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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

UK-Based World Jewish Relief Marks 1 Year Aiding More Than 17,500 Refugees

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

The Britain-based World Jewish Relief humanitarian organization has just marked its one-year anniversary aiding more than 17,500 refugees in Greece and Turkey, including thousands of children.

The organization’s emergency appeal was launched in September 2015, according to a report released by WJR this week.

It has provided 3,169 children with winter kits, including coats and blankets for children based in bitterly cold camps on the Turkish-Syrian border, and supplied 2,050 back-to-school kits helping refugee children and their families in Turkey achieve a basic lifestyle after having been uprooted from home and school.

World Jewish Relief also provided 4,837 people with vital medical care in Greece and 7,474 refugees with humanitarian essentials such as water, food and warm clothes in Greece, organization representatives say.

However, beyond the numbers, the report provides information about the organization’s work with individuals, telling for example the powerful story of Adnan*, a talented sixteen-year-old artist who, due to WJR is able to cultivate his talents. Adnan arrived in Lesbos together with his younger brother following a very difficult journey which included the loss of many family members. After being held in cramped conditions with other children, a new facility was set up to look after minors with medical and psychological support provided. After noticing Adnan’s artistic skills, staff encouraged him to use his talent, culminating in an art gallery in Lesbos exhibiting his drawings.

In total, the organization’s appeal has raised nearly £944,000, making it the second largest WJR appeal ever to be held, after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Donations are still welcome and will be spent on continuing refugee projects in Greece and Turkey. The projects come in the wake of an announcement by former Prime Minister David Cameron that the UK will resettle and house 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees by 2020.

World Jewish Relief created a program to help these refugees integrate, drawing on the agency’s past experience helping vulnerable Jews in the former Soviet Union, and relying on funds provided exclusively by private donors. World Jewish Relief is helping 1,000 of the 20,000 Syrian refugees find employment and integrate into life in the UK, beginning with a pilot program in Bradford aiming to help 50 Syrian refugees to find work.

The pilot program currently supports 27 refugees. “One year ago, a photo of a three-year-old Syrian boy named Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach, shocked the world into action. Thanks to the British Jewish community’s outstanding generosity, over the past year, we’ve made a difference to 17,557 lives,” said Paul Anticoni, WJR CEO. The organization is a coalition partner of OLAM, an organization of 46 Israeli and Jewish NGOs raising awareness of the importance of supporting the world’s most vulnerable communities.

*name changed to protect his identity

Jewish Press Staff

Turkey’s President Erdogan Shakes Hands With Israel’s Female Diplomat, Shani Cooper

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shook hands Wednesday with Israel’s female interim head of its embassy in Ankara, Shani Cooper, who has been appointed to field the office until permanent ambassadors are appointed by the two countries.

The ceremonial handshake was part of a tradition carried out with the diplomatic corps each year to celebrate Turkey’s Victory Day on August 30.

This time, Erdogan specifically asked to welcome Cooper — a move seen by analysts as an effort to send a positive message to Israelis who are closely watching the Turkish leader in the wake of a six-year break in relations between the two countries.

Cooper responded warmly to the request, expressing Israel’s support for Erdogan and the Turkish nation.

Erdogan requested an interpreter, through whose services he responded with positive remarks on the diplomatic relations between the two countries. He wished Cooper good luck on her position as well.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan’s office sent the approved, signed agreement with Israel to the office of Turkey’s prime minister. Simultaneously in Israel, the government cabinet ministers also issued their final approval on the document as well.

The agreement is considered to be officially ratified and becomes effective after seven days if no objections are filed on either side.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan Formally Approves Turkey’s Normalization Deal With Israel

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally approved the country’s normalization deal with Israel on Wednesday (August 31), the state-run Anadolu Agency reports.

The agreement, signed by Turkish and Israeli negotiators on June 27, restores diplomatic ties between the two former allies after a hiatus of more than six years. Israeli charge d’affaires in Ankara, Amira Oron, said Monday (August 29) the two countries are expected to exchange ambassadors sometime within the next several weeks.

“The Law No. 6743 regarding the approval of the agreement between the Republic of Turkey and the State of Israel over compensation has been submitted to the Prime Ministry for promulgation,” a statement by the president’s office said.

Erdogan sent the agreement 12 days after it was officially approved by the Turkish parliament, and following its approval by Israeli cabinet ministers in late June.

The deal was ratified by Turkish lawmakers on August 19 after weeks of delay due to an attempted coup that failed to overthrow the Turkish government on July 15.

The agreement ends a period of rancor that followed an ugly incident in 2010 in which an illegal flotilla attempted to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza. Among the six vessels participating in the incident was a Turkish ship. Israeli commandos boarding the vessel to redirect it to Ashdod port were attacked by armed “activists” who included Turkish citizens; the resulting clash left 10 Turks dead and numerous Israelis seriously wounded.

Turkey demanded an apology, payment of $20 million in compensation to the families of the dead and lifting of the blockade on Gaza in order to restore relations. “Ankara now considers these terms satisfied,” according to a report published Wednesday in the Hurriyet Daily News. “Israel will hand Turkey a ‘lump sum’ payment within 25 working days of the agreement coming into force, with families of the victims able to access the funds in due course.

“Both sides also agreed individual Israeli citizens or those acting on behalf of the Israeli government would not be held liable — either criminally or financially — for the raid,” according to the report.

Turkey has already been allowed to ship its own humanitarian aid into Gaza, and plans have been started for Ankara to build a hospital in the region.

Hana Levi Julian

Friendly Turkey ‘Strongly’ Condemns Israeli Retaliation in Gaza

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Turkey on Monday strongly condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” attacks in the blockaded Gaza Strip. The Turkish government, that model of self-restraint that so far imprisoned an estimated 60,000 citizens over allegations of pulling a coup last month, and is debating returning the death penalty to finish the job, said in a statement that “the attacks, which caused injuries to innocent Palestinian civilians, are not acceptable regardless of their grounds.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Israel’s “hostile attitude” had interrupted the peace process as well as a period of inactivity.

In keeping with the tradition of “It all began when Israel retaliated,” the Turks failed to mention that itzi bitzi rocket that was shot at the Israeli civilian center of Sderot, just before Israel set about punishing the Gazans.

Also, the Turks were obviously still counting the $20 million they have received from Israel in compensation for their 10 citizens getting killed while attacking Israeli soldiers on the Gaza Flotilla back in 2010, because the statement added, “Normalizing ties with Israel does not mean that we will keep silent in the face of attacks against the Palestinian people.”

Apparently, Turkey is determined to “continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israeli action that violates international law and offends the conscience.”

A refreshing expression of friendship by anyone’s account.

David Israel

Israeli NGO Continues Calls for Turkey to Extradite Suspected Terror Mastermind to US

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Shurat Hadin has sent United States Vice President Joe Biden a letter ahead of his upcoming visit to Turkey urging him to press for the extradition of Saleh Al-Arouri to the United States for his role in killing two US citizens.

Shurat Hadin, or the Israel Law Center, is a legal organization dedicated to helping terror victims. The letter is the latest in a series of moves Shurat Hadin has taken against Turkey for its protection of Al-Arouri. Shurat Hadin voraciously opposed the reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey and petitioned the High Court of Justice in July in a failed effort to halt the deal until Turkey ceased sheltering Al-Arouri.

Shurat Hadin filed a petition “on behalf of the families of American terror victims Naftali Fraenkel and Eitam Henkin” with the demand “that the US government use its upcoming meeting with Turkish officials to raise the issue of Al-Arouri’s presence in Turkey and to seek the extradition of Saleh Al-Arouri from Turkey to the United States for his heinous crimes.”

Saleh Al-Arouri is a founding member of the Hamas military wing and is thought to be the mastermind of the abduction and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Ifrach in 2014 as well as the 2015 killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were gunned down while driving near the community of Elon Moreh in Samaria. Al-Arouri is currently residing in Turkey after fleeing Damascus in 2012.

“Turkey is obligated under the Treaty On Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters to grant extradition of requested individuals to the United States if the suspect committed a criminal act that would be punishable had the crime been committed within Turkish jurisdiction,” said Shurat Hadin in a statement. “The kidnapping and murder of US citizen Naftali Fraenkel and the murder of US citizen Rabbi Eitam Henkin clearly fulfill this requirement.”

Vice President Biden is to lead a Justice Department delegation to Turkey that is scheduled to land in Ankara on Wednesday. The delegation is expected to discuss Turkey’s demand to extradite Fethullah Gulen to Turkey as Turkey has accused the 75-year-old cleric of masterminding the July coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a charge which Gulen denies.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Turkish PM Denies Russia Demanding to Use NATO Nuke Base

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Russia is not demanding to land its planes in the İncirlik air base in southern Turkey, as several Russian news services have claimed. “Russia had no demands to use İncirlik air base, those reports are not true,” Yildirim told foreign correspondents in Istanbul on Saturday, according to Hurriyet Daily News. However, the prime minister did agree that should Russia wish to use the base for its operations against ISIS, it would be welcome to do so. Still, Yildirim added, “Russia doesn’t need to use the base. They have bases in Syria.”

Yildirim’s statement concluded an anxiety-filled few days in which Russian news sources were announcing that Russia has been demanding that Turkey give its air force access to the NATO air base in İncirlik, which is where US and coalition air forces take off on their strikes in Syria. Located some 65 miles from the Syrian border, Incirlik is also where an estimated 50 US B-61 nuclear warheads (think 100 Hiroshimas times 50) are kept.

According to Izvestia, a Russian lawmaker named Igor Morozov said it was only a matter of time before Turkish president Erdogan hands over the NATO base at Incirlik to the Russians, to intensify the war against ISIS. “You’ll see, the next base will be İncirlik,” Morozov told Izvestia, shortly after the Kremlin had revealed that Russian bombers have been using an Iranian airbase for their attack on Syria. He predicted İncirlik would be “one more victory for Putin.”

Those statements came against the background of a report by EurActiv, a Belgian foundation focusing on European Union policies, that the US has begun to transfer its nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, for fear of the worsening relations between Washington and Ankara.

EurActiv cites a Stimson issue paper from August 2016, suggesting that during the July failed coup in Turkey, the Incirlik base power was cut, and US planes were not allowed to fly in or out of the base. As the coup was being suppressed, the base commander was arrested. Another source told EurActiv that US-Turkey relations have so deteriorated after the coup that Washington no longer trusted Ankara with the nuclear weapons, and so the warheads are being moved to the Deveselu air base in Romania.

Foreign Policy on Friday debunked the story, quoting a tweet from nuclear weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis, the director of non-proliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, that said Romania does not have the special WS3 vaults needed to store the weapons safely. Also, the Romanian Defense Ministry released a statement saying “so far there have not been any plans or discussions on this topic.”

Of course, this entire brouhaha is borne by Erdogan’s obsession with his former ally and current enemy Fetullah Gulen, whose extradition from the US the Turks have been demanding since the failing of the coup (which Gulen’s supporters may or may not been responsible for). As long as the US insists on following the rule of law on the Gulen extradition, the Turks will persist in these shenanigans, until someone gets seriously hurt.

So far, as that Moscow parliamentarian has put it so aptly, one more victory for Putin.


Israeli-Arab Charged with Sending Money to Families of Hamas Terrorists

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – An Israeli-Arab resident of Jerusalem has been arrested and indicted in court for receiving tens of thousands of US dollars from a Hamas operative in Turkey. He allegedly intended to send the money to families of Hamas terrorists, with the intention of encouraging terror attacks against Israelis.

Israel has frequently accused the Palestinian Authority leadership of paying stipends to the families of perpetrators of terror attacks against Israelis, as a way of encouraging such attacks.

The indictment was filed on Friday at the Jerusalem District Court against 39-year-old Seif Al-Din Abdel-Nabi on charges of contacting a foreign agent and illegal funding of terrorism.

According to the indictment, Abdel-Nabi had known Hamas operative Zakariah Najib for years before giving Najib the money. Najib has served time in Israeli prison for involvement in the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. He was released in a prisoner swap in 2011 when abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for over 1,000 terrorists.

Abdel-Nabi met Najib in Turkey during a business trip to a clothing shop he owns in Istanbul, the indictment elaborated. Najib knew that the defendant lived in Jerusalem and asked him to send the money to Israel, where he would be ordered to transfer the funds to families of terrorists who were either killed or serving time in prison. The money transfer was meant to be a remuneration by Hamas for the terror attacks.

During several trips to Turkey, the defendant allegedly received a total of USD 25,000 from Najib. He used various techniques to hide the money when traveling to Israel, such as having attempted to disguise the money transfers by using different mobile phones and coordinating them in public places.

“By committing the above actions, the defendant knowingly maintained contact with a foreign agent without sufficient explanation in order to promote or fund acts of terrorism or to provide a reward for terror attacks,” read a statement by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office, which has requested that Abdel-Nabi remain in custody until the end of court proceedings against him.

The Jerusalem Police on Sunday morning also arrested six residents of the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber who are suspected of joining and supporting a terror organization.

The evidence was obtained through the interrogation of Soufian Abdou, who was arrested on Friday for supporting a terror group just several days after completing a 14-year prison term for attempting to poison Israelis at a coffee shop in Jerusalem. Abdou’s remand has been extended until Monday.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-arab-charged-with-sending-money-to-families-of-hamas-terrorists/2016/08/21/

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