durban III, the number of countries boycotting rose to 14.

Australia won't go to anti-Israel Durban Conference, prime minister says Article

Yehuda Guetta; the scene of the attack at Tapuach Junction on the West Bank (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)

Israeli student critically hurt in West Bank drive-by succumbs to injuries; terrorist suspect caught Document

"...I thought there was something I should put to rest. Not that it should come as a surprise from me and my Government, but in 2009 and 2011, we did not attend the Durban Declaration meetings. We will not be attending them going forward. Our position is unchanged, a position that successive Coalition and Labor governments have reinforced since 2001. We will not associate Australia with one-sided and contentious language that singles out Israel or an event that champions such language. This is entirely consistent with my Government's very strong voting position on UN General Assembly resolutions in the Human Rights Council and elsewhere. We will continue that same approach to Durban for later this year. As I said at the Sydney Institute in December 2018, I do not accept that anti-Semitism, cloaked in the language of human rights, serves any justified purpose nor the cause of peace. Just in case anyone was in any doubt..."

Statement by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Article

May 5, 2021

A protest against an Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Uganda passes bill criminalising same-sex relationships and sex work Document

May 4, 2021

A pro-BDS demonstration. (Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Jewish Groups Applaud U.S. Decision to Stay Away From 'Anti-Israel' Durban IV Events in September Article

The Durban Review Conference in 2009 (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. pulls out of Durban anti-racism meet up, is Australia next? Article

May 3, 2021

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the Durban II Conference, 2009 (File photo)

State Dept: U.S. will not take part in Durban IV conference Article

In this image from video, a suspect attempts to stab a police officer with a sharp object near the West Bank city of Efrat on April 30, 2021 (Screenshot: Twitter)

Palestinian Stabbing Attack Thwarted near Efrat Document