Newsletter : 14fx0711.txt
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Thursday: Heaviest Rocket Volley Yet Hits Be'er Sheva. 170 Overall in Israel in One
By DEBKAfile, AFP, The Tower.org & IsraelNationalNews.com
According to first reports, a house and a sports center were hit in downtown Be'er
Sheva by incoming rockets from Gaza Thursday evening - at least 20 in a single volley.
Ambulances racing to the scenes found a number of shock victims but no one with bodily
injuries. More missiles were aimed for the first time at the Dead Sea region also
in southern Israel.
Altogether 170 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip Thursday, the highest figure so
far. Hamas launched a four-rocket salvo against Jerusalem Thursday afternoon, causing no
damage or casualties. Two were intercepted. Hamas rockets winged toward Tel Aviv, Mitzpe
Ramon, Dimona, Ofakim and Ramle. Some of those missiles were aimed by Hamas and Jihad
Islami at Israeli military targets and American Negev bases. They all missed or were
caught by Iron Dome.
Younger Israeli children in schools around the country have been taught this songs to keep them from panicking if a siren goes off. See https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152286173158717 .The song was composed by a local teacher and has been taught to hundreds of schoolchildren within firing range of Gaza's rockets to help them deal with the fear and trauma of having 15 seconds to run for cover when the Color Red siren sounds.
Shachar Bar, an art therapist who teaches in Sderot, became increasingly alarmed after
seeing the thousands of children of the western Negev suffering the cumulative effects of
trauma due to the ongoing barrage of Qassam rockets from Gaza.
The 15 second warning echoed through the assembly hall of the UN Security Council as Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor played the chilling wail of Israel's air raid warning from his mobile phone and said Hamas was threatening the lives of 3.5 million innocent men, women and children across the Jewish state. http://youtu.be/XCbyCQlczLc
"Fifteen seconds, that's how much time you have to run for your life," he told the
Council blaming Hamas for putting the lives of Palestinian as well as Israeli civilians at
risk. While Israel gives innocent Palestinian civilians prior warning of air strikes,
Hamas tells them to stand on rooftops to act as human shields. He called on the world to
denounce, dismantle and delegitimize Hamas, which he said was part of the global threat
posed by terror groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.
Thursday afternoon, the IDF advised 100,000 Palestinian civilians to leave their homes
in the northern Gaza villages of Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Greater Ibsen and Smaller Ibsen
and head west to the coast or south to remove themselves from danger. This order, issued
shortly after a special Israeli cabinet meeting, suggested that an Israel military
incursion is impending. During the day, Hamas kept up its barrage.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a short statement Thursday evening after a
lengthy session of the Security-Diplomacy cabinet, which was devoted to Operation
Protective Edge against Hamas's terror machine in Gaza. "The campaign is proceeding as
planned," he said, "but additional stages await us. We have struck Hamas and the sons of
terror forcefully, and as the campaign wears on, we will deepen the damage to them."
Netanyahu thanked the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet), for their
operational activity. "They are making every effort to avoid hitting civilians, and if
civilians are hit, it is only because Hamas purposely hides behind Palestinian civilians,"
he explained. The security establishment has successfully foiled numerous terror attacks
on Israel, he said, "but a difficult, complex and complicated campaign lies ahead."
He called on Israeli citizens to continue and display the civilian fortitude that is "a
central pillar in our ability to carry on with the operation until our work is done, and
we bring peace and quiet back to the cities of Israel. The most important thing for me,
for all of us," he added, "is to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, and for that
purpose, we all work together."
The Times of Israel reported Thursday that terror groups affiliated with Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement have joined Hamas and other Islamist
groups in firing rockets into Israel.
Palestinian Affairs correspondent Elhanan Miller of the Times reported "The Nidal
Al-Amody force of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for firing Grad and 107
millimeter rockets toward Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot, Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha and the Sufa
Crossing from Gaza, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Communiqués specifying the
attacks were published on Fatah's official Facebook page.
Early Thursday morning, another armed force associated with Fatah, the Abdul Qader
Husseini Battalions, claimed responsibility for launching two Grad rockets at Ashkelon and
four mortar shells at Kibbutz Nir Oz near Khan Yunis shortly after one a.m.
Khaled Abu Toameh wrote that the participation of Fatah-affiliated groups in the terror
war against Israel puts Abbas in an uncomfortable position. What is happening in the Gaza
Strip these days is not just another confrontation between Israel and Hamas. It is a
confrontation between Israel on the one hand and Hamas and several armed groups, including
Fatah, on the other hand.
That is why Abbas finds it difficult to condemn the rocket attacks on Israel. Such a
move would put him on a collision course not only with Hamas, but also with Fatah, Islamic
Jihad, the Popular Resistance Movement and at least 10 other jihadi cells operating in the
The active participation of Fatah in the terror attacks against Israel comes soon after
Fatah declared on its Facebook page that joining with Hamas to fight Israel "is what we
want." The participation of Fatah in the terror war against Israel further undermines
Abbas' "claim that the unity government meets international standards which includes the
rejection of violence." With Fatah now implicated in war crimes, it makes Abbas' planned
application to the International Criminal Court look even less well thought out.
The Wall Street Journal in a Tuesday editorial commented on the findings of a report
recently issued by a United Nations committee regarding the illegal Iranian arms shipment
found on the Klos C, a ship that Israel intercepted in March. The weapons were found
hidden under bags cement. The editorial ties the findings to the recent escalation of
hostilities between the Iranian-sponsored terror groups in Gaza and Israel.
Tehran denies any role in the shipment. But a recent classified report from the U.N.
Security Council's Sanctions Committee effectively confirms it, and we've seen the
pertinent portions. The panel found that Bandar Abbas, a southern Iranian port, "is
established as the origin of the shipment of 100 containers of cement, including the 20
containing weapons and ammunition."
The panel concluded: "...The shipment of arms and related material found aboard the
Klos C is a violation of Iran's obligations under paragraph 5 of resolution 1747,"
referring to an embargo on Iranian arms transfers imposed by the Security Council in 2007.
The panel didn't weigh in on the ultimate intended recipient of the shipment, yet previous
such shipments have made their way to Gaza. 1747 is the third of six Security Council
resolutions passed overwhelmingly with regard to Iran's nuclear weapons program.
And the radical group ISIS' spokesman said the time is not right for a confrontation
with Israel. ISIS, the so-called Islamic Caliphate, was responding to critics who have
questioned why its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not actively supporting Hamas in
After capturing vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, ISIS declared the regions under its
control as a "Caliphate", or Islamic state, and appointed Baghdadi as "leader of the
Muslims". While many jihadists celebrated the announcement, others - including Al Qaeda,
which ISIS broke off from last year - have criticized the move for a variety of
Since the recent escalation between Israel and Islamist terrorists in Gaza, some of
those critics have questioned why a self-declared "Caliphate" is not rushing to the aid of
Muslims in the Hamas-controlled territory. In a statement a spokesperson for the group,
Nidal Nuseiri reaffirmed that conquering "Bayt el-Maqdis" (Jerusalem) and destroying the
State of Israel is central to the group's "jihad," or holy war.
However, he pointed out that ISIS has been taking a systematic approach in its
campaign, and outlined six specific stages it said needed to be fulfilled before taking on
Israel. Some of those "stages" - building a firm base for an Islamic state in Iraq, and
using it as a springboard to wage war in Syria and Lebanon - have already been achieved.
But he said a number of other criteria still needed to be fulfilled before challenging
Among them, Nuseiri said that the US - seen as Israel's greatest ally - needed to be
weakened politically and economically via attacks on the American mainland, as well as US
interests in Muslim countries. Additionally, the existing "Islamic State" needed to expand
its borders to cover all of "Greater Syria" (which would include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan and possibly Gaza); such a state, he said, would then be in a position for a direct
confrontation with Israel.
Putin: 'I Support the Struggle of Israel'
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with a delegation of rabbis, led by
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of
Russia Berel Lazar, and rabbis of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE).
"I follow closely what's going on in Israel," said Putin during the long meeting, which
was held in Moscow. "I support the struggle of Israel as it attempts to protect its
citizens. I also heard about the shocking murder of the three youths. It is an act that
cannot be allowed, and I ask you to transmit my condolences to the families," added the
Russian president, in referring to the abduction and murder of three teens in June by
Rabbi Yosef began by saying "according to the Jewish tradition, your leadership is
decided by the kingdom of God, King of the world, and therefore we bless you: Blessed is
the One who gave of His glory to flesh and blood."
The rabbi discussed the ongoing rocket barrage on Israel by terrorists in Gaza, a
relentless assault that led to IDF Operation Protective Edge being launched this past
Monday. "This morning I left the state of Israel, the state of the Jewish people. Several
hours before I took off for here, a rocket fell right near my home in the capital of the
Jewish people - Jerusalem," remarked the rabbi.
Rabbi Yosef added "I don't need to note the panic that fell on my children and
grandchildren, who were forced to enter shelters despite having done nothing wrong. It is
difficult to describe the psychological damage caused to them. All for the 'sin' of their
being born to the Jewish people."
"Despite the difficult situation, I left everything and came here, to ask that you,
mister president, act to fight against terror conducted in the name of religion,"
requested Rabbi Yosef. "There cannot be a situation where people manipulate religion to
slaughter innocents. ...I ask you in the name of the people of Israel: please, bring an
end to the violence."
Putin responded to Rabbi Yosef, asking him to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
that he is a true friend of Israel and of Netanyahu. Netanyahu called Putin on Thursday,
and in their conversation, Putin called for an end to the conflict in Gaza.
Rabbi Lau, former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi and current Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, spoke in
the meeting about his remarkable personal story as a survivor of the Holocaust who later
became the chief rabbi of Israel. In this context, Putin consulted with the rabbis on
means of dealing with anti-Semitism, Holocaust deniers and preventing historical
Putin noted that the meeting marks 73 years since the massacre of thousands of Jews in
Sevastopol in 1942, remarking on the bravery of the Jews who fought against the genocidal
Nazi war machine. "I remember visiting in the Yad Vashem Museum in Israel, which doesn't
allow anyone to remain apathetic, and describes the horrifying atrocities that occurred in
those days," said Putin.
The president added "here too in Moscow the Jewish community established a Jewish
museum that gives a bitter picture of those awful years, and at the same time gives hope
to the Jewish people and the Jewish community throughout Russia." `The warm meeting with
the Russian president comes at a time when Israel is strengthening its relations with
several major countries.
Study: Israeli ALS Patients Survive Longer Than Anywhere in the World
Israel Faxx News Services
A study encompassing data collected from Israel for the first time found that the
survival rate among Israelis suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis) is two to four times that of patients in other countries. In global terms,
between 5% and 10% of ALS sufferers survive more than 10 years after being diagnosed. But
in Israel, 20% of ALS patients survive longer.
ALS is a degenerative disease with no known cure. The epidemiology department of the
Maccabi health maintenance organization ordered a study encompassing 456 patients
diagnosed with ALS between 1997 and 2013.
The study found that approximately half of the patients survived at least five years
after being diagnosed, 40% survived at least eight years after being diagnosed and more
than 20% survived more than 10 years.
The Israeli survival rate is significantly higher than that of the world, which could
explain why the prevalence of ALS cases in Israel is considered high (11 cases per 100,000
people) by Western standards. In Europe, the incidence of ALS is 4-8 per 100,000; in the
U.S., it is 3-4 per 100,000; and only in Japan, the incidence is similar to that of
Israel. It has not yet been established why the Israeli patients survive longer, but one
possibility could be early diagnosis.
Almost 60% of all ALS sufferers are men, and the latest study indicated an alarming
upward trend in male diagnoses in 2011-2013. In that time period, 22-23 cases were
diagnosed among men annually, as opposed to 9-21 diagnoses among men annually in years
prior. The average age of diagnosis is 58. "The high survival rate could be due to
supportive treatment provided by the Israeli health care system, and thanks to family
support systems," explained Clara Weil, a Maccabi epidemiologist.
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