Turkey lets Hamas plan terror; Israel cracks terrorist cell: Israel Update


December 20, 2019


Turkey is permitting senior Hamas operatives to plot attacks against Israel from Istanbul, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosts the leaders of the terrorist group, according to a report by the Telegraph. Transcripts of Israeli police interrogations with suspects show that senior Hamas operatives are leveraging Turkey’s largest city to direct their operations in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including an assassination attempt earlier this year on the mayor of Jerusalem. In 2015, Turkey agreed to a US-brokered deal with Israel aimed at preventing Hamas from planning attacks from its soil, but has consistently failed to honor the agreement.


Israeli security forces dismantled a 50-person Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist cell, thwarting imminent attacks. The Shin Bet (the Israel security agency) said the West Bank terrorist cell is believed to have been responsible for a string of deadly attacks, including the deadly Dolev bombing, which claimed the life of a teenage girl. Among those arrested by the Shin Bet was Khalida Jarrar, the 56-year-old head of operations for the terror group, and, until recently, vice chairperson, director, and board member of the BDS organization, Addameer. According to NGO Monitor, more than half of Addameer’s current and former employees have links to the PFLP, while other employees have ties to Hamas.


Ayelet Shaked announced she will be running with Naftali Bennett and the New Right party in the upcoming elections, after doubts were again raised about her political intentions. While Shaked will have the number two spot on the New Right list, she and Bennett will be co-chairs of the party, and it is not entirely clear who will receive the more senior ministerial role.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was discussed by presidential hopefuls during last night’s Democratic debate. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency outlines a more in-depth look at where the election’s top candidates fall on a range of issues that matter to Jewish voters, from Israel policy to the rise in anti-Semitism unfolding across the United States. 


Israeli aircrafts struck numerous Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, early Thursday, in direct response to a rocket fired hours earlier by Palestinian militants. The Israeli military said the Iron Dome defense system quickly intercepted the rocket, which was heading toward the city of Sderot in southern Israel. Two hours later, successive airstrikes targeted militant sites in Gaza City. The Israeli military issued a statement saying that the target was "a Hamas weapons manufacturing site." There were no reports of injuries.


As we conclude yet another decade and six years of Israel Updates, we will be taking the next two weeks off. If any major Israel news arises in that time, we will send an update with important information. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the holiday season and have a happy and healthy New Year!


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


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