European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 28/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 28/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Israelis, welfare organisations rally to help in wake of fires

As fires continued to rage on throughout the country, Israelis and welfare organisations offered their assistance to the hundreds of displaced families, firefighters and vulnerable population groups, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The Forum of Community Parents' Committees announced on Saturday night that every displaced family that had contacted the organisation was provided with a place to stay.

"If is moving to see, again, how when necessary Israel's parents and all citizens unite and mobilise for those who need help and a warm hug," said Paz Cohen, chairman of the Forum.

The Labour and Welfare Ministry established an emergency hotline on Thursday and called on any people harmed by the fire or in need of immediate assistance or social services to contact the ministry.

In addition, the ministry, in collaboration with the Centre for the Blind in Israel and Migdal Or (Lighthouse) Centre, a vocational rehabilitation centre for the visually impaired, launched an emergency hotline for people with visual impairments who were displaced from their homes or in dangerous areas close to the fire. The hotline offers callers with instructions, support and information about what to do in an emergency situation.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews also announced an emergency hotline for the elderly and for new immigrants. The hotline, active in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic, provided assigned volunteers to those in need.

The Working and Studying Youth Movement (HaNoar HaOved V’HaLomed) in collaboration with the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa held activities over the weekend for children from neighbourhoods that were evacuated due to the fire.

Very bad grammar- not sure if we need it changed or to keep it as is because it is quote.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Palestinian firefighters return to West Bank after assisting Israel in fighting fires

Eight fire engines and around 40 Palestinian firefighters returned to the West Bank on Saturday, after assisting Israel in extinguishing fires in Haifa and the foothills of Jerusalem.

A Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) spokesperson said that four PA teams were sent to Haifa and four others to the Jerusalem area on Thursday evening, where they worked alongside Israeli firefighters.

The spokesperson added that the eight teams came together to fight fires in the Jerusalem area on Friday evening and rescued a 30-year-old Jewish man, who fell into a well, on Saturday morning.

PA Civil Defence spokesman Nael Azzh told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday evening that the PA firefighters had a highly professional experience in Israel. “Firefighters around the world have a professional, shared language—the officer with the highest rank leads the mission regardless of citizenship,” Azzh stated. “We worked according to this language.”

Azzh added that politics should not interfere in saving lives and property during times of disaster. “During disasters, we must put politics to the side because disasters bring us together; they do not pull us apart,” Azzh said. “I believe that joint work can be the start of understanding the other and his [or her] needs.”

The PA Civil Defence has been fighting a number of fires across the West Bank for the past few days.

Other countries have also sent equipment and firefighting personnel including Egypt, Jordan, a number of European countries, and the US.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone conversation on Saturday night for the PA Civil Defence’s help in extinguishing forest fires.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Settler leader: Fires are divine punishment for planned uprooting of settlements

A leader of Israeli West Bank settlers said that the fires raging in Israel, which officials partly attribute to arsonists, are really divine punishment for the government’s plans to uproot settlements, the Times of Israel reports.

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, of the settler community of Elon Moreh, made the controversial assertion about the 250 fires recorded in recent days in Israel in a pamphlet published on Thursday, the news site Srugim reported.

Levanon wrote: “Strong winds usually carry rain but now all is dry and flammable. It is God’s hand that does it. The Israeli government is delaying the approval of the law for regulation,” he added in reference to a bill designed to legalise Amona and other West Bank outposts deemed illegal.

“Until the disgrace of the threat of eviction is lifted from Amona, Ofra and elsewhere, no rain will fall,” he wrote.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Israel arrests ten Palestinians for suspected arson

Israeli security forces arrested ten Palestinians in recent days on suspicion of arson, as firefighters battle a wave of fires across the country, the Times of Israel reports.

The detainees include three people arrested overnight on Friday in a car near the West Bank city of Ramallah, the army said. Full and empty canisters of gasoline, rags, gloves and lighters were found in the vehicle.

Another suspect detained on Saturday was identified by an official from the Israel Parks and Nature Authority as the person who set fire to brush near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said on Friday night that investigators know who set alight a massive blaze in the woods in the Jerusalem hills near Nataf, which also spread to other communities. He said the authorities “were prepared to thwart” those involved through “deterrence and catching suspects, through observers and patrols in the sky and on land”.

“These are very simple terror attacks,” he told Army Radio. “Generally, the attackers themselves know about it only a few minutes beforehand, so we can’t make preventative arrests.”

The Palestinian Authority last week sent 41 firefighters and eight trucks to fight the massive fires in the northern city of Haifa. Palestinian firefighters from Ramallah also joined forces with their Israeli counterparts on Friday night to battle a blaze in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. And on Saturday, the PA fire chief visited the Israeli fire service command centres in Rishon Letzion and Neve Ilan.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

 


  • Miriam Eshkol, wife of Israel’s third prime minister, dies aged 87

Miriam Eshkol, the widow of Israel’s third prime minister, Levi Eshkol, died on Saturday afternoon at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Centre at the age of 87, the hospital said in a statement.

She will be buried at the Mt. Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem alongside her husband at a later date.

A Knesset librarian by profession, Eshkol dedicated herself to public life during her husband’s term as prime minister from 1964-1969.

During that period, Eshkol led the committee for the establishment of Beit HaLohem, the national centre for disabled IDF veterans, and was the founding president of the Jewish-Arab Friendship League.

Following her husband’s passing in 1969, she founded and chaired Yad Levi Eshkol and served as its chairwoman from 1970 to 2008.

In her later years, Eshkol served as president of the Israel Association of Female Academics, as well as the Association for the Advancement of Science and Medical Research. She also served on the board of directors of the Israel Museum.

Eshkol was born in Romania in 1929, and emigrated with her family as a small child to British Mandate Palestine in 1930, who settled in Ramat Gan and later Tel Aviv.

In 1947, Eshkol joined the nascent Israeli army and accompanied Palmach fighters in efforts to free a besieged Jerusalem during the War of Independence the following year.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Miriam Eshkol “worked tirelessly to establish a visitors’ centre to memorialise former prime minister Levi Eshkol, which is set to open soon. We are saddened that she will not inaugurate the place she worked so hard for.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Monday, November 28, 2016
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