European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 09/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 09/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Five Israeli Arabs jailed for seeking to join ISIS

Five men from the north of Israel were sent to prison on Thursday for trying to join the Islamic State.

The five, from Sakhnin and Deir Hanna, were given prison sentences ranging from two and a half to six years. Another man, the primary defendant and the leader of the group, is still on trial.

The five were convicted as part of a plea bargain.

The defendants used to meet frequently in the Sakhnin area starting in early 2014 in order to discuss ISIS and its ideology, expressing support for radical Islam, the charge sheet said.

The group practiced fighting by slaughtering sheep in order to “strengthen their hearts,” they said, according to the indictment.

One of them, Karim Abu Salah, planned to fly to Turkey and then enter Syria in order to join ISIS. But he was detained by the Shin Bet at Ben-Gurion International Airport and blocked from leaving Israel. After this incident, Abu Salah continued to meet the group and discuss ISIS.

Haifa District Judge Yechiel Lifshitz wrote in his verdict that the seriousness of the defendants’ acts was indisputable.

“They voluntarily joined a murderous organization … which upholds a Salafi-Jihadist ideology and stands for, even if not immediately, destroying Israel and every other state, Muslim and otherwise, that doesn’t adhere to its approach to Sharia law,” the judge said.

The judge noted in his verdict that the defendants had expressed regret and said they had been influenced by social networks and media reports. He added that they did not have criminal records. 

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Netanya mayor to remain in police custody

Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg- Ikar will remain in police custody until Sunday, after the Lod District Court rejected her appeal for release, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Police arrested the mayor on Wednesday on suspicion of accepting bribes worth millions of shekels, in a widespread corruption case that has shaken the Netanya Municipality.

Despite Feirberg-Ikar’s appeal, Lod District Court judge Erez Yekuel said that there was reasonable suspicion in connection to police allegations to warrant Feirberg-Ikar’s detention, and her release could disrupt the ongoing police investigation.

However, her remand was shortened by one day, until Sunday.

Supt. Elisha Kogan, who represented the police in court, accused the suspect of “concealment and obfuscation.”

The police investigation centres on the Coral luxury housing project in Netanya. Feirberg is suspected of not disclosing her 2.5 percent stake in the building when granting the building’s developers favourable zoning and building permits.

Three suspects arrested on Monday in connection with the corruption investigation also had their appeals denied, and will remain in police remand. Among the three is the mayor’s son, Tzafrir Feirberg, contractor Avraham Tshuva, attorney Avraham Gogig and architect Gabi Tetro. The judge did not allow the release of the suspects, but shortened Tetro’s detention by one day, also until Sunday.

Feirberg-Ikar’s ex-husband, Eliyahu Feirberg, who was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes on Fierberg-Ikar’s behalf and of money laundering, had his remand extended by six days.

One of four women mayors in Israel, Feirberg-Ikar is a Likud pillar and is close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. She has served as Netanya’s mayor for 18 years.

In an interview with Ynet, Feirberg-Ikar’s lawyer, Nati Simchoni, said that Feirberg-Ikar feels sickly behind bars. Simchoni also castigated police for creating a “Kafkaesque” situation in which Feirberg-Ikar sits behind bars along with her ex-husband and son. “This arrest is really unnecessary, in our opinion it has no justification,” Simchoni said.

Click here to read the full article in Jeusalem Post


  • Minister says Shabbat work on railways to resume

Labour and Welfare Minister Haim Katz has decided to resume infrastructure and maintenance work at Israel Railways on Shabbat, despite the political crisis it sparked over the past two weeks, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Katz, who is in charge of issuing Shabbat work permits as part of his role as the labour minister, said he intends to allow the work that is necessary for the weekend and examine every week the planned work to determine what must be done on Shabbat and what can be postponed to a weekday.

According to Katz, "Work concerning safety that has to be done on Shabbat—will be done. Work that there is no other choice but to do it on Shabbat—will be done. At the same time, the sanctity of Shabbat will also be kept. The difference is that with me, things will be done quietly and without shouting. Where the work is not necessary—it won't be done (on Shabbat)."  

"For years now, there is work on Shabbat, and work on Shabbat will continue in the future. This was a lot of noise for no real reason," he added.

While the heads of the ultra-Orthodox parties informed Katz on Wednesday that they were against resuming train work on Shabbat, Shas leader Arye Deri told Ynet that "at the end of the day, the seculars are the ones who will decide what kind of Shabbat they want. We won't tell anyone what to do. We live in a secular state. Jewish, perhaps, but secular."  

Deri stressed his party "had no interest in creating crises. We realise we're not living in a Halacha state, that the days of the Messiah are not yet upon us and that we've yet to reach the ideal situation in which the entire people of Israel know the significance of Shabbat." 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


Friday, September 09, 2016
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