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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Israel’

Foreign Aerial FireFighters to Leave Tuesday

Monday, November 28th, 2016

The international aerial firefighters who came to the rescue of the State of Israel in its hour of need will return home Tuesday after receiving the thanks of the nation at a special ceremony led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Hatzerim Air Force Base in southern Israel.

Northern and central Israel remain on high alert, but the rest of the country is gradually returning to normal — as normal as is possible, that is — in the aftermath of a week in which 2,000 fires ravaged the Jewish State. After two full days without any major fires, officials sent home about half of the Home Front Command reservists called into service as tens of thousands of dunams of forest and brush land went up in flames along with hundreds of homes.

Last week, firefighting aircraft arrived to help battle nearly 2,000 blazes from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, Spain, France and the United States, which responded to a request for its “SuperTanker.” The U.S. Boeing 747 SuperTanker from Colorado Springs is the largest firefighting aerial aircraft in the world and is capable of continuing to battle flames even after dark, while carrying up to 19,600 gallons of water or fire retardant. It also produces enough pressure to create eight rounds of a rain-like environment in fighting any blaze — a boon to any force battling a major forest fire, as was happening in Haifa and in the Jerusalem Hills.

Russia sent two giant Beriev Be-200 firefighting aircraft, each of which has a capacity of 12 tons (3,170 gallons) of water, or up to 72 passengers. The aircraft also have contain unique fire-fighting equipment that allows the plane to scoop water while skimming the water surface at 90-95% of takeoff speed — a crucial necessity in battling the constantly-appearing blazes that dogged firefighters all along the central and northern coastline.

Fire Services spokesperson Yoram Levy said fire stations in the north and along the coast would remain on alert with extra personnel due to the severity of the fires that had struck those areas. He added that firefighters had battled a total of 1,773 brush fires from November 18-26 but that no active sites remained at this point.

In Haifa alone, some 1,600 residents were left homeless with 527 apartments completely destroyed; 75,000 in the port city were forced to evacuate from their homes in 11 neighborhoods. These figures do not include the hundreds of other Israelis who were also forced to leave their homes, including dozens who were left homeless, in Zichron Ya’akov, communities in the Jerusalem Hills — including Moshav Beit Meir — and communities in Judea and Samaria, such as Halamish.

Hana Levi Julian

Winter Rains Arrive in Israel, Flash Flood Warnings Issued

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

“…. I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil.” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)

The winter rains arrived right on schedule this Thursday, sweeping through northern Israel and then spreading to the central region before reaching the Negev.

In the south and eastern parts of the country, forecasters warned residents to beware of flash floods, in particular in the dry desert areas around the Dead Sea, where low-lying roads are easily flooded.

Foreign hikers and tourists driving through the area are often suddenly caught unawares during such rainstorms.

The rain was expected to be accompanied by a rise in the temperatures, and high winds, but forecasters said the mercury would drop to seasonal levels by Friday with the rain tapering off.

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman: State of Israel Could Not Exist Without the IDF

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says that without the IDF the State of Israel could not exist. Liberman made the statement Tuesday during a visit to the northern Israeli military base of Michve Alon, near Tzefat.

The defense minister met with IDF commanders, instructors and counselors at the base, where courses are held for lone soldiers who serve as immigrants or volunteers, nearly all without families in Israel, as well as for soldiers with special needs.

Liberman also met with the soldiers who are participating in the courses at the base. In addition, he attended a class on national identity being taught to a group of soldiers.

IDF Maj.-Gen. Hagai Topolansky, IDF Education Commander Avner Paz-Tzuk and Michve Alon Base Commander Raz Karni accompanied Liberman on his visit.

The defense minister commented that the courses offered at the base are the “greatest contribution of the Zionist movement towards strengthening the IDF and the State of Israel.

“Unlike the rest of the world, if the IDF was not the people’s army of Israel, there would be no army, and the state of Israel could not exist.”

Hana Levi Julian

In Rare Ruling Court Revokes Administrative Detention of Settler

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

A military appeals court this week issued a rare ruling revoking the administrative detention of a resident of Adi in northern Israel, about 15 miles east of Haifa. His attorney, Menashe Yado from the legal aid society Honenu, said he hoped the court’s message will be internalized by the powers that be.

The President of the Military Court of Appeals, Col. Netanel Benichou, ordered an end to the administrative detention imposed two months ago on the man, who is married and the father of one baby. He was ordered to remain away from his family home and be confined to the town of Ma’aleh Adumim. He was instructed to inform police where he would spend the night, and was also prohibited from communicating with some of his neighbors.

Following an urgent appeal by Yado, accompanied by a request from the head of the Karnei Shomron regional council, where the detainee’s parents live, the OC Central Command agreed to move his house detention and the curfew to Karnei Shomron.

This has since been followed by nightly visits by police to the man’s parents’ home to supervise his compliance. Attorney Yado meanwhile submitted an appeal regarding the validity of the detention, saying it was baseless and constituted a serious violation of his client’s rights and the rights of his family.

Judge Benichou’s ruling said there was nothing in the intelligence information presented to him to justify the detention and the nightly curfew, and so he ordered it void. The judge did support the restriction on the man’s movement in Judea and Samaria save for his parents’ home, and the contact with his neighbors.

The judge reiterated the importance of a defendant’s right to a hearing prior to issuing an administrative detention, and his right to review all the relevant information against him.

According to Honenu, there have only been two cases in which a military court revoked administrative detention orders against Jews. Things are similar in the Arab sector as well.

Attorney Yado said in a statement that the court’s ruling shows that the OC Central Command’s finger is heavy on the trigger of detentions. We are delighted that the court has revoked the nightly curfew imposed on my client and his wife and baby boy, under intense and offensive police visits. Today the court said it was all unjustified, disproportionate and unconstitutional. I hope that the Central Command will internalize this message even a little bit and cease the illegal violations of civil rights.”

David Israel

6-Member Hezbollah Terror Cell Discovered Operating in Northern Israel

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) uncovered a Hezbollah terrorist cell operating in northern Israel, the intelligence agency revealed Thursday. Six suspects were arrested last month on suspicion of smuggling explosives that had been discovered south of Metulla on July 30, in a joint operation of the ISA, Israel Police and IDF.

All members of the cell, residents of the border town of Ghajar, were taken into custody for planning to carry out major terror attacks in Israel, according to a statement by the intelligence agency.

In recent years, security services have dealt with several cases in which links were discovered between routes for smuggling drugs from Lebanon into Israel, and routes for the infiltration of war materiel.

For example, in 2012, 20 kilograms of C4 explosive material were discovered, leading to a wave of arrests of Israeli Arabs from the Nazareth area and of several residents of Ghajar for involvement in the affair. Drugs trafficking in southern Lebanon is controlled and managed by Hezbollah, which maintains a constant effort to also smuggle war materiel along the drug smuggling routes, with the involvement of Israeli drugs traffickers.

In this case, the attempt was foiled and all those involved were arrested. From the investigation of the detainees as well as from information gathered about the operation, it was learned that several activists from Ghajar, led by Diab Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz, were in contact with Hezbollah operatives.

At the behest of Hezbollah operatives, the detainees carried out smuggling into Israel over the Lebanese border fence as well as additional intelligence-gathering activity deeper inside Israel.

The Northern District State Attorney’s Office filed detailed indictments on Thursday (October 6, 2016), against all those involved in the case. Diab Kahamuz was arrested on September 4, 2016. During his investigation, it was learned he was in contact this year with his father, Sa’ad Kahamuz, a drug trafficker from Ghajar known for helping Hezbollah, and who fled to Lebanon in October 2006.

The central nature of the elder Kahamuz in the affair stems from his being an intermediary between Hezbollah operatives and his family in Ghajar, headed by his son Diab. Sa’ad Kahamuz liaised between Diab and Hezbollah operatives; communication was by means of – inter alia – encrypted emails. In May 2016, Diab received two explosive charges from Hezbollah, which he hid in an orchard south of Metula. As noted above, these charges were discovered on 30 July 2016. Diab was asked by Hezbollah to carry out an attack at a site – to be chosen by him – in Haifa. Diab also considered the possibility of carrying out an attack at a factory in Nesher, and recruited his brothers Yusuf and Jamil, planning to use the latter in carrying out the attack.

Diab agreed to carry out the attack; however, Hezbollah provided him with an alternative site – the bus stop at the entrance to the village of Tur’an, which is frequented by many soldiers, especially on Sundays. Diab collected intelligence about the site and conveyed the information to Hezbollah.

In August 2016 Diab was to have carried out an additional smuggling operation at the behest of his Hezbollah handlers. During his investigation, it was learned that additional parties were involved in his activities, namely his brothers Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz and Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz.

The following residents of Ghajar were also arrested last month on suspicion of involvement in Diab’s activities with Hezbollah:

* Adal Ahmed Hassan Ayunat was arrested on September 4. During his investigation it was learned that he had been aware of Diab Kahamuz’s contacts with Hezbollah and that he had accepted an offer from him to assist him in his contacts and vis-à-vis drug smuggling. It was also learned that in 2007, he had smuggled night vision equipment to Hezbollah operatives.

* Mohssan Muhammad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 4. He assisted Diab Kahamuz – inter alia – in purchasing a computer for contacting Hezbollah and in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He also helped him to twice look for the bag with the explosives that had been hidden in the orchard near Metula in July 2016. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Mandouh Karim Munif Ibrahim was arrested on September 12. During his investigation it was learned that he had assisted Diab Kahamuz – on several occasions – in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 18. During his investigation it was learned that he was fully cognizant of his brother Diab’s contacts with Hezbollah and had assisted him in carrying out activities at the behest of the organization. For example, he went with him to gather information about the Tur’an bus stop, had gone out of Ghajar with him in order to send and receive encrypted messages to/from Hezbollah, and had assisted him in receiving the explosives from Hezbollah. After Diab’s arrest, Yusuf burned the two computers that Diab had used for contacts with Hezbollah.

* Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 20. It was learned that he had acted as Diab’s main assistant regarding his Hezbollah activities and had been fully cognizant of them. It was also learned that he had assisted Diab on several occasions in passing information to Hezbollah, including photographs and video clips taken at Tur’an junction. On several occasions he also drove Diab to the smuggling points, including in May 2016 to collect the explosives. He also helped his brother Yusuf to destroy the computers to prevent them from being seized by the security forces.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: IDF Retaliates for Second Day of Mortar Fire from Syria

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The Israel Defense Force has again retaliated for several rounds of renewed mortar fire on Tuesday that was directed — albeit perhaps unintentionally — at northern Israel’s Golan Heights.

“In response to the projectiles which hit Israel earlier today, IAF aircraft targeted artillery positions of the Syrian regime in the central Syrian Golan Heights,” the IDF said in a terse statement to media.

Earlier in the day, Israeli authorities closed Route 98 in the northern part of the country, deeming it unsafe for civilians to travel in the area due to the shelling from Syria.

Israel hold the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for any actions taken on the Syrian side of the border.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Flare gun, Bullets, Seized in Israeli-Arab Village

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The Israel Police Spokesperson’s office reported that around 11 PM Saturday police responded to complaints about flare shooting and firecracker throwing in Rameh, an Arab town in northern Israel. Police raided a home in the town, after stopping and detaining two minors with backpacks containing firecrackers.

A search in the home of a local resident, 20, revealed an IDF Flare gun and more than 30 bullets of various diameters.

The raid was part of an ongoing police effort to seize illegal, dangerous toys in northern villages.

The police spokesperson took the opportunity to bless “our Druze, Muslim and Circassian brethren” on the occasion of the festival of Eid al-Adha.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-flare-gun-bullets-seized-in-israeli-arab-village/2016/09/11/

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