Remarkably, despite the severe plunge in tourism Turkey has been experiencing for several years, with millions fewer tourists from Germany, Austria, the UK, Israel and more recently Russia making Turkey their vacation destination, air traffic in and out of Turkey remains massive. This is due to a decision made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to turn Turkey into the world’s international hub. The country’s location, one part in Asia, the other part in Europe, made this a logical and rewarding move.
There are two international airports in Istanbul: Ataturk, which is about fifteen minutes from downtown Istanbul, and Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side, which is about half an hour from downtown. Ataturk, with 60 million passengers a year, is the third largest airport in Europe, and the Turks are already working on a third international airport, to help manage the traffic.
Cognizant of the security threats to commercial traffic in the region, Turkey has invested a tremendous amount of resources in securing both international airports, with several security circles, Walla reported Wednesday. The airports are surrounded by security fences, at the main vehicle entrance there is a police check post, and at the entrance to each terminal the suitcases go through an x-ray scan, while each passenger must go through a metal detector. After the check-in the passenger goes through another metal detector and their luggage is x-rayed. On flights to Israel and the US passengers are also checked before entering the plane.
According to Walla, despite what appears like standard security checks which are familiar to anyone flying in the US, Turkish airports share several weak spots. For one thing, modern airport security systems, like the one in Israel, operate three separate circles which are run separate from one another: a circle securing the airport; a circle for the flight security; and a circle for securing the flight path.
In Istanbul airports, those circles are indistinguishable from one another, creating needless lines at the various check points, and compromising both the airport and the individual planes’ security. Also, there are no snipers situated in strategic locations, ready to take out potential attackers.
But the problem begins earlier, at the bus service hauling passengers from downtown Istanbul to the airport. Those buses don’t check their passengers, and they pass through to the terminal doors without an inspection.
Ataturk’s problems are similar to those of the Brussels airport where terrorists managed to blow themselves up with horrendous casualties last March. Both airports concede parts of the terminal to potential terrorists, where passengers move in and out unobserved.
Walla has speculated that one immediate benefit to the Turks from the thaw of their relations with Israel would be to seek Israeli assistance in setting their security systems straight.
An unidentified attacker or attackers hurled firebombs in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo on Wednesday night.
The incendiary bottles (Molotov cocktails) were thrown in the area of Dov Yosef Street. No one was physically injured in the attack, according to Jerusalem police.
Update: Police have determined that the fire was not started by Molotov cocktails as originally thought. Youths from the nearby neighborhood of Sharfat ignited a couch, and then threw parts of it down the hill.
The firebombing did, however, ignite a brush fire and no details were available regarding property damage as a result of the attack.
Large security forces were deployed to search for the perpetrators as fire and rescue services extinguished the blaze.
No details were released about the extent of property damage.
The young boy has no where else to go to if the army is allowed to throw him out from his parent’s home.
Signs have been posted on benches in Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa, Rosh HaAyin, Migdal Emek and in additional cities in Israel. A sign has even been posted as far away as Brooklyn, NY.
The IDF hasn’t given an explanation as to why the boy is being expelled from his home as well as all of Judea and Samaria, other than to say the 15-year-old is a threat to national security and has been involved in violent incidents against Arabs.
It sounds like he’s quite the villain, yet if that’s the case, it’s not clear why he hasn’t been brought to trial and thrown in jail.
There’s been no court hearing, and the IDF refuses to present any of their evidence to the boy’s lawyers, making it impossible for the lawyers to defend their client and fight the administrative order.
There was hope that under the new Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, the anti-democratic “administrative orders” policies of Moshe Ya’alon would have stopped, but apparently that’s not the case.
Recently, 2 cases were closed against Israelis who were held for weeks in jail by the Shabak, without trial, without evidence, without lawyers and without any regard for their civil rights. They were eventually freed when the Shabak finally accepted the fact that the two were innocent.
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The following is the transcript and video from the State Department Press briefing on June 20th, 2016, regarding the supplemental aid package that Israel approved yesterday to aid Israelis whose businesses have suffered due to the Palestinian Authority Arab terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, and to help improve security for the communities in Judea and Samaria.
Time: 29:55 on the video.
QUESTION (Matt Lee): Did you guys have any reaction to this additional – the supplementary funding that was approved for the West Bank settlements for – over the weekend, yesterday?
MR KIRBY: Yeah. I actually put a statement out.
QUESTION: You did?
MR KIRBY: I did —
QUESTION: I missed it.
MR KIRBY: — yesterday. I can’t believe you’re not sitting around —
QUESTION: Yeah, Sunday —
MR KIRBY: — waiting for my statements.
QUESTION: Sunday afternoon, Kirby, I’m just sitting there looking – staring at my phone —
MR KIRBY: Well, if you had been —
QUESTION: — waiting for your emails.
MR KIRBY: — then you wouldn’t have had to ask that question.
QUESTION: If you’ve already put something out, then —
MR KIRBY: Okay. I’ll let the statement stand. Seems like everybody else got a chance to read it.
QUESTION: We like to hear it directly from you, though.
MR KIRBY: But you did hear it directly from me. I signed it.
QUESTION: You know what I mean, with your own voice. It sort of gives it an added —
MR KIRBY: We’re aware of the funding package. We’re looking into further details. Our position on settlement activity remains clear and consistent: We strongly oppose all settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. We continue to look to both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to a two-state solution, and actions such as these we believe does exactly the opposite.
QUESTION: Well, wait, wait, but this isn’t for settlement activity, per se. This was not to expand or build new homes.
MR KIRBY: It’s approving more than like $18 million for settlements. It’s approving funding for —
QUESTION: But not for building them. This is for, like, helping businesses and security.
MR KIRBY: But it still runs counter to our view about settlement activity, period.
QUESTION: So securing – adding security to settlements is the same as settlement activity?
MR KIRBY: As I said, we’re still – we are still – we’re aware of this funding package and we’re still looking into it for details. But settlement activity, as we’ve said – there’s nothing – nothing has changed about our concerns about that.
QUESTION: So any money that goes into anything in a West Bank settlement is bad according to you guys?
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say that. I said we are aware of this funding package and we’re looking into the details.
QUESTION: Okay. All right. Okay.
QUESTION (New Reporter): Well, the worry here by the Palestinians is that these kind of steps make annexation of the West Bank all but a foregone conclusion, and they say that some of this money is basically geared to encourage, let’s say, tourism and to expand tourist projects and so on in the occupied West Bank, in the settlements and so on. What do you say to that?
MR KIRBY: As I said in my statement and just a few minutes ago, we’re looking into what this funding package really means. And I think I’m going to leave it at there to – for right now.
Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told the CBS News program “Face the Nation” on Sunday (June 19) that America is “going to have to start thinking about” profiling for preventive security.
“Other countries do it, you look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads,” he said. “It’s not the worst thing to do.”
Omar Mateen was a homegrown Muslim killer whose parents immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan in the 1980s. Two months prior to the rampage on the Pulse Nightclub that took the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others, he signed over his property to his sister for the sum of $10. Although his wife claimed she and their two children had no clue about his activities, evidence cited by media shows the two were in contact via text and Facebook just before and during his attack.
It’s not the first time a Muslim extremist has killed after being inspired and incited by the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization over the internet.
Just a day later, a deputy police chief in a Paris suburb and his female partner were murdered at their home. Their 3-year-old son was spared because a police SWAT team charged the home and shot him dead. Police broke in, knowing the situation was critical — they were monitoring the musings of the terrorist as he wondered via live stream on Facebook ‘what he should do with the child.’
“They’re doing it in France,” Trump pointed out. “In fact, in some instances they’re closing down mosques. People don’t want to talk about it. People aren’t talking about it,” he said, underscoring the discomfort among most Democratic societies facing a terrorist threat. “But look at what they’re doing in France,” he continued. “They’re actually closing down mosques.”
Trump also called for members of the Muslim community to come forward and report suspicious activity.
“When you look at, when you look at people within the Muslim community and where people are living and they don’t report, and a good example of that would be San Berndardino,” he said. “I mean, they had bombs all over their apartment floor and people saw it and nobody reported them, and 14 people were killed, many injured,” he reminded.
The Orlando killer also showed many “red flags” before he attacked, Trump commented. “You look at his past – I mean, I’ve never seen a past quite like that. You look at his record in school, you look at a lot of other things. There were a lot of red flags. This was not a very good young man.”
Trump said he is working with the NRA (National Rifle Association) on a policy to ban those listed on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.
Although many media outlets have claimed Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. The statement is taken out of context and is only a partial truth. In fact, Trump called for a suspension, not an outright ban, of Muslim immigration – with obvious exceptions to be made – until the government could plug the holes in the current screening process that allow entry of Muslim extremists such as those who carried out the San Bernadino terror attack a few months ago.
Media reports revealed the terrorists were given visas without their beliefs and values even being questioned by interviewers prior to receiving a visa.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) on Thursday signed an order temporarily preventing two Arabs, Mesbah Mesbah Abu Sabih Sabih and Mohammed Yassin Sabah Yassin, from leaving Israel.
Minister Deri released a statement saying he exercised his authority to prevent these individuals’ exit in light of information he received that their departure would pose a threat to national security. The two Palestinians were allegedly planning to incite violence in Jerusalem as well as to meet with terrorists abroad.
Abu Sabih Sabih, a resident of Jerusalem who is a prominent Hamas activist and a leader of the Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa organization that aims to “defend” the Temple Mount from Jews and other non-Muslims, was planning to travel to Jordan.
As to Yasin Sabih, who is suspected of involvement in terrorist activity, Israeli security suspected that he would present a national security threat outside Israel. There was also concern that his departure from the country would be used to promote unrest in Jerusalem, as well as in Judea and Samaria, via the al-Hirak al-Shabab youth movement.
The ban will hold for at least one month and may be extended to as long as six months.