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Today's News

Oct. 21, 2016



Lethal Terror Attacks in Be'er Sheva Thwarted



The Shin Bet have arrested four individuals suspected of planning to carry out a large scale terror attack in an events hall in Be’er Sheva and kidnapping an IDF soldier, it was cleared for publication Thursday.


According to the indictment issued against the four, they planned to throw grenades into a crowd of dancers celebrating at the Narnia events hall and to use weapons they would hide in trash cans ahead of the attack before fleeing the scene. They also considered detonating pipe bombs concealed under the dining tables.


Moreover, they began accumulating funds to perpetrate a separate attack involving the abduction of an IDF soldier from the city's central bus station who they intended to kill and use his remains to solicit concessions from Israel.


During the investigation of the four conspirators, one of whom is a resident of the Bedouin town of Tel as-Sabi in the Negev and the other three illegal aliens from Gaza, interrogators discovered that the planned attack was the brainchild of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad organization.


The suspects, two of whom worked in the events hall which they intended to strike, carefully plotted their attack as they collected information about their target. The members of the cell were arrested before they managed to acquire the necessary weapons for implementing the attack. However, the investigation revealed that they had located and rented an apartment in the area in which they could plan the assault and in which they intended to murder the kidnapped soldier. In an effort to familiarize themselves with hall and inflict the maximum number of casualties, two of the suspects had carefully scouted the venue ahead of the attack.


The ringleader of the suspects, all of whom were arrested on September 21 by the Shin Bet in cooperation with the Negev Police Central Unit, was identified as Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu-Taha from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza who had entered Israel via the Erez Crossing for commercial purposes. He was recruited into the cell by Wael Abu-Taha, a senior official in the Islamic Jihad movement who lives in Gaza, when the latter asked him to establish a military infrastructure and coordinate a terror attack.


In May, Mahmoud and Wael presided over plans for the attack’s execution in the hall and, to that end, checked a number of entrances to the complex. It was decided that Shafik would enable the attackers to enter, including Mahmoud who was also scheduled to work on the day marked for the bloodletting. During a meeting between with Wael, Mahmoud was instructed to shift his focus onto kidnapping a soldier rather than the Narnia explosions.


Indictments for crimes against the security of the state were also issued at the Be’er Sheva District Court against 39-year-old Ahmad Taysir Abd Elrahman Abu-Taha, 55-year-old Shafik Hamad Ahmad Abu-Taha, also from Gaza, and 40-year-old Hani Abu-Amra who resided in the Negev.


The four stand accused of, among other things, establishing contact with a foreign agent, divulging intelligence to enemies, fraud, residing in Israel without legal documentation and activities with unlawful organizations.


According to the indictment, Wael suggested last March that Mahmoud carry out an attack at the Narnia hall together with Shafik who were both working there that day. As part of the kidnapping plot, Wael ordered Mahmoud to orchestrate the abduction and murder of two or three Jewish Israeli civilians who would then be buried and be used to force Israel to acquiesce to various demands. Wael promised to give Mahmoud a new car and build him a new house in return for the kidnapping.


Soon after Mahmoud returned to Israel from Gaza, he observed the Be’er Sheva Central Bus Station and reported to his superior in Gaza that there were drug users in the area who could constitute easy targets. However, Wael stated his preference for the abduction of a police officer or a soldier in order to bring about the release of convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons.


Mahmoud also received the chilling instructions from Wael to rent a ground-floor apartment to which the kidnapped could be taken and then to smoke hashish, drink alcohol and photograph himself next to the victim and beat him to death using a hammer before burying him.


ADL: Online Anti-Semitism Against Jewish Journalists is on the Rise

 By Israel Hayom


There is a disturbing upswing in online anti-Semitic rants against Jewish journalists, especially on Twitter, a new report by the Anti-Defamation League has found. According to a report in the Jewish Business News on Wednesday, in June the ADL formed a special team, the Task Force on Harassment and Journalism, to monitor the trend, and reviewed information going back one year.


The task force found 19,253 "overtly anti-Semitic tweets" that had been sent to at least 800 journalists in the United States during the previous 12 months, the report said. Some 83% of the tweets were sent to just 10 prominent Jewish journalists. The targets included conservative columnist Ben Shapiro, Tablet's Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman, and CNN's Sally Kohn and Jake Tapper.


According to the ADL website, "The study presents findings based on a broad set of keywords (and keyword combinations) designed by ADL to capture anti-Semitic language on social media. Using this metric, a total of 2.6 million tweets containing language frequently found in anti-Semitic speech were posted across Twitter between August 2015 and July 2016. Those tweets had an estimated 10 billion impressions (reach), which ADL believes contributed to reinforcing and normalizing anti-Semitic language -- particularly racial slurs and anti-Israel statements -- on a massive scale."


There was a significant rise in anti-Semitic tweets from January to July this year as coverage of the presidential campaign intensified, the group said. Of the 2.6 million total tweets, ADL focused on tweets directed at 50,000 journalists in the U.S. and found that "a total of 19,253 anti-Semitic tweets were directed at those journalists, but the total number of anti-Semitic tweets directed at journalists overall could be much higher for a variety of factors noted in the report."


The report also found that 68% of the anti-Semitic tweets directed at those journalists were sent by 1,600 Twitter accounts, out of 313 million existing Twitter accounts.


According to the data analysis, Twitter deactivated 21% of the accounts responsible for the tweets aimed at journalists. The other offending accounts remain active, and ADL will be providing a list of those accounts to Twitter. "The spike in hate we've seen online this election cycle is extremely troubling and unlike anything we have seen in modern politics. A half century ago, the KKK burned crosses. Today, extremists are burning up Twitter," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.


"We are concerned about the impact of this hate on the ability of journalists to do their job and on free speech, which is why we established this task force. We hope this report hastens efforts to combat the surge of hate on social media. We look forward to working with Twitter, media companies, and other online platforms to limit hate and harassment and preserve freedom of speech."


 Palestinians Push for UN 'Consequences' for Israeli Settlement Activity

>TX By VOA News

The Palestinians are pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution threatening "consequences" if Israel continues building Jewish settlements in lands the Palestinians want for a future state. Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour on Wednesday accused Israel of continuing to break international law.


"The global calls for cessation of Israeli settlement activity and crimes against the Palestinian people must be backed with serious practical measures to compel Israeli compliance with the law," he told the council. Mansour said an end to Israeli settlement activity and a withdrawal from Palestinian territories were "imperative for realizing a just, lasting, comprehensive Palestinian-Israeli peace."


Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon did not talk about settlements in his remarks to the council, but denounced what he said would be a one-sided resolution against Israel. Israel liberated the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed all of Jerusalem, contending it had the right to build in those areas to help ensure its security.


 Israeli Arab Couple with Three Children Arrested After Allegedly Joining ISIS

>TX By Israel Hayom &


A couple from the northern Israeli town of Sakhnin in the lower Galilee were arrested on September 22 by the Shin Bet security agency after returning to Israel with their three children, 3, 6 and 8. on suspicion of attempting to join ISIS, it was revealed after a gag order on the case was lifted on Thursday.


Findings from the investigation indicate that Wisam and Sabrin Zbeidat had decided to travel to Iraq after being exposed to Islamic State materials. In June 2015, they traveled to Romania with their three young children, and from there they went to Turkey. In Turkey, the couple used Facebook to contact a resident in the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm who had joined Islamic State in 2013. The man helped them cross the border into Syria.


The Zbeidat family was taken in by Islamic State fighters near the Syria-Turkey border and their Israeli passports were confiscated. The family was then taken to the Syrian city of Raqqa, and the father was separated from his wife and children and transferred to a training camp in Iraq.


He underwent military training -- learning to use firearms, machine guns and rocket launchers -- as well as religious training. Zbeidat was then sent to fight at different fronts, where he helped guard Islamic State facilities and took part in raids on the Iraqi army. He was injured during one of the raids.


The investigation also gained insight into daily life under ISIS. For example, ISIS rule discriminates heavily against women, and uses cruel methods of punishment that include cutting off limbs, whipping, and beheading. In addition, ISIS “ethics police” enforce women’s dress and the shape of a man’s beard. ISIS allows keeping Yazidi females for housework and as sex slaves. From age 8, children start military training. In addition, the economic situation in Mosul under ISIS is dire, with many people destitute and starving. The Zbeidat family suffered injuries in a massive bombing near their home at the beginning of the year, causing the children severe anxiety.


Shin Bet security forces emphasized: “The phenomenon of Israelis going to Syria and Iraq is serious and dangerous. ISIS works to spread false propaganda and to present a false image of itself as enabling a good life under Islam, or a religious and military adventure. In contrast, the investigation of Israelis returning from Syria and Iraq presents a completely opposite picture.”


In June, the Zbeidat family decided to leave Mosul, where they had been living, due to dire economic conditions. They planned to return to Israel. The couple contacted family members in Israel asking for thousands of dollars to pay smugglers who could get them across the border between Syria and Turkey.


The family unsuccessfully attempted to cross the border several times. They were shot at twice, once by the Turkish military and once by Islamic State fighters. Another time, their daughter was drugged so that she would not give away their location.


When they finally managed to cross the border, they were arrested by Turkish police, released for a few days, and then arrested once again after arriving in Israel where they were scheduled to be indicted in the Haifa District Court om charges of departing to enemy territory and joining ISIS.


How to Make an Origami Israeli Satellite

>TX By


For many families, the actual construction of their sukkah is not the main event in Sukkot, what Jewish children really love is making decorations. This year, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is encouraging people to get even more creative in this arena, releasing a series of videos that show people how to make origami creations in the shape of two of its flagship creations: The Arrow rocket interceptor missile and the Ofek spy satellite. See


The models were designed by origami artist Paul Jackson, and the videos are narrated by Israeli artist Miri Golan. While the videos are in Hebrew, it is still easy to follow the steps even if you don't understand the language. More model instructions can be found on the IAI Facebook page.


The Ofek series of satellites are equipped with advanced surveillance means that allow Israeli security authorities to closely monitor enemy states and terrorist organizations. Some Ofek satellites have special equipment on them that allows for monitoring of targets 24/7, and in virtually all weather conditions. Other videos teach how to make origami models of an Israeli Navy Dvora ship and a civilian Gulfstream G280 jet.






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Why Jews don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah


By Frances Bernay-Cohen

I can't speak for you, but my grandparents came to the United States to find a refuge from "change." They came to The United States where their basic freedoms were guaranteed by the Constitution; where they could build a future on this solid ground.

Whether our forefathers and forI'm sure you will find some truth in this song.






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Air France flew from the U.S. to Israel during the early 1950s. They flew Lockheed Constellations and the flying time was 20 hours.

This promotional film - in English for an American audience - shows Israel as it was three years after the War of Independence .

Please click photo





 Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost

By Don Canaan (Commentary)

This year marked the 34th anniversary of the return of the Sinai by Israel to Egypt--a day of mourning by many of the 2,000 settlers who settled and later were forcibly evacuated by Israeli authorities under the command of Ariel Sharon, from the seaside city of Yamit on the Mediterranean.

Yamit was former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's dream--a projected seaport and city of 250,000 founded on the Sinai sand dunes overlooking date palm trees and the blue Mediterranean--a populated buffer between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the other side of the Suez Canal.

Some alternate historians say Moses and the children of Israel passed near the site of Yamit 3,500 years ago as they wandered for 40 years through the Sinai Desert on their way to the proverbial land of milk and honey.

Since April 25, 1982 only the whine of the desert wind weaves its currents through the crevices of destroyed homes, businesses and monument--a memorial to the young men who died during the 1967 Six Day war.

Christians, Jews and Muslims died during three Arab-Israeli wars and battles that took place in the Sinai in 1956, 1967 and 1973--Egyptian and Israeli--young people who fought and died in that desolate, forsaken desert wasteland.

The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the northwest.

Official Israeli government policy was that the settlers had to be removed and the army came and forcibly removed the remaining diehard residents. The Jerusalem Post described the scene: Apocalypse had arrived in Yamit and in the dust and noise and destruction one could wander freely. Dozens of bulldozers and giant mobile air hammers were loose in the city like a pack of predatory beasts."

April 25, 20011 marked the 29th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Yamit and Sinai and a cold peace between long-term enemies.

That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle East.

Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."

The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25, 1982; the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. Sinai was returned to Egypt. Yamit was bulldozed to the ground. But Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months before.



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