Resources updated between Monday, October 26, 2015 and Sunday, November 01, 2015
November 1, 2015
A monitoring group and activists said on Sunday that Syrian rebels had locked people in cages and driven them to areas near Damascus to use as human shields against heavy government air raids.
A video posted online by the Shaam News Network, an opposition media outlet, showed men and women in iron cages being driven on the back of pickup trucks through what it said was the area of Eastern Ghouta, northeast of the capital.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had information from Eastern Ghouta residents that the people being used as human shields were military officers and their families who had been captured by rebels in the area.
Reuters was unable to verify the video footage.
Syrian government missiles hit a crowded marketplace in the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta on Friday, killing at least 70 people, according to the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
Government warplanes have been pounding the area and a strike hit a hospital this week, MSF said.
The air raids continue as fighting intensifies in the four-year civil war between Syrian forces loyal to the government backed by Russian air cover on one side, and an array of insurgents including Islamist groups on the other.
October 30, 2015
Two yeshiva students were injured in a terrorist attack near the light rail station on Jerusalem's Ammunition Hill Friday afternoon.
The two victims, 22 and 20 years old, were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Medical center for medical treatment; They sustained light-to-moderate injuries.
While one victim was stabbed in the upper chest by the terrorist, the second injury came after police attempted to stop the attacker and instead accidentally shot the second victim in the leg.
The terrorist was subdued after the incident and is in critical condition.
According to Jerusalem police, the terrorist, armed with a knife, approached the yeshiva students. He managed to stab and wound one; The other managed to escape uninjured.
At that point, security guards stationed at the nearby light rail station ran to assist the victims. In their attempt to subdue the attacker, a security guard accidentally shot the second victim in the leg.
The attack was the second within the hour.
Less than an hour earlier, two Palestinian assailants approached the West Bank Tapuah Junction roadblock on a scooter. At that point they drew their knives and attempted to stab a border guard stationed at the crossing, according to a statement released by police.
One of the attackers managed to lightly injure one of the officers on the hand before the assailants were shot and subdued by an additional Border Guard stationed at the post.
One was killed in the incident, while the other remains in critical condition.
The injured officer was treated at the scene and remains in light condition.
On Thursday, an Israeli soldier and a pregnant woman were lightly injured by Palestinians as violence continued to rage in the West Bank, primarily around the Hebron area.
Security forces killed two knife wielding Palestinians in two separate incidents that occurred within hours of each other in Hebron.
The day of violence began in the morning, at a spot in Hebron called Check- point 160 – on the road from Kiryat Arba to the Cave of the Patriarchs – where a Palestinian assailant stabbed and lightly wounded an IDF soldier in the head.
The officer quickly recovered from the attack and chased the assailant who tried to stab a border policeman at the scene.
Another Border Police officer standing nearby shot and killed the assailant, according to a police statement. The soldier was treated at the scene and transported by a Magen David Adom ambulance to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem.
A few hours later outside of Hebron, Palestinians threw stones at cars on Route 60 near by the village of Beit Einun. A pregnant woman was lightly injured in the face by glass shards from the shattered window of her vehicle.
A terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli soldier Friday afternoon at a West Bank junction by the settlement of Beit El.
According to initial reports, the knife wielding terrorist was run over by Border Police forces on sight, and taken in for investigation.
An additional Palestinian threw a molotov cocktail at the forces, and riots broke out on the scene; No one was injured in the incident.
The attack was the third of the day, following an attack on Jerusalem's Ammunition Hill which left two Yeshiva boys injured, and an attempt in the West Bank's Tapuah Junction which lightly injured a Border Guard on patrol at the post.
The beheaded bodies of a Syrian activist opposed to the Islamic State group and his friend were found early Friday in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa.
Ibrahim Abdul Qader, 20, and his friend Fares Hamadi were found beheaded at home this morning.
The shocking news was confirmed by Abu Mohammad, a founder of the 'Raqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently' group, who posted hte news on social media.
The acctivist group, which documents abuses in areas under IS control in Syria, accused the jihadist organisation of the murders on its Facebook page.
Several prominent ISIS accounts on social media have claimed the vile jihadi group was responsible for the horrific assassination in Turkey.
'I don't know what to say. One of our member called ' Ibrahim ' and another friend 'Fares' was found slaughtered in their house today morning,' activist Abu Mohammad wrote.
'I'm sorry I could not do anything for you. We promised each other to return to our country I'm sorry I can't fulfill my promise, I could not protect you.'
Both victims were from the ISIS held city of Raqqa but had fled to Turkey around a year ago.
Members of the activist group had been killed inside Syria in the past, but this is the first time a member had been killed outside the country.
The jihadi group released a video on social media yesterday showing the execution of four media activists.
All four men were forced to wear red boiler suits and were taken out to a remote part of the Syrian countryside before they were executed.
Seven Syrians were arrested by Turkish police following the beheadings, according to Dohan media agency in Turkey.
Sanliurfa is 55 kilometres (35 miles) from Turkey's border with Syria's Raqa province, a major IS stronghold in the country.
Turkey has long been accused by Syrian opposition activists, Kurdish fighters and sometimes even Western partners of allowing IS members to slip back and forth across its 911-kilometre (566-mile) frontier with Syria.
Bloody bomb attacks in southern Turkey, including an attack in July that claimed 32 lives in Suruc, have been blamed on IS, though the group has never claimed responsibility for the blasts.
October 29, 2015
An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded with a cut to his face in a stabbing attack in Hebron on Thursday morning that continued a wave of similar attacks beginning approximately one month ago.
The Israeli victim is a member of the IDF's Kfir Brigade.
After wounding the soldier, the assailant, 22-year-old Hebron resident Mahadi al-Muhatseb, reportedly tried to attack a border policeman who shot and killed the individual.
In a separate incident, a currently unidentified attacker attempted to stab someone near Beit Hadassah in Hebron.
The attacker was shot and killed by soldiers in the Givati brigade who were on the scene.
No other injuries were initially reported.
October 28, 2015
Palestinian terrorist stabbed a mother of eight in the back at the Gush Etzion junction late Wednesday afternoon.
Nirit Zimora, of the Beit Hagai settlement in the South Hebron Hills, was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with the knife still in her back.
She underwent surgery and was listed in satisfactory condition.
Security forces surrounded and arrested the terrorist. This is the third attack in the Gush Etzion region since Sunday and the second at that junction.
On Tuesday, soldiers killed two Palestinian terrorists who stabbed a 19-year-old soldier in the face at a bus stop.
Wednesday's attack occurred just outside the parking lot of the Rami Levi supermarket, in an area that is often considered an oasis of coexistence. Palestinian and Israelis shop and work in its stores, particularly Rami Levi.
The head of the parking lot's security, Daniel Twizer, said the Palestinian man arrived at the junction in a cab and approached the parking lot beside the Rami Levi supermarket.
He apparently intended to enter the lot, but was scared off by its guard in front of the lot, Twizer speculated.
Instead, he attacked the first woman he saw. The knife's handle broke from the force of the blow and the knife remained in her back, Twizer said.
The Rami Levi security guard saw the stabbing and ran in their direction, shouting "terrorist."
Soldiers and other bystanders joined him in confronting the attacker.
The terrorist grabbed the woman and held her in front of him, trying to prevent the guard from shooting him. He then let her go and ran in the direction of the road, where he was caught.
Bystanders placed the wounded Zimora into a nearby car and Twizer went to help her. "I looked to see if there were any other wounds," he said, adding that there were none.
He and security guards searched the area to make sure the suspect had no accomplices.
Following the attack, the staff of the junction's Rosa restaurant published a short video on WhatsApp in which they urged customers not to be afraid and to continue to come to the shopping center.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl said the terrorist had taken advantage of the lifestyle of coexistence at the shopping center to attack an innocent woman.
He called on the Israeli government to move from a defensive stance into an offensive one, to prevent such attacks from becoming a new and dangerous norm.
Earlier in Hebron, soldiers killed a Palestinian wouldbe stabber who drew a knife on them just outside the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, close to where soldiers killed another knife-wielding terrorist the day before.
One soldier was stabbed and his two assailants killed in a terrorist attack at the Gush Etzion junction Tuesday evening in another day of violence in the West Bank.
Later, in a separate incident, soldiers killed a Palestinian assailant who pulled a knife on them at a checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, in a section of the city under Israeli military and civil control.
Earlier in the day, some 1,000 Palestinians rallied in Hebron to demand that Israel return the bodies of 11 assailants killed by its security forces this month. The cabinet decided to delay the return of the bodies until calm is restored in the West Bank amid fears the massive funerals for the attackers, who the Palestinians view as martyrs, would incite further attacks against Israel.
The IDF said the rally turned violent, with Palestinians burning tires and throwing stones and bottles at the soldiers.
Photos showed masked Palestinians with slingshots and fire shooting out from stacks of tires.
Video footage posted on YouTube showed what looked like thousands of protesters waving Palestinians flags and photos of the Palestinians killed by the IDF and Border Police in recent violence.
Protesters filled the streets near the Policeman's checkpoint, on the side of the city under the control of the Palestinian Authority, chanting "Palestine," "Al-Aksa" and "Allahu Akbar," as IDF soldiers looked on warily.
The IDF broke up the rally in a massive barrage of tear gas and stun grenades, as well as rubber and .22 caliber bullets. Video footage showed protesters fleeing in all directions with in seconds.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, some 87 Palestinian were wounded from tear gas inhalation; 44 from rubber bullets; and 20 from live ammunition.
Hebron and Gush Etzion have been the scene of numerous violent Palestinian attacks and riots in the last few days.
On Tuesday evening, soldiers stopped two suspicious looking Palestinians at the busy Gush Etzion junction, and one of whom stabbed a 19-year-old soldier of the Shimshon unit, who was guarding the area. Other soldiers from the unit opened fire and killed the two attackers; Palestinian social media showed the bodies of the two young men lying in pools of blood by the bus stop.
Jabar Assat, a Magen David Adom paramedic, said the soldier had facial wounds and was transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
"When we arrived, he was conscious and standing," said Assat, who added that an IDF medical team treated the soldier at the scene, before he was placed in an ambulance.
Sections of Route 60 were temporarily shut down as a result of the incident.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl, who arrived at the scene, said the attack would not deter area residents from continuing with their normal lives.
"We will continue to live here and fight terrorism. We will not give up," Perl said.
This was the second such incident on Route 60 this week. On Monday, closer to Hebron near the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beit Einun, a Palestinian stabbed and seriously injured a soldier.
In the Gush Etzion region on Sunday, a Palestinian stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli civilian near the settlement of Metzad after he exited his vehicle because Palestinians had thrown rocks at it.
October 26, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken flack for his comments this week that overstated the influence that Haj Amin al-Husseini had on Adolf Hitler, but a leading historian says that al-Husseini nevertheless played a key role in Hitler's plans outside of Europe.
Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz's book on Hitler's relationship with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is being credited as the source of Netanyahu's belief that it was al-Husseini who convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews rather than deport them from Europe.
Schwanitz, a scholar at the Middle East Forum, says that Netanyahu "exaggerated" his claim but insists that the broader argument that there has been a "long-standing incitement of people against Jews" emanating from the Middle East since the 1920s is "certainly correct."
Netanyahu said that al-Husseini went to Hitler and told him that expelling the Jews from Europe was not an option, "If you expel [the Jews], they'll all come here." Al-Husseini then suggested that Hitler "burn them" instead, according to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's remarks were accurate concerning al-Husseini's influence on Hitler's immigration policy, according to Schwanitz.
Al-Husseini wanted Hitler to end Germany's standing immigration policy-kept in place by Hitler when he took power in 1933-which allowed for roughly 10,000 Jews to leave Germany each year and travel to British Mandate Palestine.
"It was a most disturbing factor for al-Husseini that Berlin would facilitate Jewish travel to Palestine," said Schwanitz. "He wanted to fight this immigration by all means. This was his goal: Whatever happens with Jews under Hitler's reign in Europe, they should not come to the Middle East."
Al-Husseini got his way. Early in 1941, Hitler agreed to a pact advanced by al-Husseini that there would be no more Jewish immigration to Arab countries allowed.
This did not mean that Hitler's plan for the Jews prior to meeting with al-Husseini involved only deportation, as Netanyahu suggested.
"Hitler made known his intent to kill Jews since 1920," said Schwanitz. "In Mein Kampf, 1925, you find all the racist reasoning and all the means on how to eradicate the Jews."
Al-Husseini was aware of Hitler's view, aided by the fact that Arabic was the first foreign languageMein Kampf was translated into.
Al-Husseini would end up knowing more about Hitler's plans than anybody else outside of Europe. Schwanitz says that al-Husseini was the only foreign guest Hitler ever received who was told the details of Hitler's plan for the Jews.
"Hitler always talked about 'world Jewry' and that the Jews were an international problem that needed to be solved," said Schwanitz. "He assured Al-Husseini at that meeting that he would urge all nations to solve their Jewish problem."
"There is no other document available where Hitler told a foreign guest, in utmost clarity, what he intends to do-to eradicate the Jews in three steps," he said.
Hitler's plan was to first rid Europe of Jews, then the Middle East, and then the rest of the world-and he had a role for al-Husseini in this plan. When the two met, Hitler told him that once the plan reached its Middle East stage, al-Husseini was his man to lead that effort.
"There was an oral agreement between al-Husseini and Hitler-we have ample documentation about this talk," said Schwanitz. "Hitler told the Mufti that he would be the Arab leader to execute his plan in the Middle East, and the Mufti agreed."
Schwanitz says that just before Hitler met with al-Husseini in Berlin, he told his Italian allies that the war in Russia was already won, thus opening the door for an invasion of the Middle East through the Caucuses.
"Hitler thought that he would be able to conquer the Middle East either through Egypt or through the Caucuses," said Schwanitz. "As he met with al-Husseini, he thought that the war against Russia was basically won and it was time to turn towards the Middle East."
There were specific plans in place for al-Husseini and his allies to greet the invading German armies to provide support once they reached the southern exit of the Caucuses. The invading army would then "liberate" the Middle East from French and British control and leave it under the leadership of al-Husseini.
Al-Husseini had already been helpful by recruiting and training Muslims to join the Nazi SS. Following the war, Yugoslavia declared him a war criminal due to the atrocities committed by the Muslim units he put together.
Schwanitz explains that al-Husseini was eventually removed from the list by Yugoslavia-not because he was found to be innocent of war crimes, but because of fears of backlash from the Muslim world. He was allowed to travel back to Egypt, where he was able to reestablish himself as a leader of Palestinian Arabs in the fight against establishing a Jewish state.
Schwanitz acknowledges that even if al-Husseini had not existed, "the Nazis would have done what they did anyway" and "perhaps would have relied on another person like the Mufti"-but they didn't need to. Al-Husseini began to contact Hitler just as he came to power in 1933 and was a reliable partner in his "uncompromising war against the Jews."
Schwanitz faulted Netanyahu for misspeaking in his "attempt to be anecdotal," but said that the broader argument he was attempting to make during his remarks was correct.
"The general argument Netanyahu made was certainly correct-If you want to stop the current fighting, the incitement has to stop," said Schwanitz.
"Since the 1920s, there is a long-standing incitement of people against Jews, for various reasons. This is easily proven."
Palestinian stabbed a 19-year old IDF soldier in the neck on Monday morning near the Beit Einun junction by the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba.
The young man was seriously injured in the upper part of his body. Magen David Adom evacuated him to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
As of Monday afternoon, the army said the soldier continues to be listed as being in serious condition by hospital doctors.
Security forces shot and killed the terrorist.
A MDA paramedic said that when they arrived at the scene the victim had multiple stab wounds and was conscious. "We gave him life saving treatment so he could be moved quickly into surgery upon arrival at the hospital. On the way [to the hospital], we worked to stop his bleeding."
Paramedic Aharon Adler said that they were in touch with the Shaare Tzedek's trauma unit from the ambulance and that upon arrival the victim was wheeled immediately into surgery.
On Sunday, Palestinian assailants injured two Israelis in two separate attacks, one in the Gush Etzion Region of the West Bank and the other near the city of Ariel in the Samaria Region.
Border police killed a 17-year Palestinian in Hebron who came at them with knife near the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque, which is located in the Cave of the Patriarchs Compound.
Two Israelis were moderately wounded in stabbing attacks in the West Bank on Sunday while another incident in Hebron resulted in a female attacker being seriously wounded by security forces.
One of the wounded Israelis was attaked in the early evening near the town of Ariel. The attacker fled the scene and police only captured a 26-year-old Palestinian suspect later who may have arrived in Ariel on a bus line that transports both Israeli settlers and Palestinian workers.
Earlier in the morning, an Israeli was also moderately wounded in Gush Etzion.
The Israeli's car was pelted with stones at the entrance to the settlement of Metzad. He was hit in the head, causing him to pull over and leave his vehicle. He was then stabbed by a Palestinian man.
The Israeli opened fire at the terrorist and wounded him, but the terrorist managed to flee the scene, likely towards the nearby village of Si'ir.
Because there is no cell reception in the area, the wounded Israeli had to drive up the road towards the entrance gate to Metzad, where he called for help.
IDF troops called to the scene were searching for him. During searches in the village of Si'ir, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded from stones being thrown at him. The army is also looking into the possibility there was more than one terrorist.
The settler, 58, was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem with a head injury after being hit from a stone, and stab wounds to his chest.