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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘hostage’

Giant Chabad Menorah Lit Without Ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In Sydney, Australia, a public Hanukkah menorah still stands tall in the very same place it has stood in Martin Place for the last 30 years.

The 10 meter high menorah was not the center of festivities this year, however: instead, a message was prominently displayed for the public to read.

“The Jewish community of Australia expresses our deepest sympathy for the families of the Martin Place tragedy. May the Lights of the Festival of Chanukah bring comfort and warmth to our nation.”

The decision to cancel the annual Lighting Ceremony of the Hanukkah Menorah in Martin Place, scheduled for Thursday Dec. 18, the third night of the holiday, was made “after lengthy discussions and consultation with the authorities and communal leaders,” explained Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Elimelech Levy, Director of Chabad NSW and coordinator of the annual “Chanukah in the City” celebration.

“While the event was canceled, the presence of the Giant Menorah sends a powerful message that light will always overcome darkness,” Levy said.

“As we mourn the loss of life and the atrocity that has taken place, people of goodwill will continue to shine the light of freedom and communal harmony, which is what the Chanukah Menorah is all about,” he added.

According to Chabad officials at the movement’s World Lubavitch Headquarters at “770″ Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the Martin Place Giant Menorah was indeed lit and cast its Light upon the area as it does each year. However, in deference to the memory of the victims, no public ceremony was held to mark the occasion.

The manager of the Lindt cafe and a local barrister were killed last Tuesday after being held hostage together with at least 15 others by a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis. The victims were shot as special agents stormed the cafe in an attempt to free the hostages. The self-styled Iranian cleric had forced his captives to hold up a flag bearing the Shahada — the Islamic creed, written in Arabic — in the window, for hours.

An earlier article about the Menorah contained an error about the lighting ceremony due to a misunderstanding which has since been clarified.

Pre-Hanukkah Miracle for Israeli in Sydney Siege [video]

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Israeli religious singers Benny Elbaz and his son Gad left Sydney’s Lindt’s Café now under siege only moments before it was under siege by one or more Islamic fanatics, COL Live reported.

“Several minutes before the kidnapping…, all of our friends left after sitting there and hour and 15 minutes,” Elbaz wrote on Facebook.

“After several moments, it happened! A miracle, a miracle, a miracle of Hanukkah. There are no other words.”

The Elbaz father-and-son team is on tour in Australia and performed Sunday night. They were drinking coffee in the Lindt Café before preparing to fly to New York, via Singapore, for a performance.

“While thankful, my father and I are praying and hoping for a quick release of all the hostages safely and without harm,” Gad Elbaz told COLlive in a phone conversation. “We hope the light of Chanukah will shine their glow on the nation of Israel and the rest of the world,” he said.

Five hostages have escaped from the café, and two of the nearly 50 hostages that remain have been forced by their armed captor to hold up a black flag with Islamic symbols and Arabic writing in the Lindt’s store window.

An Australian broadcaster who refused to speak with the captor on air said that the hostages have been forced to call him “The Brother.” The abductor also has demanded to speak with Australian Prime Tony Abbott.

There no signs that he will talk with the man.

Police have made contact with the gunman

Hundreds of police have placed central Sydney on lockdown, and U.S. officials have evacuated staff from its nearby consulate.

So far, no one has been injured although one of the hostages who escaped was treated at a hospital for undisclosed reasons.

French National Abducted by ISIS Algerian Terror Group

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

A French citizen has become the fifth person to be abducted and threatened with execution by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS.)

The Algerian “Soldiers of the Caliphate” announced Tuesday they would execute Hervé Gourdel in 24 hours if France does withdraw from the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. The group is called Jund al-Khilafah in Arabic and split from Al Qaeda’s North African branch, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) according to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network. Its members swore loyalty to ISIS earlier this month.

The group announced its plans in a video uploaded to the internet in which Gourdel, age 55, is seen seated between two masked, armed men. “We, the Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria, in compliance with the order of our leader Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi … give Hollande, president of the criminal French state, 24 hours to cease its hostility against the Islamic State, otherwise the fate of his citizen will be slaughter. To save his life, you must officially announce the end of your hostility against the Islamic State,” a speaker on the video said.

Addressing French President Francois Hollande directly, Gourdel said in the video, “This armed group has asked me to demand that you do not intervene in Iraq. They are holding me hostage. I beg you, Monsieur Président, to do all in your power to get me out of this bad situation. I thank you.”

The video has been confirmed to be authentic by the French government, which said it was doing everything possible to track down Gourdel, a resident of Nice working as a mountain guide. He was in Algeria as a tourist, though, when he was kidnapped, traveling in a car in the region of Tziz Ouzou with two local Algerian guides when the vehicle was stopped by a group of masked gunmen. His two guides were set free.

ISIS has beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker in Raqqa, Syria. A second British aid worker, Alan Henning, is so far still alive; both his wife and Muslims around the world have appealed to ISIS to free him, insisting that he has been “peaceful” and a “friend to the Ummah.” 

Hamas Turns Down Request for Information on KIA Bodies

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

IDF radio reported on Tuesday evening that Israel requested information from Hamas about the bodies of IDF soldiers, Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed in action in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas stole their dead bodies.

Israel also raised the subject of an exchange with Hamas, to return the bodies back to Israel for proper burial.

Hamas rejected the Israeli request, adding they won’t even supply information at this time.

A senior Hamas spokesman said, “Israel is used to getting things for free, and Israel needs to learn that we won’t work that way.”

In the Gilad Schalit deal, Hamas valued the life of 1 kidnapped IDF soldier as being equivalent to the lives of 1027 Arab terrorists.

Hamas obviously feels that 1 Israeli soldier is worth far more than 1027 Arab terrorists, which is why they believe Gilad Schalit was released for free.

We can’t argue with their valuations.

Not Your Average Motorcycle Gang

Monday, August 4th, 2014

These motorcycles were found inside Hamas terror tunnels leading into Israeli towns.

Hamas planned to enter the towns, kidnap women and children, and use the motorcycles to zoom safely back to Gaza via the tunnels with their hostages.

Ukraine Frees US-Israeli Journalist Ostrovsky (Video)

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for the Brooklyn-based Vice News, was released in eastern Ukraine on Thursday after having been held hostage since Tuesday, according to a tweet from a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist.

Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health,” the news outlet stated. “We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time.”

Ostrovksy is “free and safe,” reported the CBC’s Jean-Francois Belanger.

Another CBC journalist said that Ostrovsky was beaten and blindfolded during his captivity.

On Wednesday, Vyacheslav Ponomarev , the self-appointed mayor of Slovyansk  where Ostrovsky had been held, said, “We need prisoners. They take ours, drive them to Kiev, torture them. Well, we’ve done the same.”

Stella Khoraeva, a  spokeswoman for the pro-Russian invaders of Ukraine, explained that Ostrovsky was guilty of an “incorrect way” of reporting. She told the Daily Beast, “We knew where he was going and the men manning the checkpoint were told to look out for him.”

Below is a video of Ostrovsky’s report for Vice News in which he interviewed Ponomarev, who later kidnapped him.

2 Tortured Bodies Found Dumped in Sloviansk, Ukraine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, according to numerous media reports.

One has yet to be identified.

Israeli-American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped on Monday by armed gunmen working for the self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk. He is being held hostage in the eastern Ukranian city, now under pro-Russian rule. Mr. Ostrovsky, who works for the HBO-owned Vice News media outlet, has not been seen or heard from since his capture.

The second was allegedly identified in a preliminary investigation as that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party. Mr. Rybak was kidnapped last Wednesday by terrorists in Horlivka. His body was found in the Seversky-Donets River. Mr. Rybak served as a local council member in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

Although the identification has yet to confirmed, Ukrainian interim President Oleksander Turchinov said in a statement to media that at least one of the bodies appeared to be that of Mr. Rybak. Turchinov called for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in Ukraine.

Despite efforts by fellow journalists to determine his status and condition, journalist Simon Ostrovsky has not been seen since.

The Israeli government did not respond to phone calls and an email from The Jewish Press asking for a comment on the situation.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday, that the U.S. believes “there’s a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we’ve seen in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places… what we see in the photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times.”

Psaki added that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2-tortured-bodies-found-dumped-in-slaviansk-ukraine/2014/04/23/

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