News Digest — 2/14/23

Border Police Officer Dies From Wounds In Terror Attack Outside Shuafat

Israeli Border Police officer Asil Suaed was killed in a stabbing attack at the checkpoint to Shuafat just hours after a 17-year-old man was injured moderately after being stabbed by a terrorist near the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount on Monday afternoon (13th).

On Monday evening (13th), a 13-year-old Palestinian terrorist pulled out a knife and assaulted Border Police officers who were conducting a security check on a bus at the checkpoint to Shuafat.  The officers fired at the terrorist and arrested him.

One of the officers was critically wounded after being stabbed in the head.  Despite resuscitation efforts at the scene and at the hospital, the officer succumbed to his wounds later in the evening.

Magen David Adom emergency medic Shimon Zaltz stated that “I arrived at the scene quickly and saw inside the bus a young man in his 20s with stab wounds.  He was unconscious and a large number of MDA personnel immediately arrived.  We gave him medical treatment while working to stop the bleeding and evacuated him to the hospital while he was in very serious condition.”

After the attack, Israeli forces were seen entering Shuafat and arrested the mother and brother of the terrorist.  Clashes broke out in the area during the arrests, according to reports.

Just hours before the attack, a young man was stabbed in the back by a terrorist in Jerusalem’s Old City.  The doors to the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Mosque were closed by police shortly after the attack, according to Palestinian reports.  Police entered the compound and arrested the suspect  who was hiding in the mosque.  The doors were reopened after the arrest.

The terrorist who conducted the attack in the Old City was identified as a 14-year-old resident of the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem.

The attacks come just days after two children and a young man were murdered in a terrorist ramming attack in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.



Hamas Hails ‘Heroic’ Terror Attacks By Teens

The Hamas terror group hailed Monday’s (13th) terror attacks in Jerusalem that killed one man as a “heroic operation” that was a worthy response to Israel’s decision to legalize nine communities in Judea and Samaria a day earlier.

“Our youth will deal with the occupation’s aggression and the extremist government’s fascism with courage and violence,” a Hamas spokesman said, referring to the two Palestinian terrorists, 14 and 13 years of age respectively.

The two teenagers, both from eastern Jerusalem, attacked Israelis in separate attacks on Monday (13th).

A 17-year-old male was wounded when the 14-year-old terrorist stabbed him in the torso in the old city of Jerusalem.  The victim was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in moderate condition.

Two hours later, a 20-year-old police officer was attacked at the Anatot checkpoint when he boarded a bus to question passengers near Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem.  A 13-year-old pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the head.  He was transferred to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital and died shortly after of his wounds.

The 13-year-old was detained.

On Sunday (12th) the Security Cabinet decided unanimously to authorize nine communities in Judea and Samaria in response to the deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem over the past two weeks.

The communities are: Avigail, Bet Hogla, Givat Harel/Haroeh, Givat Arnon, Mitzpe Yehuda, Malachei HaShalom,  Ashael, Sde Boaz and Shaharit.



Turkey Thanks Israeli Rescue Teams For Solidarity In Earthquake Aid

Turkish Ambassador to Israel Shakir Ozkan Torunlar on Monday (13th) said, “Thank you very much Israel” in an official Israeli ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport with the return of Israel’s rescue teams after saving 19 Turkish lives in Operation Olive Branch from the earthquake disaster.

Torunlar said, “Southern Turkey was hit with two major earthquakes on February 6… the largest national disaster of the past 100 years.  13.5 million people were affected, there were over 37,000 deaths and close to 100,000 wounded.  But thanks to the friends of Turkey, many were saved by search and rescue teams in the field.”

“The government of Israel was among the first to provide help.  I salute all who were among those who landed in the disaster zone and immediately started their tasks.  You saved 19 Turks…followed by a field hospital being erected in less than 24 hours and becoming operational.”

He also complimented a wide variety of Israeli civil society and NGO groups who “displayed exemplary solidarity with the Turkish people.”

IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. General Herzi Halevi said at the ceremony, “We all followed every rescue, every person you saved from a great human tragedy.  The IDF and Israel are very proud of you.”

“When I asked about organizing a delegation, I was told that delegations were already being organized.  People just heard there was an earthquake, and started organizing help on their own,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the crowd of returned rescuers, “You saved 19 worlds… The nation of Israel followed your work with great pride.  You brought great honor to the State of Israel.”

“We saw you working in the cold, in rough conditions around the clock.  You did the hardest things…You also showed the whole world the good and true face of the State of Israel: a small state with a giant soul that works to help people whoever they are, anywhere in the world in crazy conditions – with a supreme level of dedication,” said Netanyahu.

The prime minister added, “especially in these days, your service has more significance.  You remind us we are one nation, with one fate and one future.”

IDF rescue commander Col. Golan Voch told a story about it taking “30 hours to get to a nine-year-old child who was trapped two floors below the ground level area.”

He said the paramedic who was providing first aid to the child had lost a daughter in a car accident two years before, but despite that personal tragedy, still found the emotional depth to calm the child.

Further, he added that when they brought the child up to ground level, the child’s uncle gave the rescuers a coin, saying that it was symbolic to thank doctors who facilitate a child being born – as a metaphor for the child they had saved being essentially reborn.



By Maintaining Palestinians’ Permanent Refugee Status, The UN Has Perpetrated Violence – Avi Benlolo

Despite the work being done to promote peaceful solutions in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, the UN appears to insist on keeping Israel’s very existence in question and ensuring Palestinians remain as permanent refugees.  The UN established the only permanent refugee organization in the world, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Millions of refugees poured out of Syria during the civil war, but no dedicated UN agency was founded for them.  There are no international campaigns or significant Syrian refugee movements on university campuses calling for their return, because most have acclimatized to their new homes – as refugees generally do.  Of all the refugees past and present, the Palestinians are the only ones who have their own permanent exhibit near the UN General Assembly.

After the Arab world went to war against the newly founded State of Israel in 1948, instead of absorbing the refugees into their host countries, UNRWA deliberately kept them in refugee camps.  From a human rights point of view, that is completely unfair to the millions of children who have had their futures stolen from them by the UN and by their host countries which refuse them citizenship.

Before 1948, the area was ruled by the British for a short time and by the Ottomans for 400 years before that.  There was never a state of Palestine.  This generation of Palestinians wants to lay claim to Jerusalem, but the holy city was never Palestinian.  The way back to peace is for the UN and its agencies like UNRWA to stop deceiving the Palestinian people by suggesting that Israel is a temporary political entity.  It’s not going anywhere.  (National Post – Canada)



Iran: 44th Anniversary Of Revolution Disrupted By Hackers

The government of Iran marked the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Saturday (11th) with demonstrations around the country.

The state-organized rallies differ markedly from the widespread protests that erupted after 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the morality police last year.

Human rights organizations estimate thousands of Iranians have been arrested and several protesters have been executed, but smaller acts of rebellion continue, such as an increasing number of women choosing to ignore the country’s mandatory headscarf rule.

Iran’s conservative President Ebrahim Raisi used the occasion to call the anti-government demonstrators “deceived youth” and claim victory over the protest movement.

“People have realized that the enemy’s problem is not women, life, or freedom,” Raisi said in a speech at Azadi Square in Tehran.  “Rather they want to take our independence.”

In the lead-up to the anniversary, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared a conditional amnesty for tens of thousands of protesters, according to state media.

The military also put on a show of strength on Saturday (11th), displaying its Emad Sejjil ballistic missiles as well as its killer Shahed-136 and Mohajer drones.

During Raisi’s televised address, a hacker group known as Edalat-e Ali claimed to disrupt the online livestream.

In a video later posted to social media, the hackers appeared to jam Raisi’s speech with a video of a person wearing a mask for about a minute.  The figure shouted: “Death to the Islamic Republic,” and encouraged Iranians to pull their money from the country’s banks and take to the streets in the coming weeks.

In October, Edalat-e Ali interrupted a live state television broadcast of Iran’s supreme leader as part of the protests sparked by the death of Amini.

Outside the country, many Iranians used the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution to protest against the government and its suppression of women’s rights.

Thousands of people marched in Paris, while other demonstrations were held in cities like Dusseldorf.

“The protests are meant to show that Iranians are standing up to the regime,” Hamburg politician Daniel Ilkhanipour said in a rally in Paris.

Swedish MP Alireza Akhondi, who was also at the protest in Paris, told AFP “the main goal is to make EU ministers finally hear the voices of the Iranians.” 

“We also want the Revolutionary Guards to be labeled as a terror group,” he said.  “This is a key point.”