News Digest — 3/28/22

ISIS-Inspired Terrorists Kill 2 Israeli Police Officers And Wound 6 In Northern Israel

Two terrorists opened fire Sunday evening (27th) at security forces in the coastal city of Hadera, near Haifa, killing two Israeli Border Policemen and wounding 6.  Two of the injured were listed in serious condition.  The dead police officers were identified as Yazen Fallah, 19, from Kasra Samia, and Shirel Aboukaret, 19, from Netanya.

The terrorists, ISIS supporters who were dressed in full Islamic garb were shot dead by undercover officers who were eating at a nearby restaurant.

The killers were identified as Ibrahim and Ayman Ighbariah, Israeli citizens from Umm al-Fahm, an Arab-Israeli city in northern Israel.  Police said they were armed with automatic weapons and 1100 bullets, several handguns and knives.

A video showed the terrorists embracing in front of an ISIS flag before carrying out the brutal attack.

Police arrived at the scene after dozens of civilians reported the shooting to the local emergency hotline and Magen David Adom.

Rescuers were rushed to the scene and the circumstances of the incident are being investigated.

United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit treated multiple people for emotional shock.

“This was a very difficult scene. Unfortunately two policemen who were shot were pronounced dead,” said United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shlomo Skittel, who was one of the first responders at the scene.

“Additionally, together with other first responders, I treated two people who were in serious condition, and others who sustained moderate to light injuries.  All of the injured were transported to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center for further care.”

The seriously injured victims included a woman in her 20s and a man in his mid-40s, according to initial reports.  

A street camera video of the shooting shows the two terrorists when they opened fire.  They used altered M16 rifles and wore white religious garb with white knit skull caps associated with certains religious Muslims, TPS reported.

It is estimated that the weapons cost more than $15,000 each, indicating that the shooters were likely not lone gunmen and that the attack must have been planned by a terrorist organization, TPS noted.



Police Placed On Highest Level Of Alert Across Israel

On Monday (28th), police were placed on the highest level of alert, a day after two ISIS-affiliated terrorists shot two Border Policemen and wounded 12, in the northern city of Hadera.

Checkpoints are being set up on major thoroughfares throughout the country and security forces will be heavily deployed in highly-trafficked areas.

This is the second ISIS-affiliated attack in a week.  The attack in Hadera comes less than a week after a deadly attack in Beersheba.

On Sunday night (27th), in a late night consultation, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi decided to call up four additional battalions to bolster existing forces in the West Bank, for fear that the attack will lead to escalation with Palestinian terrorist groups there.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situational assessment on Monday (28th) with Kochavi, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, Intelligence Directorate head Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, IDF Operations Directorate head Maj. Gen. Oded Basyuk and COGAT Maj.-Gen. Head Rassan Alian.

Israel Police decided on Monday (28th) to place Border Police officers in Umm al-Fahm in order to keep the peace and protect public order, as well as to help with searches and arrests if necessary.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his sorrow for the deaths of the two Border Policemen on Monday (28th), saying “Our hearts break from the deaths of the Border Police officers, Shirel Aboukaret and the late Yazan Fallah, who fell while defending citilians with their bodies from vile murderers.”  “We will not forget their heroism,” he added, wishing a “speedy recovery to the wounded and condolences to the families of the fallen.” 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is to hold another situation evaluation on Monday (28th).  He is especially concerned ahead of the beginning of the Muslim month of Ramadan which starts next week.  Historically, there has been an uptick in terrorist attacks during the Muslim month of daily fasting.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist movements, both publicly opposed to ISIS, welcomed the terrorist attack on Sunday (28th), with the factions calling it a “heroic operation.”



Report: Israeli Ex-Commandos Training Ukrainian Civilians

A group of ex-IDF commandos have traveled to Ukraine, acting independently of the Israeli government, in order to train Ukrainian civilians to fight against the Russian army, according to a report from Hebrew-language daily Yediot Ahronot.

Several Israeli citizens, who said they served in elite units in the IDF, told reporters from Yediot Ahronot that they had traveled to Ukraine in order to train both male and female civilians to engage in combat.

An Israeli man identified only by his first initial R, told reporters that the majority of the trainees were everyday people with little to no military experience, and that his intense training program had proven to be a major challenge for them.

“I’ve seen them change,” he said.  “After spending a few hours with a group that includes a waiter, a chef, and a lawyer, I saw the other shoe drop.”

“Many of them got sick because of the effort and the shock in the training program; it wasn’t easy for them, but I saw them go outside, collect themselves, and come back because there’s just no other option.”

R and the man who serves as the main organizer of the training program, who used the alias “Danny,” claimed that Israel’s defense establishment is aware of their actions, but is choosing to look the other way,

A number of ex-soldiers, typically dual Ukrainian-Israeli nationals, have returned to Ukraine in order to join the war effort.

For the duration of the conflict, Israel has carefully toed the diplomatic line, maintaining good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Israel has  established a field hospital to treat wounded civilians and has sent tons of  humanitarian aid, including medical supplies to Ukraine.  



Israel Rescues Jewish Refugees From Ukraine, Including 100-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor

Seventeen Jewish men and women were rescued from Russian shelling in Ukraine by Israeli volunteers last week as Russian troops started targeting civilian areas in the country.

The complex operation was carried out by ZAKA, a volunteer-based organization that has been responding to global humanitarian crises for the past 30 years.

Miraculously, included in those rescued in the incredible mission was a 100-year-old Holocaust survivor who expressed her overflowing gratitude for her life being saved a second time.

With the help of charity, ZAKA managed to fly all seventeen Ukrainians to Israel and worked together with the Israeli Foreign Ministry to help them obtain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

During these dangerous times, ZAKA says it needs more funds as it is working extra hard to fly as many members of the Jewish community as possible out of Ukraine and bring them to Israel where they can live in peace and safety.  



Report: Germany Eyeing Acquisition Of Israel’s Arrow 3 Missile Defense System

Germany might buy a missile defense system from Israel, according to a media report and lawmakers, as the country considers how to spend an injection into the defense budget in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A missile defense shield for the whole territory of Germany was one of the topics discussed when Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Eberhard Zorn, the inspector general of the Bundeswehr, last week, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Specifically, they spoke about a possible acquisition of the Israeli Arrow 3 system, the paper said.

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report.  Israel’s Defense Ministry had no comment either.

Andreas Schwarz, a member of parliament for Scholz’s Social Democrats who is a budget spokesperson, told the newspaper that such a system made sense.

“We must protect ourselves better against the threat from Russia.  For this we need a Germany-wide missile defense shield quickly.” he told the newspaper, adding: “The Israeli Arrow system is a good solution.”

In a landmark speech days after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Scholz announced that Germany would sharply increase its defense spending to more than 2% of its economic output and inject $110 billion into defense.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of parliament’s defense committee, said Germany should consider various options for missile defense, including against high flying ballistic missiles which enter space for part of their flight.

“Israel produces such a system and it makes sense to not only look into different scenarios but also to potentially buy it as soon as possible,” he told Welt television. 



Slovakia Parliament Condemns Deportation Of Jews In WWII

Slovakia’s Parliament condemned on Friday (25th) the mass deportation of Jews from the country to Nazi death camps during World War II.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the first transport to Auschwitz, the lawmakers said they consider “particularly reprehensible the forced deportation of the citizens of Jewish origin from the territory of what was then the Slovak Republic between March 25, 1942 and October 20, 1942.”

The Slovak authorities paid Nazi Germany for each Jewish citizen who was transported.

“We condemn such activities of the regime and express sorrow over the tragedy imposed on innocent victims,” the resolution approved by parliament said.

The lawmakers also asked for forgiveness from all those who survived and the relatives and descendants of the victims.

Slovakia was a Nazi puppet state during World War II.  it sent over 70,000 of its Jewish citizens to Nazi concentration camps, where most of them perished.  

A second wave of deportation took place between September 1944 and March 1945 when Slovakia was occupied by Nazi troops.

The members of the extreme far-right People’s Our Slovakia Party, who openly back the legacy of the Slovak war state, didn’t participate in the vote on the resolution.

The lawmakers also observed a minute of silence to honor the victims.

Friday’s (25th) move came after the Slovak government apologized in September for the World War II legislation that stripped the country’s Jews of their human and civil rights.