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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Southern 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

President Rivlin Visits Bereaved Family of Israeli Teen Killed on Israel-Egyptian Border

Friday, October 28th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit on Thursday to the family of Nimer Abu Amar, the 15-year-old Bedouin teen who was killed by shots fired on the Israeli-Egyptian border.

“We are all citizens of the same country, we have come to share in your profound grief,” Rivlin said.

“We are all equal in this country and there is no difference between a child from Lakiya or from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Haifa. The Ministry of Defense treats a child from Lakiya in exactly the same way as it would any other child, and we will check and follow closely after this tragic incident.”

Bassam Abu Amar, the bereaved father, told Rivlin that he was confident the ministry would “pursue justice and investigate the issue.” He added, however, “We are in great pain; we are mourning our firstborn.”

Nimer’s uncle, Fares Abu Amar said, “We have been working with the security establishment for generations, and we will continue to serve the country and work along the borders.” He expressed confidence that the Defense Ministry would investigate and “draw the necessary conclusions.

“Our child is yours as well as ours – there is no question about that.”

The President embraced the family upon leaving and promised that the relevant officials at the President’s Office will follow the investigation into the incident.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Revokes Citizenship of Arab Plotting to Kidnap, Kill IDF Soldier

Friday, October 21st, 2016

An Arab holding an A-5 visa for the past 16 years granting him temporary resident status on the strength of his marriage to an Israeli citizen had that citizenship revoked Thursday night.

Interior Minister Arye Deri ordered officials to revoke the citizenship of Hani Massoud Nasir Abu Amra, originally from Deir Al-Balah.

Abu Amra received temporary resident status in 2000 for “family unification” after his marriage, and lived in the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva.

“A situation in which citizens use their status to commit terror attacks against Israeli citizens is something I intend to fight completely and relentlessly,” Deri said in a statement Thursday night. “I will take any steps necessary and use all available legal means to counter these dangers.”

He was a member of a terrorist cell recruited by Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Abu Taha, who was recruited by a senior member of the terrorist organization, was indicted Thursday on terror-related charges.

Abu Amra and two other cell members were arrested Thursday and charged with plotting to attack a wedding hall in southern Israel where one of the three, a Gaza resident who had infiltrated into Israel, was illegally employed as a worker.

The group also allegedly planned to abduct and murder and Israeli soldier, using his dead body as a bargaining chip in subsequent prison swap negotiations with Israel.

The three terrorists were taken into custody by Shin Bet intelligence agents and the Negev Central Unit of the Israel Police.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Foils Islamic Jihad Plot to Kidnap, Murder IDF Soldier

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Israeli security and intelligence agents have foiled a major attack plan by the Gaza-based terrorists who planned to abduct and kill an IDF soldier.

Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group, was indicted Thursday (Oct. 20, 2016) in Be’er Sheva District Court by the State Attorney’s Office, Southern District, on terrorism-related charges.

Taha was arrested on September 21 by a joint team of Israeli police and Shin Bet intelligent agents as he attempted to enter Israel from Gaza through the Erez Crossing, ostensibly for commercial reasons, after an extended investigation.

It was learned during questioning that the Khan Younis resident was leading a (PIJ) terror cell from Gaza, and was planning to carry out a large-scale terror attack at a wedding hall in southern Israel. The plan included the abduction and murder of an IDF soldier, whose body would then be held in Gaza, to be used as a bargaining chip in future prisoner swap talks with the Israeli government.

Under interrogation, Taha revealed that he had been recruited by Wael Sufiyan Abu Taha, a senior PIJ terrorist living in Gaza. The recruiter directed him to establish a military infrastructure and prepare to carry out the aforementioned attacks. Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha, in turn, recruited three additional cohorts who have also been arrested:

* Shafik Hamad Abu Taha, born in 1961, from the Gaza Strip, who had been present in Israel illegally. He was employed at the events hall where the attack was to have been perpetrated.

* Ahmed Taysir Abdul Rahman Abu Taha, born in 1977, from the Gaza Strip, who had also been present in Israel illegally; and

* Hani Massoud Nasir Abu Amra, born in 1976, originally from Deir Al-Balah, who had been living in the south after receiving temporary resident status for “family unification.”

Mahmoud and Shafik had already carried reconnaissance on the designated events hall in southern Israel, and had developed their operations plan to maximize the number of casualties.

At the same time, Mahmoud began his plan to abduct and murder an IDF soldier for bargaining purposes, receiving from Wael Sufiyan Abu Taha thousands of shekels with which to rent an apartment in Israel. This is where he would take his victim, kill him and bury him, while delivering his personal effects to Gaza for use in negotiations.

“This grave case underscores, again, the efforts of Gaza-based terrorists to carry out murderous attacks in Israel, in addition to their activities in Gaza,” warned a spokesperson for the Shin Bet.

“The case also reiterates the manner in which terrorists will exploit humanitarian and economic permits to enter Israel, as well as the risk posed by Arabs from the Palestinian Authority who are present in Israel illegally.”

Hana Levi Julian

Pilot’s Family Tells President Rivlin, Cohen Nov Was ‘A Joyful Boy’

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit to the family of IAF Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov who was killed in a deadly crash of his F-16 fighter jet at Ramon Air Base in the Negev last week upon his return from an air strike on Hamas terror targets in Gaza. The attack had been carried out in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists earlier in the day.

Ohad’s parents, Doron and Chaya, spoke with the president about their son, about his joy for life and respect for all, and about his love for flying.

“My son loved everyone, he was a joyful boy,” Chaya told the president.

Rivlin responded, “I read and heard so much about Ohad, and on these things alone it is clear what a great loss he is for his family, for his unit, and for all the Israeli people. Your pain is infinite, and no words can bring comfort at this terrible time. All that I can do is come and be with you, together with you in your pain.”

The President spoke with Ohad’s widow, Shachar, and heard from her about the plans they had had for the future as a young family setting out. He wished for her that she should have the strength to continue looking ahead for their daughter, and for all the family.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Shells Gaza After Rocket Fire on Southern Israel

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

IDF tanks shelled eastern Gaza on Thursday in retaliation for a rocket attack on the Eshkol Regional Council district earlier in the day.

This is the second day in a row that Gaza terrorists have targeted Israel with rocket fire.

Israeli tank fire was allegedly aimed in response at the Gaza community of Bureij, according to a report in Arab media.

The rocket exploded in an open area outside one of Israel’s Gaza Belt communities, according to the IDF. No one was physically hurt in the attack.

Arab media reported that Israeli mortar shells exploded in the Gaza community a few hours later. No injuries were reported in that attack, either.

All Israeli military personnel reportedly returned safely to base.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Flotilla Vessel Arrives in Ashdod Port, Accompanied by Israeli Naval Forces

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Zaytoun-Oliva Women’s Flotilla Boat to Gaza arrived after midnight Wednesday night in Ashdod Port, accompanied by Israeli Naval forces, the IDF told JewishPress.com.

“The members on board were transferred to the appropriate authorities for further processing,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

The Israeli Navy seized control over the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza late Wednesday afternoon and began redirecting the Zaytouna-Oliva ship to Ashdod Port.

An all-female IDF Naval unit was used for the first time to seize control of the vessel.

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade,” said the IDF.

“The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful. In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

No injuries were reported in the operation, which involved a unit of female Israeli Naval commandos who seized the vessel when it was just a few dozen kilometers from a beach in southern Israel.

By afternoon ranting had already begun on the Twitter social networking site, starting with a litany of red “SOS” signs sent by one user who signed off in Greek letters. A second wrote in despair, “this is sickeningly sad” … A third was so graphic that even the Twitter management was finally pushed to delete it — “This Tweet is unavailable” showed in blank grey space.

The ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ group pleaded, meanwhile, “Pls contact your Govt to demand their release and an end to the illegal blockade!”

Equally vocal were supporters of Israel.

Sussex Friends of Israel noted in a tweet, “According to @GazaFFlotilla they’ve been ‘captured!’ What-like if you sailed a boat into UK waters without authorization? (#expletive)

“@GazaFFlotilla complete waste of time and energy,” wrote another. “Want to help #Gaza? teach them #hate is not the answer.”

A third wrote, “you came to our home. You came to aid terrorists. Now you must be treated the same. Don’t mess with #Israel”

And another: “I’ll contact my government to make sure that people like you @GazaFFlotilla get #arrested and put on #trial for #terrorism #support.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-navy-redirects-womens-flotilla-vessel-from-gaza-to-ashdod-port/2016/10/06/

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