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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

First Official Turkish Delegation to Israel in 5 Years

Monday, August 31st, 2015

For the first time in five years, Turkey and Israel are talking officially again, with an official delegation from Turkey arriving today (Mon. Aug. 31) to discuss development in Jenin.

The Turkish delegation, led by Guven Sak, a co-director of the Turkish Manufacturers and Traders Association, are set to meet Monday in Israel with Israeli Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Karal

The Turkish business leaders are allegedly planning to discuss development of an industrial zone in the Jenin are, a project worth a Turkish investment of at least $100 million.

Monday’s visit is the first since the 2010 incident on the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel that illegally attempted to breach Israel’s maritime security blockade of Gaza. The vessel, sponsored by a Turkish activist group, was filled with violent, armed activists who attacked Israeli commandos who boarded the vessel to redirect it to Ashdod port, after the captain refused to change course away from Gaza.

Although the group sponsoring the ship claimed it was filled with “humanitarian supplies”for Gaza residents, upon inspection in Ashdod it was discovered there were no supplies for Gazans. But during the clashes on board the vessel between the attacking activists on board, and the Israeli commandos who boarded to redirect the ship, nine Turkish attackers were killed. A number of Israelis were seriously wounded, including one critically, as well.

The incident sparked years of acrimonious rhetoric from then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now the country’s president, who expelled the Israeli ambassador and recalled his own from Tel Aviv. Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which gave birth to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. He was outraged when Israel has launched counter terror operations to silence the incessant rocket and mortar fire being aimed at its civilians in southern areas.

Nevertheless, over the past several years various figures behind the scenes have been working quietly to repair the damage to the relationship between the two former allies, which has continued to grow economically in commercial trade.

A number of religious leaders on both sides have also maintained ties and continued to meet for interfaith dialogue facilitated by Istanbul-based Islamic scholar Adnan Oktar.

The delegation is arriving one day after Turkey’s “ambassador to the Palestinian Authority,” Mustafa Sernich, traveled to Gaza, Al Resalah reported Sunday.

Semich was accompanied by a delegation of economists who paid their own way, and who are scheduled for meetings with heads of Gaza economic institutions.

The Turkish official was scheduled to meet with “deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.”

Until recently Haniyeh was recognized as the de facto prime minister of Gaza. The use of this new title by Palestinian Arab media suggests Haniyeh was demoted in a quiet internal political battle out of the public eye.

Israeli Woman Arrested Trying to Join ISIS

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

An Israeli woman is allegedly heading north to join Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria, according to a report by the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv newspaper online service.

The newspaper quoted officials in an unnamed northern Israeli town.

The woman, reported to be in her forties, allegedly boarded a flight to Turkey Thursday intending to cross the border into Syria to join the terrorist group.

A local source close to the woman’s family said her husband and children notified authorities, saying they feared she was heading to the Syrian region controlled by Da’esh.

“Her husband and children went to the police and also told the Foreign Ministry in the hopes of tracking her down before she crossed the border into Syria,” the source told Ma’ariv.

According to a report by Ha’aretz, Turkish police arrested the woman Friday night as she did indeed attempt to cross the border into Syria.

They allegedly deported her straight back to Israel, where faced a remand hearing on Saturday. She is reportedly being questioned by Israel’s General Security Service, the Shin Bet.

This is not the first case of an Israeli citizen traveling to Turkey in an attempt to join Da’esh, although it may be the first attempt by an Israeli woman on her own.

This past June, a man and wife took their three children from the Galilee town of Sakhnin to join ISIS as well. As have many others, they too traveled first to Turkey, and then crossed the border into the ISIS-held region in Syria. Relatives of the husband notified Israeli authorities after the family left.

Report: Israel Buying Most of Its Oil from Iraqi Kurdistan

Monday, August 24th, 2015

For a number of months, Israel has quietly been importing more than three quarters of its crude oil from the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraq still controlled by the Kurds, despite some unhappiness from Baghdad.

The remainder is purchased from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia, its long-time suppliers.

News of the deals was made public early Monday in a report on the international Financial Times website.

Refineries and oil firms in Israel imported more than 19 million barrels of Kurdish oil between May 1 and August 11, according to satellite tanker tracking data, trade sources and shipping data. Among the trading companies involved in these quiet transactions have been Vitol, Petraco and Trafigura, FT reported.

Total sales for the period at this volume, using international prices, are worth (Israel may have paid) close to $1 billion.

Other customers for Kurdish oil during this period have included Italy, Greece and Turkey. In addition, some 17 percent of exports were shipped to Cyprus, where the oil is then transferred from one ship to another for export “elsewhere.”

But the export of northern Iraqi oil begins with shipping through Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. From May 1 to August 11, more than a third of that was sent to Israel, although some may have subsequently been exported elsewhere.

However, Israel’s domestic consumption levels out at approximately 240,000 bpd (barrels per day).

There have been three benefits to the move, if not more.

First and most obvious, Israel has been able to obtain the crude at a reasonable price due to its geographic proximity. Some industry sources say Israel is receiving a discount from the Kurds, although Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials denied the report.

Second, because Israel invests so much of its consumer dollars in Iraqi Kurdish product, the Kurds have better resources with which to fund their war against Da’esh (ISIS). This is especially important, since it seems that only the Kurds have been able to present a consistent, long-haul effective fighting force against the Da’esh terror machine.

Third, every dollar invested with Iraqi Kurdistan is a dollar that frays the ties between Erbil and Baghdad – or perhaps, the ties between Erbil and Iran. For decades, Baghdad has feared the Kurdish yearning to carve out a free and sovereign state of Kurdistan.

But today one can quite legitimately ask who exactly is in control in Baghdad. Most regional analysts believe the Iraqi government no longer exists, other than to provide a fig leaf for Tehran.

Israel is one of the biggest customers of northern Iraqi / Kurdistani oil at this time. Baghdad still does not recognize the State of Israel. Cash-strapped Kurds, however, are much less concerned about who is buying the oil; their concern is getting money to pay for survival.

“We do not care where the oil goes once we have delivered it to the traders,” a senior Kurdish official was quoted as saying to FT. “Our priority is getting the cash to fund our Peshmerga forces against Da’esh (ISIS) and to pay civil servant salaries.”

ISIS Tells Turkish Muslims to Rebel Against ‘Infidel’ Erdogan

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

A new jihadist video entitled “A Message to Turkey” has appeared on the Internet, in a video that emerged late Monday, allegedly produced by the “Raqqa State Media Office.”

Two months ago Da’esh (ISIS) launched a Turkish-language magazine with a cover story entitled “The Conquest of Constantinople.” The group urged a new Islamic conquest of Turkey’s largest city – Istanbul.

The messenger in the video released Monday is a Turkish fighter who proclaims allegiance to Da’esh (ISIS) and urges Turks to rebel against “infidel” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The greying, bearded fighter, who wears glasses, speaks on the film in an accent-free Turkish, exhorting his fellow Turks to help him conquer Istanbul.

He accuses the Muslim president – himself a fundamentalist – of “selling the country to Crusaders” and giving the United States access to Turkish air bases “just to keep his post.”

Two younger, bearded men, each wearing a scarf tied as a makeshift turban and armed with a gun, are seated on either side of him – appearing almost as students or acolytes – but remain silent throughout the footage. The video is shot among barren desert hills.

“Turkish people: Fight against the friends of the devil. There is no doubt that [the] devil’s order is weak…

“Let us all embrace God’s way… Altogether and under the orders of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi … let’s conquer Istanbul, which the traitor Erdogan works day and night to hand over to crusaders,” the fighter chides, sitting with a rifle propped against his body.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified, but the SITE Intelligence Group described it as a call by a Turkish ISIS fighter for support from Muslims in Turkey.

No specific threats of attacks were made in the video.

US, Germany Pull Patriot Batteries from Turkey

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

The United States and Germany have both announced they plan to pull their Patriot missile batteries from Turkey following a reassessment of the threat from Syria.

Both nations deployed the anti-missile defensive batteries on the southern Turkish border in 2013 in response to a request submitted to NATO by Ankara over “spillage” from the Syrian civil war.

Additional Patriot missile batteries were provided by the Netherlands as well, but were withdrawn earlier this year, and replaced instead by units from Spain.

The Patriot units from the United States will be returned stateside, ostensibly for “upgrades,” according to a joint Turkish-U.S. statement issued on Sunday.

“The United States and NATO are committed to supporting Turkey’s security and regional stability,” the statement said. “If needed, the United States is prepared to return Patriot assets and personnel to Turkey within one week.”

Germany, meanwhile, has said it will shut down its Patriot program altogether.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced last week that Berlin will allow its three-year Patriot mission simply to lapse in January rather than seek parliamentary approval for renewal, Reuters reported.

“The threat in this war-torn region has shifted in focus,” von der Leyen said in a statement on the German defense ministry’s website. “It now stems from the terror organization Islamic State. Therefore, we will remain engaged in the region in a continued effort to stabilize it.”

Turkey’s Leaders Meet With Hamas in Ankara

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed international Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal to Ankara on Wednesday.

Senior Turkish officials joined the meeting, which reportedly focused on Turkey’s role in providing support to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Al Resalah website.

Also discussed at the meeting were “the changes in the region and Erdogan’s concerns in the Palestinian cause,” according to the report.

Meshaal also met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as well.

No statement was made to the media following the talks.

A statement released in Gaza by a Hamas official said Wednesday that a delegation led by Meshaal briefed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Qatar at a recent meeting between the two men during which Lavrov reportedly invited Meshaal to Moscow.

Meshaal told Lavrov about conditions in Gaza, according to the statement.

2 Israeli Arabs Nabbed Attempting to Join ISIS

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Cleared for publication: Two Israeli Arabs were indicted Thursday after they traveled to Turkey and attempted to join the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization in Syria, according to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

Over the past two years, more than 40 Israeli Arabs have joined the terrorist organization, the Shin Bet reported. The indictment filed this week noted the rising trend with concern and commented there is a “real possibility the ideological and military training could be exploited for the purpose of terrorist activity against Israelis.”

Of three wannabe Da’esh fighters who had apparently planned to join the terror group in May, one was caught and arrested, but his two companions succeeded in reaching Syria.

Feras Sheritach, 19, a resident of Akev near eastern Jerusalem was arrested earlier this year after he had already returned to Israel. Sheritach failed to reach Syria because his passport was expired when he arrived at Istanbul airport along with his brother and cousin, according to the indictment documents.

He decided instead to return to Israel to renew the document – and was arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and Israel Police. He has been charged with attempting to join an outlawed organization. His brother and cousin remained in Turkey, meanwhile, and successfully crossed the border into Da’esh-controlled areas of Syria. Their identities have not been released.

A second Israeli Arab, 21-year-old Hamis Adnan Hamis Salameh of Ramle, was arrested last month after arriving in Ben Gurion International Airport on an extradition order executed together with Turkish authorities. He too was indicted Thursday, in Lod District Court, on charges of contact with a foreign agent and attempting to enter an enemy state.

According to the Shin Bet, Salameh confessed to interrogators that as with Sheritach, he also planned to join Da’esh after watching recruiting and propaganda videos on the Internet, later making contact online with one of the group’s recruitment members via Twitter.

Salameh was arrested by Turkish police in the border town of Adana just a few hours before he was scheduled to cross the border into Syria, according to a Shin Bet statement.

Last month, the Shin Bet announced the indictment of six suspected Da’esh (ISIS) members from the Negev Bedouin town of Hura. Five of the six were teachers and allegedly used their positions to spread the ISIS philosophy and propaganda among students and teachers.

All six were accused of sharing the Da’esh doctrine with their family members and associates. They were charged with distributing materials for an illegal organization; support for a terrorist organization; conspiracy to commit a crime and illegally exiting the country. Those who were teachers were brought to a hearing at the Education Ministry and their teaching licenses were revoked as well.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2-israeli-arabs-nabbed-attempting-to-join-isis/2015/08/13/

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