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Resources updated Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December 12, 2017

A rocket midair as it is intercepted

IDF tanks and IAF fighter jets attacked Hamas military positions in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Monday in retaliation for the rocket fire on Ashkelon.

The rocket, which was launched around 11:30pm, triggering Code Red alarms in multiple communities in Ashkelon and the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system. No one was harmed and no damage was reported.

   In addition to the intercepted missile, the Iron Done system identified more rockets launched from the strip, leading to Code Red sirens being sounded from Netiv HaAsara near the Gaza border, all the way to Kfar Silver on the outskirts of Ashkelon. 

   Among the communities in which the Code Red alarm was triggered were also Berekhya, Hodaya, Mash'en, Nir Yisrael, Beit Shikma, Bat Hadar, Ge'a, Zikim, Karmia, and Yad Mordechai. 

Another rocket was launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip earlier Monday, and detonated in open land within the Eshkol Regional Council on the Gaza perimeter. No physical or material damage was caused. The IDF confirmed it retaliated to the rocket launch using armored and air forces targeting Hamas posts near the border fence in southern Gaza.

  It was cleared for publication Sunday the IDF had exploded a Hamas terror tunnel reaching hundreds of meters into Israeli territory.

In response, Hamas threatened that "the enemy must be afraid and know it will pay a price for breaking the rules of engagement with the Gaza resistance. The coming days will prove the enormity of the enemy's mistake and miscalculation as to the resistance's willpower."

A barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza Strip at Israel Document

North Korean defector Ji-Hyeon-A

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea where one defector spoke about how she was forced to have an abortion following her repatriation from China.

The woman, Ji Hyeon-A, describes a harrowing scene of prison dogs eating dead bodies at her prison camp. She pleaded for the world to act.

The event was titled "The Terrifying experience of forcibly Repatriated North Korean women," and was sponsored by the U.S. France, Japan, South Korea, Canada and the U.K.

Ji Hyeon-A was repatriated three times to North Korea after she was caught in China. She finally escaped to South Korea and spoke of her horrifying experiences.

She described how North Korean women who got pregnant in China were forced to have abortions.

"Pregnant women were forced into harsh labor all day," she said. "At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers."

North Korea does not allow for mixed-race babies, she said. At one detention center, she described how inmates starved to death. Their dead bodies, she said, were given to the guard dogs for food.

The third time Ji Hyeon-A got caught and sent back to North Korea she was three months pregnant. She tearfully described how she was forced to have an abortion without medication at a local police station.

"My first child passed away without ever seeing the world," she said, "without any time for me to apologize."

She finally reached South Korea in 2007 and has since been reunited with her mother, brother and her younger sister. She still has not heard news of her father.

Ji-Hyeon-A said that the North Korean soldier who recently escaped to South Korea "represents a dash toward freedom which is a dream of 25 million North Koreans."

She said North Korea was "a terrifying prison and the Kim's are carrying out a vast massacre and it takes a miracle to survive there."

She criticized the Chinese government for sending North Koreans back to the regime, and urged the Chinese government to stop repatriating people back to the Hermit Kingdom, saying they know what will happen to them when they get there.

Ji-Hyeon-A urged the U.N. and world leaders to fight for North Korean defectors and especially those who are repatriated.

She recited a poem called "Is anyone there?" from a collection of poems she wrote.

"I am scared, is anyone there? I'm here in hell, is anyone there? I scream and yell but no one opens the door. Is anyone there? Please listen to our moans and listen to our pain. Is anyone there? People are dying, my friend is dying. I call out again and again but why don't you answer. Is anyone there?"

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft, praised Ji-Hyeon-A for speaking at the event, and said the crimes discussed, which included, "forced abortions, summary executions, hard labor, rape: those are conditions that amount to crimes against humanity," he said.

Earlier in the day China had tried to stop a Security Council meeting convened by Japan on the human rights situation in North Korea. China only had the support of Russia and Bolivia and failed in its attempt to stop it from moving forward.

At the Security Council meeting, Haley said the full story of the North Korean people needed to be told.

"The regime is using that power to develop an unnecessary arsenal and support enormous conventional military forces that pose a grave risk to international peace and security," she said.

"Their menacing march towards nuclear weapons begins with the oppression and exploitation of ordinary North Korean people."

Haley said the situation was made possible "through the export of workers abroad to earn hard currency and the use of forced labor at home, the regime uses its people to underwrite its nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

She said the Kim regime has imprisoned an estimated 100,000 people.

"The North Korean regime's system of guilt-by-association," she said, "allows for up to three generations of family members to be imprisoned along with the accused."

North Korean defector describes forced abortion, said bodies fed to dogs in prison Document

Knife found on the Hebron teenager

Border Police officers on Tuesday arrested a Palestinian teenager who tried to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron with a knife. At a security checkpoint at the entrance to the holy site, a box cutter was discovered hidden on the teenager's person, according to police.

The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.

Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.

The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.

Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.

Palestinian teen caught with knife at entrance to Tomb of the Patriarchs Document

City of Salfit where the stabbing attempt took place

The army on Tuesday launched an investigation after soldiers shot a Palestinian who they said appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket, though no such weapon was recovered at the scene.

In a statement, the IDF said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel settlement "in a suspicious manner."

The soldiers opened fire at one of the suspects after he "appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket," the army said.

However, upon searching the area, near the Palestinian village of Salfit, the military found no knife, indicating the soldiers apparently opened fire in error.

The Palestinian was seriously injured, suffering a head wound.

Israeli army medics treated the wounded Palestinian on the scene, before taking him to the hospital.

"The incident will be reviewed," the army said.

The army's statement, released Tuesday evening, conflicted with earlier reports from the afternoon, which claimed the injured Palestinian had been throwing rocks at soldiers and when confronted by them, took out a knife and tried to stab them.

An army spokesperson said she would not comment on the reports of rock throwing or on anything that happened prior to the shooting.

"It's all being investigated," she said.

Th incident came hours after the IDF arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife outside Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.

On Sunday, an Israeli security guard was stabbed and seriously injured outside the Jerusalem bus station by a Palestinian terrorist, who was later apprehended.

A rock-throwing Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab soldiers in West Bank Document