Kiryat Gat Mayor Aviram Dahari issued an apology and vowed to remove dozens of signs posted across the city on Tuesday depicting a map of Israel excluding Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
The signs, showing a map of Israel with the pre-1967 borders alongside the text “Kiryat Gat – Israel’s New Center!” were posted by the municipality as part of a citywide PR campaign.
The signs were first noticed by the pro-Israel watchdog organization, Im Tirtzu, which launched an email petition encouraging its more than 230,000 Facebook followers to demand that the city fix the signs.
Several hours later, Kiryat Gat Mayor Aviram Dahari issued an apology on the municipality’s official Facebook page.
“Dear Im Tirtzu, I would like to thank you for drawing our attention to the issue of the map of the Land of Israel that appeared on signs throughout the city,” wrote Dahari.
“The Land of Israel, the land of our forefathers that our ancestors dreamed of, includes all the parts that you mentioned in your letter. With God’s help, we will fix the signs accordingly.”
Despite the apology, commenters on social media demanded further action.
“That’s it? Just like that? Who is responsible for the advertisement? What’s his excuse? Did you look into it?” wrote a resident of the city.
“Such a disgrace. I hope someone gets sent home for making such a ‘mistake,'” wrote another resident.
Matan Peleg, chairman of the Im Tirzu movement, stated before the apology was issued that “removing the heart of the country from the map of Israel, both physically and in a deep value sense, is an unparalleled shame. Intentional violation of the right of the state to exist in this country is a serious, unacceptable anti-Zionist act.”
“No mayor in the State of Israel has the right to erase from the map of Israel the cradle of its culture and also to draw a map that ignores half a million Israeli citizens living in those areas. This is a disgraceful and degrading step. shame,” he added.
An IDF unit on Monday night detected and arrested four armed terrorists near the Israeli community of Elon Moreh, in Samaria.
The terrorists were armed with firebombs.
The IDF stated that it spotted several suspects near the village of Izmut, near Shechem (Nablus). IDF troops were alerted to the spot, commenced with an arrest procedure that included firing into the air, and arrested the suspects who were found to be armed with Molotov cocktails.
The suspects were taken for questioning by the security forces.
Two terrorists were shot on Wednesday night while preparing to throw firebombs at IDF soldiers operating near Kafr Malik, in the Ramallah area.
The IDF stated that the soldiers identified terrorists who attempted to throw the Molotov cocktails at them and shot at them.
Two terrorists were reportedly hit. One terrorist was shot in the lower body and sustained a mild injury. The second terrorist was shot in the lower body and shoulder and is in moderate condition.
They were treated by an MDA team.
A few days ago, a number of terrorists arrived at the scene by vehicle and threw four firebombs towards the nearby IDF base and fled the scene. Following the incident, the IDF apparently set an ambush at the scene and eliminated the terrorist cell.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Tuesday with Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, a week after Israel and Bahrain signed a Declaration of Peace at the White House in Washington.
Netanyahu made a dramatic exit of an ongoing meeting of the Corona Cabinet to take the call.
Following the conversation, Netanyahu had he “an outstanding, very friendly conversation” with Bahrain’s Crown Prince.
“We reiterated the principles of the Abraham Accords and we discussed how we might quickly add content to the agreements between Bahrain and Israel and turn this peace into economic peace, technological peace, tourist peace, peace in all of these fields.”
Bahrain’s official news agency reported that during the conversation, bin Hamad “underscored the importance of securing regional and international stability and enhancing efforts to support peace in the region.”
Israel, the UAE and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House last Tuesday, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.
The UAE is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.
Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz left on Monday for a 24-hour quick visit to the United States, for important security meetings.
Gantz will meet on Tuesday with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and with other senior Pentagon officials.
Gantz stated before boarding his flight that the visit is part of Israel’s “efforts to maintain its security superiority,” and “to ensure that our quality advantage is maintained, and the continued struggle for against Iran’s establishment.”
Gantz is apparently set to discuss maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the Middle East after the US has said it is ready to sell F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates.
Israel can expect a the procurement of other advanced systems to maintain its QME in the Middle East.