Two IDF soldiers, a border police officer, and a civilian were injured in a car ramming attack in the northern Israeli city of Acre before the driver of the car was shot.
Several Israelis Injured in Car-Ramming Attack
Behind the wheel was a fifty-one-year-old, Arab-Israeli man who used his Jeep to target Israeli security personnel near the Acre city market and train station, according to a Jerusalem Post report.
Initial witness reports said that the driver got a parking ticket for parking in a handicap spot, and appeared angry before getting in his car. Ynet now reports that security forces are confirming that the rampage was indeed a terror attack with political motivation and unrelated to the parking ticket.
The driver first ran over a soldier near the city market, then proceeded toward the train station where he plowed his vehicle into more victims. An unconfirmed report says the wounded border patrol officer managed to fire a few shots, though it is undetermined if he hit the driver. The driver was eventually shot and evacuated to a hospital.
Ynet reports that the terrorist’s family expressed shock and said they believe he may have done it because of the parking ticket, saying he did not have any terroristic “types of thoughts.” The wounded victims have moderate to light injuries.
Attack on Temple Mount Foiled
A joint investigation between Israel’s Shin Bet security services and Israeli police successfully foiled a planned terror attack on the Temple Mount after receiving good and accurate intelligence.
The plot, which was likely modeled after last summer’s attack on the Temple Mount that left two police officers dead, was interrupted in the early stages before the would-be terrorists even had the chance to get their hands on weapons.
The twenty-year-old Arab-Israeli suspects and one minor were planning to carry out the attack in the name of the Islamic State according to The Jerusalem Post.
The Shin Bet said that the suspects also discussed plans to attack synagogues, other holy sites, and to attack on Christmas.
Amid Mounting Corruption Charges, Netanyahu to Visit U.S.
After a week of police questioning in several corruption cases, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make a high-level visit to Washington D.C. later this week.
Top of the list is an Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal developed by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, with his own recent political embattlement for blurring the lines between business deals and political arrangements.
Kushner’s shady dealings are not all that, unlike Netanyahu who is under legal scrutiny for his possible involvement in several bribery cases, including allegedly granting regulatory benefits worth millions to Israeli telecom giant Bezeq.
All parties are likely to be hopeful that those issues will be left behind for this week at least as Trump and Netanyahu seek to display their close bond. Netanyahu is expected to invite Trump to the symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem later this year.
Another topic likely to be discussed in the background will be Netanyahu seeking assurances of U.S. support in keeping Iran restrained in Syria.
UK’s Prince William to Make Historic Israel Visit
It is rare to find a corner of the world without the legacy of British rule, and Israel is no exception. Since the end of British Mandate over Palestine, the royal family has afforded very little attention to one of their most-important former holdings.
This summer, however, Prince William is scheduled to make a historic visit - the first official visit from the royal family to the Holy Land since Israel became a state. To clarify, members of the royal family have visited Israel before, but always for personal trips, not in an official manner.
Israel has often invited royal members to visit various times in the past, but those invitations have been routinely turned down, a diplomatic snub characteristic of the United Kingdom’s thorny relationship with the Jewish state, which includes British condemnation of Israeli settlements.
This trip, announced on Twitter by Kensington Palace, is “at the request of Her Majesty’s government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian authorities.”
The prince’s trip also includes stops in Jordan and Palestinian territories.
The Guardian reports that both Israeli and Palestinian officials are hoping to use this as an opportunity to make their case to the UK and seek England’s political support.
Trump and King Cyrus to Share Face on Symbolic Coin
An Israeli organization is planning to mint a symbolic coin bearing the faces of President Trump and the 2,500-year-old Persian King Cyrus to honor the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem this year.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the Mikdash Educational Center is making one thousand of their “Temple Coins” to honor Trump. But right behind the profile of Trump is the shadow of another face: King Cyrus of Persia. Why?
Rabbi Mordechai Persoff explained that Trump, like Cyrus, made a “big declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the holy people.” Cyrus authorized the exiles to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city, signifying an end to the Babylonian exile. President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel by authorizing moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Is President Trump on the level of Cyrus? In the prophecies of Isaiah, Cyrus is referred to as a messiah: “Thus says the LORD to his anointed [Messiah], to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him” (Isaiah 45:1). By bringing an end to the Babylonian exile, returning exiles to Judea, and authorizing the rebuilding of Jerusalem, Cyrus performed the roles of Messiah as a sort of prefigured forerunner. Whether or not it’s appropriate to place President Trump on the same level or whether the end of the Babylonian Exile can be fairly compared with the move of an embassy seems fair to question, but the general idea is to honor those foreign potentates who honor Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.
The coin is modeled after the half-shekel Temple tax and contains 9.5 grams of pure silver. You won’t be able to buy anything with the coin, but it will cost you a minimum of $50 to get one in your pocket.
The coin might be troubling to Iranians who hold the Persian legacy of King Cyrus in high regard.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre Reopens
The doors of the holiest church in Jerusalem are back open after a brief yet rare closure in protest of a city tax feud.
The church, which is the traditional site of Yeshua’s death and resurrection, reopened on Wednesday after Israel backpedaled from a tax plan and draft property legislation that started a three-day protest. The legislation and tax plan would have collected taxes from church-owned properties such as restaurants and hotels and could have led to land confiscation.
The largest churches in Jerusalem rallied against that and successfully forced the government to back down - a testament to the immense political power held by the churches of Jerusalem.