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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Putin Sending 2 Giant Firefighting Planes to Israel

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin who acceded to Israel’s request for assistance in extinguishing the wave fires plaguing the country and promised to immediately send two giant Beriev be-200 firefighting aircraft to save the day.

The Beriev Be-200 Altair is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company and manufactured by Irkut. Marketed for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, and passenger transportation, it has a capacity of 12 tons (3,170 gallons) of water, or up to 72 passengers.

Beriev developed unique fire-fighting equipment for the Be-200, allowing it to scoop water while skimming the water surface at 90-95% of takeoff speed. This system was developed using a specially modified Be-12P, coded “12 Yellow.”

In 2006 the Be-200 was leased by the Portuguese Fire Fighting Services for evaluation during the forest fire season. On July 6, 2006, the Russian crew of the Be-200 were carrying out a water pick-up from the Aguieira dam near Santa Comba Dão, when on climbing away they clipped treetops and at least one of the engines suffered ingestion damage and had to be shut down.

In October 2006, two Be-200 were leased to Indonesia to fight fires for 45 days, to the tune of $5.2 million. These operations prompted press reports that the Indonesian government had agreed to purchase two Be-200s, each with a projected price of $40 million. China bought 4 Be-200 during Zhuhai Airshow 2016.

Two Be-200 also operated in Greece, fighting the 2007 forest fires for the entire season.

In August 2016 two Be-200s were sent to Portugal to help in extinguishing forest fires. Four days later it was reported that thanks to the work of the Russian pilots, the fire was prevented from spreading in the direction of two settlements — Castro Laboreiro with a population of 1,000 people and Viaden de Baixo, where 15 farms were saved from fire, and Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Russian President Putin for the response and the assistance.

JNi.Media

Fires Still Spreading Countrywide, Police Investigate Pyroterrorism

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

On Wednesday night, Police Commissioner Ronnie Alshich and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) met with security officials to evaluate suspicions that some of the fires that have been raging throughout Israel this week were the caused by arson. The debate resulted in a decision to increase police presence significantly in open areas near towns and villages, utilizing Border Guard forces. According to police, spreading law enforcement officers outside civilian enclaves will deter arson and enable quick detection of newly set fires.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) twitted on Wednesday: “Only someone this country doesn’t belong to is capable of burning it.” Earlier, MK Anat Berko (Likud) noted in her Facebook page that the anti-terrorism law imposes enhanced sentencing for nationalistic arson.

One of the suspicious fires this week has been the worst of them, in the town of Zichron Yaakov on Mt. Carmel, were some 200 firefighters, including ten planes, finally managed to bring the multiple fires under control “completely and officially” Wednesday night. Twelve homes sustained severe damage, in a fire that lasted four days and was fanned by unusually strong winds.

In Nataf, a communal village in the Judean Mountains, twelve miles west of Jerusalem and just west of the “green line,” four construction workers were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of negligence that caused a major fire. The four, who’ve been paving a road near Nataf, allegedly started a campfire at night, which spread to the community nearby.

The current count is of 220 separate fires, 189 of them in open areas. Officials estimate that new fires will start on Thursday as well, due to the unusual weather. Israel has approached foreign countries for help in sending firefighting planes and so far received a positive response from Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Romania.

In Haifa, a fire has been spreading toward cars and buildings on Thursday. The fire in Nataf is getting stronger and has reached nearby Neve Ilan. On Thursday morning a new forest fire erupted near the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, and local residents are preparing to evacuate. Route 443 from the Tel Aviv area to Jerusalem has been blocked at Modi’in, in the wake of a fire and was reopened a short time later. Sixty families who have been evacuated from the community of Talmon in Binyamin were allowed to return to their homes after the fire there had been brought under control. In Gilon, a communal settlement in west of Karmiel in northern Israel that has been evacuated, firefighters reached partial control over the fire. And the fire at an evacuated IDF outpost outside Naveh Yair was brought under control. A soldier is suspected of causing that fire by throwing a burning cigarette on the ground.

David Israel

UK-Based World Jewish Relief Marks 1 Year Aiding More Than 17,500 Refugees

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

The Britain-based World Jewish Relief humanitarian organization has just marked its one-year anniversary aiding more than 17,500 refugees in Greece and Turkey, including thousands of children.

The organization’s emergency appeal was launched in September 2015, according to a report released by WJR this week.

It has provided 3,169 children with winter kits, including coats and blankets for children based in bitterly cold camps on the Turkish-Syrian border, and supplied 2,050 back-to-school kits helping refugee children and their families in Turkey achieve a basic lifestyle after having been uprooted from home and school.

World Jewish Relief also provided 4,837 people with vital medical care in Greece and 7,474 refugees with humanitarian essentials such as water, food and warm clothes in Greece, organization representatives say.

However, beyond the numbers, the report provides information about the organization’s work with individuals, telling for example the powerful story of Adnan*, a talented sixteen-year-old artist who, due to WJR is able to cultivate his talents. Adnan arrived in Lesbos together with his younger brother following a very difficult journey which included the loss of many family members. After being held in cramped conditions with other children, a new facility was set up to look after minors with medical and psychological support provided. After noticing Adnan’s artistic skills, staff encouraged him to use his talent, culminating in an art gallery in Lesbos exhibiting his drawings.

In total, the organization’s appeal has raised nearly £944,000, making it the second largest WJR appeal ever to be held, after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Donations are still welcome and will be spent on continuing refugee projects in Greece and Turkey. The projects come in the wake of an announcement by former Prime Minister David Cameron that the UK will resettle and house 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees by 2020.

World Jewish Relief created a program to help these refugees integrate, drawing on the agency’s past experience helping vulnerable Jews in the former Soviet Union, and relying on funds provided exclusively by private donors. World Jewish Relief is helping 1,000 of the 20,000 Syrian refugees find employment and integrate into life in the UK, beginning with a pilot program in Bradford aiming to help 50 Syrian refugees to find work.

The pilot program currently supports 27 refugees. “One year ago, a photo of a three-year-old Syrian boy named Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach, shocked the world into action. Thanks to the British Jewish community’s outstanding generosity, over the past year, we’ve made a difference to 17,557 lives,” said Paul Anticoni, WJR CEO. The organization is a coalition partner of OLAM, an organization of 46 Israeli and Jewish NGOs raising awareness of the importance of supporting the world’s most vulnerable communities.

*name changed to protect his identity

Jewish Press Staff

3,500 Year Old Treasures Retrieved from the Sea by Electric Plant Worker

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Metal artifacts, the earliest of which are 3,500 years old, were recently presented to the Israel Antiquities Authority by a family that inherited them from their father who passed away.

The Mazliah family of Givatayim contacted a representative of the IAA and invited him to their home to examine numerous metal artifacts that were in the possession of their father, the late Marcel Mazliah. The family explained that their father, who was employed at the Hadera power station since its construction, retrieved many items from the sea while working there, and they thought the items looked pretty ancient. Indeed, the IAA representatives were surprised by what they found: metal objects, most of which are decorated, that apparently fell overboard from a metal merchant’s ship in the Early Islamic period.

An Israel Antiquities Authority employee examining the finds. Photographic credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

An Israel Antiquities Authority employee examining the finds. Photographic credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Ayala Lester, a curator with the IAA, “The finds include a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze Age (more than 3,500 years ago). The other items, among them two mortars and two pestles, and fragments of candlesticks, date to the Fatimid period (11th century CE). The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel. The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period.”

A hand grenade hundreds of years old found at sea. Photographic credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

A hand grenade hundreds of years old found at sea. Photographic credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Among the many artifacts is a hand grenade that was common in Israel during the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. The first grenades appeared in the Byzantine Empire, not long after the reign of Leo III (717-741). Byzantine soldiers learned that Greek fire, a Byzantine invention of the previous century, could be thrown at the enemy inside stone and ceramic jars. Later, glass containers were employed. The use of Greek fire and other explosives spread to Muslim armies in the Middle East, and reached China by the 10th century.

A short Hebrew Clip. Credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

A short Hebrew Clip. Credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Mazliah family will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Israel Antiquities Authority and will be invited to tour the IAA’s laboratories where finds undergo treatment and conservation.

JNi.Media

Turkish Chief Rabbi, Muslim, Christian Leaders Condemn Coup

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The head of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate, Mehmet Gormez, Orthodox Christian Patriarch Bartholomew I and Hakham Bashi (Chief Rabbi) Ishak Haleva on Saturday issued a joint declaration condemning the coup.

“From wherever and whomever it comes, terror and violence cannot be displayed as a legitimate thing and it cannot be supported,” their statement said, adding that “those who have faith within them cannot approve any killing, as murdering a human being is no different than murdering the whole humanity.”

“We hope terror will be wiped out from Turkey and the world,” the statement concluded. “May God protect our country and all humanity.”

Rabbi Haleva was the deputy to Rabbi David Asseo for seven years and became the new Hakham Bashi after his death in 2002. As a 7-year-old, he came with his father to Istanbul from Edirne, near Turkey’s western border with Bulgaria and Greece, to study in a Jewish school. As a teenager he studied in a yeshiva in Israel to become a rabbi. According to his acquaintances, Haleva was a prankster in his youth, and he still maintains a humorous, informal manner, peppering his words with folksy Hebrew and Turkish sayings.

David Israel

Greece Talks About Ties with Iran

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Greek and Iranian government officials met this week in Athens for talks on developing economic, trade and industrial ties between the two countries.

Such a move could become a threat to the Jewish State, which has worked hard to develop closer ties with Athens. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded an honorary doctorate to Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos during his state visit to Israel on March 30, citing his “warm relations with the State of Israel and the Jewish world.”

Iranian leaders have consistently maintained that government’s determination to “wipe the Zionist state off the map.”

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi met with Greek Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis, and Minister of Environment of Energy Panos Skourletis, according to IRNA, the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Both sides “declared their political will to develop ties in different fields” according to the news outlet.

Greece has an embassy in Tehran, and Iran is represented by its embassy in Athens. A small Christian Greek community exists in Iran; there is a Greek Orthodox church in Tehran which opens mostly during the Greek Holy Week. But relations that date back millenia between the two nations — at one point, two empires — have laid dormant for decades.

The officials discussed development of oil and gas and renewable energies, pharmaceutical industries, “modern technologies,” shipbuilding and shipping, tourism and “promoting banking relations.”

Both nations allegedly expressed willingness to implement a document that was signed following a February 7 visit to Iran by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to the Iranian news agency.

Hana Levi Julian

Apparent Explosion Tore Apart EgyptAir MS804

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

It appears there may have been an explosion on board EgyptAir Flight MS804 that blew apart the aircraft, twisted it into pieces and then sent it crashing into the Mediterranean Sea last week.

Search and recovery personnel have found body parts, unused life vests, bits and pieces of other equipment, and luggage. The images have been released by the Egyptian military. At least one memorial has been held at an Egyptian Coptic Christian church for a flight attendant whose body has yet to be recovered. Her mother called her a “bride for heaven,” media reported.

Flight data filed through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was received from three independent channels, according to The Aviation Herald website.

ACARS is the system used to routinely download flight data to the airline operating the aircraft.

The flight data showed that at 02:26 local time on Thursday (00:26 GMT) smoke was detected in the toilet of the jet. Smoke was reported also in the avionics bay and in one of the lavatories.

One minute later, at 00:27 GMT, there was an avionics alert indicating smoke in the bay below the cockpit which contains aircraft electronics and computers.

The final ACARS message was received at 00:29 GMT, according to the TAH website, and four minutes later the plane lost contact with radar, at 02:33 local time.

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis confirmed the ACARS data but told AFP it was “far too soon to interpret and understand the cause of the accident as long as we have not found the wreckage or the flight data recorders”.

A commercial pilot who flies an A330 similar to the A320 spoke with Britain’s The Telegraph on condition of anonymity, and said, however, “It looks like the right front and side window were blown out, most probably from inside out.”

Until the main body of the plane and the two “black boxes” that reveal flight data and cockpit transmissions are located the rest of the story will remain a mystery; they are still missing, despite news to the contrary.

No group has yet taken responsibility for the downing of the aircraft.

 

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/apparent-explosion-tore-apart-egyptair-ms804/2016/05/22/

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