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Resources updated between Monday, August 05, 2019 and Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 11, 2019

Protesters wearing face masks to avoid tear gas in Hong Kong (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong: Police fire tear gas at protesters Document

August 10, 2019

Weapons and supplies found on the terrorists (Photo courtesy of the Israeli Defense Forces)

The Israeli military said on Saturday that a "large-scale terror attack" was thwarted as troops killed four Palestinians who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip, armed with AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, hunting knives and bolt cutters. The IDF released a number of photos of the seized weapons.

The military said in a statement that the incident began at 4:00 a.m. Saturday as lookout troops spotted four figures heading toward the border fence "in military formation" from the direction of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Forces from the IDF's Golani Brigade were alerted of the infiltration attempt and made their way to the area, the IDF said.

The four Gazans were killed by Israeli soldiers who "opened fire once one of the terrorists scaled the fence," the military said in an initial statement, adding that a hand grenade was launched at the troops during the clash but none of the soldiers were injured.

Palestinian media posted pictures of the infiltrators (below)

AFP earlier reported that an army spokeswoman told the French news agency that troops "opened fire after one of the terrorists scaled the barrier and hurled a grenade at the soldiers."

"One of the terrorists crossed into our territory and was shot, and three were killed along the concrete barrier at point-blank range," the IDF added later Saturday. An IDF tank also fired a cannon shot into the vicinity of the infiltration attempt.

The Gazan cell was armed with "Kalashnikov [AK-47] weapons, bags filled with equipment for cutting the fence, energy bars and dates for the possibility of a prolonged stay [on Israeli soil], grenades and pipe bombs," according to the military statement. The Palestinians were wearing improvised fatigues and had a medical box among their belongings.

"A large-scale terror attack was foiled here. It is not clear if the attack was intended to hurt soldiers or civilians, but a major attack has been thwarted," said IDF spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis.

Manelis added that the cell's preparedness and the amount of equipment and weaponry it carried, showed that there was a carefully prepared operation in motion.

The IDF said it holds terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, responsible. "The expectation is that Hamas will control events [in the Strip] and prevent them; it is therefore responsible for whatever happens in the Gaza Strip in these aspects," the military said.

Hamas said in response that the four Gazans "acted independently," the Ynet news site reported Saturday. "Israel's actions push Gaza's youth to respond to them independently," the terror organization said in a statement cited by Ynet. "Israel is being hit with the results of the constant pressure and rage in which the residents of Gaza live," the group added.

Palestinian media reported that some or all of the four were former Hamas terrorists. Conflicting reports late Saturday said they had quit the Gaza-ruling terror group or had been ejected from it.

Shortly after the infiltration attempt, Israeli aircraft targeted an outpost operated by Hamas near Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian news reports.

The incident comes as organizers of Friday's weekly protests and riots this week along the Israel-Gaza border called them off due to the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins on Sunday. Last Friday, some 6,000 Gazans took part in the protests.

Recent months saw a dramatic increase in the level of violence along the Gaza border, with near-nightly riots and airborne arson attacks, but the violence waned in recent weeks due to a de facto ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

However, tensions flared again earlier this week after West Bank after terrorists stabbed to death 18-year-old Dvir Sorek outside the settlement of Migdal Oz. His body was found in the predawn hours on Thursday outside the settlement where he was studying in seminary.

Overnight Friday-Saturday, IDF troops conducted search raids in the Palestinian village of Beit Kahil, near Hebron in the southern West Bank, according to Palestinian media reports. There were some clashes between villagers and Israeli soldiers but no injuries were reported.

Later Saturday, the IDF said four suspects were arrested in the village, including a woman and three men. The arrest came on the heels of an arrest on Friday by security forces of a 29-year-old suspect from the Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar, near Migdal Oz, during a door-to-door manhunt for the killers, according to Palestinian reports.

Soldiers also reportedly seized the car of the suspect over suspicions it was used in Wednesday's attack.

The Ynet news site said that Israeli security forces apparently knew the identity of the killer or killers.

There was no confirmation of Friday's arrest from the army, which said in a statement the manhunt for the terrorists was ongoing.

Sorek was studying at a seminary as part of a program combining Torah study and military service. He was last seen leaving the settlement Wednesday to buy books for his teachers in Jerusalem.

In an effort to locate the terrorists who carried out the Wednesday night attack, the Shin Bet security service, assisted by the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, launched a massive manhunt in the surrounding area on Thursday morning and the military deployed additional troops throughout the West Bank.

The military fears the terrorists may attempt to carry out additional attacks or serve as inspiration for other would-be attackers. These concerns were especially heightened in light of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday and the Jewish fast day of Tisha B'Av on Sunday.

Security forces were also reportedly concerned the terror cell behind the deadly stabbing attack may have split up, making the search effort more difficult. The group is believed to be receiving assistance to evade capture.

As of Thursday night, no one had taken responsibility for killing Sorek. However, two of the largest Palestinian terror groups - Hamas and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad - praised the attack and indicated it was a response to a recent wave of East Jerusalem demolitions carried out by Israel last month.

In a statement, Hamas said it praised "our people's heroic fighters who carried out the heroic operation that killed a soldier in the occupation's army." Hamas, a jihadist terror group, seeks to destroy Israel.

Hazem Qassim, a spokesperson for Hamas, told the Gaza-based Shehab news outlet that the attack was proof of the failure of security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority security forces.

The cooperation is seen as a key component to Israeli security operations in the West Bank and as a bulwark against Hamas.

In recent months, the Shin Bet warned that the Gaza-based Hamas has put considerable effort and resources into recruiting operatives to carry out attacks in the West Bank and Israel.

Large-scale terror attack thwarted as Israeli troops prevent Gaza infiltration Document

August 9, 2019

Indian police arresting a man in Kashmir (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

'Kashmiris will erupt': fear grips region as Indian crackdown bites Document

August 8, 2019

Boko Haram terrorists (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Kidnappings soar in Niger amid Boko Haram insurgency Document

A fire truck is dispatched to the scene of the fire, August 7, 2019 (Photo courtesy JNF/Moshe Baruchi)

Gazans renew arson balloon attacks on southern Israel Document

Dvir Sorek, 19, who was stabbed to death in a Palestinian terror attack on August 8, 2019. (Courtesy of the family)

Israeli Student Stabbed to Death in West Bank by Palestinian Terrorist Document

August 7, 2019

"The Department of State has used a working definition, along with examples, of anti-Semitism since 2010 (https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm). On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding 'working definition' of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest. This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition. As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.

Bucharest, 26 May 2016

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: 'With humanity still scarred by ...antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils' the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism.

On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

'Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for 'why things go wrong.' It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective - such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).

Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries."

Updated State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism Document

Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

"A corruption scandal involving sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation against whistleblowers and lots of business-class travel has gripped the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It represents a new low for Unrwa and an indictment of the idea of an international agency dedicated to a single interest. But it's also a unique opportunity to see behind the curtain of a billion-dollar U.N. bureaucracy and phase it out.

The allegations come from a leaked Unrwa ethics report completed in December 2018 exposed last week by Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse. The published account accuses Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl of appointing Maria Mohammedi, with whom he had a relationship "beyond the professional," to a newly created and fast-tracked role as senior adviser and flying her around the world in business class.
...
According to the report, Ms. Mohammedi's new job allowed her to join Mr. Krähenbühl on his busy and expensive travel schedule. Current and former Unrwa officials describe him as perpetually absent from Jerusalem, a submarine who "surfaces for a couple of days" of public meetings then "disappears into the unknown for protracted periods." Unrwa, which complains it's strapped for cash, would have footed the bill for all of it.

The commissioner-general's travel, the report explains, left chief of staff Hakam Shahwan in control of Unrwa's operations in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Mr. Shahwan himself stands accused of bullying staff, acting like a "thug," bypassing procedures for procurement and other financial decisions, and excessive partiality to the Palestinian Authority.
...
One lesson is that funders must demand internal controls, external audits and public access to information. Assurances regarding Palestinian needs aren't enough. Scrutiny is also needed for the Palestinian Authority, which uses foreign aid to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in pensions to terrorists and their families.

A second lesson concerns the danger of devoting an international organization to a single population. Unrwa was effectively taken over by Palestinians decades ago. Politicization began at the bottom with school curricula, but crept upward with senior managers calling for the Palestinian right of return..."

The U.N. Agency for Palestinians Is Even Worse Than You Imagine Article

August 6, 2019

A Yemeni child carrying U.N. supplies (File photo courtesy United Nations)

U.N. Workers Under Investigation For Allegedly Lining Their Own Pockets With Humanitarian Aid Article

Hong Kong protesters and police (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong protests: Police fire tear gas at demonstrators; protester injured by car-ramming Document

August 5, 2019

UNRWA flags (File photo courtesy social media)

U.N. Palestinian refugee agency reels over allegations of sexual misconduct, nepotism Article

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Jeremy Corbyn's leadership 'has radicalised some Labour members into attacking Israel and Jews' Article

An UNRWA school (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Belgium suspends UNRWA funds following reports of ethical misconduct Article