News Digest — 3/16/22

Father Of Fallen IDF Soldier To Make Aliyah From Ukraine

German Rozhkov Simionov, father of Lieutenant German Rozhkov who was killed in an encounter with Hezbollah operatives in 2002, arrived in Chisinau, Moldova after escaping his home in Kyiv, and is expected to make his way to Israel in the near future.

“The worst is behind us,” Simionov said.  “From here everything will be okay.  I have no words with which I can thank you, you are angels.  I lost a son and now I’ve lost my home.  It’s very hard to keep it together.”

At the border, Rozhkov Simionov met Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council who is helping him in the bureaucratic process of immigration.

Dagan had known his son German.  “He was an Israeli hero,” he said.  “An officer in the Shavei Shomron post, where I live.  We used to talk here and there, and one of the soldiers was my brother-in-law.”

“You aren’t alone, he told the bereaved father.  Israel owes you a debt that can’t be paid.  Your son was a hero who fought for Israel, fought in the Shomron, you’ll never be alone.  We’ll care for everything you need and help you come to Israel,” he said.

The two men also spoke with Yaakov Hagoel – the acting executive chairman of the Jewish Agency.

“The Jewish Agency is leading one of the biggest Aliyah operations ever, and is working to rescue Jews from the warzone,” Hagoel said.  “Israel has a moral obligation towards those who died in battle.  This obligation is a huge honor for us in the Jewish Agency to carry out.”



Dozens Of Terrorists Attack IDF Forces In Jenin

Israeli forces operating to arrest a wanted suspect in the city of Jenin early Wednesday morning (16th) encountered armed terrorists and violent disturbances which resulted in an exchange of gunfire.

The Border Police stated that its troops, acting on intelligence provided by the Shin Bet security service, apprehended a terror suspect in Jenin, under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

During the operation, dozens of violent rioters confronted the forces, shot at them, and threw explosive charges.

At some point, a vehicle arrived on site and an armed terrorist emerged from it, approached the troops and aimed his weapon at them.  The troops fired at him, injuring him, according to reports.

“The mission was successfully completed, the wanted person was arrested and taken for questioning,” the Border Police stated.

There were no Israeli casualties.

The WAFA news agency reported that the arrested suspect in Jenin was Adham Muhammad Turkman.

This incident, the latest in a series of similar clashes with terrorists in recent days, occurred as security tensions in Israel are high after a series of terror attacks in the Jerusalem area and ahead of the Muslim month of Ramadan, which usually spells an uptick in Muslim violence and acts of terrorism in Israel.

Following the wave of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the police decided to augment its forces in the city.  The country’s security establishment is bracing for violence, especially as Ramadan coincides with Passover, and following Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, which was launched by the IDF following a Hamas rocket attack on Jerusalem that began at the height of the month of Ramadan.



Report: Israel Destroyed Hundreds Of Iranian Drones In Attack In February

Hundreds of drones were destroyed in an aerial attack in Iran last month, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday (15th).  Iran has attributed the assault to Israel.

According to Haaretz, the attack was first reported on Sunday (13th) by Lebanese television station Al Mayadeen, which is affiliated with Hezbollah and Iran.

This was the reason for Saturday’s (12th) Iranian missile attack on the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan – Erbil – according to Al Mayadeen, claiming it was in retaliation for the bombing of a drone base.  The report said that the drone base bombing had been carried out by six Israeli drones.

Some reports suggested the drone attack occurred on February 14 at Iran’s Mahidasht Base.

Iran claimed responsibility for the attack on Erbil, saying it targeted an Israeli military base, a claim which Kurdistan’s government denies, saying instead the rockets hit a civilian facility.

Tehran has used drones extensively in recent years throughout the Middle East, giving some UAVs to the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria.

Last month, the Israel Defense Forces downed one Hezbollah drone over the Galilee.

“Our troops downed a Hezbollah drone that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli airspace today,” the military said at the time on Twitter, adding that “The drone was monitored by the IDF throughout the incident.”

“We will continue to prevent any attempt by Hezbollah to violate Israeli sovereignty,” the IDF said.

Iran has many proxies fighting for it in the Middle East – the Hezbollah terror group is one of them.



Rabbis: Amnesty Is An ‘Anti-Semitic Hate Group’ Promoting ‘Jew Hatred’- By Adam Kredo

Amnesty International, the human rights group whose leader recently said Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state,” is blatantly promoting “Jew-hatred,” according to a group of influential rabbis.

Amnesty International has been facing criticism since releasing a report last month that accused Israel of waging apartheid against Palestinians and demanded that Israeli officials face prosecution in international courts for these alleged crimes

The report was widely condemned by Israel, leading American-Jewish officials, and members of Congress – all of whom labeled the report as anti-Israel propaganda.

Amnesty International faced a wave of renewed criticism this month when the director of its American branch, Paul O’Brien, who is not Jewish, said that Israel “shouldn’t exist as a state” during his remarks at an event hosted by the Woman’s National Democratic Club. 

O’Brien’s remarks are anti-Semitic and amount to “Jew-hatred, plain and simple,” according to the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an advocacy group that represents leading Orthodox rabbis.

“This is Jew-hatred, plain and simple, using apartheid against the only ethnically diverse country, the only one with a substantial Jewish population, in the Middle East,” Rabbi Yaakov Merken, CJV’s managing director, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“O’Brien’s reported remarks should surprise no one, as he merely said the quiet part out loud.  There are 23 nations where Islam is the state religion and 21 formally Christian states, but Amnesty only has a problem with the one identified with Jews,” Merken said.  “O’Brien openly argued that indigenous Jews exclusively, should be denied self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”

“O’Brien,” Merken added, is “no different than a white person claiming to speak for Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, or any other minority.”

Amnesty International is “not a human rights organization but an anti-Semitic hate group.  To support it is an evil act, and history will not judge its supporters kindly,” Merken said.



Israel To Deploy $6.4 Million Field Hospital In Ukraine Named After Golda Meir

The Israeli government on Monday (14th) approved the deployment of a $6.4 million field hospital in western Ukraine to provide aid and medical assistance to refugees.

The one-month humanitarian mission is named “Kochav Meir” (Shining Star) in honor of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and became somewhat of a local hero since Russia’s invasion of the country.

Meir also founded Israel’s development and aid agency Mashav, which is spearheading the project.

“Israel is part of the world, and the world is going through difficult and tumultuous times,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.  “We are managing this complex crisis with sensitivity, responsibility, and are making an effort to offer assistance however we can.”

The hospital will operate with the help of Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, the Schneider Center, the Clalit Health Insurance Fund, and a delegation of medical and nursing personnel from across the health system.

It will include several divisions, including a children’s ward, a maternity ward and delivery room, an emergency ward, a primary care clinic, an outpatient clinic, and a command center.  Laboratory and imaging capabilities, including X-ray labs, will be available, as well as remote medicine technologies pioneered by Sheba.

The mission will be funded by the Health Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Foreign Ministry, with the assistance of the Schusterman Foundation and the American Joint Distribution Committee.

“Our humanity is measured first and foremost in times of crisis,” said Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.  “We are committed in every possible way to help the Ukrainian people who are under brutal attack.”

Earlier this month, Israel announced that it will supply six large generators to the Lviv hospital to ensure continuous operation in case of power outages.  The Israeli Health Ministry also sent planes with medical equipment and medicine to Ukraine.

Separately, Mashav and Israel’s Education Ministry said on Monday (14th) that they held a virtual meeting with over 500 special education teachers from Ukraine to share tools for assisting children in special education settings to cope with traumatic situations.