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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Terror Plot to Bomb Jewish Bookstore Foiled in Spain

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Seven suspected Islamist terrorists have been arrested and detained in Spain in connection with a plot to bomb a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.

According to a report posted by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, the would-be terrorists were among 11 people arrested last Wednesday in a sting operation.

Spanish authorities have been investigating reports of a plot to attack a number of Jewish sites, officials said. It is not clear whether a specific terrorist group was behind the plot or not — and if so, which one it was.

All seven were placed under formal investigation – a step short of arraignment on charges – and are being held pending trial.

The investigating magistrate said Friday the group had planned to target a number of synagogues, the Catalan parliament, police forces and public shops in the Catalonia region, according to the report he received from prosecutors.

More than 30 people have been arrested so far this year in a crackdown on terror networks by Spain since a week-long series of terror attacks in Paris by Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked operatives this past January left 17 dead.

Six of the seven suspects being held in Catalonia are suspected of belonging to a terror group with a profile similar to that of ISIS (also known as Da’esh, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.) The seventh member of the cell is additionally suspected of aiding the terror group and possessing weapons and explosives.

A detainee described as the cell’s founder told members he had been “about to attack a Jewish bookshop in Barcelona,” the magistrate said in the report. According to the plot described therein, the terrorist leader suggested attackers hide in a van armed with hand grenades and guns. Synagogues, police forces and the Catalan parliament were suggested as good targets and a bank branch manager was suggested as a kidnap hostage.

Among the items discovered during a search by security officials were 25 empty bags that contained traces of chemicals that could be used to make explosives, according to the report.

Three people who were initially detained were granted a conditional release. A fourth is reportedly a minor and has been sentenced to six months in a youth reform center.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Quietly Acknowledges Accidental Death of Spanish UNIFIL Soldier

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

An Israeli investigator has confirmed that it was Israeli fire that accidentally killed a Spanish peacekeeper with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in January during a shootout with Hezbollah.

Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledano died after being hit in a barrage aimed at Hezbollah by Israel. The force missed and struck the UNIFIL soldier instead.

The gunfire followed an unprovoked cross-border attack with anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon at Israeli military personnel and civilians about seven kilometers from the border, inside Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed instantly and several other people were seriously wounded. A civilian home in a nearby Druze village was destroyed in the multi-pronged attack as well.

Nevertheless, Spain’s UN ambassador blamed Israel, and the United Nations Security Council was persuaded to condemn the killing of the UNIFIL soldier, implying his death was caused by Israel alone even though that was obviously not the case.

It was the most serious exchange of gunfire between Israel and Hezbollah since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a point of warning Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah on public media to “look at Gaza” before he considered his next step and decided whether to proceed with more violence or to cease the attacks.

According to a UN diplomat, Israel has submitted an apology privately to Spain, but there has been no public admission of responsibility. Jerusalem has made it clear the death was accidental, resulting from the deliberate attack on Israel by Hezbollah.

Hana Levi Julian

Israelis Win ‘Best App’ Award at Prestigious Competition in Spain

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Two Israelis behind the Fansino app won first place at a prestigious smartphone app competition held in Barcelona last week. Haran Wolfovitz Yaffe and Omri Erez won the 2015 Mobile Premier Awards “Best App of the Year” at Spain’s Mobile World Congress, the largest cross-platform app showcase in the mobile industry and attended by around 70,000 people.

The app placed first among 800 other nominees as the contest, which has been described as the Oscars for the mobile world. Yaffe and Erez were chosen out of the 16 finalists who made the cut.

In 2010, the Israeli traffic and navigation app, the now internationally-known Waze, was the first place winner of the Mobile Premier Awards and went on to draw millions of users around the world.

Fansino is an app that provides musical artists the ability to communicate directly with their fan base as they are listening in real time across all major streaming services and mobile devices. On the other end, fans receive information about their favorite artists and upcoming concerts in their area. “The app allows both sides to communicate with one another, both the artist and the fan,” said the app designers. “The idea is to help musical artists overcome a dwindling market in the area of music in the last few years and strengthen the relationship between the artist and his audience.” “We believe that a like and a follow are meaningless. It means that someone dedicated a fraction of a second of their life to click a button. The fact that the big artists have 17 million fans on Facebook and 70 million followers on Twitter is meaningless,” explained the pair in an interview with Geektime. “We say focus on the people who spend at least three minutes of their life to listen to a song.” The app also allows the musical artist to know who his or her fan base are and how much time they spend listening to their content. The technology identifies the fans that are the most serious, based on content consumption metrics and not via likes on Facebook or other social media barometers.

It was a long journey for Haran Yaffe, who was considered one of the most severely wounded soldiers of the Second Lebanon War in 2006 when his armored tank carrier was hit by an anti-tank missile.Yaffe underwent a long rehabilitation process and eventually returned to his music career as an alternative rock musician and to the start-up world. An active musician and public speaker, Yaffe also helps raise funds for disable army veterans.

Commenting on the purpose of the app, Yaffe told Geektime that the app would help musical artists make more money. “That basic connection that happens between an artist and his audience, we want to bring that back to life again. This is the juice that keeps musicians going. This is why artists work.”

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

UN Panel to Probe UNIFIL Soldier’s Death in Lebanon

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Another United Nations investigation is about to probe Israel’s involvement in a death among Arab attackers … uh, that is … the panel will probe the death of a UNIFIL soldier in Lebanon while Hezbollah was attacking Israel.

This will be the second such “independent” panel investigating Israel’s role in defending itself from attacks initiated against its citizens.

Currently the UN Human Rights Council is continuing its efforts to “investigate” claims that Israel Defense Forces committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza during the counter terror war to silence the incessant rocket fire being fired against Israeli civilians in the south.

Professor William Schabas was replaced this week with Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the team that produced the notorious Goldstone Report, after resigning his role as leader of the anti-Israel probe of Israel’s counter terror war against Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and allied terrorists. Although Schabas was known to have an open bias against Israel, it was still a surprise to many when he revealed in his resignation letter that he had actually worked as a consultant for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the past.

The “independent panel” to be appointed by the UN is specifically tasked with investigating the death of a soldier from Spain, a member of the UNIFIL contingent operating in southern Lebanon since November 2014.

Spain last week said it was Israeli artillery that was responsible for the death of its soldier, which took place during an exchange of gunfire that followed an attack launched by Hezbollah on an unprotected convoy traveling near the northern border in Israel.

The terrorists fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at two unarmored jeeps and two civilian vehicles on Israel’s side of the border. The two army jeeps were incinerated instantly. Two soldiers died and seven others were wounded. One of the missiles went astray and struck a civilian home in the border town of Ghajar, destroying it as well.

UNIFIL was tasked with monitoring the ceasefire that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah and seeing to it that the terrorists did not receive any more arms, among other assignments. It has failed miserably at its assignment, perhaps deliberately. After all, it is easier to deal with disappointed Israelis than to face a deadly threat from Iran and Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah thus now boasts of an arsenal of more than 100,00 lethal rockets and missiles of varying ranges which it has received from Syria and Iran, an array of ordnance any modern army could admire.

As a result, Hezbollah has a free hand in Lebanon. Last week the terror group launched its multi-prong attack on innocent northern Israeli civilians and soldiers traveling in a convoy; such attacks in the past have led to bitter wars. This one was clearly aimed at an attempt to kidnap at least one of the travelers if possible. What should Israel have done, if not defend its people and fire back at the source of missile fire?

When a UNIFIL soldier was hit in the crossfire after Hezbollah launched the attack, how does Israel become responsible for that death?

More to the point, what was a UNIFIL soldier doing in such close proximity to a Hezbollah position?

Methinks the lady doth protest too much….

Rachel Levy

UNIFIL Confirms ‘Rocket Fired From Lebanon First, Israel Retaliated’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has confirmed that rockets were fired first from Lebanon, provoking Israel into a defensive attack.

“At the moment we are still looking into the causes of the event,” Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesman in Lebanon, told The Spain Report by telephone. “What I can say is that today there were rockets launched from Lebanon into Israel, and the Israeli forces began retaliatory fire. Major General Portolano (UNIFIL commander) was immediately in contact with both parties to prevent further escalation.”

Spanish Army Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, 36, was killed during the clash while on patrol for UNIFIL. The corporal, who was born in Andalusia, was married and assigned to a mechanized infantry regiment after enlisting in 2004. His unit has participated in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon since November 2014. The soldier’s position when he was killed was not released.

“We are not certain who fired the shots that killed him; that needs to be investigated,” said a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

“We have troops positioned all along the Blue Line,” Tenenti added. “We are verifying the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Spanish military sources reportedly told El Pais that it was an IDF mortar round that killed the UNIFIL soldier.

Hana Levi Julian

Spanish Imam Prays for ‘Destruction of Jews’ Near Madrid

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Spain’s Sheikh Shaleheoldine al-Moussaoui, imam of the municipality of Azuqueca De Henares near Madrid, longs to see God “destroy the plundering Jews.”

In a Friday sermon posted to the Internet this week, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the imam prayed, “Do not spare a single one of them.”

The anti-Semitic sheikh called the Jewish People ‘treacherous, war-mongering killers.’

“What is being done to the Muslims in Palestine, in Gaza, as well as in the other Muslim countries – we would have been surprised if it were done by anyone other than the Jews,” he declared.

Hana Levi Julian

Why Spanish Citizenship May be Good For You

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

In the second podcast this week,attorney Maya Weiss-Tamir, who is also an
economist and a mediator, speaks about new legislation allowing the
descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain by the Inquisition to claim
Spanish citizenship. What are the benefits of Spanish citizenship, and how
can you claim it? Find out more by listening to this week’s Goldstein on
Gelt Show.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/why-spanish-citizenship-may-be-good-for-you/2014/07/16/

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