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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Arab’

Israeli-Arab Would-Be ISIS Recruit Sentenced in Jerusalem

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – A young Israeli Arab who attempted to join the Islamic State terror organisation was sentenced to a fifteen-month prison term on Tuesday.

Fares Saritah, a 19-year-old resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood Kfar Akeb, pleaded guilty to the charges of “attempting to join an illegal organization and attempting to defect to an enemy state,” referring to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and Syria, respectively.

In addition to the fifteen month prison term, Saritah was sentenced to a suspended prison term and a large fine.

“Based on the accused’s own plea and full admission I find him guilty of attempting to join an illegal organization,” said Judge Aharon Farkash in his sentencing.

The joint investigation by the ISA and Israel police revealed that Saritah allegedly convinced his two brothers to join the Islamic State as well, one of whom managed to leave Israel and join the terrorist group in Syria.

According to bill of indictment, in April 2015 Saritah left Israel with his brother and cousin and arrived in Istanbul planning to reach Syria through Turkey, a common pathway for radicalized Muslims attempting to join with the Islamic State.

However Saritah never got past the Istanbul airport, as his passport was expired. He then had to fly to Israel to fix his papers, where upon arrival he was snatched by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA).

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Arab MK Describes Terrorists As “Precious Sons”

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

One of the three Arab MKs who visited the families of terrorists last Tuesday who had murdered or attempted to murder Israeli civilians during the recent wave of violence attempted to justify the actions of the terrorists on Palestinian television yesterday.

Basel Ghattas was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch during an interview on Palestinian TV in which he appeared to demonstrate that the visit had more to do with supporting the terrorists than merely securing the release of their bodies as originally stated by the three MKs who visited the families.

“The day Arab MPs abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families who have lost their precious sons in the turmoil of the struggle against the oppressive occupation – they did not go to kill or attempt to kill for criminal reasons or illegally – the day we abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families, we will have to vacate our [parliamentary] chairs and leave the keys at home,” Ghattas said.

Originally, the three Arab MKs from the Joint List who visited the families sought to justify their visits by claiming that they were standing with the families in support of their campaign to pressure the Israeli government into releasing the terrorists’ bodies.

Indeed, following a decision taken by the Ethics Committee on Monday which banned Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas from Knesset sessions and Jamal Zahalka for two months, the three issued a joint statement rejecting the decision and restated their primary goal being “the immediate release of the bodies held by the police even after this decision.”

Moreover, Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh also attempted to justify the visits on humanitarian grounds. “The meeting last week was humanitarian and moral. The bodies [of the terrorists] must be released and buried immediately. We must also denounce the Israeli government, which is holding the bodies in freezers,” he said at a Joint List meeting.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi Hosted at White House, State Dept. [video]

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Israel Joint Arab List MK Ahmed Tibi was hosted for meetings over the past several days in Washington DC by officials at the White House and State Department.

Tibi met with U.S. President Barak Obama’s chief adviser to the Middle East, Robert Malley, and other senior officials at the White House.

The Israeli Arab lawmaker met with U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Frank Lowenstein, and Christopher Henzel, director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, at the State Department as well.

“Simultaneously with our struggle within Israel, the Knesset and outside it, it is necessary to spread the word regarding the Arab public’s situation and distress to the international community, including the United States,” Tibi told journalists at a news conference.

He spoke about the “institutionalized discrimination against Arab citizens in all walks of life, including the demolition of homes, the lack of employment and racist legislation.

“Once again I found a lack of knowledge on our social and political situation, and this requires all of us to increase our efforts in the important international forum,” Tibi said.

“There is not a single member of the current Israeli government, including [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who publicly supports the vision of the two states and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; whereas all the Palestinian ministers support that vision,” he added.

It is especially important for readers to understand exactly who MK Tibi is, and which “struggle” he refers to when he appears in the White House and the State Department to lobby for “his people.”

Tibi — who is currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and paid generously with Israeli taxpayer money – was seen at a September 2011 Palestinian Authority event carried on PA TV openly praising Arab terrorists with the symbol of the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat (the black-and-white keffiyeh) around his neck. The footage is provided and his remarks are translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) monitoring organization.

“Nothing is more exalted than those whom Israel dubs ‘terrorists-shahids,’” he said. In local Arab culture, the word – which literally translates as “martyrs” – is used to refer to those who die while trying to murder Israelis. “In the history and struggles of nations, the shahid is the ultimate glory,” Tibi told his audience at that time. “There is no value more August than the Shahada (the act of dying for Allah.) The shahid is the trailblazer, drawing with his blood the path to freedom and liberation. The shahid is the symbol of the homeland.”

While Tibi has been visiting with U.S. officials his party colleagues in Israel were visiting with the families of Arabs who were killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.

This past weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit weigh the possibility of taking legal steps against Israeli Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List in connection with their visit last Tuesday to the families of several Arab terrorists.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi Sentenced to Slap on the Wrist

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi received a suspended sentence of six months’ imprisonment Sunday morning and a fine of NIS 3,000, plus three years of probation.

The slap on the wrist was handed down after the Joint Arab List MK signed a plea bargain agreement with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last December.

Zoabi was convicted on a charge of causing disgrace to a public servant, instead of being charged with racism and incitement to violence.

The indictment and conviction followed an July 2014 incident in which Zoabi was verbally whipping up a mob of Israeli Arabs outside a court house in Nazareth. She was encouraging the mob to spit in the faces of Israeli Arab police officers who were securing the site, taunting them, calling them “traitors” and telling the crowd “they should be scared of us.”

Hana Levi Julian

Body of Tel Aviv Terrorist Returned to Family, Buried in Ar’ara

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The Israeli Arab shooter who murdered three Israelis Jan. 1 in Tel Aviv was buried Wednesday in a small, quiet ceremony late Tuesday night, a short time after security authorities returned his body to the family.

The funeral, held in Wadi Ara village of Ar’ara where Nashet Melhem was raised, was limited to 80 people, primarily family members, in accordance with police directives.

Despite that, Hebrew-language media reported some of the women called out that Melhem had “died a shahid” (martyr) and was “a beloved one in God’s eyes.” The terms nowadays are used when referring to members of terrorist organizations, or lone wolf terrorists who die while carrying out attacks against others, which they call jihad, or “Islamic holy war.”

Until this past Friday, Israeli authorities and media were referring to Melhem as a “shooter.” But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically changed the reference to “terrorist” in his statements on the attacks by Saturday night, implying additional information had been uncovered in the investigation.

Mohammed Melhem, a volunteer police officer, was himself was arrested as a suspected accessory, mainly because Melhem stole his father’s weapon to carry out his attacks. He did not attend the funeral, though he probably could have, having been released from custody on Sunday; he was at home on house arrest at the time along with his son Ali, who paid a similar price for his brother’s crimes. The family attorney said in an earlier statement to media that Israeli security officials “understand” that neither of the two men were responsible for the attacks.

Nashet Melhem, 31, opened fire Jan. 1 with his father’s submachine gun at the Simta pub on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Two Israeli Jews – Alon Bakal, 26 and Shimon Raimi, 30 – were killed and eight others were wounded. Melhem then disappeared, hailing a cab to escape, and subsequently killing his driver as well: 42-year-old Israeli Bedouin Ayman Sha’aban.

In less than two hours he made it back to his home village and for the next eight days hunkered down, hiding from Israeli security. Despite the tracking efforts of hundreds of top personnel, Melhem evaded the law.

When he was finally found on Jan. 8 the terrorist first fled, racing through yards in an attempt to escape. He then turned and opened fire at the approaching security personnel who came to arrest him, and in self-defense they returned fire at the terrorist, who was shot and killed.

The question is, who aided Melhem in his escape from justice for so long? He clearly had plenty of help. Israeli authorities have poured their resources into finding out who participated in that effort, and how.

It is also revealing, and troubling, that in a legislative system designed to create and uphold a nation’s laws, that not one Israeli Arab Knesset member has denounced Melhem’s attacks. Not in Hebrew in any forum, nor in the Arabic language to their own constituencies.

Moreover, at least one veteran Israeli Arab Knesset member is actually calling on the government to “put on trial” those officers who shot and killed the terrorist, calling his death an “execution.” Balad MK Hanin Zoabi told an interviewer on the Musawa channel in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah in Samaria that “even though security forces could have arrested him, they were directed to execute him… the matter at hand is the reputation of the police state.”

That is a very grim message to the sole democracy in the Middle East. It’s a red flag that this country’s electorate should remember the next time Israelis go to the polls.

Hana Levi Julian

Suspended Sentence for Man Who Dumped Drink on Zoabi’s Head

Monday, January 11th, 2016

A man who poured his drink on the head of Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi was handed a suspended sentence of four months in jail on Sunday.

Artemi Kazrov, 28, was also ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.

In his decision at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, Judge Tzachi Uziel wrote, “An attack on an elected official because of her views demands a punitive response.

“Political or ideological violence, and even more so, physical violence toward an elected official because of his views and the fulfillment of his [public] duties represents a challenge to the rule of democracy.”

Two weeks before Knesset elections last March, Kazrov and a group of other activists attended a lecture by Zoabi on women’s rights at the Tel Aviv College of Law and Business.

From the start, their group surrounded the stage and began heckling the lawmaker, who herself has harassed numerous others.

Zoabi supporters responded in kind; one unfolded a scarf depicting the flag of the Palestinian Authority and waved it.

At that point, Hazrov climbed on to a table, grabbed a full beverage bottle and poured it over the Knesset member’s head.

He was immediately arrested and taken into custody. The following day he was indicted on charges of assault and misconduct in a public forum. Kazrov pleaded guilty and was convicted on the charges.

But the suspended sentence he received may have been in response to the slap on the wrist received by the Knesset member herself.

Zoabi was indicted last Thursday on a charge of “disgracing a public servant”

as the result of a plea bargain struck last year with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

In exchange for pleading guilty, the lawmaker will not be charged with the more serious crime of incitement to racism and making threats, both of which she could easily have been charged with numerous times.

But in particular, Weinstein announced last year he was determined this time to actually charge her with the crimes after she called a contingent of Israeli Arab security personnel “traitors” and urged a mob of demonstrators to spit in their faces.

The incident took place at a protest in front of the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in July 2014.

Zoabi also implied threats to the officers who were providing security at the event, and continued to incite the crowd over Israeli Arabs who participate in Israeli society. She blithely ignored the fact that she herself does the same and is paid more than generously for the privilege.

Hana Levi Julian

Feces, DNA Revealed Whereabouts of Tel Aviv Shooter

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

It was the bodily needs of the Tel Aviv shooter, an Israeli Arab, that proved to be his undoing. In Judaism, there is a blessing for the correct function of those things.

Israel Police and all the linked and jointly operating security forces received unstinting praise Saturday night from Israel’s two top leaders for finding the Tel Aviv shooter. Their work was particularly unpleasant.

Security officials used DNA testing and feces found in an abandoned building in Nashet Melhem’s village to track down the killer.

Melhem had fled north toward his home village of Ar’ara immediately after murdering three people in Tel Aviv on January 1 — something suspected by security officials at the time, but that could not be confirmed.

In actuality, he made it back within hours, officials told reporters after he was killed in a shootout at the village on Friday.

First he hid out in the fields. Then he found shelter in an abandoned building – that’s where Israeli security personnel found the first traces of his presence.

By the following Monday they had tracked him down to that building, located in a field within the village boundaries. But they had missed him; he was gone.

How did they know he was there? Human feces was found at the site. They took a sample and tested it; the sample matched Melhem’s DNA, according to Channel 10 television news. Ditto a spent cigarette butt, which also matched his DNA.

Both discoveries allowed Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich to calm the public in Tel Aviv by Tuesday, telling them it was much less likely Melhem was still in the area.

The killer was ultimately tracked to the home of a 76-year-old female relative who is hospitalized on a respirator. She has no idea that her home was used as a murderer’s hideout. The outside wall bears the name “Melhem” painted in blue Hebrew letters, a relative – Ahmed Melhem – told Channel 2 television news on Saturday night.

When Melhem saw the security forces coming to get him on Friday, he opened fire at them from the window of that relative’s home. He then tried to escape.

Security personnel had orders to try and take Melhem alive – if possible.

About 200 meters away, he jumped over a low wall into the yard of a neighbor, according to security officials. He turned and fired at security personnel chasing him – including an officer with a police dog (who was not injured).

That’s when Melhem was shot and killed by police who returned fire.

In response to questions from the television channel, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan emphasized that accomplices are still being tracked down. “We will arrest everyone who had a role in this,” Erdan affirmed.

One suspect told a judge at a hearing that a friend had reported seeing Melhem in the village, but he had not credited the report.

Ahmed Melhem, however, had a different view of the matter: “Maybe people didn’t want to get into a fight with him. The whole country knew how dangerous he was.”

On Saturday night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement “on behalf of all the citizens of Israel” saying he wanted to thank “Israel Police, ISA, and the police special anti-terrorism unit” for their skill.

“They did their work professionally, methodically, day and night; they focused on the mission and they achieved it. All those who would murder Israelis should know that sooner or later we will find them, inside and outside the borders of the State of Israel. No one is immune. We will find the murderers and their accomplices,” Netanyahu warned.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/feces-dna-revealed-whereabouts-of-tel-aviv-shooter/2016/01/10/

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