Friday, June 10, 2016
AFTER TERRORIST ATTACK-ISRAEL REVOKES TRAVEL PERMITS, SURROUNDS SUSPECTS HOMES.
Israel’s Defense Ministry said it was freezing tens of thousands of permits given to Palestinians to travel to Israel during the Muslim Ramadan holy month Thursday, and was also taking other punitive measures, in the wake of a terror attack in central Tel Aviv that killed four people.Eighty-three thousand permits for Palestinians from the West Bank to visit family in Israel or the Temple Mount in Jerusalem were rescinded overnight Wednesday, according to the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry unit which manages civilian affairs in the West Bank. Permits for 500 people from the Gaza Strip to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque were also revoked.Four people were killed and 16 more injured when two Palestinian terrorists opened fire inside a restaurant in the Sarona Market shopping complex in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. The two gunmen, who hailed from the Palestinian town of Yatta in the southern West Bank, were caught shortly after the attack.Three of the victims remained in intensive care Thursday morning at nearby Ichilov Hospital, along with one of the attackers who was shot by a security guard, according to a hospital spokesperson.On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces imposed a closure on Yatta “in accordance with a security assessment,” the army said.No one will be allowed in or out of the Palestinian village in the Hebron Hills, “except for humanitarian cases,” the IDF said.The two suspects were named in Palestinian media reports as Muhammad and Khalid Muhamra. One of the men was shot by a security guard and seriously injured, the second was arrested by police and taken in for questioning.Hamas said in a message Thursday morning that the two men were members of the terror group.In addition to freezing permits to enter Israel, permission was also revoked for 200 Gaza residents who had received authorization to visit relatives in the West Bank during Ramadan, and 500 Palestinians from the West Bank who had planned to visit family in Gaza.Travel permits for 300 Palestinians living abroad to visit relatives in Gaza, and 500 West Bank Palestinians to travel out of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv were also annulled.The ministry also froze 204 regular work permits for members of the shooters’ family, COGAT said.The moves followed an announcement last week that Israel would ease restrictions on Palestinian movement during Ramadan, as has been done in years past.Visiting the scene of the attack late Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “decisive action” to track down those responsible for the third deadly attack in the city this year.He is slated to convene his top level security cabinet Thursday morning, including newly installed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.While Liberman’s predecessor Moshe Ya’alon had steadfastly maintained a policy of making sure clamp-downs in the wake of attacks did not affect innocent Palestinian civilians, its not clear how the more hard-line Liberman will react.“We’re in the middle of a complex period,” Netanyahu told reporters after meeting with the heads of Israel’s security forces in the army’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, referring to both the month of Ramadan and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot.“We will act decisively and intelligently,” Netanyahu said, vowing “determined action by the police, IDF and security agencies to locate all collaborators who took part in this murder, and to prevent future attacks.”The attackers, both 21-year-old men dresses in suits and ties and carrying makeshift firearms, entered Israel illegally, but had no criminal record.The IDF raided the home of one of the terrorists and interrogated the family, Walla news reported. Israeli security agencies were working to determine how they entered Israel from the West Bank.The month-long Ramadan holiday, which began on Sunday night, has often been a time of increased conflict between Muslim Palestinians and Israel.Wednesday’s attack was the second deadly shooting and third deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv in six months.In January, 29-year-old Nashat Milhem of the northern Israeli Arab town of Arara opened fire outside a bar on Tel Aviv’s busy Dizengoff Street, killing two Israelis. After fleeing, Milhem killed Bedouin taxi driver Ayman Shaaban some 60 minutes later. Milhem was killed in a shootout with police days later while hiding out in a building in his hometown.In a stabbing spree in the city’s Jaffa neighborhood in March, 22-year-old Palestinian Bashar Massalha killed US citizen Taylor Force and injured 10 others in a rampage along the Jaffa boardwalk. He was killed by security forces during the attack.Since October, 33 Israelis and four others have been killed and hundreds more injured in the spate of attacks, though the violence had dramatically waned of late. Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while carrying out attacks and the rest in clashes with troops, Israeli officials say.The violence was triggered in part by tensions over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, which sits atop the flashpoint Temple Mount, the site of the two Jewish temples in biblical times. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but not pray there.While the attacks had largely abated in recent week, a ban remains in place on Israeli lawmakers — both Muslim and Jewish — from visiting the site, to prevent tensions from flaring. Muslim MKs from the Joint (Arab) List, however, informed the Knesset last month that they intend to pray at the site during Ramadan, regardless of the ban.AFP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
US, Palestinians slam minister’s call for partial West Bank annexation-Asked about Uri Ariel’s plans for Area C, State Department spokesman urges avoidance of ‘inflammatory rhetoric’-By Raphael Ahren June 9, 2016, 3:51 pm-the times of israel
American and Palestinian officials on Wednesday denounced comments made by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who earlier this week urged Israel to annex Area C of the West Bank and who was incorrectly quoted calling for the removal thousands of Palestinians who live in that area.A spokesperson for Uriel has since clarified that while the Jewish Home party minister did call for the annexation of Area C — some 60 percent of the West Bank — he did not call for the removal of Palestinians from there, and that his comment to this effect was mistranslated. (The Times of Israel has corrected its original article to reflect this.)-During the daily press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner was asked about Ariel’s remarks, made in an interview with The Times of Israel during his trip this week to Moscow.“I’m going to resist the temptation to respond to every comment from Israeli officials, but for a member of the Israeli cabinet to say what Minister Ariel said is concerning,” Toner said. “We continue to look to steps, rhetoric, comments, actions that we believe will set the conditions for a peace process to take hold and to avoid inflammatory and provocative rhetoric.”The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement [Arabic] demanding the United Nations Security Council deal seriously with the call to annex Area C, which it said undermined the chances of a two-state solution and spoiled international efforts to revive serious and meaningful peace process.The Palestinian Foreign Ministry statement also denounced the “extremist” Israeli government for its alleged plans to expand Israeli settlements and for its increased calls for annexation of West Bank territory.On Thursday, a spokesperson for Ariel clarified that the minister was misquoted on the issue of Palestinians in Area C: Rather than saying that he wants to remove a few thousand Arabs from Area C, he said that only a few thousand Arabs live there, and their numbers are not high enough to prevent an Israeli annexation of the area.“We have to aspire to the annexation of Area C. These are areas where there are no Arabs at all, except a few thousand who don’t constitute a significant numerical factor,” Ariel said.Ariel also said the Israeli right is unconcerned over recent peace overtures by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since they will eventually come to nothing. Nonetheless, Ariel, who opposes Palestinian statehood, carped that by invoking a desire for a two-state solution, Netanyahu is fueling the notion held by many Israelis that the creation of a Palestinian state is inevitable.Ariel further said that he had not discussed the peace process or related topics during recent talks he had with Netanyahu. He flew with the prime minister on this trip to Moscow this week — where he signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in agriculture, the dairy industry and advanced dairy technology with his Russian counterpart, Alexander Tkachev.Ariel is the head of the far-right Tekumah faction in the Jewish Home party. He said he agrees with party leader Naftali Bennett, who has threatened to bolt the coalition should the government make territorial concessions.Stuart Weiner and Dov Lieber contributed to this report.
Hundreds attend funeral of Tel Aviv shooting victim Ido Ben Ari-Steinitz: Abbas condemnation ‘almost a blessing for terror’; Israel said to cancel Gazans’ travel permits for Friday Al-Aqsa prayers-By Times of Israel staff June 9, 2016, 2:09 pm-the times of times
18:33-Hundreds attend funeral of Tel Aviv shooting victim Ido Ben Ari-Hundreds of Israelis are paying last respects to Sarona Market shooting victim Ido Ben Ari, 42.Ben Ari’s funeral is taking place now in the cemetery in the central Israeli town of Yavneh.His wife, who was moderately wounded in yesterday’s attack, is at the funeral, but will return to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv when the funeral is ended.Ben Ari was a father of two who served in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and held a senior position at The Coca-Cola Company’s Israel branch. In a statement, Coca-Cola said yesterday that the company “mourns the tragic loss of our friend Ido Ben Ari, a victim of this horrific act. We send our condolences and warmest wishes to the family.”18:28--Liberman orders no return of West Bank terrorists’ bodies-Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman orders a freeze on the return of West Bank terrorists’ bodies following Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv.Last month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who is in charge of the police, ordered a similar freeze for terrorists hailing from East Jerusalem.Liberman’s decision appears to extend the freeze to the West Bank.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today instructed the National Security Council to examine the possibility that terrorists would be buried in a Muslim cemetery in Israel.Israeli officials say the funerals of terrorists are often turned into mass rallies in support of terror attacks.18:14--David Duke: ‘Jewish manipulation’ behind Trump U furor-White supremacist David Duke blames the current controversy over Donald Trump’s now defunct unaccredited university on “Jewish manipulation of the American media.”Duke says Tuesday on his radio show that media coverage of the Trump University case is “very illustrative of the Jewish tribal nature.”“They’re like a pack of wild dogs when they go after someone who they see as a threat to the Jewish agenda, as the neocons see Trump as a threat as a non-interventionist.”According to Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, an “overwhelmingly Jewish” firm is behind a fraud lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has been slammed for saying he does not believe the judge in the case, an Indiana native of Mexican descent, can be impartial due to Trump’s stated views about building a wall on the US-Mexico border.He also says “the powerful Jewish establishment that dominates international banking and finance, that dominates media, and dominates our political system” is “absolutely zeroing in now on Donald Trump.”“The viciousness of these Jews is unbelievable. I think this whole Trump University case really exploited, can really expose the entire Jewish manipulation of the American media, the American political process,” Duke says.Duke singles out CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who is Jewish, for leading the attack on Trump, as well as the network’s host Jake Tapper, also Jewish, and points out the network is run by Jeff Zucker, who he calls “another Jewish extremist.”— JTA-18:08-Thousands of cops to deploy in Jerusalem for Friday prayers-Israel Police say thousands of officers will fan out across Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday to keep the peace during Muslim prayers.Thousands of Palestinians are expected to show up at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for the prayers on the first Friday in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.— AP-18:07-Hezbollah praises ‘heroic’ Tel Aviv shooting-Hezbollah praises the deadly attack yesterday in Tel Aviv as a “heroic” act.The Shiite group says in a statement Thursday that the Palestinian people have reconfirmed through the operation their commitment to “resistance” as a way to liberate all Palestinian land.— AP-17:39-Cop invited Tel Aviv shooter into his home before realizing who he was-In perhaps the strangest story to emerge from last night’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, new details come out about the way one of the shooters was caught.After the shooting, one of the attackers fled the scene. He met an Israeli man on a nearby street and asked him for a glass of water. The man invited the shooter into his home, gave him water, and then rushed out to the scene of the attack.The Israeli man was a cop.Only after the cop saw the other shooter lying wounded in the street, having been shot by security guards, did he suspect that the man still in his home — together with his wife — might be a second terrorist. The two were wearing matching suits.The officer rushed home, where the shooter was sitting in a chair next to his wife, and arrested him.17:33-CNN removes tweet that seemed to question if TA shooters were terrorists-CNN removes and corrects a tweet that put the word “terrorists” in quotes when referring to the shooters in yesterday’s Sarona Market attack.The cable news network says in a follow-up tweet: “A previous – now removed – tweet appeared to call into question the Tel Aviv attack as an act of terrorism. It undoubtedly was.”A previous – now removed – tweet appeared to call into question the Tel Aviv attack as an act of terrorism. It undoubtedly was.— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 9, 2016-17:28-Islamic Jihad calls Tel Aviv shooting ‘proof of Israeli weakness’-The Islamic Jihad terror group praises the deadly shooting attack yesterday in Tel Aviv, saying it is “proof of the weakness of Israeli security forces.”Daoud Shihab, a senior official in the organization, is quoted by the Walla news site boasting that “anyone who bet that the intifada has faded away lost that bet.”17:13-Israel said to cancel Gazans’ travel permits for Friday Al-Aqsa prayers-The advocacy group Gisha says Israel is informing Palestinians in Gaza that it is canceling travel permits for Gazans to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan.“The official reason for the cancellation of the planned exit of worshipers is the shooting attack that took place last night in Tel Aviv. Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are despicable acts that must be strongly condemned. Canceling the permits for worshipers has no security justification,” the group insists.In a statement, it says the Palestinian Civilian Affairs Committee is told of the cancellation, and is informing permit holders they will not be able to travel to Jerusalem tomorrow for Friday prayers.-16:53-Steinitz blasts Abbas condemnation as ‘almost a blessing for terror’-Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz blasts PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of last night’s terror attack.“This condemnation is almost a blessing for terror,” Steinitz tells Channel 2. “Anyone who can’t call terror ‘terror’ and murder ‘murder,’ better that he not denounce. Instead of ridiculous denunciations like this, which are an insult to our intelligence, [Abbas] should stop,teaching, including in his own schools, that it’s good to kill Jews.”Earlier today, Abbas’s office tells The Times of Israel that “the presidency has repeatedly rejected all operations against civilians from any party, no matter what the justification. The realization of a just peace, and creating a positive climate, that is what will lead to the lowering of tension and violence in the region,” the statement continues.The statement from Abbas’s office said that “to achieve a just peace, everyone must refrain from acts that will increase tension and resorting to violence.”16:38-Officials pledge to seal gap in West Bank security fence-Defense officials tell cabinet ministers that the gaps in the West Bank security fence in the Tarkumiya-Meitar area, through which the two terrorists from yesterday’s deadly shooting in Tel Aviv are believed to have entered Israel, will be closed up in the near future.The budget to seal the gaps has been approved, officials tell the security cabinet in a meeting this afternoon in Tel Aviv’s Hakirya complex. Work on the fence will begin on June 28, with forces on the seam line to be bolstered by additional troops in the meantime.A Prime Minister’s Office statement notes that the cabinet approved several steps already taken by the IDF, including a “full cordon placed on the village of Yatta,” the suspected terrorists’ home village.Any work permits in Israel held by members of the shooters’ clan are revoked, the statement notes.The cabinet also cancels the visiting permits for thousands of Palestinians to enter Israel during the month of Ramadan that were announced the day before the attack.The statement concludes: “Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed the National Security Council to coordinate a series of working studies related to additional matters that will be presented to the cabinet in the near future.”-16:08-Security cabinet mulls no longer returning terrorists’ bodies-The security cabinet concludes its meeting in Tel Aviv in the wake of the Tel Aviv shooting attack.In the meeting, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan calls on Israel to stop returning the bodies of terrorists to their families.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says he is not opposed to the idea, according to Army Radio.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then asks the National Security Council to form a committee to examine the issue.Liberman asks Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to expedite the legal process for destroying terrorists’ homes. While Israel has formally adopted the controversial policy of destroying the homes of terrorists, even if their families are living there, as a deterrent measure, fewer than a dozen demolitions have been carried out in the six-month wave of terror attacks that began in October.The ministers also seek to encourage more young army veterans to enter the security profession by making security work a “preferred occupation” that enjoys certain tax exemptions.15:56-Pope Francis to visit Auschwitz in July-Reuters reports that Pope Francis is slated to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp during his visit to Poland in late July.Citing a Vatican statement, Reuters notes that Fracis’s two immediate predecessors also visited the site.
Links to this post: