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Resources updated between Monday, February 26, 2018 and Sunday, March 04, 2018

March 4, 2018

The scene of a car-ramming attack in the Israeli city of Acre

Two Israeli soldiers and one civilian were wounded in a car-ramming assault in the northern city of Acre on Sunday. Police have confirmed that the incident was a nationalistically motivated terror attack.

The attack took place near the city's central train station. The driver of the car was shot by a soldier at the scene and taken to a hospital in critical condition.

His name has not been released, but the Hebrew news site Mako identified him as a resident of the Israeli-Arab town of Shfaram.

Police official Benny Avaliya stated, "There is almost 100 percent - if not 100 percent - certainty that we are dealing with a terror attack."

The driver apparently first struck a policeman, then proceeded to hit two young soldiers nearby.

Eli Bin, an official with the Magen David Adom emergency service, told Israel's Channel 2 that paramedics arrived at the scene and found that the victims were lightly wounded. They were quickly evacuated to a hospital in the nearby town of Nahariya.

Magen David Adom's Dovi Richter, who was at the scene, said, "I saw two young people around 20 fully conscious. They lay at the side of the road and suffered from light wounds in the head and body. I gave them first aid. I put them in the ambulance and we brought them in good condition to the hospital in Nahariya. We also treated a man around 51 who was wounded in the legs."

Paramedic Shai Markovitz of emergency service Hatzalah gave first aid to the attacker, saying, "I found a driver who was critically injured after having suffered multiple gunshot wounds."

Markovitz noted a heavy police presence at the scene, saying, "Police and security forces were controlling the area in force and were investigating the incident."

Member of Knesset Zouheir Bahloul, who lives in Acre, expressed hope that "we are not talking about an intentional terror attack, and I call on all residents of the city to practice restraint and tolerance. I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded and hope that we will quickly return to a healthy routine in the city."

Four Wounded in Car-Ramming Terror Attack in Israeli City of Acre Document

March 2, 2018

Only men can attend football matches in Iran

They tried to go to a game between Tehran teams Esteqlal and Persepolis. Iran said they were temporarily held and would be released after the match.

Fifa's president, Gianni Infantino, was also in attendance, along with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar.

A live broadcast was taken off the air when a journalist asked Mr Soltanifar when women would be allowed to attend football matches.

According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Iranian interior ministry spokesman Seyyed Salman Samani said the female football fans were not arrested - but transferred to a "proper place" by police.

Earlier reports said two women were held.

Iran has barred women from attending football games since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

There were calls on social media before the match for women to protest against the ban outside the Azadi stadium today.

Women's rights activist Masih Alinejad on Wednesday called on women to attend Thursday's match.

"The Fifa president will be in the stadium tomorrow (1 March)," she wrote.

"I wish women would gather outside the stadium to ask men not to enter without them."

Another user said it was a "basic right" for women to enter stadiums with men, and said this match was "the best chance to break the 35-year-old taboo".

Azadi means "freedom" stadium in Persian, and one Twitter user pointed out the hypocrisy of "naming a stadium freedom but banning half the population from entering".

Why this game?

The women caught sneaking into the stadium were trying to attend a particularly significant game, one being watched by the most powerful man in world football, Fifa's boss.

It seems they wanted to attract Mr Infantino's attention to the ban on women attending games.

And the sensitivity of the issue was apparent as Mr Infantino stood beside the country's sports minister during a live TV interview.

A journalist asked this awkward question about when the ban might be lifted. The sound was faded down, and the interview abruptly taken off the air.

'Politics should stay out of football'

Mr Infantino had been speaking to reporters about a two-year dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Since 2016, when Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Iran, Saudi clubs have refused to play there, forcing Iranian teams to play home games in Oman.

"It's very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics," Mr Infantino said the news conference.

"There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact," he said.

Later on, the head of Fifa met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Mr Rouhani asked Fifa to make sure that "people are not deprived of watching competitions in their own stadiums".

Iran detains 35 women for going to football match Document

March 1, 2018

A United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy (File photo)

Aid convoy blocked in Syria despite U.N. ceasefire order Article

February 28, 2018

An Indonesian Christian is flogged Tuesday in a public square in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

"Two Indonesian Christians were publicly whipped for gambling, a rare case of non-Muslims being punished in a province that's imposed strict Islamic law in the world's most-populous Muslim-majority country.

The man and woman, residents of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra island, were whipped at least six times each Tuesday by a robed man wearing a mask and wielding a rattan cane. Hundreds of onlookers jeered them as the punishment was carried out on a stage next to a mosque in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.

The pair were punished for playing a game at a children's entertainment complex in a way authorities say amounted to gambling, said Yusnardi, head of Banda Aceh's Shariah police force, which enforces laws rooted in Islamic faith. Gambling is illegal across this country of 250 million people. A Muslim man involved in the case received at least 19 strokes.

Details on what the game entailed weren't immediately clear.

Separately, an unmarried Muslim man and woman received more than 20 lashes each for the offense of being intimate together.

The sentences brought swift condemnation from human-rights groups. 'Corporal punishment is torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture, which Indonesia has ratified,' said Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia governed by Shariah law, under a measure of autonomy allowed to settle a separatist conflict. But the country as a whole faces increasing challenges from conservatives pushing an Islamic agenda.

Last year, hardliners succeeded in a campaign to imprison the Christian governor of Jakarta for blasphemy. A revision of the criminal code is currently under negotiation, including provisions pushed by Islamic parties that would imprison homosexuals or unmarried cohabiting heterosexuals.

Some 98 percent of Aceh's five million people are Muslims and are subject to Shariah. They can face flogging for offenses including drinking alcohol, adultery, gay sex, gambling or having romantic relationships before marriage. The province's Shariah courts are imposing hundreds of whippings a year.

The minority who aren't Muslims have a choice of being punished under either the civil code or Shariah. Some choose flogging to avoid lengthy prison terms. Last month, a Christian was sentenced to 36 lashes for selling alcohol.

Indonesia has long struggled with a minority of extremists. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda killed hundreds of people in bombings-and the country has been on the lookout for possible returnees among the Indonesians who joined Islamic State in the Middle East.

Prominent groups of the country's bombing survivors declined this week to participate in meetings orchestrated by officials to allow reformed terrorist convicts to make formal, face-to-face apologies to victims."

Indonesian Christians Flogged in Shariah Punishment Document

Antisemitic graffiti spray painted on a Jewish home in Staten Island, New York

Antisemitic incidents spike 57 percent in 2017, report says Article

February 27, 2018

An Iranian woman protesting

Iranian security officers have arrested two women who protested against the compulsory hijab in Tehran by removing their head scarves in public and waving them while standing on utility boxes.

Shaparak Shadizadeh, one of the two women arrested, was taken into custody on February 21. Her family said she was beaten up during the arrest.

Another woman was reportedly arrested on February 22.

A video shows a police officer kicking her down from a utility box where she had staged her peaceful protest.

More than two dozen women in recent weeks have protested against a law requiring women to wear the Islamic veil in public.

Iranian police said in early February that they arrested 29 women who removed their head scarves in public.

Women's dress has been heavily scrutinized in the Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution, when adherence to an Islamic dress code became compulsory.

The dress code dictates that women's hair and body must be covered in public.

Morality police launch regular crackdowns on those who are not fully respecting rules relating to the hijab.

Iran Arrests Two More Women For Protesting Compulsory Hijab Document

Two Arab-Israelis arrested for planning an attack on the Temple Mount

Shin Bet foils ISIS-inspired attack on Temple Mount Document

February 26, 2018

The Security Council (File photo)

U.N. Security Council adopts toothless Syrian ceasefire resolution Development