This 2024 - Let's Win the Battle of Headlines
The Israeli Air Force strikes a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip after a surprise attack earlier in the day by Hamas, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
  • Words count:
    313 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    October 7, 2023
  • Media:
    2 files,
Headline
IDF strikes Hamas terror sites in Gaza
Intro
Hamas fired 3,000 rockets and dispatched dozens of terrorists into Israeli communities.
text

The Israel Air Force on Saturday attacked 17 "military" compounds and four operational headquarters of the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Navy killed dozens of Hamas terrorists who attempted to penetrate Israeli territory using at least four vessels.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1710656684622860539
https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1710659599294972136

Hamas killed at least 250 Israelis on Saturday as the organization fired more than 3,000 rockets at the country’s South and Center and dispatched dozens of terrorists into communities located along the Gaza border.

More than 1,500 Israelis were evacuated to hospitals across the country.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1710607937519890828

The Palestinian rocket fire began around 6:30 a.m., a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary (on the Gregorian calendar) of the surprise Egyptian and Syrian attack that started the Yom Kippur War.

Rocket alert sirens were activated as far south as Arad and Dimona, in Tel Aviv in the central region and in Jerusalem in the mountains.

A Hamas rocket fired from the Gaza Strip strikes a building in Tel Aviv, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Gidon Markovich\TPS.

Hamas terrorists penetrated several Israeli communities, with footage circulating online showing Palestinians driving vehicles and opening fire on civilians in the city of Sderot.

In response, the IDF engaged the invading terrorists and dozens of fighter jets carried out air strikes on Hamas assets in Gaza.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1710586299592081657

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other high-ranking officials.

The Israel Defense Forces was ordered to a “state of war readiness” and Gallant authorized the call-up of reserve troops.

He also announced a “special security situation” within 80 kilometers of the Gaza Strip, enabling the IDF to close relevant sites and impose safety restrictions on the population.

The IDF later announced the launch of an operation named “Iron Swords.”

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
More From Press+
  • Words count:
    567 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

Three online fundraising campaigns in support of Israeli citizens sanctioned by the Biden administration for "undermining peace" in Judea and Samaria were taken down following an Associated Press investigation, the news agency reported over the weekend.

Israeli crowdfunding platform Givechak closed down an appeal for Yinon Levi, a farmer in the South Hebron Hills of Judea, according to the report. Before the fundraiser was taken down, more than 3,000 donors worldwide had contributed over $140,000 for Levi and his farm.

After AP requested comment from Givechak, Levi's page was deleted, and the transfer of the money was put on hold. According to legal documents shared with the outlet, Levi's family has filed a lawsuit to try to release the funds.

JGive, a Jerusalem-based crowdfunding website for nonprofits, likewise took down a campaign for Levi over the weekend, telling AP it had "blocked donations in compliance with the sanctions order."

Meanwhile, New York-based Charidy.com deleted a $31,000 fundraiser for David Chai Chasdai, another Israeli sanctioned by the United States.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order targeting "persons undermining peace, security and stability" in Judea and Samaria, citing "high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages and property destruction."

The White House named four Israeli Jews as the targets of sanctions: Yinon Levi of Meitarim Farm; David Chai Chasdai of Givat Ronen; Einan Tanjil of Kiryat Ekron; and Shalom Zicherman of Mitzpe Yair.

Faced with the prospect of being cut off from the U.S. monetary system, Bank Leumi—Israel's largest bank—subsequently informed Levi that his accounts would be suspended. Chasdai had his account at the state-owned Postal Bank frozen, while reports indicated that Tanjil's and Zicherman's accounts at Bank Hapoalim would follow shortly.

On Feb. 14, the Honenu legal defense group announced its lawyers had sent a "warning letter" to the Bank of Israel on behalf of the four families, demanding that the supervisor order financial institutions to "immediately remove all restrictions that were imposed."

In the letter, Honenu stressed that Israeli banks have discretionary powers in individual cases and must examine the "unique and particular circumstances" of their customers before acting upon sanctions imposed by foreign countries.

Honenu vowed to "stand alongside these heroes who were hurt by the visceral hatred for the settlement" of Judea and Samaria.

"Our appeal to the supervisor is the first action within the framework of the legal procedures that we intend to take, as long as the cardinal damage is not rectified," the organization said.

On Feb. 14, Israeli lawmaker Amit Halevi summoned a meeting of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday to explore ways Jerusalem can come to the aid of citizens who face sanctions.

"If the issue cannot be solved through political channels and if the regulator, the Bank of Israel, does not put out clear instructions, we suggest a new law. In these cases—when there are sanctions of foreign states of Israeli citizens—we must back those citizens," Halevi told JNS.

One of the options suggested by coalition lawmakers entails the Israeli government providing an open-ended loan to affected families.

"We're not talking about sanctions against businessmen that have billions, like [tycoon Roman] Abramovich, because he did business with Russia; we're talking about simple families that work in agriculture. We must defend their right to live," said Halevi.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    285 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

Israel will start transferring humanitarian supplies directly to the northern Gaza Strip to bypass the Hamas terrorist group, the War Cabinet decided on Saturday night.

In the coming days, trucks carrying supplies bound for the parts of Gaza already conquered by Israeli forces will enter near the Karni crossing at the northeastern end of the Strip, which was permanently closed in 2011, with the last remaining structures of the cargo terminal demolished by the Israeli military in 2022.

On Dec. 15, Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing for the transfer of aid to the Strip after intense U.S. and international pressure. All the Israeli crossings to Gaza had been shuttered after the Oct. 7 massacre, with only Egypt’s Rafah crossing from Sinai remaining open.

However, Hamas has been hijacking up to 60% of the aid entering the Gaza Strip.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is suspending aid deliveries to northern Gaza via Egypt's Rafah crossing, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

“The desperate behavior of hungry and exhausted people is preventing the safe and regular passage of our trucks,” Tamara Alrifai, director of external relations for UNRWA, told the British newspaper.

Sporadic protests have taken place over the past two months at Kerem Shalom in an attempt to block aid trucking from resupplying Hamas while the terrorist group continues to hold Israelis hostage and fight a war against Israel.

Activists have also attempted to block the aid trucks at the smaller Nitzana crossing to Sinai and at the Ashdod port.

Clashes broke out between Israeli security personnel and protesters at the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza on Feb. 22, with one of the demonstrators reportedly injured by security forces.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    1156 words
  • Type of content:
    News
  • Byline:
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    3 files

IDF Master Sgt. Zohar Kochavi narrowly escaped death three times this year. Once fleeing the Hamas attack at the Supernova music festival and twice as a soldier fighting in the Gaza Strip. He is eager to return to the front.

Kochavi, with his girlfriend, Shiraz Amir, at his side, described his close calls to Channel 13 on Saturday evening, and his determination to return to combat, while pointing out footage of himself taken at the music festival and in the thick of the Gaza fighting.

"If this war continues, and they'll need me, I'll be there. Even if they don't need me. Even if they'll tell me, 'Sit at home,'" said Kochavi, who serves in the Oz Brigade, also known as the "Commando Brigade," a special operations force.

Kochavi was at the Supernova concert with his girlfriend when the terrorists attacked on Oct. 7. More than 360 people were killed and 40 kidnapped.

Kochavi and Amir arrived by car early that Saturday morning. Shortly afterwards, the terrorist assault began with a heavy barrage of rockets.

Amir related how Kochavi had bought a tent, shade canopy, mat and other camping equipment. When the rockets started, "he insisted on packing away all the things and taking home all he'd invested in."

Amir said she couldn't function. She was in shock from the shelling. "I stood on the side and cried while he folded up everything."

"I took my time and today I know that there's a possibility that this is what saved us," Kochavi said, suggesting that if they'd started off immediately, they might have been caught on the way and killed by the terrorists.

When they finally reached Kibbutz Be'eri, they spotted a white security vehicle stopped along the road; a security officer warned them that terrorists were ahead. They turned back to the site of the festival.

Amir wanted to enter a reinforced structure they had passed, built to withstand rocket attack. It was filled with people. "I thought, 'They know what they're doing,'" she said. Then they saw a man exit a nearby vehicle with a bullet in his foot and they realized the terrorists were close. Amir still wanted to enter the structure but Kochavi said, "We're moving."

Most of those hiding in such structures were slaughtered.

As they traveled south, they reached a traffic jam. They abandoned the vehicle and continued on foot. When Kochavi heard shots, he told Amir, "Run as fast as you can and don't stop"—words she said still echo in her ears.

Kochavi filmed part of it with his cellphone and young people can be seen running. "Everyone's fleeing," he says, out of breath.

Ultimately, what saved them was a vehicle that passed by. They jumped aboard and insisted, "You have to take us."

They reached their apartment in Tel Aviv but "didn't have time to digest what they'd experienced," the report noted.

Kochavi, who had only recently finished a commando course, received his IDF call-up notice two hours later. He headed south.

"Shiraz tried to convince me: 'Don't go. Don't leave me alone,'" Kochavi related. "I explained to her this is my time. It's for this that I trained. For this I fought. For this I have my team, who are incredibly strong, and it'll be OK. Don't worry."

It was on the first day of fighting in Beit Hanun, a city in the northeastern Gaza Strip, that Kochavi received his first wound. Terrorists in a building fired a salvo at his head, missing him by centimeters, he said. He suffered a shrapnel wound to his hands and a comrade had to pull him to safety.

"I had a feeling something would happen to me and that I won't return," Kochavi admitted, which led him to write a letter to his family and to Amir in the event of his death.

Kochavi teared up as he read the letter aloud during the Channel 13 segment: "My Dear Family, If you're reading this letter, it's a sign that I'm in a better place. I'm there above. I hear you and see you. I want to tell you that maybe physically I'm not there, but I'll always be by your side even without your noticing."

Zohar Kochavi reads aloud the letter he wrote in the event of his death, his mother and girlfriend at his side. Screenshot.

While the first injury was a near-miss, the second, a few days later, was more serious. Hamas used a drone to drop an explosive on a group of IDF soldiers as they were resupplying.

Remarkable footage from the terrorist drone was shown in the television segment as the rocket falls and blows up beside the soldiers, dropping a number of them to the ground. Thirteen soldiers were wounded, including Kochavi.

"This happened really in a place where a soldier is supposed to feel the most protected," Kochavi said of the resupply area defended by raised sand walls, where soldiers return to stock up on food and water.

The soldiers didn't know that it was a drone at first and they fired on nearby structures. Kochavi took part in helping another wounded soldier. He felt as if a fist was pressing continuously in his side. He expected it to go away but it only grew worse.

He continued to fight but after 10 minutes his hand fell asleep and he started to feel weaker. His GoPro camera filmed the event and Kochavi can be heard groaning from the pain even as he fires on surrounding buildings.

Only when he woke up in Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon did he learn that two pieces of shrapnel had entered his side, one practically touching a major artery. "Everything hurt," he said. "I couldn't walk."

"It will sound a little weird," Amir confided, but her concern for Kochavi saved her. "I didn't function after Nova," she said. "And when [the injury] happened, I left the house. I moved into the hospital and I had something to worry about. That was my treatment."

Zohar Kochavi recovers in Barzilai Medical Center, in Ashkelon, with support from his girlfriend, Shiraz Amir. Screenshot.

Kochavi's mother, Fanny, admitted she was happy that he was wounded because it took him out of Gaza.

Kochavi is determined to return to combat, however. He is taking physical therapy to build back his strength.

Amir and Kochavi had what they described as a "very difficult conversation" about it. Amir, in the end, decided to support him. "If that's what will help him go on with life with a tranquil spirit, I'm with him," she said.

"My stomach churns. It's hard to hear it," said Fanny. "But I can't hold him back. He's 27 years old."

At the end of the television segment, Kochavi brought out his army fatigues to show where the shrapnel entered. "This is the first and this is the second," he said, pointing to two small holes in his shirt. "And I will wear it still."

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    960 words
  • Type of content:
    News
  • Byline:
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

As the Biden administration repeatedly pushes for a "two-state solution," which more than half of Israelis oppose, David Friedman, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, unveiled his plan for peace at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Given how so many countries are turning on the Jewish state, it is untenable to do nothing about the Palestinian issue, but a two-state solution is unrealistic, Friedman said at the Feb. 22 event.

“Give up all the fantasies,” he said.

Friedman called the notion of a Palestinian state side-by-side with the Jewish one “the mother’s milk of the Democratic party, and to an extent, the Republicans.” But after Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, “there can’t be a two-state solution,” he said. He noted that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians has told pollsters it approved of the attack.

Israelis were evenly divided on a two-state solution until a few months ago, Friedman said. “Not any more.” The prior day, the Knesset—across political divides—voted 99-11 against unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. The Labor Party boycotted the vote, and the 11 were Arab party members.

Friedman's is a “generational plan,” which he said will take years and starts with an ultimatum to terrorists.

“Those of you who want to kill us, we’re going to kill you first. We’re not going to give in to terrorism,” he said. “Those who want to live with us, live with us.”

Jerusalem, Washington and Abraham Accord countries would lead the plan, with Israel retaining sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. As in the Marshall Plan for postwar Europe, Palestinian areas would be built up, funded by Gulf states. Palestinians would have “maximum civil autonomy,” with Israel retaining control of security, Friedman said.

As permanent residents, Palestinians would have Israeli documents, and though they could vote in local elections, they wouldn't participate in national ones, lest they have the chance to alter Israel's identity as a Jewish state.

“There are 30 Muslim states. If you want to live in one, pick one. There’s only one Jewish state,” Friedman said at the event. Palestinians would have full civil rights “other than the right to destroy the world’s only Jewish state through demographic power.” Israeli Arabs would retain their right to vote in national elections.

Friedman anticipated charges that his plan would amount to apartheid.

“Is America an apartheid state?” he asked, noting that residents of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can't elect a U.S. president and have non-voting congressional representation.

“These arrangements are accepted because there are significant reciprocal benefits,” Friedman said. “Israel has to help the Palestinians get out from the depths.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks to members of the press during an event in Jerusalem on Oct. 14, 2018. Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

'Biblical homeland'

Friedman unveiled the plan of his nonprofit, the Friedman Center for Peace Through Strength, in a session that introduced the Christian and Jewish grassroots group Keep God’s Land.

Per its site, the group, which was founded after Oct. 7, is “dedicated to strengthening and defending Israel’s right to its biblical homeland, with the ultimate goal of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.”

The prior day, the National Religious Broadcasters announced a “Biblical Heartland Resolution,” urging members to refer to "Judea and Samaria" when reporting on the region, not the “the erroneous term ‘West Bank.'"

The board of the NRB passed a resolution on Feb. 20 pledging “continued support and friendship with Israeli in her time of need,” condemning terrorism and calling on Hamas to release all of the hostages. It also noted the important role Christian media play in educating about Jew-hatred.

The NRB's large annual gathering of evangelical media outlets and personalities, held in Nashville this year from Feb. 20 to 23, had a strong emphasis on Israel.

Friedman participated in several events during the conference, and former U.S. president Donald Trump called his former ambassador to Israel to the stage to deliver remarks during Trump's address on Feb. 22.

Had Trump been in office last year, Hamas would never have been able to invade Israel, because Trump cut off funds to Hamas and hamstrung Iran, Friedman told those assembled. The Biden administration reversed both of those, he said. “We’re feeling the pain now because of that.”

Friedman added that his plan for the Palestinians follows the biblical promise that Israel is the land of the Jewish people and said it would grant civil rights to all and “recognizes that every human being is created in the image of God.”

David Friedman
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks at the Jewish Federation's annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, Oct. 24, 2018. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

Middle East abhors a vacuum

“Let’s not let the perfect get in the way of the possible,” Friedman told attendees, anticipating Palestinian opposition to his plan.

He noted that there is no clear successor to aging, widely-unpopular Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. In the aftermath of the war against Hamas, “Israel will have to increase security” to address the “vacuum,” Friedman said.

Stability can be improved with initiatives to build real lives for Palestinians, not by recycling refugee camps and a grievance mentality, according to Friedman. Palestinian leaders who can create opportunities for a better and freer Palestinian future are needed also.

The plan “addresses needs on the ground, including the need to improve the Palestinian quality of life,” Friedman said. It also builds on the success of the Abraham Accords, he said.

With Israel retaining sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, the plan would ensure that sites sacred to many people of faith remain open and protected.

“You’re going to live here forever," he told Palestinians. "We can prosper together.”

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    779 words
  • Type of content:
    Magazine/Feature
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

A walk around the Tower of David is a one-stop shop for architecture in Jerusalem from the times of the kings of Judea in the First Temple period 2,800 years ago until today.

There are walls from the Hasmoneans, towers from King Herod, a banquet room from the Crusaders and arched walls from the Ottomans to name just a few. 

Now the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum welcomes the latest layer in the Old City's architecture with the addition of the Angelina Drahi Entrance Pavilion, which opens its doors next month.

After more than a decade of planning and three years of construction, the final part of the $50 million renewal of the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum is complete with the opening of the new multi-level sunken entrance pavilion.

The 1,000 square meter (10,763 square feet) building nestled between the walls of Jerusalem's Old City and the ancient citadel walls is barely noticeable from the Jaffa Gate Plaza.

The Tower of David Museum. Photo by Dor Pazuelo.

Building regulations forbid building above the height of the Old City walls, so the architects and engineers needed to plan for excavating the site 17 meters/18.6 yards down to build the pavilion that now houses the ticket office of the museum, a changing exhibition gallery, and a labyrinth of offices for the Education Department underground and a shaded seating area outside. In May, the coffee shop will open.

A duty and an honor

The ancient citadel was transformed into a welcoming and accessible environment under the direction of Kimmel Eshkolot Architects, Professor Etan Kimmel and lead architect Yotam Cohen-Sagi.

“The opportunity to bring the 21st century to this ancient iconic site is both a duty and an honor," says Kimmel.

"We were set the task of renovating one of the earliest and most important architectural treasures of Jerusalem. Our challenge boiled down to our ability to find solutions to preserve the ancient stones that represent Jerusalem’s past without compromising their historic value or their beauty while planning new architectural structures and introducing modern infrastructure using modern materials to create a fruitful, interesting meeting between the new and the old,” he explains.

The first people to go on site were the archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

"You only need to use a teaspoon to dig up antiquities in the Old City of Jerusalem, and this is even more true when you are building a structure underground next to a citadel thousands of years old," says Cohen-Sagi.

The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem's Old City, May 4, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

No great treasures from Jerusalem's past were found during construction and the building of the pavilion could go ahead as planned.

The renewal and conservation of the museum was led by the Clore Israel Foundation.

“No other museum can tell Jerusalem’s story in such a distinctive setting, within this citadel that has witnessed so many eventful periods in the city's past," says Eilat Lieber, director and chief curator of the museum. 

"Alongside the physical conservation of the walls and towers of this ancient site, we have developed a completely new permanent exhibition and creative programming that tells Jerusalem's long, complex and colorful history in respectful, innovative and engaging ways," she adds.

The museum now boasts 10 galleries spread throughout the ancient citadel that bring the story of Jerusalem to life through ancient artifacts mixed with the latest in immersive and interactive technology.

Designing Memory at the Tower of David Museum. Photo by Ricky Rachman.

The new pavilion allows for a change in the flow of visitors.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion says, “The new Tower of David Jerusalem Museum at the Jaffa Gate will serve as the new gateway to Jerusalem for the millions of visitors, tourists and pilgrims who want to explore the city’s rich and complex history before visiting the religious sites and ancient alleyways of the Old City.”

The entrance should have been opened on Nov. 3 but the Hamas war changed these plans. The museum opened on Oct. 9, the third day of the war, and has been running activities and guided tours for evacuated families, arts and crafts fairs for artists from the north and south as well as education programming for school children, all free of charge. 

"When we opened the museum, we didn’t know who would come," admits Lieber.

It quickly became clear that for the thousands of visitors who arrived, the museum offered a reprieve from the shadows of the war, she says. One visitor, who had been evacuated from Moshav Kfar Maimon, near the northern Gaza Strip, says that standing surrounded by the ancient Jerusalem stones gave a historical perspective and some hope.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    356 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh's government could offer its resignation "within days" as part of a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, Sky News Arabia reported on Sunday.

The move would be meant to facilitate the swift establishment of a Palestinian "government of technocrats" whose primary purpose would be the reconstruction of Gaza, sources in Ramallah told Sky News.

The government is expected to be headed by Mohammad Mustafa, currently the chairman of the P.A.'s Palestine Investment Fund. It would serve during a "transition period" until elections are held.

On Feb. 12, P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Doha at the invitation of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss ways to incorporate Hamas into a P.A.-led body for Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Following Abbas's trip, Hamas reportedly approved a three-step plan leading to "complete reconciliation [with the Palestinian Authority]" and the terrorist group joining the Palestine Liberation Organization, which controls the P.A., under a "unified Palestinian-Arab vision."

Hamas officials told Saudi-based Asharq News that while it welcomes cooperation with the P.A., the terrorist group demands to be consulted on "every step," including the members of the prospective government.

The United States wants the P.A. to assume control of Gaza after the war against Hamas ends, a move that Israel vehemently rejects because of Ramallah's overt support for terrorism.

On Jan. 27, Abbas's spokesman told Al Arabiya television that the P.A. is prepared to hand over the reins to Hamas after the conflict. Ramallah is "prepared to hold general elections, and if Hamas wins, the president will hand over the Authority," spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said.

The U.S. State Department has refused to rule out Hamas retaining power in Gaza or even joining a P.A.-led governing body that would also have jurisdiction in Judea and Samaria.

According to Palestinian polls, 89% of Palestinians support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas. Only around 8.5% said they favor an authority controlled exclusively by Abbas's Fatah faction.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    330 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

Israel's Education Ministry is warning of "panic-inducing costumes" ahead of next month's Purim holiday as the country continues to grapple with the Hamas war that began on Oct. 7.

According to the ministry, the directive issued to schools and kindergartens comes "in the shadow of the war and in accordance with the security reality and the characteristics of the current period."

Administrators and teachers are recommended to sit down with students and parents to discuss "how to properly celebrate the holiday" with the recognition of the "worry or sadness they experience."

Additionally, the guidelines state that "care must be taken to avoid arriving in costumes that may cause fear, panic, or injury to another."

In the coming days, educational teams will discuss with students the costumes they intend to wear, "with the aim of considering together with them about how to choose a costume that will give them a creative and joyful personal expression, without endangering the costume-wearers and their environment. Also, the students are required to show sensitivity and personal responsibility in choosing the costume, so as not to harm the other."

The wartime mood has put a damper on preparations for the usually joyful holiday celebrating the biblical story of the Jewish Queen Esther saving the Jewish people from Haman, the evil vizier of the Persian King Achashverosh. It takes place from sunset on March 23 until sunset on March 24.

Many municipalities across Israel have decided to cancel or alter traditional events, including Holon nixing the popular Adloyada parade.

An exception is Jerusalem, which plans on celebrating Purim as usual, including the party on Nissim Becher Street in the Nachalot neighborhood and dressing famous buildings in monster costumes. Jerusalem is also looking at the possibility of holding an Adloyada parade for the first time since 1957.

"The Jerusalem municipality decided to hold the events out of a desire to be happy, and to show that the capital of Israel continues to live and be happy even in difficult times," Ynet reported.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    222 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

One in five Israeli seniors is living without proper home heating due to financial constraints, a phenomenon exacerbated by the Hamas war's effects on the economy, a survey released on Sunday finds.

The findings of the Geocartography survey prompted the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to allocate an additional 10 million shekels ($2.76 million) of funding to help 27,000 households across Israel. 

The seniors most heavily impacted economically by the war, now in its fifth month, were those between the ages of 65 and 69, 23% of whom said the war had forced them to adjust or limit spending as a result of the current financial climate. 

Seniors in the Israeli Arab sector were especially hard hit financially in the wake of the Hamas attack, the polling found.

“Every winter presents major challenges for Israel’s elderly, but there is no doubt the war in Israel has caused greater financial constraints on this already vulnerable community,” said IFCJ President Yael Eckstein.

“With the help of our hundreds of thousands of friends and supporters around the world, the Fellowship is blessed to increase our ongoing support of Israel’s elderly, through practical and financial assistance to help them during these challenging winter months,” she said.

The survey, which was conducted in mid-January among 400 Israelis aged 65 and up, had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
  • Words count:
    1115 words
  • Type of content:
    News
  • Byline:
  • Publication Date:
    February 25, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

Korniychuk Yevgen has been Ukraine's ambassador to Israel since 2020. Since before Russia's invasion of his country in February 2022, he has argued that Israel is not doing enough when it comes to assisting Ukraine.

Since the invasion, his efforts to increase Israeli assistance to Ukraine have only increased.

Q: Thank you, ambassador, for the interview. What is the situation in Ukraine two years after the Russian invasion?

A: I should remind you that not many intelligence communities in the world...believed that we would last more than two to three weeks as an independent nation, but after two years of war, we control the majority of our territory, which by itself, I believe, means victory.

We are stronger than we were two years ago. The majority of the population believe we can win, meaning that we could liberate all of our independent territories that belonged to Ukraine before 2013. Our army is definitely, in technical and human terms, one of the strongest among the world, and within the last month we were able to sign security cooperation agreements with various states, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Denmark and some other nations.

Q: Let me ask about the situation on ground—we saw several reports about the Russians claiming to conquer a few areas?

A: I'm not sure that taking a small town, which had a population of about 25,000 before the invasion, is a great victory. Our aim is to save human lives, the lives of our soldiers, and if based on practical considerations we decided to withhold our troops and move them to other territories, that doesn't mean a great victory for Russians. Again, they were supposed to control the whole country within a month of the beginning of the war, and now after two years, they are claiming victory if they capture a small town in the Donbass area. I don't think it's a victory at all.

Q: It seems that since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has started to be a major drone producer?

A: Not just drones—we're producing a lot of different types of ammunition and military equipment. Some of them we've been making as a joint venture with the Western countries. ... We realized that the war is unfortunately a marathon, this is why we had to invest in our own production. And that's what we've been doing, successfully.

Q: What changes do you see, if at all, since Oct. 7 regarding global attention on the war in Ukraine?

A: We have the same enemy, which is Russia and Iran. And most of the Israeli people will agree with me. The political leadership will most likely not. But if now the same Iranian drones that are being used against Ukraine are also being used by Yemen, you will agree with me that we are fighting the same enemy. Of course, Iran is not going to be at the forefront of the war, but it will supply, it will support pro-Iranian proxies all over Israel. And that's the same as the Russians have been doing, meeting with Hamas and Hezbollah leadership in Moscow, and with the Iranians.

In terms of the media, it was for us more difficult because a lot of the attention was drawn to the war in Israel after Oct. 7, but we are working hard to keep it [in the headlines of the] major international media outlets around the world.

Q: What would you like to see more of from the Israeli side?

A: I wish we could do more together with the Israeli government, but again, this is not a one-man show—the Israeli government has to agree to do more. So, for example, I should remind you that we have the bill now in Congress pushing financial aid mostly to Ukraine and Israel. And I should say that we should do more in order to push to have the vote in Congress as quickly as possible for this important act that will provide financial aid for Ukraine and Israel.

Q: But how much disappointment is there that we know exactly what the Russian stance is on the war in Gaza, yet still, Israel is not changing its position regarding the Ukrainian war?

A: Listen, I am not an adviser to the Israeli government. And you know that I have heavily criticized them for not having a more proactive position towards Russia and Ukraine. But this is not up to me. I'm a foreign diplomat. You know, I think this is more for the Israeli people, who should call on their government to change its position and do more.

You don't need any proof of who the enemy is, and yet you will probably not find one sentence of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu criticizing the Russian leadership. Your ambassador to Moscow has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, and since the beginning of war I have been summoned to the Foreign Ministry five times.

Which is the problem...I am trying to explain that we have the same enemy and that they have to be more proactive and work closer together against that enemy.

Q: Is Ukraine getting the same assistance as they got before the war here in Israel?

A: We have a problem because of the U.S. election at the end of the year. And now Trump's influence on Congress is pretty high. This is why this isn't related to the war in Israel, but rather to the Democrats versus Republicans in Congress. And you know that Republicans are at the majority in Congress, that's why we have a problem. It's not related to Israel, but again, you have your own lobbying abilities in Congress, and we do as well. So we think, I think we have to work together, because the aid to Israel and aid to Ukraine is the same deal.

Q: How do you think the war will end?

A: Like I said, this is a marathon. This is not a sprint. We all understand that. And no matter how tired the public in Ukraine is, more than 80% wants to liberate all of our territories and push forward. So this is the key message. So I'm sure you have seen, we have had a big gathering in Habima Square, together with the mayor of Tel Aviv. The same gathering is what's going on in all major cities of Israel in support of Ukraine. We have to stay united. And this is what most of the people in Ukraine and people in Israel understand. And we need to stay strong and defeat our enemy and achieve full victory. And that's what we're focused on.

Amichai Stein is the diplomatic correspondent for Kan 11, IPBC.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-37052883-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-K6H02W22XT'; document.head.appendChild(script); script.onload = function () { window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-K6H02W22XT'); gtag('event', 'page_view', { 'Topics': 'israeli-air-force,idf,hamas,gaza-strip,hostages,palestinian-terrorism', 'Categories': 'israel-at-war', 'publication_date': '23/10/7', 'article_type': 'Brief', }); }
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates