European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 20.04.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 20.04.2016

Major Headlines
  • Gay Pride stabber convicted of murder

Yishai Shlissel was convicted on Tuesday of murdering 16-year-old Shira Banki and stabbing five others at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last July, Yediot Aharonot reports.

"It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the plaintiff intentionally caused the death of Shira," ruled Judge Nava Ben-Or of the Jerusalem District Court.

The court issued a scathing critique of the police's management of the parade's security. "The ease with which the plaintiff successfully infiltrated the parade is beyond comprehension. The writing was on the wall."

Two months before the parade, Shlissel had finished serving a ten year sentence for a similar attack at the Gay Pride Parade in 2005. He was originally sentenced to 12 years in prison, but was released early on good behaviour.

Ahead of the parade on July 30, 2015, Shlissel expressed on several occasions, both in the media and in adverts published in ultra-Orthodox synagogues in Jerusalem and Kiryat Sefer, his opposition to holding the parade.

"Shira was a young, innocent, and a good-hearted person. She had hopes and dreams. The plaintiff, in his dark and cruel act, ended her life," the court said.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Man convicted for 2014 murder of Palestinian teen

Yosef Ben-David, 30, was convicted on Tuesday morning of murdering Palestinian teenager Mohamed Abu Khdeir in July 2014, after the Jerusalem District Court found him responsible for his actions, Yediot Aharonot reports.

In November, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that Ben-David committed the murder, but did not convict him because of a previous psychiatric assessment presented by his attorneys which questioned his sanity.

In February, however, a court-appointed psychiatrist determined that Ben-David was responsible for his actions and fit to stand trial. Furthermore, the psychiatrist determined that Ben-David's claims were not credible and he was only pretending to be insane.

But Ben-David’s defence team filed for further psychiatric evaluation. In a private opinion written by Dr. Yonathan Sirkin, it was determined that he committed the kidnapping and murder during a psychotic episode, and therefore is not responsible for his actions. 

The judges, however, determined that Ben-David did not have a psychotic episode, and was responsible for his actions.

Hussein, Abu Kdheir’s father, said at the end of the hearing, "We knew from the beginning that he was not crazy but rather a liar. It hurts us very much. The trial lasted too long, this is the 35th hearing. Every time we see him our blood boils."

 Ben-David and two minors, who were both convicted for their role in the murder, abducted the 16-year-old teenager and killed him by pouring petrol down his mouth and setting him on fire after the funeral of the three Jewish teens Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach who were kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Government offers funding to airlines that open new routes to Israel

Israel’s Tourism Ministry is launching a campaign this week to coax foreign airlines into opening new routes to Israel by offering each of them hundreds of thousands of shekels toward mounting advertising campaigns for travel to Israel, Ha’aretz reports.

The initiative has a budget of 50 million shekels but tourism officials are convinced that the money could bring in another 500,000 tourists to Israel annually, a major addition to the 3.1 million who came to Israel last year.

“We have already begun contacts with three companies in the market that have expressed an interest in hearing about the proposal and the working assumption is that if they are interested, others will be interested, too,” the ministry said in a statement.

The campaign comes as Israel struggles to lure back tourists after Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, which led some airlines to suspend service. Recession in Russia, which has emerged as a major source of foreign tourism for Israel, and the wave of stabbing attacks that broke out last October have also weighed on the tourism industry.

In the first quarter, tourist arrivals reached 593,000, unchanged from a year ago but down 17% from the same time in 2014 before Protective Edge.

The new programme goes into effect November 1 for one year. Airlines that qualify must guarantee they will operate routes with aircraft having places for at least 145 passengers, and can get as much as 3 million euros if they operate routes to multiple destinations, the ministry said.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
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