Israel Briefs 2-28-12

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Hamas will only enter Jerusalem to ‘deliver it from the occupation’

Hamas officials on Monday rejected an invitation from the Palestinian Authority to visit Jerusalem, saying they would only enter Jerusalem to “deliver it from the occupation.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the invitation on Sunday during address at the Arab League’s International Conference on Jerusalem in the Qatari capital of Doha.

In response, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on Middle East leaders to pressure Israel and impose “deterrent penalties against it.” The Arabs’ primary goal is to “liberate Jerusalem, and rid it of the occupation,” Barhoum said.

—JointMedia News Service

Israel remembers Menachem Begin

Click photo to download. Caption: Menachem Begin. Credit: PD.The late former Prime Minister Menachem Begin was memorialized in a special state ceremony held at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the underground leader who became premier in a 1977 electoral upset. “He had some tremendous achievements as prime minister,” Netanyahu said, “but from a historical perspective, his greatest achievement was to help force the British out of the country so that the state of Israel could be established.”

“I believe that without Begin’s crucial role in ousting the British from the land, the right moment to establish the state could have passed, and all of his other achievements may never have occurred,” Netanyahu told ceremony host Yaron Dekel.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Jewish Agency will grant emergency aid to Jews in Greece

The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) will grant an emergency aid package of NIS 4 million—more than $1 million—over the course of two years to the Jewish community of financially floundering Greece.

JAFI announced the aid Monday, amid its Board of Governors meetings in Jerusalem. The aid “will enable Greek communal institutions to continue their operations,” according to a press release. JAFI will also send Hebrew teachers to Greek school and summer camps. Greece is currently home to 5,000 Jews live in Greece, including 3,500 in Athens.

“The Jews of Greece are known for their tremendous generosity toward their needy brethren in Israel and around the Jewish world,” JAFI Chairman Natan Sharansky said.

“Today, this wonderful community needs us, and it would be unthinkable for us not to come to their aid during their time of need,” he said.

—JointMedia News Service

Palestinians use the highway as new vehicle for attacks

Palestinians attacked a Jewish mother with rocks last week on Highway 60, the main road between eastern Judea and Samaria. In addition, a yeshiva student said Arabs attacked him on Mount Hermon.

As Zehava Weiss approached the Arab town of Beit Ummar, she noticed people of different ages congregating towards her. “The rioters clearly could see that the car contained two young females, defenseless. We were struck by many rocks; my view was blocked by the cracked glass,” she said, according to Israel National News. Weiss also noticed photographers who were on scene to shoot what was happening, but wouldn’t call the police. Even though she managed to escape, “at least eight large rocks and blocks” hit her car.

Several other people were attacked in their vehicles after the attack on Weiss, according to reports. Elazar Aharoni, a yeshiva student from Ashdod, said Arabs attacked him as he got off a cable car on the popular Hermon ski resort. “The attackers kicked me and beat me mercilessly until someone arrived and rescued me,” he said. He suffered a broken nose and a back injury.

—JointMedia News Service

Muslims riot at Temple Mount, injure police

Click photo to download. Caption: The Temple Mount. Credit: PD.Eleven police officers were injured after more than 100 Muslims threw rocks following prayer services at the Temple Mount last week, Israeli Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Jerusalem Waqf, blamed Israelis for the riots and demanded that, “No settlers, radicals or soldiers enter the mosque to avoid friction.” 

Israeli police said “dozens of people” barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, according to reports.

—JointMedia News Service

UN finally condemns terrorist attacks against Israel

The UN Security Council condemned terrorist attacks aimed at Israel for the first time in seven years, Israel Hayom reported. The Security Council released a statement in the wake of the attempted and executed terrorist attacks targeting Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India.

“Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” the statement said. “After seven years of silence, the Council has finally spoken against the terrorism that the Israeli people face every day,” added Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice recently called the UN’s usual treatment of Israel “merciless, ugly, and obsessive.” The Israeli delegation’s UN webpage describes the situation as follows: “No other Member State of the United Nations—even those that systematically deny their citizens the most basic freedoms—faces such a litany of one-sided resolutions. This fact reflects the sad reality that the condemnatory resolutions against Israel are a political tool used to promote a narrow, hateful agenda.”

—JointMedia News Service

Haifa assault reminiscent of 2000 Ramallah lynching, says judge

Haifa Magistrates’ Court Judge Zaid Falah on Sunday extended the remand of six men suspected of having assaulted two off-duty Israeli soldiers the previous night, Israel Hayom reported. Falah remarked that the incident reminded him of the gruesome 2000 lynching in which a Palestinian mob beat to death two Israel Defense Forces reservists who had accidentally entered the West Bank town of Ramallah.

The six Israeli Arab residents of Haifa are suspected of committing assault, battery and conspiring to commit a crime. Two of their names were released: Hafez Kayes, 54, and Massad Abed Alraoff, 18. The other four are minors.

The two soldiers, who were hospitalized with moderate injuries after the assault, said they were attacked because of their Jewish nationality. They recounted being beaten with rocks, metal rods and fists. The victims have since been released from hospital.

—JointMedia News Service

PA continues to use television to glorify violence

Palestinian Authority TV recently broadcast a song that called Israel a “treacherous aggressor” and stated that violence and “Martyr’s blood” will be used to attain a Palestinian state, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

“Palestine is a state built on struggle With the Martyr's blood, with gunfire,” the song said. “It [Palestine] will restore the plant to its land. It will bring home those who are distant. It will return the stolen [property] to its inhabitants so that Arab honor will not be degraded. Oh treacherous aggressor, oh sinner (i.e., Israel). We will rise like the sun shining on dry grass.”

—JointMedia News Service

Israel Hayom columnist wins national communucations prize

Israel Hayom columnist Yaakov Ahimeir has been awarded the 2012 Israel Prize in the field of communications. Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced the honor on Sunday.

Born in Ramat Gan in 1938, Ahimeir is a veteran at the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He worked as a newscaster for Israel Radio and Channel 1, and filled a variety of roles in the news department, including reporter, editor and news broadcaster. In recent years, he has also written regular op-eds, columns and analysis pieces for Israel Hayom.

Ahimeir is a “journalist in the most classic sense,” the Israel Prize Committee wrote.

“His journalistic style is impartial, reliable, in-depth and comprehensive,” the committee wrote. “This style has served as an inspiration and set an example for generations of journalists.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Posted on February 27, 2012 and filed under Briefs, Israel.