January 11, 2019

Two Terror Attacks On Wednesday

A 15-year-old girl was stabbed on Wednesday morning (9th) while she was standing at a bus stop in the Jerusalem Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

MDA emergency first responders treated the girl at the scene, before evacuating her for treatment at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Reports say the girl was conscious and spoke with police investigators.  She told authorities she was stabbed by an Arab man while waiting for a bus.  The attacker then fled.

The girl was in moderate condition with stab wounds to the neck.

Security forces are still looking for the stabber.

Meanwhile an Israeli woman was injured the same morning, after she was attacked by an Arab gang in Samaria, near Maaleh Levona.

According to initial reports, a Palestinian gang used their vehicle to block the road, forcing the Israeli woman to stop.

The gang of men immediately jumped out of their vehicle and rushed towards the Israeli woman’s car, smashing the windows with a hammer.

The woman remained in her car during the assault, and managed to drive away.  She suffered light-to-moderate injuries in the attack.

She alerted police and security forces who were dispatched to the scene to search for the assailants.



Hamas Readying To Ramp Up Violence

Hamas is demanding that Israel enable the transfer of Qatari funds into the Gaza Strip and is warning that Israel would be “responsible for the repercussions of postponing or disavowing the ceasefire understandings.”

An Egyptian security delegation is expected to arrive in Gaza in the coming days in an attempt to prevent a deterioration in the security situation along the border with Israel this weekend.

Earlier this week, the “Supreme National Authority for the March of Return and Breaking of the Siege,” the body officially behind the weekly border protests, which the Hamas terror group has been encouraging since last March, called on the Palestinian public to participate extensively in marches near the fence this coming Friday (11th).

Israel and Hamas recently agreed to a short-term, limited and unofficial ceasefire under the terms of which Hamas would scale back its attacks on Israel in return for Israeli permission for the entry of millions of dollars in cash from Qatar to pay for gas and electricity supplies in Gaza.

Israel has already allowed for two such transfers, but halted the third payment which was to have been made this week.  It was a punitive step taken by Israel in response to Gaza cross-border attacks, the latest including a rocket fired into Israel and the dispatch of a bobby-trapped cluster of balloons from the Gaza side.

Palestinian sources in Gaza report that Hamas is planning to renew the balloon attacks.  Both the so-called kite and tire units are said to have received a new budget to prepare for the next round of violence.  Kites and balloons have been used as ways of launching aerial attacks, which have posed an increased challenge to the Israeli security establishment, along with the massive burning of tires.

Fires by Hamas have destroyed Israeli farms and caused great environmental damage to southern Israel.

(worldisraelnews.com; timesofisrael.com)


‘Israel Is Ready To Thwart A Cyber Intervention’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday (9th) that his country led the world in cyber defense, after a report that an unnamed nation planned to meddle in its upcoming general election.

“Israel is prepared to thwart a cyber intervention – we’re prepared for any scenario and there’s no country more prepared than we are,” he told reporters.

On Tuesday (8th), privately-owned Hadashot television news reported that the head of the Shin Bet internal security agency had said that Israel was bracing for a state-driven cyber intervention in the April 9 election.

“A foreign state is planning on intervening in the upcoming elections in Israel, and it will intervene,” Nadav Argaman was quoted as telling participants at a closed meeting.  “I don’t know at this stage in favor of who or against who,” he reportedly said in Hebrew.

Shin Bet later issued a statement saying that Israel “has the tools to locate, monitor and thwart attempts of foreign influence, if there should be any.”

“The Israeli security establishment can enable holding democratic and free elections in Israel,” it said in a statement late Tuesday (8th).

Russia denied social media speculation that it was the state planning to disrupt the Israeli vote.

Moscow has been accused of seeking to influence various elections around Europe – and the US presidential election in 2018 – through disinformation  campaigns.

(reuters.com; ynetnews.com)


Brazilian Jewish Students To Be Allowed Days Off On Their Holidays

A new law in Brazil allows Jewish and non-Jewish students to miss school exams and classes for religious reasons.

The legislation stipulates that students are permitted to be absent on any date when, according to their respective religions, the exercise of activities is prohibited.  As a result, Jews will be legally protected in observing the Sabbath on Saturdays, and holidays such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.

“It’s a legitimate demand from the part of the Brazilian population that keeps the Sabbath,” Fernando Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation told the The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.  “It is yet another important victory for the Jewish community.”

The law takes effect after 60 days.  It was signed last Thursday (3rd) by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro just two days after taking office.  The Brazilian leader had just held talks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who visited to attend the presidential inauguration.

The new law on student religious observance says that absences must be requested ahead of time.  Missed exams and classes must be provided on an alternative date or replaced by written assignments or research activities, according to the law.,



Israeli Debate Team Defeats Best Universities In The World

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem debate team won the World Universities Debate Championship last week in Cape Town, South Africa, in the English Second-Language category.

Roy Shulmann and Elaye Karstadt competed against thousands of students from 20 countries and managed, above the rest of the teams, to convince judges of stances on a multitude of current events.

In addition to Shulmann and Karstadt’s defeat of Russian, Malaysian and Japanese teams in the final round of the championships, the Tel Aviv University team, made up of Israeli Debating League chairman Amichai Even-Chen and Ido Kotler, made it to the final rounds of the General Open Competition, which includes native English speakers from around the globe.  They competed against some of the best universities in the world, including Oxford University and Harvard University.

“Debate is not only a sport, but rather a unique tool for the development of logical and rhetorical capabilities,” said Shulmann.  “It exposes students to a wide range of opinions and challenges their personal stance, as well as gets them used to truly listening to the other side and really answering the heart of the issue instead of the heart of the person.”

Hebrew University debate team chairman, Naama Weiss, said that the Israeli teams are “used to meeting students at the competitions from countries hostile to Israel.  We actually become friends with them – it is important that we hold discussions with those that disagree with us as well.”

Israel not only won on the university-level, but the Israeli National High School Debate Team won the EurOpen debate competition in Stuttgart, Germany in November 2018 – going undefeated for all 12 rounds of competition.