Sunday, October 27, 2019

From Ian:

Trump announces death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: He died like a dog
US President Donald Trump delivered a special announcement on Sunday announcing the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US Special Ops raid, explaining that the success could not have been achieved without the acknowledgement and help of other nations such as "Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq."

"The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years," Trump began. "He died... whimpering and screaming. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, and he had dragged three of his young children with him that were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children.

"The thug that tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in total fear," Trump continued. "Baghdadi's demise demonstrates... our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Our reach is very long."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump for the killing of Baghdadi, calling it an “impressive achievement.”

Netanyahu, who released a statement within moments of Trump ending his press conference where he announced Baghdadi's killing, said that it “reflects our shared determination – of the United States and all free states – to fight terrorist organizations and terrorist states.”

Netanyahu said that while this was an “important milestone,” the campaign against terrorism is “still in front of us.”

Trump additionally clarified that no US personnel were killed in the operation, though one dog was injured entering the tunnel. He stated that the number of people killed on Baghdadi's end of the operation will be announced in the next 24 hours.

He described watching the operation, which he saw along with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, and several other military and intelligence officials, as something "like a movie."

"Today's events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists," Trump stated. "That also goes for other terrorist organizations. Baghdadi and the losers who work for him, and losers they are, had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were very frightened puppies; in other cases, hardcore killers. Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way; as a coward, running and crying."
Defense Officials Release Shocking Details Of Al-Baghdadi Raid: ‘Six Helicopters,’ ’50-70 Members Of Delta Force’
Defense Department officials are slowly leaking out details of the shocking raid in western Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS mastermind, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and there may even be video of the exact moment al-Baghdadi detonated his own suicide vest, killing himself and several members of his family so that he couldn’t be taken alive by the American military.

The Daily Mail reports that “between 50 and 70 members of the US Army Delta Force and Rangers flew in on six helicopters and surrounded al-Baghdadi during the overnight raid in Syria’s Idlib province,” per sources.

The attack had been planned for weeks, President Donald Trump told reporters during a press conference Sunday morning, and a special team of soldiers was amassed for the raid. The team knew, based on information from friendly intelligence sources in the area, that al-Baghdadi was “lurking in Syrian border towns, often wearing non-traditional or ‘regular’ clothes, using a civilian car, and making sure anyone around him had no mobile phones or electronic devices in order to bypass detection,” according to Fox News.

Al-Baghdadi arrived at the compound where he ultimately perished a mere 48 hours before the U.S. military’s raid. He was accompanied there by two of his wives and several of his children, all of whom were outfitted with suicide vests.
Islamic State leader’s death is important, but not a game changer
US special forces carried out a high-level raid in Syria against Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi, killing the elusive Islamic State terror group’s leader. The assassination of Baghdadi is a major symbolic blow to the organization and everything it represents, but its impact must not be overstated. His death does not mean the end of IS.

The organization’s modus operandi will not change dramatically and its operations are more likely to be constrained by larger military and financial issues than by the death of one man. Now, after the disintegration of its territorial empire, the Islamic State is already more of an idea than a concrete reality and, as such, it is expected to continue, in a changed form, to plague the West for years to come.

The big question we should be asking at the moment is what will happen to the larger idea of Salafist jihad? After the death of Osama bin Laden, IS stepped into the newly created jihadist leadership vacuum. The organization ascended to new levels of brutality that surpassed, in many ways, even the tactics employed by the notoriously vicious al-Qaeda.

There are still several other competing jihadist groups, such as Tahrir a-Sham, operating in Syria’s Idlib province, where Baghdadi was killed. Harried by Syrian and Russian airstrikes, their capacities are limited, and it is more than likely that we will see the ascension of another organization, led by a figure no less charismatic than Baghdadi, that will push a radical agenda, perhaps more extreme than that of IS, if such a thing can be imagined.

With a $25 million US bounty on his head, Baghdadi was the world’s most wanted man, responsible for steering his chillingly violent organization into mass slaughter of opponents, and directing and inspiring terror attacks across continents and in the heart of Europe.

Shifting away from the airline hijackings and other mass-casualty attacks that came to define al-Qaeda, Baghdadi and other IS leaders supported smaller-scale acts of violence that would be harder for law enforcement to prepare for and prevent.

Seth J. Frantzman: Overnight attack that killed Al-Baghdadi raises many questions - analysis
WHY WAS Baghdadi in Syria, and in Idlib of all places? In September, he released a new tape, and in April he appeared on video for the first time in years. Baghdadi rose to fame in 2014, proclaiming himself “caliph” of ISIS in Mosul and leading his group to commit genocide and mass rape of minorities. But after that, he was elusive. When ISIS was mostly defeated this March, there were rumors that he was dead or injured. Then he popped up on the videos. But where was he? Supposedly he had been hiding out in desert areas of Iraq or Syria, where some 14,000 ISIS members are suspected to be. He is from Iraq so he knows how to hide out.

If he went to Idlib, why did he go? Was it a Bin Laden-type of thing, the way the Al-Qaeda leader went to Pakistan to relax after 9/11? ISIS received many recruits via Turkey and also one had more of a presence in Idlib. There are a plethora of other extremist groups in Idlib, particularly Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which was once Al-Qaeda in Syria. Was that why he went – because these groups would act as a buffer around him? Or was he recently moved there, for various reasons, as some ISIS members migrated to Idlib after defeat in the Euphrates Valley?

And what was this “convoy” that was targeted by the helicopters? What has happened to Baghdadi’s body or what's left of it? What did Turkey know? The last question is more interesting because if Trump knew about the operation for nearly a week, that means that when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence went to Turkey on October 17, they might have learned about this from Turkey.

Could it be that there was a decision to share intelligence with Washington as part of showing the US that Turkey cared about fighting ISIS, and to soften American anger over Turkey’s invasion of Syria on October 9? Why would Baghdadi suddenly turn up in the midst of this crisis, when ISIS seemed to be on the cusp of a new lease on life after the US announced it would withdraw from parts of Syria?

Pompeo had already indicated last week that the US had fulfilled its mission in Syria. That mission was to defeat ISIS. America was supposed to withdraw fully on October 13, except from the base of Tanf near Jordan. Then Trump said that the US would stay in Syria to protect the oil. US vehicles went back to Syria on October 26. If Trump knew of the raid for days – including when he congratulated the Syrian Democratic Forces commander General Mazlum on keeping the ceasefire that the US and Russia both brokered with Turkey – what was the context of that phone call around October 21? Did Trump's anti-ISIS envoy James Jeffrey, who spoke to the Senate on October 22 about Syria, know of the upcoming raid? Or was everyone in the dark? How could US helicopters operate so close to Turkey’s border and not trigger Turkish air defense, unless Turkey was in the loop? Did the helicopters fly from Incirlik or from another base?

With so many questions about the raid, this could be Trump’s Bin Laden moment. But it could also lead to questions about America's withdrawal from Syria and its erratic policies over the last few weeks.
Netanyahu, Gantz congratulate US on raid that killed IS chief Baghdadi
Israeli officials on Sunday praised US President Donald Trump on the American special forces raid in Syria that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it an “important milestone” in the fight against terrorism.

Trump confirmed earlier that the elusive leader was killed, saying he died “like a dog” in a daring nighttime raid by US special forces deep in northwest Syria.

In a televised address from the White House, he said that US forces killed a “large number” of Islamic State fighters during the raid, which culminated in cornering Baghdadi in a tunnel where he set off a suicide vest.

“I wish to congratulate President Trump on the impressive accomplishment that led to the elimination of the head of Daesh, al-Baghdadi,” Netanyahu said an hour later in a video statement while touring the Palmachim air force base, using the Arabic initials for IS.

“This reflects the shared determination of Israel, the US and all the free countries to fight terrorist organizations and terrorist states,” he added. “This accomplishment is an important milestone, but the battle is still ahead of us.”

Benny Gantz, who is currently tasked with trying to cobble together a coalition after Netanyahu failed to do so, also issued a statement praising the operation and the US president.

“The fight against terror requires a mix of responsibility, patience and determination to act,” Gantz, a former IDF chief of staff, said in a statement. “The elimination of the Daesh leader in Syria is a combination off all three.

“This is an important operational and intelligence accomplishment of the United States military forces, led by President Trump,” he added.

“Al-Baghdadi is directly responsible for the cruel deaths of hundreds of thousands of people whose only crime was that they didn’t share his same extremist ideology,” he said.

Ex-intel chief praises Baghdadi hit, says Iran, Hezbollah should be next
The purported US killing of shadowy Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an “impressive” US intelligence and operational feat, but it is important to remember that Iran – not ISIS – is the main threat in the Middle East, a top Israeli security analyst said on Sunday.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of military intelligence who today heads the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, wrote in a Twitter thread that ISIS ceased being a territorial entity two years ago when it lost Mosul and Raqqa.

“For us Israelis, the threat from ISIS is secondary,” he said. “We would like to see the US act in a similar way against [Iranian Quds force commander Qassem] Soleimani, and [Hezbollah head Hassan] Nasrallah.”

Yadlin noted that the US is fighting militarily in the Middle East only against ISIS and not Iran, which he said is the most significant threat to Israel and its allies.

ISIS does not have a nuclear program, ballistic missiles, or a project to develop precision weapons, Yadlin said. He added that the US campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran – without a military component to the harsh economic sanctions – “does not achieve its goals,” he said.

Quoting Leon Trotsky, who once said that “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you,” Yadlin said that the US is likely to be harmed by its withdrawal from the Middle East.

Yadlin said that a resurgent ISIS, Iranian hegemony in the region, and high oil prices will seriously harm America’s national security.
Kurdish commander: ‘Historic’ Baghdadi op was result of joint intel work with US
Syria’s top Kurdish commander on Sunday hailed a “historic operation” and joint intelligence work following US media reports that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed during an American raid.

Mazloum Abdi, head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that was the US’s main local ally in years of battles against the Islamic State group in Syria, said the operation was the result of “joint intelligence work.”

Turkey’s Defense Ministry told the Reuters news agency that Turkish and American military authorities exchanged and coordinated information ahead of the US strike thought to have killed the elusive chief of the Islamic State terror group in the Idlib region of Syria.

Iraqi state television on Sunday broadcast footage of what it said was the site of the raid, with a crater and blood-stained clothing on the ground, Reuters reported. The broadcaster also quoted an terror expert who said Iraqi intelligence agencies had also helped to locate Baghdadi.
MEMRI: ISIS Supporters Respond Defiantly To Reports Of Al-Baghdadi’s Death: Jihad Is Not Founded On Men
On October 27, 2019, following media reports that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), was killed in a raid by U.S. forces, supporters of the organization on social media express skepticism, stress the need to rely only on official ISIS outlets, and defiantly declare that jihad will continue, even if the news is true.[1]

Following are examples of the reactions:

ISIS Followers Urged Not To Believe Reports
The pro-ISIS Quraysh Media outlet posted a notice urging followers not to trust any news source other than the official ISIS media outlets, while using the honorific "May Allah preserve him," when referring to Al-Baghdadi – which indicates that they believe that he is still alive. Their statement reads: "Arab and international media agencies have circulated 'news' about issues which concern the Islamic State. There have been widespread discussions confirming or rejecting this news.

"We emphasize that the commander of the believers – may Allah preserve him [Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi] – ordered to stick to news issued by the official organs of the State of the Caliphate and avoid anything else. The obligation to adhere to 'official' [ISIS media] was stressed repeatedly in Al-Naba' and Al-Bayyan Radio.

"We remind the brothers that these matters concern the State's leaders, not its general public. There must be confirmation. No information or statements that might help the enemy should be shared. We pray to Allah to humiliate the Crusaders and those who are in their camp."[2]
Family of Arab Israeli slain in Australia starts medical scholarship in her name
The family of a 21-year-old Arab Israeli student raped and murdered in Australia earlier this year on Sunday launched a fellowship for Palestinian doctors in her name.

In Melbourne for the Tuesday sentencing of Codey Herrmann, who pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Aya Maasarwe in January, the victim’s father Saeed told The Guardian that he does not know how long Herrmann should spend in jail.

“Our compass is not revenge,” Saeed said. “We think all the time, our mind, our compass is positive, is not negative.”

He and his daughter Noor said they hoped that as a result of Aya’s murder, the Australian authorities will do more to prevent crimes.

Aya’s family also expressed sadness and disappointment about the decision of the court to release details of the murder.

“In the court, we want something not to be public and we asked for this one and the court they don’t care about our feeling or our culture,” Saeed said.

“It was very hard to see [the details of the murder] in the news,” added Noor. “We already know what happened… It’s my sister and she’s also my best friend…it was very, very hard.”

PMW: PA official compares Israel and breast cancer "The occupation... is the largest and most dangerous cancer in the world"
The Palestinian Authority uses every opportunity to spread hatred of Israel. Here's one striking example. At the opening of Pink October 2019 - the Breast Cancer Awareness Month - PA official Laila Ghannam, who is the PA District Governor of Ramallah, addressed the audience with a message full of hate against Israel: Since Palestinian women have the experience of dealing with Israel - which is “the greatest cancer” - they will also be able “to defy the illnesses,” i.e., defeat cancer:

“During the opening of the events of Pink October 2019 - Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the participation of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam... Ghannam... explained that our people, which is dealing with the greatest cancer - the occupation - is able to defy the illnesses and deal with them through early examinations." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2019]

This is a repeating message by Ghannam to Palestinian women. In 2018, for International Early Breast Cancer Discovery Awareness Day, Ghannam encouraged women to get checked for early discovery of breast cancer, and then also stressed that since they manage to “deal” with “the largest and most dangerous cancer in the world” - Israel - they will be able to beat any other cancer too:

“The Palestinian women - who are capable of dealing with the occupation, which is the largest and most dangerous cancer in the world - will be able to completely overcome any other cancer.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 7, 2018]

Significantly, the PA doesn’t prioritize fighting cancer over demonizing Israel. Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA suspended the successful but not complete cancer treatment of a 7-year-old Palestinian boy in an Israeli hospital in order to keep paying salaries to terrorists.
Gaza death cult celebrates the anniversary of the Qassam Rocket
The Palestinians are celebrating their own "innovation", in their own very special way.
This week marks the 18th anniversary of the first launch of the Qassam rocket- an unguided projectile whose sole purpose is to terrorize, to murder and to main Jewish civilians. Today's social media from Gaza is filled with poetic tomes dedicated to the Qassam

Reason # 4567 why there is no peace in the Middle East

How Bernie Sanders became a favorite among Muslim Americans
Bernie Sanders was one of only two Democratic presidential candidates to address the Islamic Society of North America Convention in August, the largest annual gathering of Muslim Americans in the country.

Organizers invited the 10 highest-polling contenders at the time to the Houston event, but the Vermont senator and Julian Castro were the only ones to accept. Sanders received loud applause and a standing ovation for a speech that repeatedly invoked his refugee father’s flight from poverty and anti-Semitism in Poland.

Among a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls, the Jewish candidate is one of the few who have made repeated efforts to reach out to Muslim Americans, community leaders told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“Sanders has taken an active role in elevating Muslim communities and Muslim spokespersons in the national presidential debate,” said Robert McCaw, director of the government affairs department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “He’s not shy in going into Muslim spaces publicly and endorsing our issues and making them a part of the campaign.”

Sanders was the first presidential candidate to visit a mosque following the March shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. With his appointment of Faiz Shakir as campaign manager, he became the first major presidential candidate to appoint a Muslim in that role. He has picked high profile Muslims as surrogates — including Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour and comedian Amer Zahr, both Palestinian Americans.

Prominent Muslim politicians, in turn, have endorsed Sanders. They include Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who came out for Sanders last week. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is set to join Sanders at a rally in Detroit this weekend and reportedly is going to endorse him as well. Omar and Tlaib, the first Muslim women elected to Congress, have been the repeated target of attacks by President Donald Trump.

It’s hardly a given that Muslim Americans would support a left-leaning Democrat.
Why what Elizabeth Warren said this week on Israel matters
J Street posted on Twitter: “Candidates who care about Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish homeland should *absolutely* be considering how the US can do a better job of curbing settlement expansion and working to end the occupation. Props to @ewarren for doing so.”

So this argument about aid represents a split between liberal Jews within the establishment tent (Jacobs) and without (J Street).

IfNotNow similarly called the Buttigieg and Warren comments “encouraging.” (I should note that I don’t know if IfNotNow activists specifically asked the questions that prompted replies, but credit/blame goes to the group for starting this ball rolling — its activists have been bringing up the aid question for months.)

Does it matter?

Warren and Buttigieg spoke vaguely and in broad terms, so nothing the candidates said is unprecedented. In fact, withholding loan guarantees to Israel commensurate to what it was spending on settlements was American policy from George H.W. Bush’s time through the era of his son, George W. Bush. Who actually ended that policy? Barack Obama.

Prior to the implementation of that policy, presidents from Truman through Reagan leveraged aid to influence Israeli policy in a variety of spheres. (I think the only exception is Lyndon Johnson, who withheld nothing from Israel.)

It will be an election issue

If Warren or Sanders get the nomination, expect the “Democrats distancing themselves from Israel” narrative that Republicans and President Donald Trump have been eager to peddle to start sticking. The narrative also includes the first Congress with Democrats who back the boycott Israel movement (Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota), and a phalanx of rising stars (Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ro Khanna of California) who have said that aid should be used to pressure Israel.

The fact that Buttigieg, a centrist, has said he would consider leveraging aid will be used to show that the antipathy to Israel has infected the entire party.

But there’s a chance that Democrats will want to play down threats to cut aid. They now have a high-profile foreign policy claim against Trump relating to his abandonment of Kurdish allies. At least one centrist Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, has held up the alliance with Israel as a means of repudiating Trump’s isolationism.
AFP Deems Israelis Irrelevant for Peace With Jordan
With the Middle East the scene of so many conflicts over the last quarter-century, it’s a minor miracle that the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty has held together so well.

While the peace agreement, signed 25 years ago this week has not led to close relations between the two states, there is little doubt that it remains stable. There seems no genuine reason to worry that Israeli-Jordanian peace is imminently falling apart.

It was surprising, then, to see Agency France-Presse, better known as AFP, take the opportunity to run a dismal and woefully unbalanced piece suggesting that the future is bleak, based on very little substance beyond a brief ten-year old quote from Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

AFP is a French wire outlet which provides news articles to countless websites and newspapers around the world. The article, by Mussa Hattar, cites no fewer than five Jordanians: a civil servant; an Amman-based political analyst; Jordan’s King Abdullah II; the director of a Jordanian think tank; and a white collar worker. No tangible changes in either country’s policies are mentioned, and while the headline derives from a statement from the King himself, it’s one that was made fully a decade ago. The vast majority of the rest of the piece is held together by basic background information and quotes from people, some of them totally unimportant individuals, rather than the thoughts and deeds of policy-makers.

With so much space dedicated to Jordanian perspectives, it’s strange that only a single Israeli is quoted in the article. Even then, the person quoted, Israeli ambassador Amir Weissbrod, is restricted to a mere 25 words. Moreover, his brief quotes are buried deep down only a few sentences before the end.

The tone of the entire piece paints the picture that while some limited progress has been made, not all is as it seems. Not once does it cite an occasion on which Israeli policy has caused Jordan concern, instead relying on vague claims from various pessimistic voices who suggest that “Israel shows no respect”, that it “attempts to Judaise Jerusalem”, and that “Israel has displaced millions” and “killed thousands.” None of these claims point to any single event or a specific policy.
Illinois student body passes anti-Israel resolution, hundreds protest
A resolution introduced by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Illinois that denied that anti-Zionism was equivalent to anti-Semitism caused an uproar among Jewish groups on campus.

The resolution was in response to the university's chancellor's mass email that accused SJP of promoting anti-Israel propaganda.

The resolution accuses Chancellor Robert Jones of having “improperly characterized” an SJP presentation in his Oct. 9 mass email to the university community, even though the presentation, titled “Palestine & Great Return March: Palestinian Resistance to 70 Years of Israeli Terror,” included libelous statements with one of the slides headlined “Brief History of the Palestine-Israel ‘Conflict’ ” that stated that in 1917 the “British signed away Palestine to Zionist entity,” when the Balfour Declaration that year declared that the right of the Jews to have a state in their homeland from which they were exiled thousands of years earlier.

Nearly 600 people attended the meeting, with hundreds of Jewish students walking out of it to a rally cry of “We do not negotiate anti-Semitism!”

“We are using our position as student leaders to define what the Jewish community goes through,” said student-body vice president Jack Langen. “I believe this is wrong, and we would be speaking for a community that has publicly disagreed with how we would be representing them.”
Protesters Disrupt Former Israeli Foreign Minister’s Duke Speech
A group of around 20 student protesters disrupted former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Oct. 23 speech at Duke University.

The Duke Chronicle reports that the disruption began at an event hosted by The Duke Program for American Grand Strategy (AGS). Moderator Bruce Jentleson asked Livni about the 2008-2009 Gaza War and a student interrupted Livni, shouting that the war was a “massacre.”

Other students followed suit, shouting the names of Palestinians that Israeli soldiers killed; eventually, they started chanting, “You can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” at Livni.

According to the Duke Chronicle, the disruption lasted two-and-a-half minutes before security escorted the protesters out; the protesters shouted “Shame!” at Livni as they were leaving.

When the protest ended, Livni said, “It’s a shame that we cannot have this discussion” and proceeded to defend Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“Put yourself in my position in the Israeli cabinet,” Livni said. “You will decide whether you would let terrorists kill your own civilians.”

AGS Director Peter Feaver told the Duke Chronicle that he encouraged the protesters to ask questions to Livni during the question-and-answer session rather than disrupt the event. He said he was “disappointed” that they decided to disrupt the event, arguing that doing so “had the effect of closing off discussion.”

One of the protesters, student James Mbuthia, told the Duke Chronicle that they decided to disrupt the event because they viewed Livni’s as “an act of violence.”

StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement to the Journal, “It’s immensely ironic and hypocritical that anti-Israel activists, who constantly cry wolf about their free speech rights being violated, would attempt to shout down a speaker they disagree with.

AFP Covers Up Gaza Border Infiltration
Multiple Agence France Presse photo captions last week concealed that Palestinian Imad Shahin was attempting to cross the Gaza Strip border into Israel when Israeli troops fatally shot him. According to the inaccurate APF captions, Imad Shahin, 17, of Gaza “reportedly died of his injuries sustained during a protest on the Gaza border fence last year.” Shahin did not die during a “protest,” but as he reportedly attempted to infiltrate into Israel. According to B’Tselem, an organization highly critical of Israeli actions in the region:

‘Imad Khalil Ibrahim Shahin

17 years old, resident of a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah District, injured on 03 Nov 2018 in al-Maghazi R.C, Deir al-Balah District, by live ammunition, and died on 04 Nov 2018. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Shot and wounded by soldiers when trying to breach the fence with an axe together with two friends, one of whom was also carrying an axe. The other was wounded by shrapnel. Evacuated to a hospital in Israel where he died of his wounds.

The Palestine News Network acknowledges that Shahin was fatally injured “after he crossed the separation fence east of the central province for a few meters.” On Nov. 4, the Maan News Agency reported:

One Palestinian was shot and critically injured, on late Saturday, after he allegedly crossed the security border fence with Israel along the borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army issued a statement in which it confirmed that a Palestinian was shot and injured after crossing the security border fence with Israel.

Israeli wins gold at world kickboxing championships
Israeli kickboxer Yulia Sachkov won a gold medal on Saturday at the world championships in Bosnia.

Three other Israelis took home silver medals from the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) competition in Sarajevo.

Sachkov, a 21-year-old IDF soldier from Haifa, defeated her Czech opponent in the finals of the under-52 kilogram (114.5 pound) weight class of K-1 style kickboxing.

“This is a dream that came true,” she told Kan public radio. “Everything worked perfectly.”

Shir Cohen, 19, finished second in the under-52 kilogram class for KL style kickboxing.

Daniella Pashayev, an 18-year-old who like Cohen is from the northern city of Tiberias, was the runner-up in the LK style for the under-48 kilogram (106 pounds) class.
Microsoft technology brings Ben-Gurion’s writings alive
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Microsoft Israel have unveiled two remarkable tools that will bring first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s writings alive like never before.

The new and advanced AI-based system eventually will be able to search the entire Ben-Gurion Archive of thousands of printed and handwritten pages, and construct causal vectors, trace issues and ideas through multiple documents and illuminate relationships through an interactive map.

Such an in-depth assessment, let alone in a handful of minutes, has been practically impossible given the quantity of material and lack of searchability in the Ben-Gurion Archive at the Ben-Gurion Research Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Midreshet Ben-Gurion.

The pages were scanned and uploaded online 20 years ago but researchers could only “thumb” through the documents one by one.

A second tool will integrate Ben-Gurion’s diaries into Outlook. This will give researchers the unique ability to see the diary entries on any date and get a sense of how Israel’s most legendary leader made decisions over time.

This is only the second archive worldwide where Microsoft has begun testing such a system. The first was the tens of thousands of documents related to US President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which were declassified in 2017.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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