October 30, 2018

Israeli Cabinet Observes Moment Of Silence For Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims

Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday (28th) began with a minute of silence to honor the 11 Jewish worshipers killed in an anti-Semitic shooting attack a day earlier at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

“It is hard to overstate the horror of the murder of Jews gathered in a synagogue on Shabbat, who were murdered just because they were Jews,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

“The entire people of Israel are mourning with the families of those murdered in the shocking massacre at the synagogue,” he said after the moment of silence was observed.  “In my name and in the name of the people of Israel, I send our condolences to the grieving families. We will pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded.”

Noting that the shooting apparently constituted the “biggest anti-Semitic crime in American history,” Netanyahu added that Israel “stands in a united front with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, with the American Jewish public and with the American people.  We stand together in a single front against anti-Semitism and these expressions of barbarity.”

The gunman, identified as Robert Bowers, is said to have yelled, “All Jews must die” as he entered the Tree of Life Synagogue, and began firing.  He engaged in a shootout with responding police officers and barricaded himself inside the building before surrendering. In all, 11 people were killed and six wounded – at least four of them police officers, according to authorities.

Throughout Israel, the attack was met with expressions of shock and mourning.



UN Chief: Anti-Semitism Is A Menace To Democracy

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday (27th) condemned the shooting attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, in which 11 people were murdered, and expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

“The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism.  Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity.  Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century,” Guterres said in a statement.

He called “for a united front – bringing together authorities at all levels, civil society, religious and community leaders and the public at large–to roll back the forces of racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and xenophobia gaining strength in many parts of the world.”



Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar condemn Pittsburgh Shooting

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar made official statements on Sunday (28th) condemning Saturday’s (27th) mass shooting in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“The Embassy expresses its sincere condolences to the American people and to families of victims of the violent incident at a synagogue in Pittsburgh today,” Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the U.S. wrote on Saturday night (27th).  “Houses of worship are meant to provide safe and spiritual refuge. Those who desecrate their sanctity attack all humanity.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain condemns the shooting that targeted a synagogue in Pennsylvania, the United States of America,” Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released Sunday morning (28th).  “The Ministry expresses its deep condolences to the victims’ families, wishing a speedy recovery to those injured as a result of this heinous act,” the statement continued.

“The State of Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the shooting incident that took place in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, causing death and injuries.   We reiterate Qatar’s firm stance rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of motives and reasons,” a statement read posted on Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Website.

The statement also expressed Qatar’s solidarity with the U.S. government, and expressed condolences from the State of Qatar to the victims’ families and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.



IDF Strikes Over 80 Targets in Gaza

The Israeli Air Force struck dozens of militant sites across the Gaza Strip early Saturday (27th) in response to some 30 rockets launched into Israel from Gaza, in the heaviest exchange of fire since August.  The Iron Dome intercepted 10 of the rockets. Seven people were evacuated to Barzilai Hospital as a result of the attack toward the border communities. Six had minor bodily injuries, and one was treated for anxiety.

On Saturday morning (27th), the Islamic Jihad terror organization claimed responsibility for the rocket fire  

According to the IDF, Syria and Iran ordered Islamic Jihad to launch the rockets.  

Israel’s response to the attack was intense, hitting over 80 Hamas sites, including Hamas’ headquarters, manufacturing sites for advanced weapons, training compounds, observation posts and more.

Even though Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket barrage, Israel holds Hamas responsible for any and all attacks that emanate from the coastal enclave.  

On Sunday (28th) a rocket was found on the grounds of a school in one of Israel’s border communities.

On Saturday evening (27th) residents of the border communities, via social media, announced they will not send their children to school until all rocket attacks and incendiary balloon terror stops, saying, “All of our communities are under continuous attack.”



PM: Israel Will Not Accept Any Ultimatum posed by Hamas

Israel will not accept any ultimatums from Hamas and its policy in Gaza will be dictated solely by its security interests, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday (28th).

Speaking ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu dismissed a demand by Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar, who reportedly urged Israel to pay Gaza’s rulers $15 million in cash every month or face an escalation in border violence and arson terrorism.

“There is no way Israel will accept any ultimatum posed by Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

The terrorist group further demanded that the first payment be made by Thursday (Nov.1st), according to Channel 12 news.

According to the report, Sinwar said the funds would go toward paying Hamas’ functionaries’ wages.  The demand seeks to circumvent the financial sanctions imposed on Gaza by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose Ramallah-based government has frozen the transfer of funds used to pay Hamas’ wages as part of efforts to wrest control of Gaza from Hamas.

The Cabinet discussed Hamas’ threats, as well as the recent border flare-up, at its weekly meeting Sunday (28th).

(israelhayom.com; reuters.com)