European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 21.03.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 21.03.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israeli victims in Istanbul blast named

The Israeli victims from Saturday's suicide bombing in Istanbul have been named as Simcha Damari, Jonathan Shor and Avraham Goldman, Ha’aretz reports.

The husband of Damari, a mother of four, was also wounded in the attack.

Forty-year-old Shor, a father of two from Tel Aviv, was celebrating his birthday in the Turkish capital with his wife, Inbal, who was wounded in the blast and underwent surgery in Turkey on Saturday night. The sixty-nine-year old Goldman was from Herzliya.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that two Israelis were killed in the bombing, adding that another Israeli was feared dead. 

On Sunday morning, an IDF rescue mission, aboard an air force plane, landed in Istanbul. The mission included representatives from the Home Front Command, the air force and medical corps, as well as an emergency room and operating theater.

Two planes carrying a Magen David Adom rescue mission and five Israelis – two men and three women – wounded in Istanbul landed in Israel overnight and on Sunday morning. The wounded Israelis, all in light to moderate condition, were taken to Sheba Medical Centre at Tel Hashomer and Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv for further treatment.

Another five wounded Israelis, were transported to Israel on Sunday afternoon. 

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Netanyahu slams Breaking the Silence

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused the human rights organisation Breaking the Silence of "crossing another red line" on Thursday following an investigative report aired on Israeli TV documenting the NGO's activists allegedly trying to obtain sensitive and classified operational intelligence about the IDF, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The Prime Minister said security investigative authorities were examining the issue."

The Channel 2 report claimed that Breaking the Silence worked to place its people in classified units in the IDF in order to gather information that the organisation could then use in its activities monitoring abuses in the West Bank. In addition, the report claimed that the NGO’s activists interviewed IDF veterans on issues that did not concern human rights, but rather military secrets.

The report is based on hidden-camera footage filmed by activists of the pro-settler right-wing organisation Ad Kan (“enough” in Hebrew). It shows Ron Zaidel, the head of Breaking the Silence's testimony gathering department, asking veteran soldiers a series of questions, including sensitive questions about the IDF's activity in the Gaza border area.

Following the report, Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon instructed the IDF's criminal investigation division (CID), the Information Security Department, and the Military Advocate General to launch an investigation to see whether released soldiers revealed classified information about their service. This follows a previous decision by Ya'alon to stop IDF cooperation with Breaking the Silence.

Breaking the Silence, meanwhile, denied the accusations made against them.

"We don't collect classified material and we don't monitor units," said Yuli Novak, the director of Breaking the Silence. "This is the work of several organisations that, alongside MKs from the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties, are working to silence those who seek to criticize the government and the occupation. We're working closely with the IDF censor, the only body authorised to determine what can be published and what cannot."

"Breaking the Silence has nothing to hide or fear, but Prime Minister Netanyahu's attempt to shut down Breaking the Silence and hurt soldiers and fighters who oppose the occupation should worry anyone who is concerned for the future of the State of Israel."

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also slammed the organisation, saying that "Breaking the Silence is undermining the State of Israel and causing it serious damage from both within and outside the country."

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Right-wing activist jailed for publishing terrorism handbook

An Israeli judge has jailed for two years the Jewish man who wrote an instruction manual for acts of violence against Palestinians, in a case linked to the deadly firebombing of a Palestinian family earlier this year, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Prosecutors said the digital document entitled "Kingdom of Evil" contained among other things instructions for arson attacks on houses.

"It is in its entirety incitement to criminal activity and clear directions for the commission of violence against the property and persons of the Arab community," said the judgment.

Moshe Orbach was arrested in July and charged with sedition, possession of material inciting violence and of racist material. He was convicted on all counts in February.

The prosecution linked the "Kingdom of Evil" document with the July terrorist arson attack on a house in the West Bank village of Duma that killed 18-month-old Palestinian Ali Saad Dawabsheh and his parents.

Two Israelis have been charged with the firebombing. The trial is still ongoing.

"The murder in Duma, carried out days after charges were filed, was carried out in a way similar to that described in the document," the court transcript quoted the prosecution as saying, without accusing Orbach of direct involvement.

The Duma killings prompted a police crackdown on other Jewish extremists, some of whom are suspected of a string of nationalist hate crimes targeting Palestinians, Christians and Israeli soldiers.

The prosecution says Orbach's manifesto, reportedly found on a USB drive in his car, called for the establishment of hermetically-sealed extremist groups which would be hard for Israeli security services to infiltrate.

"It is a document for conspiracy which calls for setting up small terror cells insulated from one another," the court document said. "It is an open call for revolt against the government, acts of murder and violence."

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Monday, March 21, 2016
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