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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

MK Zoabi Curses Out IDF Soldiers Until MK Hazan Stops Her, Much Brouhaha Follows [video]

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

MKs Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) and Zehava Galon (Meretz) were removed from the Knesset on Wednesday after a storm that erupted in response to vile allegations made by Zoabi as part of the daily agenda proposals. The Arab MK spoke in response to the rapprochement agreement between Israel and Turkey, but her language was so rude and offensive, MK Oren Hazan (Likud) felt obligated to interrupt her, at which point the rest of the House started to pay attention, and crowded the podium demanding that the offending MK be removed from the plenum. When MK Galon asked the Deputy Speaker, Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), why he’s not removing Hazan as well, the Deputy Speaker removed her from the plenum.

MK Zoabi began her statement saying, “I stood here six years ago. Remember the incitement, the hatred and the noise back then? And where have we arrived? An apology and reparations to the families of those who were once called terrorists. They, who confronted the soldiers, were trying to prevent an act of piracy of the Shayetet (Naval special forces) that probably was looking to kidnap and murder.”

At which point Hazan called out, “You’re talking about the soldiers? You should be named Captain Hook. You are a pirate, supporting terrorism, rukhi (Arabic for go away) to Gaza.”

MK Amar, a Druze who served in the IDF from 1982 to 1986 (he also holds a fifth degree black belt in Martial Arts) told the plenum that Zoabi wished to apologize. But when she received the floor she demanded an apology on behalf of “all the political activists who were on the [Turkish boat Mavi] Marmara, and an apology to MK Hanin Zoabi whom you attacked and persecuted for six years. All of you need to apologize, all the MKs in this building.”

Hazan continued to cut her off, calling her, “Traitor, you are the national inciter, go to Gaza.” He then turned to Amar, saying, “There’s a limit to everything, take her off the podium.”

“He who committed the murder must apologize. You need to apologize,” Zoabi persisted. But at that point the plenum had erupted in a storm, with many MKs. crowding the podium and demanding that Zoabi be removed. Finally, Amar ordered her removed saying that she “lied” when she told him she wished to apologize.” Which is when MK Galon stood up to inquire how come Hazan, who also interrupted the proceedings, had not been removed — so she was removed, too. Then MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) was removed for yelling “Traitors” at the Balad party MKs (Balad is one of the four factions in the Joint Arab List).

By now the Knesset resembled one of those eastern European or Asian parliaments, where the members take to fisticuffs when words would no longer do. Hazan was thrown out, several Arab MKs followed, the speaker, who had long since lost all hope of controlling the proceedings just kept on yelling at everyone in his field of vision. It was a brawl, but without actual violence, only the Knesset ushers were busy gently manhandling the MKs so they won’t hurt one another.

Outside the plenum, Zoabi told reporters: “Israel did not disengage from Gaza, Israel disengaged Gaza from the world and from life. I demand an apology, and I want reparations, which I will donate to the children of Gaza, and to the next flotillas.”

The entire afternoon was a kind of Déjà vu: on May 31, 2010, Zoabi participated in the Gaza flotilla, and was on board the Mavi Marmara when violence broke out as Israeli commandos were attacked with metal rods, knives, broken bottles and the kitchen sink as they were trying to board and take over the ship. Zoabi was arrested. At a later news conference, Zoabi called the raid criminal, saying she had witnessed two wounded passengers bleed to death after the Israelis refused to provide medical aid. She also stated, “It was clear from the size of the force that boarded the ship that the purpose was not only to stop this sail, but to cause the largest possible number of fatalities in order to stop such initiatives in the future.”

That was a blatant lie, as could be seen in the videos taken during the event, showing the IDF soldiers coming down a rope from a chopper, to be showered with punches, blows and cuts. There were easier ways to cause fatalities, if that were on the IDF’s mind.

In a speech at the Knesset one day after her release, MK Zoabi called the raid a “pirate military operation” and demanded an international investigation. She also demanded to know why the Israeli government had not released photos and videos it confiscated from passengers that might shed light on why nine passengers were killed and dozens wounded. During her address she also said, “Israel spoke of a provocation, but there was no provocation. Why does the government of Israel oppose an investigation?”

Of course, the videos that were released showed ample provocation and then some.

Zoabi was repeatedly interrupted and shouted down during that initial speech in 2010 by other lawmakers, one of whom shouted “Go to Gaza, traitor!” The chaos reached a peak when MK Anastasia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) charged the podium in an attempt to prevent Zoabi from continuing.

David Israel

Death Toll Rising in Istanbul Airport Massacre

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The death toll is continuing to rise in Tuesday night’s twin suicide bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Turkish officials have now confirmed that at least 41 people were killed in the massacre, including 13 foreign nationals; 239 others were injured in the attack.

Three as yet still unidentified terrorists, including at least one armed with an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle, attacked the international departures hall at the busy airport.

The terrorists opened fire at the first security checkpoint at the entrance to the terminal, where baggage undergoes the initial inspection through an X-ray machine, then detonated their explosives vests as police began to return fire.

“The findings … point to the Da’esh organization as the perpetrators of this terror attack,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists in the wee hours of Wednesday morning at the airport.

“But even though indications suggest Da’esh, our investigations are continuing,” Yildirim added.

Ataturk is the third largest airport in Europe and the 11th largest in the world; more than 63.5 million passengers passed through its doors in 2015.

On March 22 two Da’esh terrorists attacked the Zaventem international airport in Brussels, detonating suicide vests and blowing up the departures hall. A third suicide bomber blew himself up at a metro station in Brussels not far from the headquarters of the European Union less than an hour later. At least 32 people were killed in the coordinated attacks and hundreds more were wounded.

No terror group has yet claimed responsibility for the Istanbul airport attack, but Da’esh released an infographic via the group’s Amaq news agency Wednesday claiming to have “covert” units in Turkey. The release marked the two-year anniversary of the so-called establishment of the ISIS “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq.

Hana Levi Julian

Connecting East and West, Istanbul Airports Suffer Serious Security Breaches

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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.

David Israel

Israeli Cabinet Approves Deal With Turkey Despite Pressure from Families of Israelis Held in Gaza

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli security cabinet approved a reconciliation deal with Turkey on Wednesday by a vote of 7-3. The deal, which was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was opposed by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

The deal, which was signed Tuesday, comes six years after Israeli forces intercepted a flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade, leaving 10 Turkish citizens[editor: who attacked IDF soldiers] dead and causing a rift in Israeli-Turkish relations.

Three conditions on the part of Israel are to be met: (1) an official apology for the 2010 flotilla incident is to be issued, (2) as well as $20 million in compensation for families of those killed. In addition, (3) Turkey will be permitted to deliver aid to Gaza by way of the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The families of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza War, whose bodies are currently being held by Hamas in Gaza, expressed disdain for the deal.

The families demanded the return of the soldiers’ bodies before any aid can be provided to Hamas-ruled Gaza, a condition not included in the current deal.

The Shaul family protested outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, demanding for the recall of the peace agreement. The Goldin family submitted a letter to the Prime Minister’s office.

Together with the Shaul family, relatives of Avera Mengistu, attended the protests. Mengistu, a Israeli man with a history of mental-illness, who is believed to be in Hamas custody after crossing into Gaza and undergoing interrogation by Hamas operatives on September 7, 2014. Mengistu’s whereabouts and condition are unclear, though Hamas officials claimed he was released following interrogation.

Mengistu’s brother, Ilan, denounced the reconciliation agreement, saying: “The government needs to listen to our cries and to understand that we’re speaking of a humanitarian issue here. Avera is my brother and a brother to all of us. We need to bring him home.”

“It is unacceptable that while government permits a humanitarian agreement with Gaza, the humanitarian rights of my brother are forgotten,” he added.

The Israeli cabinet decided to discuss imposing harsher conditions on Hamas prisoners currently held in Israeli jails as a means to pressure Hamas to release the Israelis held in Gaza.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with the three families for a half hour in the prime minister’s office, informing the families that the UN will appoint special representatives to handle the matter of returning the bodies and the missing Israeli.

Seven of the ten ministers who voted in favor of the deal met with the families before entering the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem to vote on the agreement.

Several Knesset members who opposed the deal expressed worry over the condition of paying the families of presumed terrorists as well as Turkey’s interests in entering the agreement, citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric in recent years.

MK Naftali Bennett expressed caution over the deal, explaining that “reconciliation with Turkey is important at this time and to the interests of the State of Israel, however payment of compensation to the perpetrators of a terrorist act is a dangerous precedent that Israel will regret in the future.”

“As long as there is Turkish influence over Hamas, it is (the Turks) who should do all they can to ensure that Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, may their memories be a blessing, return to Israel,” Bennett said.

Netanyahu adamantly defended the deal at a press conference in Rome on Monday announcing the agreement.

“We are not entering a honeymoon. I’m not trying to beautify this agreement or look at it through rose-colored glasses,” he said. “What I am saying is that our vital interests are promoted by this agreement, that on balance it leans towards our interests.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli-Arab Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS in Syria

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

A combined action of the Shabak and Israel Police has led to the arrest of an Israeli-Arab resident of Umm al-Fahm, Ibrahim Hassan Yousef Aghbariyya, 23, at Ben Gurion International Airport on June 10, on his way to join ISIS in Syria.

In his interrogation, Aghbariyya revealed that after having been exposed to ISIS videos and other content, he began to identify with the Jihaidst ideology of the Islamic State and with its actions, and decided to leave for Syria, to join up.

After collecting material online about the options available to him to reach Syria, Aghbariyya flew to Istanbul and boarded a connecting flight to the Turkish town of Gaziantep, not far from the Syrian border. Back in early May, a bomb attack outside the police headquarters in Gaziantep killed two policemen and injured 22 others.

Aghbariyya was picked up by Turkish police in short order and after a few days’ interrogation was expelled to Israel.

Aghbariyya’s Shabak interrogation also revealed that he had left his family a letter before leaving for Turkey, spelling out his intentions to join the forces of Jihad. Some of his close friends and acquaintances were aware of his plans and identified with his ideas.

Israel’s security apparatus has been watching out for individuals like Aghbariyya, who might be sent back by ISIS to take advantage of their privileged status as Israeli citizens to carry out terrorist attacks inside Israel.

On Wednesday, Aghbariyya was indicted in Haifa District Court on serious security violations.

David Israel

Report: ISIS Behind Istanbul Airport Terror Attack

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Turkish security personnel say they believe the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group was behind Tuesday night’s suicide bombing on the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.

At least 36 people were killed in the attack and more than 140 others were wounded.

Da’esh also carried out a massive airport suicide bombing attack at the Brussels international airport in March 2016.

The three terrorists armed with AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles were stopped at the first security control point, just outside the international departures terminal, where passengers are required to present their bags for inspection and x-ray viewing.

It was at that spot that one terrorist opened fire and then detonated his explosives vest, according to Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag. As police returned fire, at least one and possibly two other terrorists detonated explosive vests, setting off massive multiple blasts.

There was a report that gunfire emanated from the direction of a nearby car park; it is believed the shots came from police aiming at the terrorists, but at least one report indicated the gunfire may have come from one of the terrorists.

Police sources quoted by the Dogan News Agency in Turkey said “ISIS is behind the attack” but added it is still too early to confirm those links. No group has yet claimed formal responsibility for the attack.

All arrivals and departures from Ataturk Airport have been rerouted to other airports.

Israeli officials from the Consulate in Istanbul who checked the hospital where victims were taken said none of the wounded foreign nationals were known to be Israelis.

All Israeli diplomats who were at the airport at the time of the attack were accounted for an unharmed, according to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Israeli officials are continuing to check for possible Israeli victims.

Just one day earlier, the U.S. State Department had warned American citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey. “Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations,” the warning read.

A “Worldwide Caution” dated March 3, 2016 had previously warned “throughout Europe extremists have targeted large sporting events, theaters, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events.

“U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times,” the warning stated.

Hana Levi Julian

36 Dead, More Than 140 Wounded in Suicide Bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

At least 36 people were confirmed dead and more than 140 were wounded Tuesday night in the wake of a suicide bombing at the third largest airport in Europe, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

A number of police were among the injured and the dead.

Security personnel opened fire as armed attackers detonated explosive vests and shot AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles at the airport shortly after 10 pm Tuesday night.

Turkish officials met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace late into the night to discuss the developments in the attack.

According to Turkey’s Fox News affiliate NTV, three suicide bombers who attacked the departure hall at the international terminal.

Watch video!

Turkish officials who asked for anonymity told reporters the suicide bombers approached security before going through the x-ray for luggage. The bombers opened fire, triggering a shootout with airport police, then detonated the explosive vests they were wearing as they entered the control point in the airport’s security system.

The “control point” is located at a site at the front of the terminal near the entrance to the building where passengers encounter their first security check, before being allowed to proceed into the terminal.

Ataturk Airport was shut down, with incoming and outgoing flights rerouted to a second airport that operates out of Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen. There was a terror attack on the tarmac at that airport last December as well.


Rize'de Ambulans Kaza Yaptı: 1 Ölü, 5 Yaralı by haberler

At least 61.3 million passengers passed through Ataturk Airport in 2015; it is the third largest airport in Europe, and the 11th largest airport in the world.

More than 200 people have been killed in terror attacks in Turkey since January of last year.

Taxi cabs were pressed into service to ferry the injured to hospitals in Istanbul. More than 112 ambulances were used to rush victims to the hospitals, according to Turkish media.

But despite the dozens of dead and wounded, authorities told news media there had been “no security breakdown” at the airport. All roads leading to the airport were closed, and civilian traffic to the airport has been blocked.

Security personnel had, in fact, acted to neutralize the threat as they were meant to do and contained the threat at the entrance to the building, successfully blocking the terrorists from accessing the terminal.

One heroic police officer reportedly jumped on one of the suicide bombers when he saw him detonate his explosives vest, thus absorbing much of the blast with his own body.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/multiple-injured-in-twin-explosions-at-istanbuls-ataturk-airport/2016/06/28/

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