April 27, 2018

9 teens dead, several wounded and 1 missing in flash floods

At least nine high school students have died and several others went missing on Thursday (26th) when the field trip they were on in southern Israel was disrupted by flash floods.

The group of 25 high school students from the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv were hiking at the Tsafit stream in the Arava valley, near the Dead Sea, when the area was hit by massive flooding.  Some students managed to escape to high ground, while others were swept away by the floods.

The rains began on Wednesday (25th) when two teenagers perished in flash floods.  One victim was a shepherdess who was swept away by the raging waters while tending her sheep, near Bethlehem.  The other victim was a Bedouin youth who drowned in the floods in the south.



Netanyahu: ‘Israel grieves the lives of those cut short’ in deadly flash floods

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the families of the nine teenagers killed in a flash flood in the Arava Desert on Thursday (26th).

“The State of Israel grieves for the promising young lives that were cut short by this tragedy in the Arava,” he wrote on Twitter.  “We embrace the families in grief, and pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded,” he added.

Two teens are currently being treated for injuries in the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba and one remains missing.



‘It was a very difficult sight,’ said paramedic who treated flood victims

MDA paramedic NIr Yafit was on the scene when the IDF helicopters carrying the victims landed.  He said it was “a very difficult sight.”

“We did an initial casualty assessment – the first casualties who reached us were unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, suffering injuries and showing signs of drowning.”

“With the help of the IDF medical team we did a medical check and after a short time we declared them dead.  It was a very hard feeling – we had hoped that we would be brought injured people that could be saved, but sadly, we were helpless.  The casualties who reached us showed no signs of life and we could do nothing but declare them dead.”



Heavy rains continue to hit roads and cities across country

Heavy rains continue to fall from the north to the south of Israel, turning major roads and inner city thoroughfares into flowing streams.

12 inches of rain fell on Thursday (26th) in Jerusalem in just three hours, while Tel Aviv, Tzfat, and Haifa each recorded 8 inches.



Floods caused Jerusalem security fence to collapse

Flash floods caused parts of the Jerusalen security fence to collapse Thursday (26th), a police spokesperson said.

The collapse occurred near Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem.



Israeli envoy says Iran has recruited 80,000 Shiite fighters in Syria

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday (26th) that Iran had recruited at least 80,000 Shiite fighters which it is training at a base just over five miles from Damascus.

Holding up a map, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told the Security Council that Iran had set up a training base about thirty miles from Israel.

“What you see here is Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria. There are over 80,000 Shia militants in Syria under Iranian control.  It is at this base, near Damascus, where they are trained to commit acts of terror in Syria and across the region,” Danon said.



Israel: If Iran hits Tel Aviv, We’ll hit Tehran – Liad Osmo

Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Thursday (26th) that if Iran attacks Tel Aviv, Israel will attack Tehran, “and destroy every Iranian military outpost in Syria threatening Israel,” adding that the Islamic Republic regime’s days are numbered.  In an interview with the London-based Elaf Saudi news site, Lieberman said that while Israel did not seek war with anyone, it will not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria – “whatever the cost may be.”

“Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria and arm them with advanced weapons.  From there it wants to attack us. I can not sit idly by while I watch this so close to the Golan Heights….The Russians know that we will not allow Iran to build bases in Syria and to transfer advanced weapons in order to attack us.”



Hamas preparing for its “Victory Picture” at Gaza border – Alex Fishman

In recent days, the Palestinians have advanced their jumping-off points towards the Israeli border and set up tents 330-660 feet from the fence.  According to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam, “teams for breaking through the fence” have been training to throw hooks at the fence and pull it down.  The main goal of the riots, orchestrated by Hamas, remains to break through the fence, allowing thousands of Palestinians to run into Israeli territory.  That’s the “victory picture” Hamas is looking for on May 15.



Hamas can’t mask its intent – Aviv Ezra

“Israeli Defense Forces protect civilians as thousands riot in Gaza.”  This is a headline you probably have not seen following the violent riots orchestrated by Hamas, an internationally recognized terror organization, at the Gaza-Israel border.  Hamas is marketing its campaign as “peaceful protests.” When Hamas called for tens of thousands of Gazans to camp near the border of Israel, it was counting on things turning violent.  It seeded the crowds with its militiamen. Hamas activists posted illustrated instructions on social media showing protesters how to prepare firebombs.



Man admits toppling more than 100 headstones in St Louis Jewish cemetery

A US man from suburban St. Louis has been arrested for toppling more than 100 headstones at a local Jewish cemetery more than a year ago.

Alzado Harris, 34, was arrested on Tuesday (24th) after police matched DNA found in a jacket left at the scene of the February 2017 vandalism to Harris, who has a prior criminal history.  After his arrest at his home, Harris confessed to the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery, the St. Louis Dispatch reported.

Harris faces up to seven years in prison on the charge of institutional vandalism.