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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘embassy’

Italian Kickboxing Champion Denies Joining ISIS, Plotting to Blow Up Israeli Embassy, Vatican

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Kickboxing champion Abderrahim Moutaharrik, 28, who was arrested on Thursday with his wife, Salma Bencharki, 26, in Lombardy, northern Italy, for allegedly planning to flee Italy for Syria with their two children, ages 2 and 4, is insisting they were only planning to go to Syria to help the suffering children there, La Repubblica reported.

Moutaharrik also denied that he was planning an attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.

The couple was arrested as part of an investigation conducted by the Italian anti-terror squad and the Special Operations Group fighting organized crime. Police released pictures of Moutaharrik in his kickboxing kit and a keffiyeh, and a black shirt styled after the ISIS flag.

Talk about the fashion police…

“I saw images of children being tortured and I wanted to go to Syria to help the people and not to enrol with ISIS,” Moroccan born Moutaharrik told a magistrates at Milan’s San Vittore prison.

The couple’s lawyer told reporters his clients had “told the magistrates that they grew up in Italy and would never want to seriously hurt anyone.”

Did we say the accused is a kickboxing champion?

Arrest warrants were also issued Thursday against Alice (Aisha) Brignoli, 39, and her husband, Mohamed Koraich, who have allegedly left Italy a year ago to join ISIS in Syria. Koraich’s sister, Wafa, was arrested in the town of town of Baveno, Piedmont, and Abderrahmane Khachia, 23, a Moroccan, was arrested in Varese, Lombardy. Police say Khachia’s brother was a jihadist who died in Syria.

David Israel

Retaliation: El Salvador May Move Israeli Embassy to Ramallah

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

(JNi.media) A severe diplomatic crisis is brewing between Israel and El Salvador, as the latter is not happy with the former’s decision to close down its embassy in San Salvador as part of a decision to eliminate five embassies altogether as a belt-tightening measure, Ynet reported. El Salvador is considering a retaliatory step — moving its embassy from Herzliya Pituach to Ramallah, inside the Palestinian Authority. This may be the most creative—and effective—diplomatic maneuver against the Jewish State this year. It also marks yet another Latin American country with whom the Netanyahu government is feuding (Brazil is another).

The Salvadoran foreign ministry sent Israel a stern message saying the Central American republic was shocked, dismayed and surprised by the proposed step. They were particularly hurt by the fact that they found out about it in the press, rather than receive a proper advance notice through diplomatic channels. There’s more: El Salvador had apparently been so interested in improving relations with Israel, it sent a senior official, the foreign office’s former director Werner Matias Romero, to serve as its new ambassador to Israel to enhance the friendship and cooperation.

The insulted Romero said he was still hoping Israel would reverse the decision, warning that otherwise it would “open a Pandora’s box,” adding, “What Israel has done is bite the friendly hand we extended to her. That’s not a way to treat your friends. This could definitely bolster the element in El Salvador who are opposed to our ties with Israel.”

Romero also reminded his hosts of the fact that El Salvador voted in favor of the 1947 UN Partition Plan; José Castellanos, a Salvadoran diplomat, saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust—and was recognized by Yad Vashem, and El Salvador even kept its embassy in Jerusalem for a couple of decades—until the second Lebanon war.

According to Ynet, it costs Israel about a million dollars a year to keep each embassy open. This may turn out to be an acceptable cost of doing business, when the alternative is seeing the Salvadoran embassy be consolidated with the Cairo mission, or, even worse, reopening in Ramallah, forcing Israeli visa seekers to armor their cars first before applying.

Israel is also planning to close its embassy in Minsk, to be followed by the closing down of the Belarus mission to Tel Aviv. Now, that’s something that would not have happened while Minister Avigdor Lieberman was in charge.

JNi.Media

Bahrain, UAE, Sudan Join Saudi Arabia, Sever Ties with Shi’ite Iran

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Several Gulf Arab nations and at least one African country have downgraded their ties with Shi’ite Iran after Saudi Arabia cut its ties with the Islamic Republic, with the possibility that more may follow.

The move came after a Tehran mob stormed and torched the Saudi Arabian embassy and consulate buildings. In response, Saudi Arabia suspended all air traffic between the two countries. A letter was also immediately sent to the United Nations Security Council, accusing Iran of failing to protect the Saudi embassy.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Jaberi Ansari denied the charges, saying no Saudi diplomats were harmed in the incident; he added that none were even present during the attack.

He neatly sidestepped the fact that the building was torched and that all the interior furnishings were completely smashed by the mob that stormed the building. Instead, Ansari claimed Saudi Arabia was “looking for some excuses to pursue its own unwise policies to further tension in the region.”

But Iranian security personnel did nothing to stop the destruction of the embassy until after the embassy offices were completely smashed; at which point, authorities called for “calm.”

The destruction of the diplomatic properties came in response to Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric on Saturday. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was one of a total of 47 who were executed on charges of terrorism.

Nimr was known as a vocal activist who opposed the Saudi regime, and who led a vigorous Shi’ite Muslim minority movement in Sunni Muslim-led Saudi Arabia. Iran threatened at the time of the execution that Saudi Arabia would “pay dearly” for Nimr’s death.

By Sunday, Saudi Arabia had cut its ties with Iran and expelled the ambassador, giving him 48 hours to leave the kingdom.

The United Arab Emirates and the island nation of Bahrain – Sunni-ruled monarchies – also both notified Iranian diplomats they had 48 hours to leave the kingdom.

The UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran and announced it would reduce the number of diplomats stationed in Iran, according to the WAM state news agency. The government said in a statement, the UAE “has taken this exceptional step in light of Iran’s ongoing interference in internal [Gulf Cooperation Council] and Arab affairs that has recently reached unprecedented levels.”

Iran was was also accused by Bahraini officials of “increasing, flagrant and dangerous meddling” in the affairs of Gulf states – again, not the first time Iran has been accused of such activity. A similar charge was leveled against the Islamic Republic during the Arab Spring revolutions, when Tehran was accused of stirring uprisings among Shi’ite populations within the Sunni-led kingdoms and emirates. Bahrain also severed its ties with Iran.

Likewise, the majority Sunni Muslim nation of Sudan also expressed its disapproval of the Iranian attack on the Saudi embassy, calling the mob action “barbaric”. As with Bahrain and the UAE, Sudan also severed its diplomatic ties with Iran, expelling the Iranian ambassador and the entire Iranian diplomatic mission from the country. Sudan also recalled its own ambassador from Tehran.

Russia and China have now both released statements calling for “restraint” on the parts of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both have expressed concern about escalation of tensions in the region, and have asked both parties to work together to “safeguard the region’s peace and stability.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iranian ‘Protesters’ Destroy Tehran Embassy After Saudis Execute Shi’ite Cleric

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

A tidal wave of Iranian fury over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shi’ite cleric crashed over Riyadh’s embassy in Tehran early Sunday.

Raging Iranian demonstrators stormed the embassy, smashing furniture and torching the building, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.

The fury came in response to Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday. The cleric was executed together with 46 other suspects accused of terrorism, mostly alleged members of Al Qaeda.

Iran warned the cleric’s execution would “cost Saudi Arabia dearly.” The Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed “harsh revenge” against “this pro-terrorist, Islamic regime” for its execution of Nimr.

The cleric was admired in Iran as a champion of Shi’ite minority rights. Nimr was a vocal critic of the Saudi dynasty and was perceived as a leader of the younger generation of Shi’ite activists who had lost patience with older leaders.

In addition to Nimr, three other Shi’ites were also executed Saturday; all four were accused of involvement in shooting police.

Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia was later quoted by ISNA as saying “unruly elements” were arrested for attacking the embassy with firebombs and rocks, but there was no confirmation of the claim.

Iran’s foreign ministry also issued a statement calling for calm after photos were posted on Twitter showing parts of the interior of the embassy completely destroyed. The ministry urged “protesters” to “respect” the premises, but it wasn’t clear how much was left to “respect.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Pavilion to Close at IBC 2015 for Sabbath, Rosh Hashana

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

The Israel Pavilion at the IBC 2015 exhibition at RAI Amsterdam is making a “kiddush Hashem” – a sanctification of God’s Name – before the Nations this year, and showing what a Jewish nation is really all about.

Economy Minister Arye Deri ordered the closure of the pavilion in accordance with the holy Sabbath, and for the Holy Days of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

This means the pavilion will be open for two of the five days of the exhibition, which runs from Friday, Sept. 11 through Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Last Thursday, the Israeli companies presenting products at the pavilion of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute were notified they will be allowed to exhibit on Friday and Sunday. Israeli business people will be able to hold meetings with potential clients at the exhibition on these two days as well.

Secular Israeli media is presenting this issue as a major disaster for Israeli business, of course, and complaining that the minister is seriously damaging the 18 Israeli companies who are to present at the exhibition.

“Israel’s image as the ‘Startup Nation’ will also suffer a blow when clients find its pavilion in one of the main halls of the exhibition closed,” worried Ynet in an article on Tuesday.

But Deri has already agreed to compensate those companies presenting in the exhibition who suffer damages from the closure.

Yet Minister of Social Services Chaim Katz, also complained bitterly, calling Deri’s decision a “serious violation of the freedom of occupation… it sends Israel light years back.”

Others claimed it would cause “irreversible damage.”

Vibe Israel CEO Joanna Landau sent Deri a letter saying the decision shows “without a shadow of a doubt that the State of Israel’s image is not a top priority for the Israeli government.”

Deri pointed out that coordination for the pavilion was completed before he took office.

However, he said, “since [the exhibition] is taking place on holy days and on Shabbat, which are sacred to the people of Israel and during which there is no official Israeli state activity, Israel’s pavilion will not be operating on these days.”

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Unidentified Drones Fly Over Paris Landmarks, US Embassy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Five unidentified drones were spotted overnight Tuesday flying over flying over various iconic sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower – and the U.S. Embassy. It is not clear who sent the drones, nor do authorities know where they went after collecting data.

Officials are “taking this very seriously,” according to news media but because “it’s so easy to buy these drones nowadays” pundits added there was little more to be done.

French police, however, expressed concern about flights over sensitive locations, saying these were not the first.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were spotted between midnight Monday and 6 am Tuesday morning. Last month similar flights were seen over Elysee Palace, the home of French President Francois Hollande. In October 2014, drones flew over a number of nuclear plants in France as well.

Security personnel in France were unable to determine the source of any of the drones Monday night, nor could they track down the operators.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unidentified-drones-fly-over-paris-landmarks-us-embassy/2015/02/24/

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