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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘police’

Hunting Down a Terrorist in Haifa, City of Unity

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

It’s not easy to hunt down a terrorist in a place that’s known for its inclusive nature, its mixed neighborhoods and for the diverse population that has transformed the port city into a unique cultural capital.

But on Wednesday morning,social media chat boards were busy with members posting pleas to a nameless murderer in their midst to “turn yourself in, you’re turning our lives into hell on earth.” By Thursday, the posts were exchanging funeral information.

Guy Kafri, 48, was one of two people shot on Tuesday in a murder that went largely unreported for two days due to a gag order by police. They were reportedly trying to figure out whether the crime was one of passion, nationalism or due to an underworld dispute.

It has now become clear that the victims were attacked by a terrorist.

The second man who was shot, a rabbi on the Haifa conversion court, was seriously wounded in the attack, but has survived.

Kafri was laid to rest Thursday in Moshav Ofer. “No one had a bad word to say about him,” his brother-in-law, Shachar Dror, told the Hebrew-language Ynet site. A driver who transported disabled children, this was a victim who seems to have had no enemies.

“All the evidence points to the fact that Guy was murdered because he was Jewish,” Dror said.

Haifa residents have called on security personnel to release the name and photo of the suspect for whom they are searching – and whose identifying information is still protected by a gag order.

Hana Levi Julian

Police Arrest 14 Suspects in Istanbul Nightclub Attack Investigation

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Police in Istanbul on Tuesday arrested six suspects in connection with the New Year’s Eve nightclub attack that killed 39 people, a security official told Anadolu.

On Monday, eight people were arrested by Istanbul anti-terror police. An anonymous police source revealed that these first suspects are already “testifying.”

Police would not release the names of the 14 suspects, but according to Anadolu none of them is the actual lone gunman who carried out the attack at the Reina nightclub early Sunday morning.

Authorities have released security camera images of the suspected killer, who shot dead a police officer and civilian outside the club on the European shore of the Bosporus before entering and opening fire on the people inside.

David Israel

Netanyahu to Opposition before Police Interrogation: Too Soon to Start Celebrating

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

A few hours before his interrogation with a warning by police Monday, regarding suspicion of illegally receiving gifts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction, “We’ve been hearing the celebration on television and in the opposition, and I want to tell them: wait with the celebrations, don’t rush. Nothing’s going to happen, you’ll just keep flying hot air balloons.”

Netanyahu is expected to be interrogated by police in his residence, on suspicion of illegally accepting gifts and benefits. According to Channel 2 News, there’s no time limit on the interrogation.

In early December, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was questioned by police for 11 hours over an alleged misuse of public funds.

Police explained their need for a large block of time saying they had to be able to spread before the PM the full body of evidence and suspicions in order to receive concrete answers from him.

Police are likely to confront Netanyahu with the testimony of businessman, art collector, philanthropist, and political activist Ronald Lauder, who confirmed that he gave the PM a few gifts, including a suit, and paid for Netanyahu’s son, Yair’s hospitality abroad. Police believe the overall amount exceeds Lauder’s claim that these were “merely gifts exchanged between friends,” and leans more towards being a bribe, or a “deposit” against a future need for the PM’s good will.

Meanwhile, police have been hinting about “another” scandal connected to the Prime Minister, which, according to Ha’aretz, may be the blow that finally draws blood. The reason, according to Ha’aretz, is the fact that AG Avichai Mandelblit – breaking with normal protocol – has been closely involved with the case, advising police on witnesses, discouraging some, and even becoming involved in preparing questions interrogators should ask witnesses.

David Israel

Arab MK Gives Up Immunity as Police Reveal How He Got Caught

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) on Wednesday sent the Knesset Committee a letter announcing he was giving up his lawmaker’s immunity from searches and prosecution. The Nazareth born, Christian Ghattas acted following a unanimous vote by the committee to recommend that the House remove his immunity, possibly as early as Thursday. Ghattas is suspected of passing contraband cellular phones and information to security prisoners.

At this point, MK Ghattas is probably aware that police have the goods on him: during his initial interrogation, he was shown video documenting clearly how he passed the phones and the documents to Arab terrorists behind bars. According to unofficial police reports, Ghattas was stunned, and was unable to come up with a consistent explanation to his actions onscreen.

Sources close to Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan revealed to Israel’s Channel 2 News how Ghattas was caught red-handed. In recent months, according to those sources, Arab MK were not allowed to visit security prisoners. The sole exception was MK Ghattas, who continued to receive permits for those visits. Apparently, police and the prisons authority had been informed about his pattern of violations, and so they signaled the minister to lend the MK a long rope for his own hanging. The rest was just a matter of security cameras doing their job.

Ghattas had originally request an opportunity to face the Knesset committee, and planned to accuse it of conducting a political witch hunt. His letter to Committee Chair MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) stated, “This is an unreasonable process by which a hearing is set before reception of the request and without a proper opportunity and reasonable time to study it. […] from the start of this episode police and law enforcement authorities have been stepping on my rights and preventing me from having my dignified due process. The debate you will be conducting today is nothing more than political, with a predictable outcome.”

Ghattas’ cousin, disgraced former MK Azmi Bishara, in 2006 was the subject of an Israeli criminal investigation, for money laundering, contact with a foreign agent, delivery of information to the enemy and aiding the enemy in wartime. After Bishara had been stripped of his parliamentary immunity, he fled Israel and has not returned since.

David Israel

Police Summon Arab MK Ghattas on Suspicion of Security Violations

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Israel Police will summon Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas for an interrogation on suspicion of security violations, based on information received by the special investigations unit Lahav 433, from the Prisons Authority, Haaretz reported Sunday evening. Apparently, MK Ghattas maintained ties with one or more security prisoners, which raised suspicions that he, too, was involved in state security violations.

According to the current report, there is no connection between this and the recent investigation into the Arab Balad party. However, investigators plan to check a possible connection between monies transferred to security prisoners by Balad and the lawmaker’s talks with security prisoners.

The Balad party on Sunday morning revealed that party politburo member Nibin Abu Rahmoun has also been interrogated by police.

Ghattas announced he would negotiate a time for his police interrogation, calling the police behavior “vengeful” and declaring he wasn’t afraid of such moved in the past and won’t be in the future.

The Ghattas interrogation follows the interrogation of his two colleague MKs in the Balad segment of the Joint Arab List, Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi. The interrogations of this highest echelon of Arab politicians come in the wake of sweeping arrests of Balad rank and file members, including former Balad Gen. Sec. and current President Awad Abdel Fattah and senior civil servants and attorneys.

The widespread investigation began a few months ago and deals with financial irregularities and suspicion of money laundering and document forgery during two campaigns in 2013 – one for the Knesset, the other for local municipalities.

Former Balad MK Azmi Bishara in April 2007 resigned from the Knesset through the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, following Israeli police investigation into his foreign contacts, and accusations of allegedly aiding the enemy in wartime, passing information to the enemy and having contacts with a foreign agent, as well as laundering money received from foreign sources. Bishara denied the allegations, and said he was staying abroad because he believes he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.


The Gratitude We Owe Police Officers

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Rebbetzin Jungreis, a”h, is no longer with us in a physical sense, but her message is eternal and The Jewish Press will continue to present the columns that for more than half a century have inspired countless readers around the world.

 * * * * *

As most of you know, I am a child of the Holocaust. After the war we were taken to a displaced person’s camp in Switzerland. For more than two years we waited for documents that would grant us the right to go to Eretz Yisrael.

The British were in control of our Holy Land and anxious to please the Muslims who opposed Jewish immigration. Anyone who arrived without proper papers would be deported to a displaced person’s camp built by the British in Cypress.

My parents did not want to subject their children to any more trauma and decided we would go to the United States. My mother had a sister living in Brooklyn and they had invited us many times to join them but my father’s wish was always to go to Eretz Yisrael. Conditions in Switzerland, however, had become unbearable.

So we embarked on a rough sea voyage to America. After two horrendous weeks, our ship docked in Norfolk, Virginia. We had no idea where we were.

We wandered around, not knowing where to go. Soon someone called the police. Talk about culture shock – here were uniformed men with guns who treated Jews with such kindness and compassion. It was something I never would have believed possible.

The police called the president of the local synagogue and the community took charge of us. Patiently they explained where we were and how we could get to New York. They bought us train tickets and soon we arrived at Grand Central Station in Manhattan.

My father in his black rabbinic hat and long black coat, my mother wearing something on her head that was supposed to pass for a sheitel, and we children dressed in ski outfits provided by the Jewish charity organization in Switzerland attracted much attention. We didn’t speak a word of English. Where to go? What to do?

So once again the police were called. New York’s Finest were just as eager as the Norfolk police had been to reassure and help us – and a Yiddish-speaking officer personally delivered us to the home of my uncle and aunt, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Kohn, in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

Actually, culture shock was not an adequate expression to describe our feelings. We had just come from Europe where police were identified with the torture and killing of Jews and now we were meeting policemen who were sympathetic and helpful – and one of them was even Jewish and spoke Yiddish!

Were we dreaming? No, it wasn’t a dream; it was all so gloriously true.

My mom had a flair for the dramatic and told my older brother to knock on the door of my aunt and uncle’s home while we hid under the staircase. My mother instructed my brother to simply say, “I bring you regards from the Jungreis family that survived Bergen Belsen.”

Somehow my aunt figured out who my brother was and fainted. She quickly recovered and with joyous prayers and thanksgiving we celebrated our miraculous survival. We invited the policeman to celebrate with us. To this day I regret we did not have cameras to record that incredible moment of exaltation.

I relate this story so that you can understand what we experienced when we came America and met policemen in Norfolk and then in New York – men in blue who served with compassion, devotion, and commitment.

Soon after my family arrived in America my saintly father built a yeshiva. One night, hoodlums set the Holy Ark in the yeshiva on fire. Quickly we rushed to the scene. The police were there waiting for us, ready to lend a helping hand.

A neighbor had saved the Torah scrolls but my father kept sifting through the ashes. Tears were running down his cheeks. It was a cold winter night but he would not give up. He kept looking, the police standing by his side. Suddenly we heard my father cry out in Yiddish, “I found it!”

There in his trembling hands he held the sacred tefillin that had belonged to grandfathers and great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers stretching back many generations.

Those tefillin made it through Bergen Belsen and now they had survived a fire set by hoodlums in New York. And throughout my father’s painstakingly long search, the benevolent officers of the NYPD never abandoned him.

Many years later my beloved husband became the chaplain of the Nassau County Police Department. This allowed me to get know the members of the force personally. In honor of my husband the annual police dinner was held in a glatt kosher place. The officers loved and revered him.

When tragedy struck us and my husband fell gravely ill, the police commissioner came to visit him at Sloan Kettering. He was a pious Catholic, a very kind and gentle man. When it was time for him to leave I accompanied him to the elevator and tears began streaming down his face.

“Rebbetzin,” he said, “I always wondered what the meaning of G-d was but since I met your husband I know. G-d comes from the word ‘goodness’ and your husband walks with that goodness reflected in his eyes, in his words, in his loving, warm ways. I will be forever grateful for having had the privilege to know him.”

When my husband was called to the Next World, a spectacular police procession was arranged for the funeral with helicopters overhead. All this for a Jewish chaplain.

Some years ago I was invited to address American troops at Fort Hood, the country’s largest military installation. Following my talk, some of the officers approached me and asked if I would deliver the same message to members of their families. They wanted their children to know about the Holocaust. I readily agreed. It would be my honor, I told them.

And so a short while later I was back at Fort Hood, speaking not only to the soldiers but to their beautiful families as well. An eight-year-old girl stood up, saluted, and in the sweetest voice said, “Rebbetzin, Ma’am, may I ask a question?”

“Of course, dear,” I responded.

“Why didn’t you call the police to help you?”

“What an American question!” I exclaimed. “How can I explain to you, my sweet child, that at that time and in that place the police were as brutal as the Nazi murderers? Many, in fact, were Nazis themselves. So there was no one for us to call.

“But I do understand where you are coming from. You’re an American child, a daughter of a country we Jewish people call ‘medina shel chesed’ – the country of loving kindness.’ A country where not only societal and cultural values are a reflection of chesed but where law enforcement authorities, who in many parts of the world are associated with meanness and cruelty, are kind and compassionate and ever ready to help and protect.”

I could share with you a thousand stories about our wonderful police. How, I ask, can it be that intelligent people abuse the police, trash them, and, G-d forbid, hold them up as targets for killing? Don’t people understand that if our courageous police were to disappear from the scene our society would in the blink of an eye become a lawless jungle?

Shouldn’t we Jews, who have seen and lived in the jungles of many societies, speak up on behalf of the police? Shouldn’t we in the New York City area show our support for the men and women of the NYPD – especially at a time when political opportunists are working so hard to tear them down?

Should we not honor New York’s Finest, who are prepared to risk their lives for us, who make our streets safe, who stand ready to come to our aid night and day?

Some may ask, “What can I do?” How about a few simple words we can express whenever we have any interaction with a police officer: “Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for being there.”

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Terror Attack Foiled at Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Israeli security forces foiled a plan by a wannabe terrorist to carry out a stabbing attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron over the weekend.

Police said they received an intelligence tip about a 22-year-old suspect who was plotting an attack.

The wannabe terror suspect was arrested before he could carry out his plans, however, and has been transferred to security personnel for further questioning.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/terror-attack-foiled-at-cave-of-patriarchs-in-hebron/2016/12/11/

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