News Digest — 7/20/22

Man Moderately Hurt In Jerusalem Stabbing Attack, Palestinian Assailant Shot

An Israeli man was moderately hurt in a suspected stabbing attack on a bus near Jerusalem’s northeastern Ramot neighborhood on Tuesday (19th), police and medics said.

The 41-year-old man was stabbed in the head by a Palestinian man also in his 40s, while traveling on bus line 137, near the Ramot Junction, officials said.

According to the police, the assailant attacked the man on the bus with a screwdriver during the ride, as the bus left Ramot.  The driver then stopped and the passengers fled the bus, police said.

The alleged assailant was shot and wounded by a passerby, Meshi Ben Ami, a Ynet news site photographer, who noticed the incident shortly before officers arrived at the scene.

“I got out of the car, loaded my gun and realized it was a terror attack.  The stabber came toward me, I did not hesitate and fired one bullet at him.  I heard him praying in Arabic,” Ben Ami told the Kan public broadcaster.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed Ben Ami in a statement.  “I would like to wish a speedy recovery to the victim who was injured in the stabbing incident in Jerusalem.  I congratulate the Ynet photographer who happened to be at the scene and acted resolutely to neutralize the terrorist and prevent injury to other people.”

“We will not allow terrorism to rear its head and disrupt the routine of our lives.  We will settle scores with anyone who tries to harm innocent civilians,” Lapid added.

The suspected stabber was taken to a hospital where he was listed in moderate condition, police said.

Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman held an assessment meeting at the scene and said police are continuing to investigate the attack.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Hamas terror group praised the attack.  In a statement, Hazem Qassem said the stabbing was an “act of heroism,” adding that it was a “natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the holy places of Islam in Jerusalem.”



Russia, Turkey And Iran Vow To Cooperate In Eliminating Terrorists In Syria

Russia, Turkey and Iran on Tuesday (20th) vowed to continue their cooperation to “eliminate terrorists” in Syria, in a trilateral statement after their presidents met in Tehran.

The three countries “reaffirmed the determination to continue their ongoing cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate terrorist  individuals, groups, undertakings and entities,” read the statement quoted in an AFP report.

They “expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to Syria.”

They also “rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas” in Syria.

The trilateral statement was released after Erdogan urged his Russian and Iranian counterparts to back his efforts to fight “terrorism” in Syria.

Turkey has launched waves of attacks on Syria since 2016, targeting the Kurdish fighters as well as Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists.

It has also supported Syrian rebels against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Iran and Russia are also involved in Syria’s conflict but support Assad.

The summit between the three leaders came days after US President Joe Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, where two agreements were announced which are widely considered to be significant steps on the path toward normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

One of the deals announced concerns the removal of multinational forces from the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran, and the other concerns the opening of Saudi airspace for all Israeli flights.   

Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional rivals, but they held talks last year with the aim of improving relations, for the first time since cutting ties in 2016.

While no breakthrough has yet been reached, Iran’s Foreign Minister said in October that they are on the right track.

The two countries are vying for influence in a rivalry that has played out across the region in events such as Yemen’s war and in Lebanon.



IDF Strikes Gaza After Shooting At Border Community

Israeli fighter jets attacked a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip after bullets fired from the Palestinian enclave hit an industrial building in an Israeli community near the border, the military said in a statement on Tuesday (19th).

“Earlier today (Tuesday, 19th), a bullet was found in the community of Netiv HaAsara.  After an inquiry, it was found that the bullet hit an industrial building earlier today after being fired from the Gaza Strip,” a statement from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit read.

In response, Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck a military post belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the northern Gaza Strip.

Civilians reported finding several bullets near agricultural hothouses in the same community.

There were no injuries reported in the incidents.

Over the weekend, four rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, prompting the IDF to strike several Hamas underground facilities used for manufacturing weapons, in the seaside territory in two separate air raids.

The Israel Defense Ministry said that “the terror organization Hamas bears responsibility for everything that happens within the Gaza Strip, and from it toward the State of Israel, and will bear the consequences.”



Road Terror: Palestinians Using Lasers To Blind Israeli Drivers 

Palestinians seeking to run Jewish drivers off the road and cause car accidents have added a new weapon to their arsenals: lasers.

While Molotov cocktail and rock-throwing attacks targeting Jewish drivers are common in Judea and Samaria, the use of high-intensity lasers to blind motorists is gaining momentum.

According to Jewish residents of the community Kochav HaShachar, locals from the nearby Palestinian village of Kfar al-Mughayir regularly aim lasers at drivers passing on the Alon Road on the outskirts of the Jewish town.

Social media footage captured by Israeli drivers shows bright green lasers being repeatedly flashed at cars causing temporary loss of visibility.

Kochav HaShachar official Reuben Shador criticized what he said was a lack of action from the IDF in dealing with the danger.

“Every evening they blind vehicles and drivers here with lasers.  Are we waiting for it to end in disaster?” he said to Israel Hayom.  “The writing is on the wall.  We don’t understand why the IDF is waiting.”

In a statement the Israeli army acknowledged that the laser-blinding attacks on motorists is an issue of concern.

“The IDF takes this phenomenon seriously and works in a variety of ways and in cooperation with other defense forces in the area to eliminate this problem,” the military said.

While attacks on Jewish drivers in Judea and Samaria largely go unreported in mainstream media, dozens of Israelis are wounded in car accidents caused by Molotov cocktail and Rock attacks each year.



100-Year-Old Jewish Doctor Is World’s Oldest Practicing Physician

A Jewish neurologist who recently celebrated his 100th birthday is officially the world’s oldest practicing physician.

Dr. Howard Tucker, a lifelong resident of Ohio, is a neurologist who teaches medical residents at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland and testifies as an expert medical witness during trials.

By the time he graduated high school in 1940, Tucker told the Cleveland Jewish News, he knew he wanted to pursue the study of the human brain.

“In those days, neurology was a truly intellectual pursuit,” said Tucker.  “There’s something mysterious about the brain.  There’s a mystique.  That’s why I went into neurology.”

Tucker’s wife Sara is an 88-year-old psychiatrist who is still seeing patients.  The couple met while he was lecturing at the Neurological Institute of New York.

A lot has changed in the field of neurology over the course of Tucker’s 75-year-long career.  With the advent of brain-imaging technologies, research and diagnosis have become much easier.

“We used to have to really think through a problem because there weren’t any diagnostic tools of that magnitude,” Tucker said.

“We used to agonize over a problem.  Is this a pattern of a tumor?  Is this a pattern of abnormality with a stroke?  In those days we had to work harder, but it was fun.”

Retirement is not on the horizon anytime soon, the father of four and grandfather of 10 said.

“I have to keep doing these things because I can’t stand being at home,” he said.  “As long as people accept me, I’m going to continue to practice.  I enjoy myself.”



Swastika Drawn Outside Of Croatian Hotel Hosting French Jewish Teens

French Jewish kids staying in the southern coastal town of Trilj in Croatia woke up Monday morning (18th) to find a large red swastika plastered on the pavement in front of their hotel.  Police are actively investigating the antisemitic incident.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EIA) said: “This will be an unforgettable holiday and experience for these children, for all the wrong reasons… A reminder that we never can become complacent or let our guard down when it comes to antisemitism.”

“While I am certain that the views of the individual or group responsible for painting a giant swastika are not representative of the vast majority of Croatians, the act and nature of this attack – because that is what it is – is still a deep cut to Jews everywhere,” Margolin added.

“As adults, we are sadly used to hate, yet we continue to do all that we can to shield our children from it.  That a group of French Jewish children on holiday in Croatia have had such a vicious and visible introduction to this hate is tragic.  This attack is a reminder that we can never afford to be complacent and let our guard down,” he concluded.