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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

19 Dead, 20 Wounded in Terror Attack at Tunisia’s Bardo Museum

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Seven foreign tourists and a security official were among the 19 people who died Wednesday when at least five terrorists attacked the famed Bardo museum in Tunis.

In early years at the Bardo, Jewish antiquities were highlighted in the “Judaica Hall” which adjoined a museographic arrangement deployed in the great Iwan hall of the Tunisian palace, arranged by Louis Poinssot in 1932. Poinssot also reorganized the Christian department with newly-laid mosaics on its ground, and created an Islamic department in the pillared hall on the same ground floor.

As tourists gazed on the myriad wonders of the museum, however, gunmen dressed in military fatigues stormed the Bardo, killing and holding dozens of people hostage for a three hour period. Two of the terrorists were later killed by Tunisian armed forces, who freed the hostages. Three others escaped and were still at large Wednesday night local time, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. At least 20 people were wounded in the melee.

The attack was hailed on Twitter accounts aligned with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as “ghazwat Tunis” – the “raid of Tunis.” Pro-Daesh accounts tweeted kudos to the attackers.

But no terror group had officially claimed responsibility for the attack by midnight. Thousands of Tunisian citizens have traveled abroad to fight for Daesh, however, though the group has not gained a foothold in Tunisia, an Arab nation that remains home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, on the island of Djerba.

The death earlier this week of Tunisian-born Daesh field commander Ahmed Al-Rouissi, 48, may have been the trigger for Wednesday’s attack. Al-Rouissi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi, was high on Tunisia’s “Most Wanted List” for his role in assassinating politicians there. Al-Rouissi led a cohort of Daesh fighters in Libya and was killed in clashes with Libyan soldiers near Sirte, the stronghold of the late dictator, Muammar Qaddafi.

Daesh and Libya Dawn – a second radical Islamist group – are struggling for terrorist supremacy, while both are fighting with government forces in a situation similar to that in Syria.

Tunisian Interior Ministry officials said the Tunis terror operation began at around midday local time, Wataniya TV reported. Three Polish nationals were among the wounded, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

Two Italian nationals also may have been wounded, according to one report; according to the Italian foreign ministry, 100 of that nation’s citizens were confirmed safe and rescued from a tour in the museum.

“This is a black day for Tunisia,” said Karim Ben Sa’a, a tourism official. “We are very sad for these tourists. They visit our country and it is so, so sad to see them die. Our hearts are black.”

The museum, located in the heart of the Tunisian capital, is also a strategic target in that it shares the Bardot palace complex with the nation’s parliament. Police checkpoints were set up outside the offices of the nearby UK British Council.

While the parliament was immediately evacuated during the crisis, MP Sayida Ounissi tweeted, “We are not afraid.”

The attack follows a series of anti-terror activities by the Tunisian government. Last month more than 30 suspected terrorists were arrested, including a number who had returned from fighting in Syria, and some who allegedly were planning “spectacular” attacks, officials said at the time. Counter-terror forces also reportedly foiled attacks against “vital installations” in the country, including the interior ministry and civilian sites in Tunis.

It also came a day after Tunisia announced the results of a major sting operation in which a large number of weapons were seized from radical Islamist terror organizations.

Ebola Reaches Global Milestone

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The world passed a milestone on Thursday when Ebola killed it’s 10,000th person in the biggest Ebola outbreak ever, according to the World Health Organization.

Moth of the deaths occurred in West Africa.

This Ebola outbreak was first detected in March 2014.

New York Jury Convicts Saudi Man in 1998 Al Qaeda Attack on US Embassy

Friday, February 27th, 2015

A New York City jury convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ – Khaled al-Fawwaz – on charges of conspiring to kill Americans and destroy U.S. property. The verdict was handed down in a federal district courtroom on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The Saudi Arabian national was the deputy to the late terror chief Osama Bin Laden for nearly a decade, spreading his message to the West.

But he pleaded not guilty and claimed he was not a member of Al Qaeda, saying he does not condone violence. The prosecution accused Fawwaz of creating a media office in London to disseminate Bin Laden’s messages and faciliate communications between Al Qaeda members.

Fawwaz was convicted Thursday in a U.S. federal court on charges of participating in a conspiracy that led to the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

“The defendant worked for years directly and personally with Osama Bin Laden,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewis said during his opening argument, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. The messages he helped disseminate included declarations of war that called for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere in the world.

The evidence presented to the juror included printed copies of an Al Qaeda declaration of war – taken from a search of Fawwaz’s home in London – signed by Bin Laden, and floppy disks of drafts of the same message.

Lewin said the 52-year-old Saudi terrorist also helped lay the groundwork for attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people dead and more wounded.

Arguing for the defense, Bobbi Sterheim argued that Fawwaz kept the incriminating evidence in his home in order to stay informed of “both sides of the aisle.”

Bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, and Egyptian-born British cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri were both also convicted on similar terrorism charges in the past year as well. Both were sentenced to life in prison, with juries having deliberated for less than two days before reaching a verdict in each trial.

Wednesday’s verdict was seen as a victory for Washington’s efforts to prosecute suspected terrorists in civilian courts.

Israel Sends Medical Shipments to Fight Ebola

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has sent medical shipments including mobile clinics to three African countries to help combat the spread of the Ebola virus.

The mobile field hospitals and medical cargo are expected to arrive by ship in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in about a month. The equipment sent includes protective gear, a treatment cart and the full medical equipment required for setting up the clinics.

The project, known as Operation Hospitals of Hope, was overseen by MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The nonprofit Israeli organization SAREL provided the supplies and professional guidance, and the ministry paid for the mobile hospitals and to ship the containers. Once the containers arrive in their designated countries, Israeli experts will travel to help local teams set up the clinics and get them running. Israeli NGOs also are recruiting doctors to help the local medical teams operate the clinics.

“Operation ‘Hospitals of Hope’ is an integral part of the vision of MASHAV and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel of helping nations in need, including nations without diplomatic relations with Israel. We have always done so in the past, and we are doing it again today,” MASHAV head Gil Haskel said.

Boy Isolated in NY Hospital for Possible Ebola

Monday, October 27th, 2014

A 5-year-old boy who arrived in the United States on Saturday from Guinea has been hospitalized in New York City’s Bellevue Hospital for symptoms of Ebola, while senior federal officials are concerned over new quarantine policies in New York and New Jersey.

The boy was not under quarantine. He was hospitalized with a temperature of 103 degrees (39 Celsius) and vomiting.

New York has issued a quarantine policy, but the Obama administration warned that it could actually hurt the fight against Ebola because it would deter medical personnel from traveling to West Africa to fight Ebola.

.Four cases of the disease have been documented in the United States, and the first diagnosed victim, Thomas Duncan, died from Ebola.

The quarantine requires people exposed to anyone with Ebola in New York to stay in their homes for 21 days and be checked twice a day by professionals.

Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their “valor” and “compassion,” while also protecting public safety at home.

Reacting to the quarantine, the Obama administration stated, “We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was not changing the policy even though he praised medical workers fighting Ebola “for their valor and their courage and their compassion.”

New Jersey faces a lawsuit by a nurse who was quarantined for 21 days in a hospital after returning from treating Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. She argued that the quarantine violated her constitutional rights.

Gov. Chris Christie said he was sorry that the quarantine made the nurse “uncomfortable but that he had “the people in New Jersey as my first and foremost responsibility to protect.”

Another suit is expected to be filed this week by a patient in Texas wo was quarantined but not tested positive for Ebola.

Beware! Beheading Becoming New Fashion for Jihad Terrorists

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Beware! Beheading is rapidly becoming the new fashion method for terrorists. The Islamic State’s methods are spreading very quickly to other geographic arenas in the Middle East and Africa.

In the past couple of weeks we have heard about cases of beheading in numerous other countries. There have been such cases reported in Lebanon, in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and in Nigeria as well, the latter carried out by the Boko Haram group who kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls for slaves several months ago.

Unfortunately the media – especially the social media – has no doubt played a major role in exporting the idea of beheading from Iraq and Syria to other parts of the world.

Reports of the incidents zip around the world with each new beheading, although such barbaric methods are not new. Journalist James Foley was not the first victim. And journalist Steve Sotloff, a Jewish Israeli-American dual citizen who hid both his Judaism and his Israeli citizenship, just joined his beheaded colleague.

We have already seen what Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi did to Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. We saw what happened to British soldier Lee Rigby in the streets of London.

Now, I am afraid, beheading has become a fashion; an acceptable, legitimate, ‘regular’ method of jihad.

The Western silence is shocking. Everyone says it is “there” and not “here.” “Who cares about ‘them’?” “Let them kill each other.”

Where are the demonstrations against the beheading of the Yazidis? Where is the support for the Christians in Nigeria? Where are all the moderate Muslims? Why don’t we hear their condemnation of this ‘fashion’ of beheading?

The world is sleep-walking!!

Be warned: if the world continues to simply bat helplessly away in deafening silence, beheading will become a fashion in “our” place as well. If will cross continents and oceans, and no place will remain immune.

Wake up before it’s too late. I hope and pray I am wrong; but I fear that I am only too right.

Liberman Begins African Tour

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman arrived in Rwanda for the first leg of a 10-day African tour that will also take him to Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya. 

Liberman began the visit by placing a wreath at a memorial site to the 1994 victims of the Rwandan genocide. He also opened the Israel-Rwanda joint economic seminar, with the participation of 200 business people and met with Rwanda President Paul Kagame and with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to upgrade diplomatic relations.

The foreign minister also met with Rwandan Minister of Agriculture Dr. Agnes Kalibata, inaugurated the Rwanda-Israel Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development, a joint project of the Rwandan government and MASHAV,  Israel’s agency for international development cooperation

The Center of Excellence, based on an India-Israel model of cooperation, was established following a request by Dr Kalibata to facilitate and serve all levels of the Rwandan farming community, from small holder farmers to commercial farmers.The center will be defined by four main products: transfer of knowhow, capacity building and demonstration; agro-inputs (nurseries for better seedlings and varieties) and fresh produce. The center will display a whole range of technologies for horticulture production under cover and open field, and will be made available for applied R&D, training and exhibition.

Prior to the visit, FM Liberman stated: “I see great importance to investment in Africa, in the humanitarian, economic and political spheres. There are many areas where Israel can help with aid and development: Agriculture, water management, medicine, and more. We have established partnerships with various countries for investment in Africa, including the United States, Canada, and Italy, and the highlight is the African Initiative, a joint project with Germany that was decided upon during the last meeting of the Israeli and German governments.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/liberman-begins-african-tour/2014/06/12/

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