Monday, July 17, 2017
HAMAS CALLS FOR ATTACKS ON ISRAELIS AFTER TEMPLE MOUNT CLOSURE.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Macron denounces anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism-Unprecedented statement from a French leader comes as he hosts Netanyahu at Paris event marking 75 years since 13,152 French Jews were deported to Auschwit-By Raphael Ahren July 16, 2017, 4:27 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
French president Emmanuel Macron on Sunday condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism, in what observers said was an unprecedented statement from the leader of France in support of the Jewish state.“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” Macron said an event in Paris marking the mass deportation of French Jews during World War II. He was directly addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attended the event.During a lengthy and introspective speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv roundup, a mass arrest of 13,152 French Jews in July 1942 that was part of the Nazi effort to eradicate the Jews of France, Macron forcefully denounced Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.Like several of his predecessors, Macron accepted France’s responsibility for the deportations, admitting that the Vichy regime actively organized them. “It is indeed France that organized” the roundup, Macron said. “Not a single German” took part, he added.“Time does its work,” the president said. “Archives open (and) the truth comes out. It’s stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all.”In 1995, then-president Jacques Chirac was the first French leader to admit his nation was guilty of having assisted in the mass murder of Jews.Fewer than 100 of those who were detained at the so-called Vel d’Hiv and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.In a clear reference to far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the rival he defeated in May, Macron denounced “politicians who are prepared to reverse the truth.”Le Pen had insisted during the campaign that today’s France could not be held accountable for the Vichy regime’s actions.Netanyahu was the first Israeli leader to speak at the annual event in memory of the Vel d’Hiv roundup, which led to criticism by some leftist Jewish French groups, who argued that this event had nothing to do with Israel.During his speech, delivered partially in French but mostly in English, Netanyahu hailed French citizens who protected Jews during World War II and vowed never to let Holocaust be repeated.“Seventy-five years ago, a heavy darkness descended on this City of Lights,” he said adding that the Nazis and their collaborators in France “shattered the lives of thousands of French Jews at Vel’ d’Hiv.”But he praised “Chirac and successive presidents” who deserved “much credit for telling the truth.”During the Holocaust, the values of the French Revolution – liberty, equality and fraternity – were brutally crushed “under the boot of anti-Semitism,” he went on. “Yet we must say, and we heard it today as well, we must say that not all was dark.”Netanyahu then saluted “the noble French citizens” who risked their lives to rescue fellow Frenchmen, such as the residents of Chambon-sur-Lignon who saved thousands of Jews.“This is a special heroism. We have known in Israel a lot of heroism, as have you here in France. This is different heroism,” Netanyahu said. “There is heroism in battle, in pitting one’s life to save others. But the heroism of the people who saved Jews involved putting their families at risk, putting their children, their wives, their husbands, at the risk of execution… We will never forget, never, these great, great human beings.”After the Holocaust, the State of Israel was established to guarantee that the Jewish people will never undergo a Holocaust again, Netanyahu said. “Never again. We will never let it happen again.”Turning to the present, the prime minister spoke about a “war of civilization” between radical Islam and the West. “Militant Islam wants to destroy our common civilization. The militant Shiites led by Iran, the militant Sunnis led by ISIS – both seek to vanquish us,” he declared.In the jihadists’ view Israel is merely the first Western target that stands in the way of their goal, he added. “Militant Islamists do not hate the West because of Israel. To the contrary, they hate Israel because of the West, because they rightly see in Israel a forward bastion of our common values of freedom, humanism, democracy. They try to destroy us, but also they try to destroy you.”Netanyahu, who spoke ahead of Macron, praised the new president for condemning anti-Semitism and “this larger militancy that seeks to destroy our world.”Israel identifies with France in its struggle against terrorism, the prime minister continued. “The zealots of militant Islam who seek to destroy you, seek to destroy us as well. We must stand against them together; we must remain strong against them together; and we must defeat them together.”The event was also attended by famed French Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld; Francis Kalifat, the head of French-Jewish umbrella group CRIF, and several leaders of organizations representing French Holocaust survivors.After the ceremony, Netanyahu and Macron headed to the Elysee palace for their first formal working meeting.AFP contributed to this report.
Minister mulls home demolitions for Arab Israelis after Temple Mount attack-Gilad Erdan says that if terror attacks become more frequent among Arab population then move may be necessary as deterrent-By Jacob Magid July 16, 2017, 6:39 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday he was considering demolishing the homes of Arab-Israeli terrorists in the wake of a deadly attack at the Temple Mount carried out by three residents of the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.Speaking with the Ynet news site, Erdan said that the decision to demolish homes is based on whether the terror “phenomenon” plays a central role in the community in question.“This is why the High Court of Justice decided against demolishing homes of Jewish terrorists, as this (terrorism) is not a phenomenon that receives broad public support,” he said, referring to the recent decision regarding Jewish terrorists who burned a Palestinian youth to death.The minister then warned that “as we see more calls of support for these (Arab Israeli) terrorists, and as the likelihood that others will follow their example increases, we will have to consider the demolition of their homes as well.”Friday’s attack, carried out by Arab Israelis Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19, took the lives of officers Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, who were guarding the compound at the time. The victims hailed from Druze towns in northern Israel.Earlier this month, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition that sought the demolition of the homes of the Jewish killers of East Jerusalem teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir, who was murdered in a grisly 2014 revenge attack.Israel employs the controversial measure of home demolitions against the families of Palestinian terrorists, with some security agencies arguing it serves as a deterrent for further terror attacks. Critics charge that the practice unjustly punishes whole families for crimes committed by individuals.In its ruling, the High Court affirmed that the anti-terror regulation that allows for home demolitions “applies equally to Arab terrorists and to Jewish terrorists, each case according to its circumstances.”But it noted that the practice is only justified for its possible deterrent power, and so must be carried out in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack and have a reasonable chance of deterring future attacks. Given the long delay between the attack and the filing of the appeal for demolition, the specific appeal in this case was rejected.Erdan told Ynet that he believes the majority of Israel’s Arab citizens are law-abiding and prefers an active police presence in their communities. “At the same time, there are extremist, violent, inciting elements in their society… and we’re doing everything we can to outlaw them,” he explained.Erdan went on to criticize the failure of Arab lawmakers to immediately condemn the attack. “I did not hear their condemnations; certainly not on Friday. Maybe today, due to the heavy pressure that was applied.”Joint (Arab) List chairman MK Ayman Odeh issued what some called a lukewarm condemnation of the terror attack on Friday. “The struggle of Arab citizens is a political struggle and is by no means an armed struggle,” Odeh told Radio A-Shams, an Israeli Arabic-language station. “We wholly oppose any use of firearms by our youths,” Odeh said, according to a translation published by the Walla news website.Odeh then accused Israel’s prime minister of transforming the conflict into a religious one, however, and demanded the reopening of the Temple Mount, which was temporarily closed after the attack.“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, he is the one who wants to turn the conflict from a political conflict to a religious one, and this is why he sponsors provocative entries by settlers to the compound of the [Al Aqsa] mosque,” Odeh claimed. “The government must respect the holiness of the Aqsa Mosque and enable the continuation of prayers on the site.”Responding to Erdan’s comments, Meretz MK Issawi Frej said in a Sunday statement, “There are those who are hurting from the events of last Friday, and there are others like Minister Gilad Erdan who are exploiting them to instigate more incitement and hatred.”“Where were these threats when Israelis burned to death a Palestinian boy, or when an Israeli soldier murdered in cold blood Muslim and Christian Israeli citizens in Shfaram. We do not fight hatred through discrimination,” Frej continued, referencing the Abu Khdeir murder as well as the 2005 killing of four Arab Israelis after AWOL IDF soldier Eden Natan Zada opened fire on a public bus traveling through Shfaram.Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.
Despite protests, hundreds of Muslims pray on Temple Mount-Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque rejects new security arrangements, while head of Waqf goes to site with group of worshipers-By Avi Issacharoff and AFP July 16, 2017, 6:50 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Hundreds of Muslims prayed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday as the holy site was reopened, despite an apparent disagreement among senior Islamic clerics over the new security measures introduced by Israel after the terror attack that killed two policemen.Israel partially reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site, which had been closed since Friday’s attack, having installed new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.Hundreds of worshipers refused to enter the holy site known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. They instead held midday prayers outside the Lions’ Gate entrance to the site, in protest of the new security measures.“We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government,” Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, told reporters outside. “We will not enter through these metal detectors.”Under the status quo, established after Israel captured the site in 1967, the site is managed by an Islamic foundation under the auspices of Jordan — the Waqf — and Israel controls access. Also, Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray, at the site. Israel has repeatedly denied seeking any change to arrangements.But despite the protest, many other worshipers did enter, including Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Islamic Waqf .Al-Khatib entered from a different gate accompanied by several hundred worshipers, and made no complaint about the newly installed security measures.When asked why he accepted the new measures, al-Khatib justified his decision, telling reporters that he did not want to leave the holy site empty.Channel 2 news reported that by 5 p.m. some 600 people had entered the site, which had opened at 1 p.m.According to the news network, some of the Waqf officials, who were not subject to the security checks, actually entered the Temple Mount through a different entrance, but then came back out to protest the security measures.Speaking to Channel 2 TV, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that in the future Waqf officials might not be subject to security checks depending on the judgement of the police commanders.However, additional security checks for the public were now non-negotiable. “Live fire from inside the Temple Mount crosses every red line,” he said.Outside, hundreds chanted anti-Israel slogans and held their prayers in front of the metal detectors. Some women wailed and cried while telling people not to enter.Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Affairs minister, said arrangements must to return to how they were before the deadly attack.He said the Palestinians will not accept Israeli security additions at the entrance to the site. Though he acknowledged there was violence, he said it “shouldn’t be an excuse for making changes.”Erdan denied that the security checks constituted a violation of the status quo. “We respect our partners in administering this site, but, ultimately, Israel Police is responsible for the security of the site.”Erdan, who is responsible for police, said in a tweet earlier that the Waqf officials’ protest was “opposition to the very existence of the metal detectors.”Israel also prevented non-Muslims, including Jews and tourists, from going up, but police said that if things remain quiet, they will be permitted to enter from Monday.Yoram Halevy, head of Jerusalem District Police, said that the current metal detectors are temporary and that full, final security arrangements are still being worked out.Jews and others who wish to pray at the Western Wall, which is adjacent to the Temple Mount, are subject to security checks, and must pass through metal detectors. There are security cameras surrounding the area to ensure safety.The Temple Mount had been closed since Friday, when three Arab Israeli terrorists opened fire at a group of police officers, killing two of them, using guns that had apparently been stashed earlier on the Temple Mount.The closure was the first time Israel had shuttered the compound on a Friday, Islam’s holy day, in nearly 50 years.The decision to install the detectors came Saturday night from the Prime Minister’s Office Saturday night, which is seeking more effective security arrangements at the compound. Officials had previously refrained from using them out of fear of protests from Jordan, which opposes any change to the delicate status quo at the site.Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy head of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, told Palestinian media on Sunday that posting metal detectors at the Temple Mount was “illegitimate,” and security would only be ensured at the site by preventing the entry of “settlers” and removing “Israeli soldiers” — a reference to Border Police officers stationed at the site — from the compound.Erdan said in an interview with Army Radio Sunday morning: “Right now, we can only screen [for firearms] at some of the gates, even if it’s only with a hand-held [detector], but we hope to place metal detection gates at all the entrances to the Mount and reach a point where everyone who enters gets checked,” he said.After a Saturday night consultation with security officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a gradual reopening of the site to Muslim worshipers starting Sunday at noon.Only the Mughrabi Gate entrance, used by Jews and foreign visitors, had a metal detector before Sunday, Erdan said.According to the daily Israel Hayom, Israel has not had metal detectors at all nine gates into the Temple Mount since 2000, when they were removed at Jordan’s insistence. A police plan in 2014 called for them to be reinstated, but they were only placed at some gates, given the issue’s sensitivity.Erdan said no decision had yet been taken to add security cameras inside the compound, a proposal opposed in the past by Jordan.Any changes to the flashpoint holy site required coordination, he said. “We have to remember that any action that changes the situation on the Mount requires the approval of the political echelon, because this usually has to be coordinated with Jordan and other international actors.”But in the end, he insisted, the decision would be Israel’s. “Israel is the sovereign at the Mount, no matter what other states think. If we decide that an action has certain advantages, we’ll act.”Erdan acknowledged the practical challenges that would have to be overcome.“On Fridays, and during Ramadan, tens of thousands of people, and sometimes over 100,000, enter in just a few hours,” he said. “There is a concern that [metal detectors] will create long lines, and that those operating the detectors will become targets for terror attacks. There is also an issue with checking women entering the Mount. This is a project that presents many dilemmas both at the political level and at the operational one.”Judah Ari Gross and The Associated Press contributed to this report
Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, named as officers slain at Temple Mount-Both cops were Israeli Druze; Sitawe leaves behind wife, three-week-old son; Shnaan is son of former Labor MK Shachiv Shnaan; funerals in their northern villages open to public-By Judah Ari Gross July 14, 2017, 12:48 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The two police officers shot dead in a terror attack at the Temple Mount complex in the Old City on Friday morning were identified as Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan, both hailing from Druze villages in northern Israel.Just after 7:00 a.m. on Friday, three Arab Israeli terrorists opened fire on a group of police officers standing just outside the Temple Mount compound near the Old City’s Lions Gate. Sitawe and Shnaan were hit and seriously wounded. A third officer was struck by shrapnel and suffered light injuries.The three terrorists behind the attack, who all came from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, fled back to the Temple Mount compound and were shot dead by other police officers on the scene, a police spokesperson said.Sitawe and Shnaan were treated by medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service and taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, where they were pronounced dead.Speaking to the press soon after the attack, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said: “This was a tough morning for the police. We have two people killed, officers, who paid the dearest price in this battle.”Sitawe, 30, hailed from the town of Maghar, a mostly Druze and Arab city in northern Israel.Shnaan, 22, was from the Druze village of Hurfeish, also in northern Israel.Sitawe joined the Border Police as part of his mandatory national service. He joined the Israel Police in 2012 and had served in the unit responsible for securing the Temple Mount ever since.He leaves behind a wife, Irin, a three-week-old son, his parents and three brothers.Heartbreaking: Israeli Police Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, who was murdered today in Jerusalem, is pictured with his newborn son, Ramos. pic.twitter.com/W9uAzAy92e— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) July 14, 2017-Shnaan joined the police directly after high school. He decided to stay on the police force seven months ago, signing on as a career officer.He was the youngest son of a former Labor Party Knesset member, Shachiv Shnaan. His engagement party to his girlfriend was to be held next week.Shnaan leaves behind his parents, one brother and three sisters.Both Shnaan and Sitawe were posthumously promoted to the rank of master sergeant.Sitawe’s funeral was scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at a community center in Maghar. Shnaan’s is set to start at 5:30 p.m. in a community center in Hurfeish.By the families’ agreement, the funerals will be open to the public and the media.Following news of their deaths, Israeli politicians and former defense officials offered support for the Druze community of Israel.Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement the “Jewish people have an eternal bond with our brothers, the Druze,” and said he mourned the deaths of Shnaan and Sitawe.Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon wrote on Twitter that his “heart is with the families of the officers, our heroic Druze brothers who were murdered in this despicable attack.”Former general Noam Tibon wrote in a tweet that he “salutes Druze soldiers,” having seen their “great contribution to the defense of Israel during my long years in the IDF.“I embrace the Shnaan and Sitawe families on the loss of their sons,” he added.The police commissioner described the attack as “extraordinary and extreme.”While shootings and stabbings have been common in the Old City of Jerusalem in the past two years, attacks on or near the Temple Mount itself are exceedingly rare.“A shooting on the Temple Mount is a an event that is grave, sensitive and full of meaning on the level of both [domestic] policy and internationally,” Alsheich said.According to police, the attackers came from the Temple Mount. They walked toward the Lions Gate exit, then opened fire at the officers.After the shooting, the terrorists fled toward the Temple Mount and other officers gave chase. The police then opened fire, shooting the terrorists dead inside the complex.In a video from the scene, one of the suspected terrorists can be seen lying on the ground on the Temple Mount, surrounded by police who have their weapons drawn.The man suddenly springs up and lunges at one of the police officers with a knife, but is shot before he can stab anybody, a police spokesperson said.A search of their bodies revealed two Carlo-style submachine guns and a pistol that were used to carry out the attack, police said.The knife was also recovered at the scene.The lightly injured officer was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment.He had been hit by shrapnel and sustained wounds to the neck, arms and hands. A hospital spokesperson said he would likely be released before sundown on Friday, the start of the Jewish Shabbat.Following the attack, Jerusalem Police chief Yoram Halevi canceled prayers for the day on the Temple Mount, ordering the complex cleared and the entrances to the holy site closed. Police also placed checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City.It was not immediately known how the terrorists brought the weapons into the holy site. Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount complex go through a less rigorous security check than non-Muslim visitors who enter through the Mughrabi Bridge.No terror groups took immediate responsibility for the attack, though Hamas did praise it, saying it was a “natural response to Israeli terrorism.”Last month, a border police officer, 23-year-old Hadas Malka, was stabbed to death in an attack near the Damascus Gate, a frequent site of terror attacks.The past two years have seen an ongoing wave of Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Israel, though it has waned in recent months.Since September 2015, mainly Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, a Palestinian man and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 280 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.The Israeli government has blamed the terrorism and violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded by social media accounts that glorify violence and encourage attacks.Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report
Hamas calls for attacks on Israelis after Temple Mount closure-Terror group holds rally to celebrate killing of two Israeli officers; describes shuttering of compound as a ‘religious war’-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies July 15, 2017, 5:25 pm
The Hamas terror group on Saturday called for further attacks on Israelis after the closure of the Temple Mount in the wake of Friday’s deadly assault at the holy site.In Gaza, Hamas staged a rally Saturday to celebrate the attack, in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers.The gunmen launched the attack from the compound and then fled back onto it, where they were pursued and killed by Israeli forces. Israel then shut the site as its forces searched for more weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly intends to gradually reopen it on Sunday, but the move has drawn widespread condemnation from the Arab and Muslim World.Hamas, an Islamist terror group which seeks to destroy Israel, described the closure of the site in a statement Saturday as a “religious war” and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on the Palestinian “uprising” to target the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.The three assailants carried out the attack with two Carlo-style submachine guns, a pistol and a knife, police said. It was not immediately known how they had brought the weaponry into the compound.Israel’s decision to close the Old City compound after the attack — unprecedented since 1969 — was partly to check for other weaponry there, and also to investigate whether the assailants had received help from inside the compound, TV reports said.Reports throughout Friday said the two police officers were killed just outside the Temple Mount compound. However, Channel 2 news reported late Friday that the second policeman may have been killed by the assailants on the mount itself, after they had fled back.Israel criticized Jordan for calling to “immediately reopen” the site after the attack, with one official telling Israeli TV that “instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which is protecting worshipers and maintaining freedom of worship in the place.”Israel will not tolerate harm to the holy places and is maintaining the status quo there. It should be expected that all sides involved, including Jordan, exercise restraint and avoid fanning the flames,” said the unnamed official.Jordan, which administers the site through the Waqf, had called on Israel to “reopen Al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif (compound) immediately,” in reference to the complex which houses the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock sanctuary and which Israel refers to as the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and third-holiest in Islam.The Jordanian royal family is officially the custodian of the mosque atop the Temple Mount, and exercises its authority there though Israel is responsible for security.According to a report Friday, among the suspects detained in the attack was at least one Waqf official who police suspect may have aided the terrorists, who all came from the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.
8 of the 26 ibexes in the area have been found dead since the spill, says Nature Authority-Dead Sea acid spill has turned popular hike route into long-term disaster zone-Despite ongoing 24-hour-a-day cleanup, the Arava’s Ashalim stream will take years to rehabilitate after toxic sludge deluge-By Melanie Lidman July 16, 2017, 5:42 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Two weeks after tons of acidic slurry poured into the Ashalim stream near the Dead Sea, experts are still working around the clock to contain what is emerging as one of Israel’s most devastating environmental disasters.A collapse in the wall of a holding pool for phosphate — the waste product from making fertilizer — sent some 100,000 cubic meters of acidic water and other pollutants rushing through a popular hiking route on June 30. Environmentalists warn that it will take years before the full extent of the damage is known, and far longer to rehabilitate.The Nature and Parks Authority and Environmental Protection Ministry are still trying to take stock of the damage, with dozens of people from the NPA working 24 hours a day to clean up the acidic water that now fills the canyon.On July 3, the Environment Ministry announced it was opening a criminal investigation into Rotem Amfert, the company that runs the evaporation pool where the collapse occurred and its parent company, Israel Chemicals. The ministry also ordered the company to stop using the partially collapsed evaporation pool and instead to use existing temporary ponds until the investigation is completed and changes are implemented.Rotem Amfert is cooperating with and paying for the cleanup, according to the NPA.At least eight ibexes and numerous foxes and birds have died in the past two weeks as a consequence of the spill, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry. The seventh and eighth dead ibexes were found on Saturday; only 26 of the species were known to be living in the area of the southern Judean Desert prior to the spill.“The death of 8 ibexes from this population is a major blow to the ibex population in the area and overall,” said Gilad Gabay, the manager of the southern district of the Nature and Parks Authority.The rugged topography of the site, with deep and narrow canyons that are only accessible by foot, is severely limiting attempts to remove the acidic waste, meaning wildlife will continue to die from the pollution.The site will be closed to hikers for at least a year and the cleanup efforts are expected to cost millions of shekels, according to Gabay. “It will take a very long time to rehabilitate this area,” said Gabay. “At least 20 kilometers, including the popular hiking areas, have been polluted.”Currently the NPA is using giant vacuums to suck up the polluted water.The Ashalim stream is a popular hiking route, where trekkers wade through pools of deep water amid sheer canyon walls on either side. Usually, at this point in the summer, the last pools are drying up. But on June 30, the water of the spill was churning angrily through the canyon. At its strongest point, the wave of toxic waste burst over Route 90, forcing a brief closure of the road.Had there been hikers on the route at the time of the spill, the consequences could have been devastating, experts said.Gabay said the acidic stench of the water was overpowering when it happened and the water was black. Now the smell has dissipated somewhat and the water has taken on a greenish hue.“It takes a long time to understand the effects of this kind of event, and what kinds of population are in danger. There’s still a lot we don’t know now, but things are starting to become clear,” said Oded Nezer, an ecologist for the southern district with the Environmental Protection Ministry.“There are over 1,000 bodies of water [temporary puddles created from floods and rain] inside the stream that are basically poisoned,” said Nezer. “Some are inside the canyon so they will stay for a long time, some are in the open parts and they will evaporate much quicker.”“There are over 1,000 bodies of water [temporary puddles created from floods and rain] inside the stream that are basically poisoned.”These poisoned pools are the biggest immediate concern, because animals, parched by the summer sun, will drink from them over the coming months, the experts noted. The Environment Ministry is trying to set up temporary troughs with clean water in the area in hopes that the animals will drink from those instead.It is impossible to fence off the entire area to animals as it would interrupt their migration pattern, explained Professor Eilon Adar of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research.“The major concern is the sediment, the large amount of pollutants which was spread with the water along the Ashalim Wash,” said Adar, an expert in groundwater and hydrology. “It’s not just water [that dumped into the canyon], it’s water and mud from the settling ponds.” This sediment has all sorts of pollutants.“There were also heavy metals inside this water,” said Nezer. “That is absorbed into the plants and then animals eat the plants and that can do damage to the animals.”The short-term concerns are the poisoned drinking pools, but the long-term issue is the underground pollution, Nezer added. “The whole basis for the ecology is the ground, and the moment that the ground is polluted it affects everything,” he said. “We’re expecting it will be a really difficult blow to the whole ecological system.”Although every ecological disaster is unique, experts think the Ashalim stream spill could be more damaging than the Evrona oil spill in 2014, considered one of Israel’s worst environmental catastrophes.“This is more severe because it’s difficult to remove [the pollutants],” said Adar. “In Evrona, it was a matter of a few weeks and the saturated sand was removed. Here, my impression is that it will not be feasible to remove it. We shall have to rely on natural floods to wash it down and it will take a few years.”On December 4, 2014, five million liters of oil gushed from a broken pipe and spread across the Evrona Nature Reserve in the southern Arava. Five million liters is the equivalent of two Olympic-sized swimming pools, whereas the material spilled on June 30 is the equivalent of 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools.The Ashalim spill will likely not endanger Israel’s aquifers of underground water reserves, although “nothing in nature is completely shielded,” Adar noted. The aquifers in this area are located hundreds of meters below ground, under a porous limestone formation that will act as a natural filter. Additionally, the aquifers in this area are brackish water, or salty water, that is not used for drinking. Most of the water in the region from the aquifers goes to the Dead Sea Works or other industrial uses.Water Authority spokesman Uri Schor said there is “absolutely no worry about drinking water,” though the ministry is carrying out regular checks to track the progress of the pollutants.Gabay is working with NPA employees to suck up as much of the acidic water as possible from the areas that are accessible to vehicles by putting large pumps on tractors, in an effort to keep it from absorbing into the soil and causing future damage. He estimates it will take at least two months to suck up the available water.“Right now we’re asking people not to come to the area because it is really dangerous,” he said.“This acid is so strong that it just burns and kills,” said Nezer. “Animals that weren’t killed in the flood may still have gotten burned.” He said the Environment Ministry, which is responsible for monitoring companies like Rotem Amfert to ensure they comply with environmental safety requirements, is still examining the issue and it is too early to determine if there will be changes in regulation or enforcement.“We don’t know yet why it happened and why the wall fell [in the holding pool],” he said. “That’s why [the investigation] is so important to us, so we can understand how to stop it in the future.”
Shin Bet: Gunman shot up settlements over tiff with family-Palestinian suspect killed in firefight with Israeli forces went on shooting spree with fiancee, attacking two West Bank communities-By Judah Ari Gross July 16, 2017, 8:34 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
A Palestinian gunman who was killed in a firefight with Israeli forces on Sunday had gone on a shooting spree with his fiancée following an argument with their families over their engagement, according to the Shin Bet security service.The suspect — identified by police as Amar Ahmad Halil of Nabi Saleh — was behind two drive-by shooting attacks on Saturday near the West Bank settlement of Ateret, which left a Palestinian driver lightly hurt, and one at an IDF post near Halil’s hometown of Nabi Saleh, according to Israeli security forces.There were no injuries in the second attack, the army said. Soldiers uncovered two bullet casings in the area.Hours after the attack, Israeli security forces — made up of troops from the army, Shin Bet and Border Police — entered Nabi Saleh to arrest Halil.“The forces encountered the suspect, who attempted to open fire at them. In response to the immediate threat forces fired towards the attacker resulting in his death,” it said.Another Palestinian detainee was lightly injured in the firefight and was treated at the scene, the army said.According to the Shin Bet, Halil, 34, was a former member of the Palestinian Authority’s security services.His fiancee, Rawan Amber, accompanied Halil during the attacks, according to the Shin Bet.On Sunday, she handed herself in to the PA police and was placed under arrest.The gun used was an improvised Carlo-style submachine gun that was made to look like an M-16 assault rifle.The incident came two days after three Arab Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount. Security forces at the scene of Friday’s dramatic attack killed the three attackers.Also Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian during clashes in a West Bank refugee camp south of Jerusalem, officials said. According to the military, during an arrest raid in the Deheishe refugee camp, outside Bethlehem, Palestinians began throwing large rocks and explosive devices at the troops. In response, the soldiers opened fire “in order to remove the threat,” the army said.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Government will not allow gay couples to adopt in Israel-Responding to court petition, state cites ‘difficulties’ for the child; lawmakers accuse government of homophobia-By Times of Israel staff July 16, 2017, 8:05 pm
The government announced on Sunday that there are no intentions to change the law and allow gay couples to adopt in Israel.In response to a High Court petition the state said that it was opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt because it would place an “additional burden” on the child.“The professional opinion of the Child Welfare Services supports preserving the existing situation” that the adopting couple be a man and a woman, the government wrote to the court.This “takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty it may entail with regard to the child being adopted.”The government was responding to a petition to the court asking to allow common-law couples and same-sex couples to adopt.Several lawmakers condemned the government’s decision.Meretz’s Michal Rozin, who heads the Knesset’s LGBT lobby, Yael German of Yesh Atid, Merav Michaeli of the Zionist Union and Kulanu’s Merav Ben Ari said in a statement that the decision was homophobic and showed the government’s cynical use of the homosexual community.“This is a foolish and discriminatory decision that is accompanied by unprecedented homophobia,” they said. “The Israeli government is again abandoning the gay community and this highlights government’s cynical use of the community: In English they boast about [being a gay-friendly country], but in Hebrew they deny basic rights.”However, for the first time, common-law couples will be permitted to adopt children in Israel.The state said that the position of the Justice Ministry and Welfare Ministry has now changed and will allow unmarried couples who have lived together for at least three years to adopt.Previously, only married couples were eligible for adoption in Israel.While gay couples can’t adopt in Israel, they frequently travel overseas to adopt children.
Waqf protests Israel has completely taken control of Temple Mount-Holy site remains closed and the Old City under very tight security following deadly Friday attack that killed two Israeli police officers-By Times of Israel staff and AFP July 15, 2017, 4:38 pm
The Waqf on Saturday protested that Israel had completely superseded its control over the Temple Mount, as Muslim anger mounted following Israel’s closure of the flash point holy site in the wake of the Friday terror attack there.The Waqf — the Jordan-based Muslim organization that administers the Temple Mount — also said Israeli security forces had “caused harm” to all of its central offices.“We reject all the measures that Israel is taking,” said Jerusalem’s chief mufti, Mohammad Hussein, “and we warn against any harm to Al-Aqsa.”Waqf officials said they were barred from their offices in the compound Sunday, and condemned the closure of the Temple Mount to Muslim prayer for the first time since 1969.“We have no control at the blessed Al-Aqsa,” said Abdel Azim Salhab, a senior Waqf official at a press conference. “Israel’s security forces are doing whatever they want there — defiling and destroying.”Jerusalem’s Police chief Yoram Halevi said, however, that Israel’s security sweeps were being carried out “with escorts from the Waqf… So let nobody accuse of us of things that are not true.”According to Hebrew media reports, police entered religious and administrative buildings on the Mount as they conducted widespread searches of the compound following the attack, looking for weapons and information on assistance the attackers may have received.Following Friday’s attack, in which three Israeli-Arabs killed two Israeli Druze police officers near Lions Gate just outside the Temple Mount complex, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the rare step of sealing the site amid security sweeps. Israel said the killers emerged from the Temple Mount compound with automatic weapons, in what Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called a “defiling” of the holy site.Israel closed the compound for the first time since 1969, saying it was carrying out security checks, including for further weaponry.Netanyahu reportedly instructed the site be gradually reopened starting Sunday, and dismissed allegations that he was seeking to change the long-held status quo at the site.But his assurances fell on deaf ears in the Muslim world where widespread condemnation of the closure continued to come in, often with little or no mention of the actual attack.Jordan’s Minister of Waqf and Islamic Affairs Wael Arabiyat warned of “continued unprecedented harm to the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque…under the pretense of stopping violence.” Israel, he asserted, was to blame for the rise in violence.Jordan on Friday called on Israel to “reopen Al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif (compound) immediately.” The Jordanian government said it “opposes any harm against Muslims in carrying out their religious worship in their holy places, freely and with no obstacles.” It warned against any attempt “to alter the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem.”On Saturday, there was restricted access through Damascus Gate, the main entrance used by Palestinians into Jerusalem’s Old City, with only residents with identification being allowed to pass.Around 20 Palestinians waited at police barriers near Damascus Gate to see if they would be let through.“This is not security. This is punishment,” said Bader Jweihan, a 53-year-old accountant for a bus company who was trying to get to work but was refused entrance there. “They want to punish the Arab Jerusalem citizens.”Musa Abdelmenam Qussam, 73 and with poor eyesight, was being helped by one of his grandsons as he walked with a cane and sought to enter through the police barrier.The owner of a book wholesale shop in the Old City, he said he usually prays at Al-Aqsa every day. “This mosque is not only for Muslims. Tourists come,” he said after being denied entrance. “This city is for all the world. It must be open.”Jaffa Gate, heavily used by tourists and near the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, was open but with a heavy police presence.A group of tourists from Poland said they were concerned when they heard about the shooting on Friday but wanted to continue their visit. They were on their way to do some shopping in the Old City and visit the nearby Garden of Gethsemane, where Christians believe Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion.“It stressed me a little,” said Ewa, who did not want to give her last name or age.At Lions Gate near the site of the attack, police guarded the entrance and restricted access, checking IDs.The attack and aftermath was one of the most serious incidents in Jerusalem in recent years.The Arab League condemned Israel for the closure, with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit saying in a statement on Friday that Israel’s “banning Palestinians from praying” will only “inflame extremism and escalate tension” in the region. He stressed “the high sensitivity of issues related to religious places,” and chastised Israel for handling the situation with “carelessness.”The statement made no mention of the terror attack that caused the temporary closure.The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an umbrella group of 57 nations, also lambasted the closure, calling it “a serious crime and a dangerous precedent.”Israel rejected the Jordanian demand to immediately reopen the site and criticized Amman, with one unnamed official telling Israeli TV that “instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which is protecting worshipers and maintaining freedom of worship in the place.“Israel will not tolerate harm to the holy places and is maintaining the status quo there. It should be expected that all sides involved, including Jordan, exercise restraint and avoid fanning the flames,” the official said.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Netanyahu following the attack. According to the PA’s official news agency Wafa, Abbas “expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident,” while calling for Israel to reopen the site.According to a report Friday, among the suspects detained in the attack was at least one Waqf official who police suspect may have aided the three Arab-Israeli assailants, who all came from the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.The terrorists attacked the officers in an alleyway, coming from the direction of the Temple Mount and fled back there as other officers gave chase. The police then opened fire, shooting the terrorists dead inside the complex.In footage released by police Friday, the terrorists can be seen running armed from the Temple Mount into an alleyway where police officers Haiel Sitawe, 30 and Kamil Shnaan, 22, were stationed, and shooting them. They were both critically injured and later died of their injuries.Reports throughout Friday said the two police officers were killed just outside the Temple Mount compound. However, Channel 2 news reported late Friday that the second policeman may have been killed by the assailants on the mount itself, after they had fled back.It was not immediately known how the terrorists brought the weapons used in the attack — two Carlo-style submachine guns, a pistol and a knife — into the holy site. Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount complex go through a less rigorous security check than non-Muslim visitors who enter through the Mughrabi Bridge.The gunmen were named by the Shin Bet security agency as Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19 — all from the northern Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.
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