Nicholas Winton, savior of Jewish children, dies at 106
Dubbed "Britain's Schindler," Winton almost single-handedly saved more than 650 Jewish children from the Holocaust, and kept quiet about his role • "The world lost a great man," says British PM • "He valued human life above all," says Israeli president.Netanyahu: The Jews owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the 'British Schindler'
He was just a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange when he faced the challenge of a lifetime. Traveling with a friend to Czechoslovakia in 1938, as the drums of impending war echoed around Europe, Nicholas Winton was hit by a key realization: The country was in danger and no one was saving its Jewish children.
Winton would almost single-handedly save more than 650 Jewish children from the Holocaust, earning himself the label "Britain's Schindler." He died Wednesday at age 106 in a hospital near Maidenhead, his hometown west of London, his family said.
Winton arranged trains to carry children from Nazi-occupied Prague to Britain, battling bureaucracy at both ends and saving them from almost certain death. He then kept quiet about his exploits for a half-century.
His daughter, Barbara, said she hoped her father would be remembered for his wicked sense of humor and charity work as well as his wartime heroism. And she hoped his legacy would be inspiring people to believe that even difficult things were possible.
"He believed that if there was something that needed to be done you should do it," she said. "Let's not spend too long agonizing about stuff. Let's get it done."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday mourned the loss of Nicholas Winton, the man who became known as the "British Schindler" for saving hundreds of Czech children from Nazi persecution in the run-up to World War Two. Winton died at the age of 106 on Wednesday.Phyllis Chesler: Sir Nicholas Winton: One Daring Act of Kindness Can Change the World
"The Jewish people and the State of Israel owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis," Netanyahu stated.
"In a world plagued by evil and indifference, Winton dedicated himself to saving the innocent and the helpless," the prime minister added. "His extraordinary moral leadership serves as an example to all of humanity."
Netanyahu sent his condolences to Winton's surviving family.
A great soul has just gone on to his Creator: Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 mainly Jewish children from Prague in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, died today. He was 106 years old.Sir Nicholas Winton - BBC Programme "That's Life" aired in 1988
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The world has lost a great man. We must never forget Sir Nicholas Winton's humanity in saving so many children from the Holocaust." Home Secretary Theresa May, called Sir Nicholas "a hero of the 20th century." He set an "enduring example of the difference that good people can make even in the darkest of times."
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, described him as "one of the greatest people I have ever met."
Sir Nicholas was a British-Jewish stockbroker. He gave up a 1938 skiing holiday to help Jewish refugees in flight. He organized foster families for these Jewish children in Britain by placing ads in the newspaper. He persuaded a reluctant bureaucracy "to allow all the children in despite incomplete documentation."
Menemsha Films, an extraordinary distribution company which is devoted to high quality, Jewish-themed films, has an enthralling documentary about him: Nicky's Family—narrated by the Canadian journalist, Joe Schlesinger, who was one of the 669.
In 1988, on a BBC talk show, "That's Life," the host invited Sir Winton to sit in the front row of the studio audience. He discovers, teary-eyed, that everyone in that audience—all the adults—had been saved by him.
Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport. This video is the BBC Programme "That's Life" aired in 1988. The most touching video ever.
Nicholas Winton’s Jewish ‘Children’ Offer Praise to ‘British Schindler’ After Passing
Jews who were among the 669 youths from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia who were saved by Sir Nicholas Winton on the eve of World War II offered praise for the famed humanitarian hours after news of his death broke on Wednesday.60 Minutes: Sir Nicholas Winton "Saving the Children"
“I just thought it was amazing that a single human being could save 669 children and nobody knew about it,” Ruth Halova, now 90, told the BBC. “Nicky, I am so proud to be one of your very many children.”
Winton organized for a foster family to take in Halova, a Prague native. He worked with relief organizations to set up the Czech Kindertransport, an initiative which rescued Jewish children destined for Nazi concentration camps from Czechoslovakia at the start of World War II. He organized eight trains from Prague and other forms of transportation from Vienna, the BBC said.
Winton was dubbed the “British Schindler” by the U.K. press in reference to German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler, who is remembered for saving more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust.
Halova described Winton as “an exceptional human being,” adding, “We loved him from the first moment – who wouldn’t love Nicky?”
“He took so many risks and it was such a brilliant piece of organizing,” said 84-year-old John Fieldsend, who was also saved by Winton when the war started.
Mordechai Kedar: Ramadan Terror
Drawing closer to Allah during Ramadan means a longer prayer service, adding night prayers, spending hours in the mosque, listening to live and recorded sermons, extra careful observance of Islamic commandments and avoidance of sin. This heightened religious sensitivity is also felt towards those who are seen as a problem to Islam: throughout Islamic history, rulers saw the Ramadan period as a time of threat to the stability of their regimes, especially if their Islamic legitimacy was shaky because of the way they rose to power (murdering their predecessor, for example), their behavior questionable (liquor and morality), and their rule oppressive.MEMRI: Hamas, Islamic Jihad Websites: Attacks During Ramadan Have Special Flavor Of Sacrifice, Jihad And Victory
In the days of the Ottoman Empire, it was customary to begin and end the fast by firing a cannon, arms being under the control of the local ruler. The cannon had a double message: fixing the beginning and end of the fast, and reminding the public of just who is in charge and what can happen to anyone who tries to disturb the regime's stability and its citizens' tranquillity.
Ramadan has always been the month of Islamic glory, celebrating the fact that a large number of battles that took place during the holy month ended in Islamic victories. These victories were believed to be the reward granted by Allah to the Islamic nation for its careful observance of the fast. It is important to note in this context that a Jihadist fighter is free of the obligation to fast if it interferes with his ability to fight and is allowed to make up the fast days after Ramadan. The Yom Kippur War, seen in the Muslim world as a great victory over Israel, took place during Ramadan.
We are in the midst of this period of heightened collective religious consciousness, and the atmosphere, suffused with religious fervor, affects what is going on in the Islamic world. There has been an increase in "successful" operations by Islamic Jihad against its enemies: in Judea and Samaria there is a marked rise in the number of terrorist attacks against Israelis, civilians and security personnel, and a great deal of incitement against Israel, even worse than usual, in the Arab media.
The terrorist attacks that took place during the past two weeks since the start of Ramadan in Jerusalem and the West Bank were described by Hamas and Islamic Jihad websites as acts of courage and heroism. The websites stressed the connection between Ramadan and the increase in attacks in the West Bank and especially in Jerusalem, explaining that during Ramadan there is greater willingness to sacrifice and risk one's life, and also to call for actions of resistance and jihad. The websites quoted experts and clerics as saying that Ramadan is the month of victories and jihad in Islam, a month of resisting temptations and urges which prepares fighters to deal with the enemy.We will never be able to negotiate with Islamic State. So what other options are there?
Some of the articles also noted that last summer's war in Gaza took place during Ramadan, and therefore witnessed some of the "most notable acts of heroism in the history of Palestine." One article reviewed the deployment of Islamic Jihad fighters on the Gaza front during this month.
This is the case with the fanatics of Islamic State – Isil, Daesh, or whatever you care to call it. Their aim is the restoration of the Caliphate, and while this might seem at first sight a realistic project – the restoration of a State that once existed – it really isn’t. What they are calling for is the rule of Allah, as revealed in their Holy Book, the Koran. This is every bit as chimerical as a demand for the Just Society. It is unattainable, and would be so even if the cruel barbarity of their acts didn’t, in the view of so many Muslims, disgrace the religion they profess to practise.A critique of Palestinian nationalism
So these are terrorists – this is a terrorist regime – we can’t talk to. There is no common ground, no basis for negotiation. The world they want to make is inconsistent with the world we live in, inconsistent with our democratic ideal of secularism and tolerance of a diversity of faiths.
I took the title of that novel from Oliver Wendell Holmes, who fought in the Union army in the American Civil War, and later became a Justice of the Supreme Court. Declaring that he “loathed war” – the response of many soldiers to the experience of conflict – Holmes nevertheless wrote: “I believe that force, mitigated so far as may be by good manners, is the ‘ultima ratio’, and between two groups that want to make inconsistent kinds of world, I see no remedy except force … It seems to me that every society rests on the death of men..”
The old Yankee’s sentiment is a grim one, certainly uncomfortable. But isn’t it to the point? Since we have no common ground with Islamic State, and talking to them is therefore futile, is there indeed “any remedy except force”?
The bottom line: Comparing Jewish nationalism to Palestinian nationalism is wrongPalestinians: More Missed Opportunities
When left-wing Zionists compare Jewish nationalism to Palestinian nationalism, they are comparing things which cannot be compared.
Jewish nationalism is thousands of years old, older than most other forms of nationalism, and it is based on positive values of love: for one’s nation, for one’s land and for a better world.
Palestinian nationalism is a recent invention.
It is not even clear if it exists today, based on the declarations of the Palestinians themselves. It is also a movement based on negative values: denying the right of others to exist.
The comparison between the movements is nothing less than a cynical blasphemy.
If to the Zionist Left, Zionism is not more valuable than Palestinian nationalism, then one must start asking himself how much left-wing Zionists truly value Zionism.
It was Palestinian who hurt themselves: When Israelis were not able to hire Palestinian workers, they simply turned to foreign workers, prefabricated construction and other industrial innovations.Jewish groups brief MEPs on Hamas’s anti-Semitism
If the boycott of goods made in the settlements is successful, thousands, if not tens of thousands of Palestinians will find themselves unemployed, hungry, and ripe for radicalization.
The world will never give up its computing, medical, agricultural and start-up products for us. The Israelis will continue to prosper. They have already found other markets.
Mahmoud Abbas is afraid of Hamas and afraid to enter the Gaza Strip. As a result of rumors that Hamas was working privately to reach a cease-fire agreement with Israel, Abbas is threatening to dissolve the national unity government.
Hamas’s anti-Semitic attitudes toward Israel serve as a major barrier to peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Jewish leaders told European legislators on Wednesday.Hamas, Hezbollah said to discuss Israel ceasefire
Addressing a gathering of European Parliament members in Brussels, representatives of several organizations decried both the terrorist group itself and the double standards with which they believe European governments approach it.
There is a sort of “political correctness [which] demands that Israel’s policies must cause” Hamas’s anti-Semitic ideology, said Dr. Pascal Markowicz, executive chairman of the French Committee of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers.
“Hamas has specifically chosen Israel of all countries of this world, to kill Jews and the Jewish state.”
The Hamas charter states that “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce.”
A senior Hamas official is slated to meet with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut in the coming days in a bid to strengthen ties between the two terror groups.Opposition joins Netanyahu in lobbying against anti-Israel resolution in UNHRC
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshal, traveled to Beirut in secret, according to reports.
The meeting will mark Marzouk’s second powwow with the Hezbollah leader in a month.
The two are expected to discuss Hamas’s reported backchannel talks with Israel over a long-term ceasefire.
Shiite Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria while Hamas is a Sunni outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that supports Sunni jihadist rebels in Syria. Yet while the two groups do not see eye-to-eye on the Sunni-Shiite conflict roiling the region, they have a long history of cooperation when it comes to the shared enemy Israel.
Leading opposition MKs joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in intensive efforts to lobby the world’s “reasonable countries” against supporting an anti-Israel resolution that is expected to come up for a vote in the UN Human Relations Council on Thursday.Arab allies looking anywhere but to America for friendship
Netanyahu met with foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel, and this was among the issues they discussed. Meanwhile, MKs Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) and Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) wrote letters to the ambassadors.
The Palestinian draft resolution, based on last week’s report by the UNHRC committee that investigated last year’s war in Gaza, condemns Israel and calls for the full implementation of the report.
The UNHRC report concluded that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes during Operation Protective Edge; it made no distinction between them, and placed most of the onus on Israel.
Diplomatic officials said that Jerusalem’s current diplomatic efforts were twopronged: to tamp down the language in the resolution as much as possible, and to get a “moral minority” of countries inside the UNHRC either to vote against the resolution or to abstain.
As American and Iranian diplomats itch to sign an oh-so-historic nuclear deal, our traditional allies are looking anywhere but to America for friendship.Cruz calls Obama's Cuba embassy decision 'a slap in the face to Israel'
It’s a desperate pursuit. Egypt would much rather bank on the old, reliable American dollar than on the volatile ruble, to say nothing of the value of having the US military train its officers. And Saudi Arabia is more comfortable doing business with America than with Russia or China.
But, as Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said this week, Washington now sees Iran as the solution, while Israel — and America’s traditional Arab allies — see it as the problem.
We’re yet to witness any reciprocation for our efforts to befriend Iran. (Starting with an end to Tehran’s “death to America” chants, maybe?)
Meanwhile, our nuclear diplomacy, possibly culminating in an agreement this week, is a great lesson in how to lose friends and stop influencing people.
Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz blasted the Obama Administration Wednesday for its decision to open a US embassy in Cuba, saying that for the US to "have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem" was a "slap in the face" to Israel, according to the Washington-based political website The Hill.When it Comes to Israel, Drunk Nixon is Better than Sober Obama
The administration earlier in the day announced its intention to restore diplomatic relations with its long-time Caribbean nemesis and exchange ambassadors for the first time in over 50 years
Tel Aviv is currently home to the United States embassy, but the junior senator from the lone-star state has repeatedly called for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.
Another Presidential candidate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, has also called for legislation that would do away with the national security waiver and allow the administration to implement a 1995 law to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem, The Hill added.
Nixon hit the roof when he learned that Kissinger and Schlesinger were dragging their feet on the airlift. Despite the opposition of his national security and foreign policy brain trust.Analysis: West Bank unrest may not be an intifada, but it poses a serious threat nonetheless
Strangely the tape of Nixon ordering the chairman of the joint chiefs to “get off your ass” and get the planes airborne is not played or written about as the Watergate tapes are. “Use every [plane] we have—everything that will fly,” Nixon can be heard barking in exasperation.
Nixon’s airlift turned the tide for Israel. Under “Operation Nickel Grass” 567 missions were flown, delivering more than 22,000 tons of supplies, and an additional 90,000 tons were delivered to Israel by sea—all told $121 million in weapons and bullets.
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir would admit that upon hearing of the airlift during a cabinet meeting, she began to cry. Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth president, said, “He supplied arms and unflinching support when our very existence would have been in danger without them.” Yitzhak Rabin, then serving as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, said in an Israeli radio interview that no president in American history had been more committed to Israel’s security than Richard Nixon.
Nixon had little tolerance for alcohol and there is little question that he sometimes drank to excess. When it comes to Israel, however, Nixon drunk is better than Obama sober.
In the last week, there were 11 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks in the West Bank.Israelis protest against deadly Palestinian attacks
Three of them were carried out using firearms, claiming the lives of two Israelis and wounding others.
The situation could have been much worse, but the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has managed over the last year to foil more than 100 planned attacks by Hamas.
The Shin Bet announced on Wednesday that it had exposed a new Hamas network in the Nablus area and arrested 40 suspects. Masterminding the network was Salah Aruri, a top Hamas operative who was released from an Israeli prison a few years ago and now resides in Turkey. Aruri is in charge of reinstating Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank, a year after Israeli security forces quashed it prior to the war in Gaza.
In recent months, Israeli officials approached Turkey and, despite the bitter relations between the two countries, asked Ankara to crack down on Hamas operatives there. Before recent events, Israeli sources hinted that Turkey was accommodating, but now it seems that nothing has changed.
Several hundred Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem Wednesday evening, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to act against a recent surge in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians.Netanyahu, Ya'alon Vow to End Terror at Victims' Bedsides
Protesters gathered near Netanyahu’s residence, waving signs that said “Stop the terror wave.”
There has been a spate of apparent “lone wolf” Palestinian attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank recently. Two men were killed in separate West Bank shootings, and two people were wounded in stabbing attacks, including a female military police officer seriously hurt after being stabbed in the neck by a Palestinian woman.
“Netanyahu is not acting strong enough against Palestinian terror,” said Mitchell Myers, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. Netanyahu has been making goodwill gestures to Palestinians for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, he said, while “in exchange we have been getting terror day after day.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) on Wednesday visited the Border Patrol guard who was stabbed at Rachel's Tomb on Monday, by her bedside at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.Female Border Guard Recounts Capturing Palestinian Attacker After Being Stabbed in the Throat
"We visited now the wounded, who have shown very impressive courage, composure, and spirit," Netanyahu stated. "We, the Defense Minister and I, wished them a speedy recovery, and of course we express condolences for Eliezer and Sara [Rosenfeld] who lost their son, Malachi - who was exceptional and unique, and there is no pain greater than the pain of parents who lose a son or daughter, and the hearts of all the citizens of Israel with them."
"We have thwarted over two hundred attempted attacks since the beginning of last year, and we will also get to these murderers and terrorists," he continued. "We will also exact a heavy price on the terrorists and their dispatchers and their supporters."
"I want to express my condolences to the Rosenfeld family on [the death of their son] Malachi, may his memory be for a blessing," Ya'alon added. "We are all family and we embrace them. I also want to wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, who we just visited in the hospital - between the doctors here and [the passing of] time, I hope they make a speedy recovery."
"The IDF in Judea and Samaria continues to work to get its hands on the terrorists, aided by the Israel Security Agency [ISA or Shin Bet], and I believe it will happen sooner than later," he added. "There is also terrorism fueled by Palestinian Authority incitement, and even foreign pressure; Iran has begun funding Hamas, with pressure to carry out attacks."
Liron Yisraeli, the female Israeli Border Guard that was stabbed in the neck yesterday at the Kever Rachel checkpoint in the West Bank, regained consciousness on Wednesday and recounted details of the incident, Israeli Channel 2 News reported.Moving: Hero Soldier Who Survived Stabbing Prays at Kotel
Yisraeli spoke about her harrowing experience as she was visited at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon.
She told how she let the attacker, a woman, pass into the checkpoint. The assailant then refused to allow her bag to be searched, because it contained a knife.
“She saw she had no option but to go my way,” Yisraeli said, “so she jumped on me and stabbed me in the throat.”
Border Patrol officer Raz Bibi, who was critically wounded when an Arab terrorist stabbed him at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City two weeks ago, was released from hospital on Wednesday and visited the Kotel (Western Wall) to offer a prayer of thanks for his miraculous recovery.Jewish Home Demands Construction in Response to Terror
Bibi arrived at the Kotel Plaza to find a moving surprise, as members of his unit greeted him to clap and cheer for his recovery and his bravery. Before losing consciousness Bibi managed to shoot and kill the terrorist who stabbed him. Video of the rousing welcome can be seen by clicking the image below.
At the Kotel, the 20-year-old Bibi was met by the Kotel Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who together with the soldier laid tefilin (phylacteries) and said the gomel blessing recited by those who have survived a life-threatening experience.
Noting on the welcoming by Bibi's comrades, Rabbi Rabinowitz said, "I was very happy to see this special military unit that stood behind the door at the hospital since he (Bibi) was wounded, and supported him and prayed for his recovery together with all the people of Israel."
The Jewish Home party on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to respond to the latest wave of terrorist attacks by renewing construction in Judea and Samaria and by cancelling some of the “gestures” given to Palestinian Arabs in honor of Ramadan.Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai
The call was made after members of the faction held an urgent meeting following the recent attacks. During the meeting, party chairman Naftali Bennett informed the members of the party about his meeting with Netanyahu.
In a statement after the meeting, the party said that it demands that Netanyahu build in Judea and Samaria, strengthen the settlement enterprise and cancel the Ramadan gestures.
“The Jewish Home faction will not ignore the murder of Jews," the statement said, but did not specify whether the demands were an ultimatum to the Prime Minister or simply a clarification of the party’s position.
Israeli defense and intelligence sources estimate that the Sinai Province numbers several hundred trained and armed operatives, as well as a similar number of collaborators. Most of them are local Beduin, some of them from the Tarabin tribe which resides in north Sinai and has dealt in drug and weapons smuggling as well as human trafficking in recent years. In the past two years they have clothed this profession in the ideology of ISIS.PM: Sinai bloodbath a sign terrorism ‘knocking on Israel’s borders’
The Egyptian army has had a number of achievements in recent months, since the bloody attack in January 2015 in which 30 soldiers were killed. It has achieved relative quiet in the rest of Sinai - in the center and in the south - after winning the loyalty of several tribal leaders in these areas through bribery, threats and punishment.
However, the problem has persisted in north Sinai. Despite Israel's agreeing to allow the Egyptian army to add more forces in Sinai than is allowed in accordance with the peace accord between the countries, and despite the security coordination with Israel (foreign reports have even suggested that Israel has helped Egypt in intel-gathering and with drone attacks), President Sisi has struggled in his battle against terror.
However, it can be assumed that, despite Wednesday's terror attacks, Sisi's resolve will not weaken, and his regime will continue in its all out war against terror in Sinai. As has been proven in Israel and many other countries throughout the world, the struggle against the monster that is terrorism has no lightning solution.
Netanyahu said that the attacks by dozens of militants demonstrated that radical Islamists were encircling the Jewish state.Report: IDF to okay bolstered Egyptian forces in Sinai after deadly attacks
“Terrorism is knocking at our borders,” the prime minister said during a visit to Hadassah Hospital at Ein Karem, where he met with a female soldier injured when attacked by a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint earlier in the week.
“ISIS is not just opposite the Golan Heights. At the moment it is also in Egypt, opposite Rafah, facing our borders, and we are joined with Egypt and with many other countries in the Middle East and the world in the struggle against the extremist Islamic terrorism that is guided by two elements – Iran and the Shiite extremists, and ISIS and the Sunni extremists — as well as other factions such as Hamas,” he said, using one of the acronyms for the Islamic State group.
The IDF has reportedly decided to grant all Egyptian requests to reinforce troops in the Sinai Peninsula hours after Islamic State-linked insurgents killed dozens of people Wednesday in a slew of attacks in the region's north, according to Channel 2.Egypt May 'Invite' IDF to Strike ISIS in Gaza
As a part of the 1979 peace treaty signed by Israel and Egypt, each country must approve any additional military forces in the area on either side of the border.
The IDF has been closely following the deadly exchanges of fire that ensued between Egyptian forces and Islamist fighters near the Israel border, following the terrorists' assault on multiple Egyptian checkpoints. The rising death toll from the attacks was at 100 by Wednesday night.
Also on Wednesday evening, Egypt's general command for the armed forces said the army had killed at least 100 militants in North Sinai, after the attack on military checkpoints.
The statement, which was aired on state television, said 17 soldiers, including four officers, were also killed. Thirteen soldiers were also wounded.
An Egyptian source has revealed that if after launching a brutal attack in Sinai the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group approaches Gaza, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi may "invite" the IDF to strike it.Ending honeymoon, Sinai turmoil sends Gaza back to square one
The source, who is "familiar with Egypt's decision-making process," told Haaretz on Thursday that Sisi may give the green light given that Gaza falls under Israel's responsibility.
"The two armies may already be coordinating in preparation for such a possibility," revealed the source. "The Egyptian problem is that a military campaign inside Gaza could lead to breaking down the fences and a mass flight of civilians from Gaza to Sinai."
Hamas has long tried to distance itself from the ongoing jihadi violence across the border, in towns like Egyptian Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and el-Arish. But the Egyptian street, and its leadership, remain unconvinced.IS said to have used anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles in Sinai attack
The brief period of detente between Hamas and Egypt — which opened its Rafah border in recent weeks to allow thousands of Palestinians and tons of cement into the Strip — is now over.
“Close the [Rafah] crossing for good! Never open it again!” demanded Egyptian TV host Ahmad Moussa on Wednesday night, asserting that no fewer than 200 terrorists, including 20 foreign fighters, have entered Sinai from Gaza. He accused Hamas of taking part in the attack that Egypt’s military said left 17 soldiers dead. Other officials put the death toll much higher.
The official Facebook page of the Egyptian army has been posting photos of slain gunmen lying in the sand, AK-47s resting on their bloodied camouflage uniforms. The page’s new banner, featuring images of F-16s and battleships on the backdrop of Giza’s pyramids, reads “Victory or martyrdom.”
A newspaper close to the Egyptian government says the Islamic State-linked group that attacked troops in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday used sophisticated weaponry, including Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles.Defense Ministry: Upgrades for Iron Dome's operational capabilities a success
In a graphic on its front page Thursday, el-Watan daily says the attackers also used mortars, anti-aircraft guns and other guided missiles.
An Egyptian security source told The Times of Israel the fighters used a massive supply of anti-aircraft missiles in the first hour of the attack, forcing the Egyptian army to respond with F-16 fighter jets rather than Apache helicopters.
The attack, which included a wave of suicide bombings and assaults on security installations by dozens of militants, was Sinai’s deadliest fighting in decades. Security officials said dozens of troops were killed, along with nearly 100 attackers.
The Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that after running a series of experimental tests on Israel's life saving air-defense missile system, Iron Dome, it has succeeded in upgrading its operational capabilities in order to confront future hostilities.Muslim Brotherhood calls for ‘rebellion’ against Sissi
In conjunction with its main contractor, state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the new upgrades were designed "to expand and improve the performance capabilities of the system in the face of an unprecedented range of threats," a press statement from the Defense Ministry read.
The Iron Dome was originally designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km, but the IDF has continually improved Iron Dome's capability since its deployment in 2011.
Each battery consists of a mini multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors called Tamirs.
Islamic State-linked jihadists struck Egyptian army outposts in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday in a coordinated wave of suicide bombings and battles that underlined the government’s failure to stem an insurgency despite a two-year crackdown. Security officials said dozens of troops were killed, along with nearly 100 attackers.PMW: Abbas’ advisor: Israel benefits from ISIS attacks in Egypt
The restive territory’s deadliest fighting in decades followed the assassination of Egypt’s chief prosecutor and a vow by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to step up the legal battle against Islamic militants.
Later Wednesday, a special forces team raided a Cairo apartment and killed nine fugitive members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, including a former member of parliament, security officials said.
The Brotherhood responded by calling for a rebellion against el-Sissi, saying the nine were “murdered in cold blood.”
Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash wrote in response to the Islamic State terrorist attack that killed dozens of Egyptian soldiers in Sinai yesterday, that Israel is the one benefiting from the attack:Bankrupt UNRWA Could Close 'Palestinian Refugee' Schools
Al-Habbash: “I have no doubt that the main beneficiary - and perhaps the only one that really benefits - of the attack in Egypt is Israel. Simply put, this means that whoever harms Egypt is acting for the good of Israel, whether or not they want to.”
[Facebook page of Mahmoud Al-Habbash, July 1, 2015]
Al-Habbash received on his Facebook page a response from a Ashraf Salameh Abu Islam, charging that the Jews’ goal is to conquer from the Euphrates to the Nile, and that “Jews are behind all that is happening from Iraq to Egypt.” Instead of ignoring the post or negating it - Al-Habbash “liked” it.
UNRWA, the UN body tasked with aiding "Palestinian refugees," has warned that it may have to close its schools as it goes bankrupt after years of falling into debt.IDF Blog: What’s the worst way to spend 3M$? Ask Hamas
Adnan Abu Hasna, UNRWA media adviser, said that the financial deficit may cause the body to close 700 schools in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan at the start of the next school year.
Hasna said that an official decision on closing the schools has yet to be reached, but noted that UNRWA is staggering under a $101 million deficit.
UNRWA schools have been accused of being "incubators of terror" in teaching radicalism, aside from being weapons storehouses for Hamas, as seen last summer when rockets were found at three different UNRWA facilities. After the first discovery of rockets at an UNRWA school, the organization's workers reportedly called Hamas to come remove them.
A full 252 UNRWA schools are operating in Gaza, and are attended by roughly 248,000 students.
According to UN statistics the numbers of so-called "Palestinian refugees" - namely the descendants of the roughly 800,000 Arabs who left Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, and whose descendants uniquely "inherit" their refugee status - in Gaza stands at 1.3 million, in Judea and Samaria at 914,000, in Lebanon 447,000, 2.1 million in Jordan, and 500,000 in Syria. (Covered by EOZ on Monday here)
As the international community focuses on rebuilding Gaza above ground, Hamas has been busy rebuilding its terror infrastructure below ground.
Since Operation Protective Edge, Israel has worked with the international community to help improve the living conditions of Gaza’s civilians. Despite the risk of Hamas rearming, Israel has facilitated the entrance of over 1,300,000 tons of construction materials into Gaza. These materials are currently being used for 367 international projects, such as the construction of medical centers, water and sewage facilities, schools, houses and roads.
Meanwhile, Hamas, the ruling entity in the Gaza Strip, has been dedicating its efforts to rebuilding its terror infrastructure. This mainly includes their sophisticated tunnel network, used as weapons caches, bunkers, command centers and a concealed transportation artery for terrorists and weapons. “It’s unfortunate that the Hamas regime chooses to invest its resources in terror rather than the welfare of the people of Gaza,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson.
REPORT: ISIS Could Have 42 MILLION Supporters in the Arab World
The Islamic State may have up to 42 million supporters across the Arab World alone, according to research conducted by the Clarion Project think tank.Watch: In twisted revenge, Syrian rebels execute Islamic State fighters in orange jumpsuits
The organisation, which boasts Muslim anti-extremism activists as its board members, calculated the figure by looking at opinion polls from the region, and calculating the amount of positivity felt towards ISIS by its inhabitants.
Figures from other Islamic or Arab countries – including the Palestinian territories (20 percent), Tunisia (13 percent), Egypt (3 percent), Saudi Arabia (10 percent), the United Arab Emirates (13 percent), Yemen (up to 7 percent), Jordan (up to 14 percent), Libya (up to 7 percent), and Lebanon (1 percent) – reveal that in total, ISIS could have between 8.5 million and 42 million supporters, sympathisers, or those that consider it a legitimate political force in the Middle East and North Africa.
“With a minimum of 8.5 million strong supporters and 24.5 million who view the group at least somewhat positively, the Islamic State has plenty of room for growth in the Arab world,” wrote Ryan Mauro, the head of national security for the Clarion Project.
In a macabre twist of fortune, a Syrian rebel group battling the Islamic State released a bloody video showing the brutal slaughter of ISIS fighters while the executioners don the infamous orange jumpsuits usually reserved for victims of the jihadist organization.Why is Obama Blocking Weapons to Kurds Fighting ISIS?
The Syrian rebels, calling themselves Jaysh Al-Islam or the "Army of Islam," composed of approximately 25,000 soldiers following the unification of 60 rebel factions, can be seen making the captured ISIS fighters kneel before their gruesome deaths while one rebel announces: "Allah did not make a disease without appointing a remedy to it."
The Islamic State fighters, dressed in all black, are then made to drink something before their executioners shoot the jihadists in the back of the head at point blank range with shotguns.
As the lurid clip continues to play, a Jaysh Al-Islam militant says: "The most serious calamity for our jihad today is a group of people who grow at a time of division among Muslims.
Arab and European states have been unable to provide Kurdish fighters with badly-needed weapons to fight ISIS - because the US is blocking the weapons transfers.Strange Bedfellows: Turkey Offers Greece Aid to Remedy Financial Crisis
According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, the Obama administration's hesitation and lack of clear strategy means that US commanders, who are directing the anti-ISIS coalition efforts, are not authorizing moves to directly arm Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. This, despite the fact that the Kurds have proven by far the most effective force in fighting ISIS, having taken and held territory from the jihadists in northern Iraq and Syria, despite being outgunned.
Citing "high level officials" from the Gulf Arab states involved in the fight against ISIS, the paper claimed some are becoming so frustrated with Washington's lack of leadership in the campaign that they are preparing to "go it alone" and directly arm the Kurds in spite of US opposition.
Backed by coalition airstrikes, both the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq and People's Protection Unit (YPG) in northern Syria have scored significant victories against the jihadists - in stark contrast to the relative ineffectiveness and disarray of Iranian-backed Shia Islamist militias in southern Iraq, and pro-regime forces in Syria.
But Kurdish commanders lament that while the collapse and surrender of the Iraqi army flooded ISIS arsenals with advanced US weaponry and armored vehicles, they themselves are largely forced to rely upon light, Soviet-era weapons and only a tiny number of anti-tank or heavy weapons.
Multiple factions within the Turkish government have expressed a willingness to help the Greek government repay its debts to the European Union, from a general statement by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that Turkey will do “whatever we can” to help Greece to the nation’s leftist party suggesting a massive loan to the Greek government in solidarity.PreOccupied Territory: Israel Suppressing Islamic Culture By Reducing Honor Killings (satire)
“We are ready to do whatever we can in terms of cooperation in tourism, energy and trade,” Davutoglu said in remarks this week regarding the Greece’s default to the IMF, marking the first time a developed country has defaulted. “We want Greece to be strong… Therefore, Turkey will be positive toward any proposal for cooperation,” Davutoglu said. The Turkish PM also announced that a Turkish delegation would be traveling to Greece to negotiate on trade and development.
The statement followed a meeting between the Turkish and Greek foreign ministers in which increased trade cooperation was a major topic. In a statement, the Greek Foreign Ministry described the meeting as “very warm,” noting that the Turkish foreign minister “assured [Greek Foreign Minister] Mr. Kotzias of the solidarity of the Turkish people and the political and state leadership of Turkey with the Greek government’s efforts to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its partners in the eurozone.”
The conference called on international bodies such as UNESCO to protect the cherished practice from Israeli “cultural genocide.”
Islamic scholars and leaders gathered in the Jordanian capital city of Amman to denounce Israel for suppressing the ancient Islamic culture by attempting to eliminate the murders of women accused of bringing dishonor on the family.
Clerics and academics convened at the annual conference of the Muslim International Society for Observation of Gender and Youth Needs in Islamic Societies and Territories (MISOGYNIST) to decry Israeli efforts to eliminate honor killings, which occur in Israel chiefly among more traditional tribal elements of the country such as Bedouin. Thousands of honor killings take place every year throughout the Muslim world, whereas in Israel, the number has been reduced to the single digits in recent years, though the phenomenon may be underreported in all countries.
The practice of stoning, stabbing, beating, burning, beheading, hanging, throat slashing, splashing with acid, shooting or strangling a woman because her name has been mentioned in connection with a romantic or sexual liaison the community finds distasteful is not strictly an Islamic practice, but it is far more common in Islamic societies than in, for example, Europe or the US – or Israel, which has led MISOGYNIST to conclude that the Jewish State is trying to suppress this widespread characteristic of Islamic culture.
A MISOGYNIST statement approved by the conference attendees called on the international community to put a stop to what it called Israel’s “barbaric policy of exterminating this aspect of authentic local culture,” and called on international bodies such as UNESCO to protect the cherished practice from Israeli “cultural genocide.” It further called for penalties to be imposed on Israel if the latter fails to meet MISOGYNIST’s demands.