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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Syrian Bomber Kills Self, Wounds 12, in Fourth Muslim Attack in a Week in Southern Germany

Monday, July 25th, 2016

A Syrian man, 27, who had been refused asylum in Germany, killed himself on Sunday with a bomb he set off near a music festival in Ansbach, Bavaria, in southern Germany. This is the fourth violent attack by Muslims in southern Germany in less than a week. According to police, 12 people were injured in the explosion, three seriously. According to state officials, the man had been denied entry to the music festival just before the explosion.

The Syrian man was carrying a backpack filled with explosives and metal parts, in what officials are saying could have been an ISIS-inspired attack. Officials also said the man had arrived in Germany two years ago and this was his third suicide attempt.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters early Monday that it was not yet certain whether the man had planned to “take others with him into death.”

Police evacuated more than 2,000 people from the festival after the explosion, and cordoned off a large area around the explosion site.

According to Reuters, citing a US intelligence official (The US maintains an Army base in Ansbach), investigators are focusing on the bomber’s history before he left Syria, the reasons he was denied asylum, and why he blew himself up — was it personal, political, religious, or all three.

Last week an Afghan refugee used an axe and a knife to injured a family of four on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police. On Friday, nine people were killed and more than 20 injured by an Iranian in Munich, also in southern Germany. Earlier on Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a pregnant woman and wounding two people with a machete in the southwestern city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.

David Israel

Patriot Missile Misses Drone, Hits 14-Year-Old Girl Instead

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

A 14-year-old girl from Jerusalem was injured on Sunday after a fragment from one of the Patriot missiles launched today hit her in the leg, according to a Walla report.

The girl was hiking with a group on the Golan Heights near Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar when a fragment from one of the exploded Patriot missile fell and hit her in the left leg, leaving a cut 3 centimeters above her left knee.

She was taken to the emergency room in Tzfat where she is listed as lightly injured. Doctors are checking to make sure there are no additional fragments in her leg.

The two Patriot missiles launched at the infiltrating drone missed their target, and the drone returned to Syrian airspace.

Some security official are considering the possibility that it was a Russian drone that infiltrated into Israeli airspace.

The following photo is making the rounds on WhatsApp. It is one of the fragments from the Patriot missile that fell near Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar.

A fire also broke out near the community from the exploded missile (you can see the firetruck in the background putting out the fire).
Source: Zartusatra / Rotter.net

Patriot Missile Fragment near Ayelet HaShachar

Another Patriot missile fragment near Ayelet Hashachar:
Source: HotNews1
Patriot Fragment near Ayelet Hashachar

Jewish Press News Briefs

Finally: Congress Asking UNRWA for Real Number of Palestinian Refugees

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Both houses of Congress are at work to modify funding bills for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), as part of an effort to investigate the very legitimacy of the decades-old agency, Michael Wilner reported in the Jerusalem Post Friday. Both the House and the Senate want the State Department to, once and for all, define the term “Palestinian refugee,” and while they’re at it, reveal how many are receiving aid from UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as 5 million “refugees,” the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank,” eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is donated by US taxpayers.

Many in Congress have been saying, since about 2012, that the majority of Palestinians are permanently settled, and should not be under the jurisdiction of a refugee agency.

Needless to say, Wilner points out, “such a finding would fundamentally change the narrative of the decades-old conflict.”

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago, and the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted then that the census was, in effect, “a civil intifada” rather than a scientific survey. In 2011 the Bureau attempted to correct that blatant misrepresentation, claiming that 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria.

But Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, claiming they overstated the real number of Arabs there by as much as 66%. He explained that the PCBS’s total counts 400,000 Palestinians living overseas, and double-counts 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs. It also undercounted Palestinian emigration.

In 2014, UNRWA came up with the figure of 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and the US responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars for UNRWA’s health, education, and social service programs.

“UNRWA is sort of becoming an entitlement program of the Middle East, and the desire is to increase transparency on who actually are refugees relevant to that conflict,” a senior Senate aide familiar with the language told Wilner, suggesting the new bill “goes to the heart of the debate over UNRWA funding.”

Republicans in both houses have launched parallel efforts to compel the State Department to go on the record with who qualifies as a “Palestinian refugee,” and the combined version of the law, once passed, will compel the secretary of state to provide “a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to UNRWA.”

The bill’s language continues: “Such justification shall include an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees that is used by UNRWA, how that definition corresponds with, or differs from, that used by UNHCR, other UN agencies, and the United States Government, and whether such definition furthers the prospects for lasting peace in the region.”

And, naturally, “the committee directs that such report be posted on the publicly available website of the Department of State.”

Finally, it should be noted that there are two distinct definitions of the term “refugee” in international law.

A refugee, according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence.

It is rare for a refugee status to extend beyond the lifetime of the original refugee, because normally it is expected that their offspring will have settled someplace else.

Not so regarding Palestinian refugees, according to UNRWA’s definition of the term, which includes the patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestinian refugees,” limited to persons residing in UNRWA’s areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

JNi.Media

Two Israeli Arabs Indicted For Attempting To Join ISIS

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Nazareth (TPS) – The Israeli State Attorney’s Office indicted two Israeli Arab men at the Nazareth District Court on Thursday for having ties with ISIS. They are charged with attempting to join the group in Syria, as well as with the illegal trade of weapons.

Mahmoud Abdelfatah, 24, a resident of Nazareth, is charged with contacting a foreign agent and supporting a terror organization. According to the indictment, Abdelfatah had been supporting the Islamic State since 2014, and regularly visited radical Islamic websites. He plotted to travel to Turkey under the guise of being on a honeymoon and then cross the border to Syria and fight with the jihadist group in Raqqa, the city declared by the group to be its capital.

According to the indictment, Abdelfatah had been in regular contact on Facebook with another Israeli Arab, who identified himself as Mahmoud Abdullah from Jerusalem. Abdelfatah met him at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, and later Abdullah updated him that he had crossed the border into Syria where he was fighting with Islamic State.

The second man who was indicted is Ashraf al-Rabii, a 23 resident of Shfaram, who is charged with possessing an illegal weapon as well as supporting a terrorist group. Al-Rabii was an avid reader of Islamic State propaganda and aspired to fight for the group in Syria. He also owned a non-licensed pistol and sold bullets to others.

The case was investigated by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israeli police. The prosecution has asked the court to keep the suspects in custody until the end of court proceedings against them.

There have been many recent cases of Israeli Arabs arrested for attempting to join Islamic State. More than 40 Israeli Arabs have joined the group in the last two years, according to the Shin Bet.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli-Arab Woman Who Tried to Join ISIS Sentenced to 22 Months in Prison

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Haifa (TPS) — Iman Kanjo, a 44-year-old teacher from the Arab town of Shfaram in northern Israel, was sentenced on Tuesday morning to 22 months in prison for attempting to join the Islamic State terrorist organization, also known as ISIS.

According to the indictment filed at Haifa District Court, Kanjo, an Israeli citizen, mother of five and a doctoral student in Islamic studies, intended to use her educational background to teach Islamic State’s extremist Sunni ideology, which centers around sharia (Islamic religious law) and jihad (holy war), to the young generation of the group’s combatants.

The indictment states that Kanjo went to Turkey with her father in August 2015 for a family trip and then disappeared.

On discovering that Kanjo was missing, her father told her husband in Israel, and her husband contacted the authorities. A cooperative effort by the Israel Police, the Shin Bet, and the Turkish authorities found that Kanjo was attempting to cross the border into Syria to join Islamic State. She was caught and arrested by the Turkish authorities along with some 30 other people from around the world who were attempting to join Islamic State as well.

Kanjo was taken back to Israel and put under arrest at Ben-Gurion Airport. She was indicted in September 2015.

During her interrogation by the Shin Bet, Kanjo revealed that for years she had wanted to live under a strict Islamic regime such as Islamic State. She began sharing updates from ISIS on Facebook and Twitter, and made contact with an operative who told her that he could help her enter Syria.

Kanjo has no previous criminal record, and her family knew nothing of her plans. In addition to the 22-month prison term, the judges gave her a one-year suspended sentence and a fine of 30,000 shekels (approximately USD 7,800).

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

American Weapons Handed to Al Qaeda in Syria

Monday, July 4th, 2016

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist abducted Mohammad al-Ghabi, the commander of the U.S.-backed Jaish al-Tahrir opposition force this weekend. Al-Ghabi, his aides and at least 40 of the group’s fighters were allegedly seized by the group in a coordinated attack in northern Syria.

The abduction, revealed Sunday by a spokesperson for the U.S.-backed Jaish al-Tahrir, meant that U.S.-supplied weapons and other equipment, has fallen into the hands of the Syrian Al Qaeda force.

However, what appears to be a simple kidnapping is not that simple at all. Jaish al-Tahrir operates in the Hama and Aleppo areas and has only 4,000 trained fighters. The group is composed of five units, some of which received BGM-71 TOW missiles from the United States, according to Hasan Mustafas and the RFS Media Office.

After five years of a deadly civil war that has completely destroyed the country, the United States coalesced the group in February in an attempt to bring together the so-called “moderates” in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) alliance. The move was a last-ditch effort to stave off the metastases of the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group which has continued to gobble up territory in Syria — despite White House claims to the contrary.

But although the groups are ideologically different, Jaish al-Tahrir and Jabhat al-Nusra have often fought side by side to oppose Da’esh (ISIS) and/or fighters backing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It is the parallel objectives of the two groups that has often made European nations so uneasy about arming the opposition groups, because the eventual destination of those arms is unpredictable. Or predictable.

Al Nusra seized the bases and weapons of one of the U.S. beneficiaries back in March, according to Reuters. The FSA 13th Division group was receiving foreign military aid in the form of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles and other weapons — all of which went to Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra.

This weekend, Al-Ghabi, his aides and dozens of Jaish fighters were grabbed in a raid on a house in Kafr Nubl in Idlib Province. The group said he was “injured and kidnapped and taken to an unknown location,” according to Reuters, and their U.S.-made weapons were taken, too.

Jaish al-Tahrir has asked its cooperating FSA groups to pressure Jabhat al-Nusra into releasing Al-Ghabi. They have asked for a ‘sulha’ via a judicial court — an Arabic term meaning a mediated negotiation to work out their differences and reach a resolution.

Al Nusra, however, sees the United States as the “enemy” and appears to be growing closer, ideologically, to Da’esh. The group has accused Jaish al-Tahrir of participating in a U.S. training program to fight ISIS — something that is not new to anyone in the region, but which now suddenly is an excuse for an attack.

The reason may have to do with last month’s arrival of a new delegation of international Al Qaeda leaders, sent by terror chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to scope out a location for relocating the terrorist group’s headquarters from Afghanistan to Syria.

The former Egyptian eye surgeon, who helped found the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, succeeded Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden a few weeks after his death, in June 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan Rebukes Gaza Flotilla Organizers for Undermining Israel Deal

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday criticized the Turkish charity group IHH for sabotaging his reconciliation with Israel. The Turkish president insisted the deal is good for the Palestinians, for Turkey, and for Israel.

Erdoğan spoke during an iftar dinner (the meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast) at the presidential complex in Ankara. He said that the flotilla organizers never asked his permission to sail to Gaza in 2010, when he was a prime minister, causing a needless diplomatic crisis erupted between Turkey and Israel.

Erdoğan’s frontal attack came after the Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH on Monday criticized the deal saying it amounted to acceptance of the Israeli blockade.

“We were already delivering the same amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but without making a show of it. Now we have Israel’s promise, all aid supplies to Gaza will be permitted from now on,” Erdoğan said. He announced that a Turkish ship with 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid is ready to leave for Gaza this Friday, noting that this will become a routine from now on, no need for showboating, so to speak.

Last Monday, after months of talks between the two countries, Turkey and Israel announced that a deal normalizing their relations would be signed. Under the deal, Turkey would be allowed to send humanitarian shipments to Gaza which would be delivered to the Asdod harbor in Israel, examined for contraband and trucked to Gaza; and Israel will pay $20 million in reparations to the families of the Mavi Marmara casualties.

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is a conservative Turkish NGO, whose members are predominantly Turkish Muslims, active in more than 100 countries. Established in 1992 and officially registered in Istanbul in 1995, İHH provides humanitarian relief in areas of war, earthquake, hunger, and conflict. The İHH holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2004.

Two IHH employees were detained for alleged links to al-Qaida, in a Turkish anti-terrorism police raids on January 13, 2014. An IHH spokesman said that police searched its office in Kilis, near the border with Syria, and detained one of its employees. Another IHH employee was detained in Kayseri after police raided his home.

The current president of the İHH, Fehmi Bülent Yıldırım, has been under investigation by specially authorized prosecutors in Istanbul and Diyarbakır for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization. Yildirim also led a memorial service for Chechen leader Shamil Basayev in 2006.

Erdoğan also said that the normalization of relations with Russia and Israel is based on a “win-win” principle. “In other words, both Turkey and Russia must win, both Turkey and Israel must win,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdoğan had a phone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, on the way to normalizing relations between the two countries, some seven months after Turkey had downed a Russian jet that it claimed crossed from Syrian into Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-rebukes-gaza-flotilla-organizers-for-undermining-israel-deal/2016/06/30/

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