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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘rescue’

AG Recommends Evacuating Amona, Residents Hoping for Political Rescue

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said on Sunday that there is no legal obstacle barring a review of the status of lands adjacent to the community of Amona in Benjamin regional council, to start a discussion of potentially moving there the residents of the community which has been slated for demolition by the end of the year by the supreme court. Mandelblit spoke at a discussion with government officials of regulating the status of Amona.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the Amona community is illegal under Israeli law, based on petitions of presumed original Arab owners of the land who had been rounded up by anti-Zionist groups like Peace Now and Yesh Din. Since then, the court has ruled again on the Amona case, ordering that the Jewish residents must be evacuated, the housing and infrastructure destroyed and the area be handed to the Arabs.

According to the Amona residents, when the community was founded in 1995 it was by a state initiative, promoted by then housing minister Natan Sharansky, who invested millions of dollars in creating an infrastructure, paving roads and promoting construction, all of it under the auspices of the state. If there were irregularities with the land purchase, it was the state’s problem, not theirs. Had they known the land was privately owned they would have stayed away, but they were told by the state to move in — let the state deal with the alleged original owners.

It should be noted that when Mandelblit was being considered for the AG appointment, he was favored by the right for his idea that in just these kinds of cases, with anti-Jewish settlement activists signing up claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and the claimants prove ownership (which is not so hard to do considering the land registration archives are kept in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority) — said claimants be compelled to accept fair market value for the property, or comparable property. Mind you, this is after some Arab real estate agent had received full pay for the same land.

Now, despite his wise recommendation on grandfathering existing Jewish communities, the AG is obviously feeling that he can’t go to battle against a clear Supreme Court ruling to demolish Amona, and so he recommends finding an alternative land not for the alleged Arab owners, but for the very real Jewish residents instead.

Amona was the site of one of the most brutal attacks of Israeli government forces on Jewish residents in the state’s history. On February 1, 2006, Amona Jewish residents and protesters were evacuated by 10,000 Israeli Police, Border Police, and Army troops. The estimated 4,000 Jews on the Amona grounds mostly consisted of youths from nearby communities. More than 300 were injured, including some 80 security personnel. Among the injured were three Knesset members. After several hours, the Amona homes had been demolished. A few girls that were evacuated accused police officers of sexual assault.

In March 2006, the Knesset parliamentary inquiry into the events at Amona determined that security forces had employed brutal force, striking protesters with clubs and charging them with horses. Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra was criticized for preventing police commanders from testifying at committee hearings. The committee also found contradictions between the testimonies of the Army Chief of Staff and the Internal Security Minister.

Today, none of the coalition parties wants to position itself behind a similar evacuation effort, a move which could kill their political aspirations among their rightwing voters. Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu officials have stated recently that this government will not permit the destruction of Amona. When the brutal evacuation took place in 2006, it was carried out by the same government that had evacuated Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in 2005, yet another traumatic event in recent Israeli history. That government was ruled by the Kadima party, a political albatross invented by soon-to-go-comatose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which has since disappeared from the political map, and serves as a warning to all Israeli rightwing parties wishing to err leftward.

With that in mind, it can be expected that Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Liberman and Justice Minister Shaked come up with a solution that keeps the Jewish settlers in place, risking the ire of the high court, as well as of Israel’s many friends in the free world. It should provide for great political theater, as these three politicians will show their ability to both capitulate and gravel while proudly standing erect. It’s time to call in the chiropractors.


Entebbe: ‘Israel Was Right – And Fortunately the Mission Succeeded’

Monday, July 4th, 2016

It was the 200th birthday of the United States of America, and three C-130 Hercules military transport planes silently flew through the night to land at a darkened landing strip with enough Israeli commandos and fake official Ugandan vehicles to make it through airport security.

The Israelis ultimately rescued 102 Air France passengers and crew being held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at the old terminal in the Entebbe international airport, who were under the military protection of then-Ugandan President Idi Amin.

On Monday, 40 years later to the day, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni stood beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the miraculous rescue. He said the Jewish State had been right to carry out the long-distance operation.

Netanyahu called the mission “a watershed moment for my people.” Operation Thunderbolt is now called Operation Yonatan in memory of his older brother who lost his life leading the mission.

The prime minister also referenced the Holocaust during his remarks, saying Jews had been murdered by the millions, stateless. “The State of Israel has changed that. Perhaps it was in Entebbe,” he said, “where this transformation was seen by the world. We were poweless no more.”

Museveni agreed, saying that for Uganda as well, the operation had marked a turning point.

“Your brother Jonathan, some Israeli hostages and some Ugandan soldiers were killed here,” he told Netanyahu in remarks at a ceremony with journalists at the airport. “Fortunately, the rescue mission succeeded.”

Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan, “Yoni” was the leader of the commando unit who raced into the terminal to rescue the passengers; he was also the sole casualty in the operation, leading the way, he was hit by terrorist gunfire in the first moments the soldiers were seen.

Benjamin Netanyahu, his younger brother, was in the same elite Sayeret Matkal unit at the time but due to the IDF rule not to allow two brothers in the same operation, he was not involved in the rescue. Instead, he learned when they returned that he had lost his brother.

Museveni told those gathered at the airport that Idi Amin’s “hobnobbing with terrorists was a crime in itself,” and called the raid “another bond” that connected “Palestine to Africa.” He slammed what he called “indiscriminate violence” and said it didn’t matter if the “cause is just.”

Prior to 1948, the Jews who came to resettle the reborn State of Israel called their endeavor the “yishuv” (settlement in Hebrew) and referred to the geographic region as “Palestine.” They called themselves “Palestinians” — just as the newspaper which today is The Jerusalem Post was at that time called “The Palestine Post.”

Hana Levi Julian

Foreign Ministry Requesting Russians to Rescue Israelis Stuck in Mongolia Blizzard

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Two Israeli and two Russian trekkers are stuck in a blizzard at the Shumakskie Istochniki trek on the border of Mongolia and Russia. The four travelers are located in a rocky area some 6,600 feet above sea level and cannot get out of there on their own..

A spokesperson for rescue company Magnus told Israeli media that the Israeli trekkers are well and healthy, but said that plans to send a long distance rescue team after them were scrapped in favor of reaching out to local rescuers.

Magnus teams are on call to carry out policies issued by five leading Israeli insurance companies that offer its services. Founded to provide Israeli travelers and their families with solutions in case of loss of contact and emergency while abroad, Magnus’ skilled teams plan and launch rescue operations at short notice.

Magnus expert in vertical rescue and climbing Eyal Naor told Israeli media that “from the moment we received the signal we’ve been working to effect a quick and safe rescue of the group. The group members are exposed to extreme cold, which is why we must get them out of there quickly.”

The four trekkers started broadcasting a distress signal via satellite phone early Tuesday morning, reporting that they are stuck in the snow, unable to advance, that their equipment is drenched and that the gas in their single burner is about to run out.

The Israeli consul in Russia Jacob Rosh has been in phone contact with Russian authorities in order to receive their assistance in the rescue effort. A spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “we are working in tight cooperation and mutual notification with the Magnus company.”


Report: IDF Soldiers Rescue Arab Terror Kidnap Victim in Daring Raid

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

IDF soldiers entered the Arab town of Nil’in late Sunday night to hunt down three Arabs who crossed the security fence after allegedly having kidnaped an Israeli citizen, according to the Hebrew-language ‘0404‘ news website.

Nil’in is located 17 kilometers (about 10 miles) west of Ramallah, but just a mile north of the Jewish city of Modi’in Illit. It is also very close to the 1949 Armistice Line (the so-called “Green Line”) and not far from Highway 443, where there have been numerous Arab attacks on Jews during the terror wave that began last October.

Map of Arab village of Nil'in and the Jewish city of Modi'in Illit.

It’s not clear how the infiltrators managed to get through the security fence.

The hostage was dragged into a location in the village while a mob of Arabs pelted the IDF troops with stones. Other Arabs placed rocks in the road in order to block vaccess by Israeli army vehicles.

Neither strategy was effective in stopping the IDF forces, who simply pushed through the hail of rocks and entered Ni’ilin to search for the kidnap victim.

A group of IDF soldiers were successful in tracking down the hostage and rescuing him, miraculously unharmed, while a second unit covered them with gunfire aimed at the rioting Arabs who had begun to surround the house where the captive was being held.

No details have been released about the identity of the kidnap victim or about which IDF units tracked down his captors and got him out of there alive and in one piece. All Israeli soldiers reportedly returned safely to base.

Hana Levi Julian

Kibbutzniks Rescue Parrots from PA Thieves

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The staff at the Fun Jungle children’s zoo at Kibbutz Beit Zera in the Jordan Valley were stunned to discover when they came to work this week that 31 rare and valuable parrots had been stolen from their cages, Israel Hayom reported. In addition, the safe in the zoo office had been broken into and all the money and valuables stolen. Eventually, the parrots were located in the PA and a complex operation was organized to retrieve them.

“We were in shock,” Shaul Stein, a kibbutz member and the owner of the zoo, told Israel Hayom. “The burglars did a professional job but they packed the parrots cruelly into tiny cages and left behind signs of a struggle, feathers and blood. I filed a complaint with the police, which launched an investigation, but I knew that I had to act fast because my parrots were in mortal danger.”

Shaul Stein with a friend

Shaul Stein with a friend

When Stein was a boy, he was dedicated to the kibbutz’s small petting zoo, which later turned into a small, commercial zoo, with the parrots as a central featured attraction.

“They’re large parrots: Australian cockatoo, and Macaws from South America, to name two out of a large group of rare and valuable parrots,” Stein explained.

Stein’s other occupation is as the Kibbutz security coordinator, and in both his capacities he is connected with security forces, police, and bird merchants. Many of his acquaintances in the two fields volunteered to help locate and retrieve the parrots. “We were sure they were taken to the PA territories,” said Stein, “and locating them was not a small feat.”

It took 18 hours to retrieve 22 out of the 31 stolen parrots. The rest have perished in the hands of the thieves. The returning parrots are being looked after by a veterinarian, and are being surrounded with warmth and love by Stein, his staff, and the kibbutz children, “Just in time for Chol Ha’Mo’ed and the thousands of visitors we’re expecting,” Stein said.


Israeli Scientists Create Robo-Locust at Tel Aviv University

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

A team of Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University are inventing the Robo-Locust.

No, really.

Lead researcher Professor Amir Ayali of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Life Sciences told Reuters he was inspired by the locust’s jumping mechanism.

“The locust, being a large insect that has wonderful jumping performance, offered itself as a wonderful inspiration for this specific idea of a jumping miniature robot,” Ayali explained.

The little robot could possibly be used in the future for surveillance, and maybe for emergency response systems. But additional funding is needed for further development; the research team began the project with just $200,000 USD. More is needed to move ahead.

Made with steel springs, carbon rods and new three-dimensional printed plastic pieces, it is only four inches long (10 cm) and weighs less than one ounce (23 gr). But despite its tiny size, this robot can jump 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) into the air, for 1,000 jumps, due to its lithium battery.

Its motor, structure and energy storage all combine to create the capability of withstanding the long jump, and high acceleration, Ayali said. Because the parts are relatively inexpensive, he estimates the cost per robot at about $100 USD.

The researcher is hoping to develop mechanisms of swarming capabilities in the robotic systems. He is being encouraged by Hungarian-born Dr. Gabor Kosa of TAU’s Faculty of Engineering, who also dreams of a swarm of robo-locusts.

Kosa has a broader vision — a swarm installed with GPS navigation systems, cameras and solar panels for renewable energy – a swarm that can enter enemy territory for surveillance operations.

Kosa is hoping to build a robotic system capable of multiple jumps, with a robo-locust that can spread its wings, and fly.

Hana Levi Julian

IAF Airlift to Arrive Overnight with Rescued Israelis from Nepal

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

The first contingent of Israelis are to arrive home Monday after being rescued from the heights of the Himalayas in Nepal after a deadly earthquake tore apart the region.

The Israeli Air Force plane is also carrying three newbies, premature babies born amidst the temblors. It’s expected to arrive at 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The IDF general staff said Sunday that its rescue mission to Nepal was delayed by 12 hours due to the condition of the landing strip at Kathmandu.

Although the mission was originally set to depart from Israel at 10:00 pm local time, it was not clear whether the IAF would stick to the schedule> The IDF also said a great deal of discussion was taking place over which type of planes could be used given current conditions on the ground.

The Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu was also slightly damaged due to the earthquakes. The first, a 7.9-magnitude quake, did the most damage to the area. But that was followed within just a few hours by an aftershock that was nearly as devastating, registering at 6.7-magnitude on the Richter scale.

Both caused damage – and fatalities – as far away as India and China. In Nepal, the death toll thus far has risen to nearly 2,500 and almost twice as many injured.

More than four hundred Israelis were known to be traveling near Kathmandu at the time of the quakes. Most have been tracked down or checked in on their own, but 150 Israelis are still out of touch with their families and authorities.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is coordinating its efforts with the Kathmandu Chabad House, where volunteers have transformed the building into a local crisis management and refugee center for the time being.

Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz and his wife Chani are urging Israelis throughout Nepal via their Facebook pages and other social media not to sleep indoors tonight (Sunday, April 26, 2015), saying the area is still unstable, and that doing so would be “unsafe.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaf-airlift-to-arrive-overnight-with-rescued-israelis-from-nepal/2015/04/26/

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