Newsletter : 14fx0722.txt
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Ten Hamas Tunnel Terrorists Killed. Emergency Lifted Around Gaza
By DEBKAfile,TheTower.org, VOA News & Israel Hayom
Two bands of Hamas terrorists made it into Israel's Western Negev Monday through
tunnels. They were on a mission for a mega-terror attack against at least one Israeli
civilian target. One of the bands was spotted between two kibbutzim, Erez and Nir, and
destroyed; the other launched anti-tank rockets at an IDF vehicle. A firefight developed,
causing an unspecified number of Israeli casualties, before it was liquidated by Israeli
assault helicopters. Altogether 10 Hamas terrorists were killed in this latest incident of
Hamas tunnel terror.
OC. Southern Command Gen. Sammy Torjeman revealed that the Hamas terrorists who came
out of tunnels early Monday 200m from Kibbutz Nir Am were clad in IDF issue uniforms and
flak jackets and armed with Kalashnikovs.
When the heavily armed and camouflaged terrorists were detected, residents in nearby
kibbutzim were told to lock themselves indoors, and traffic was halted on area roads and
highways as troops engaged the terrorists in a firefight, killing ten of them. During the
battle, the terrorists fired anti-tank missiles, and Israel Radio reported that there were
casualties to Israeli security forces.
A barrage of seven rockets was fired from Gaza towards southern Israel on Monday
evening, around 11 p.m. The rockets exploded in open regions in the city of Be'er Sheva,
causing no physical injuries or damages.
Two rockets were also fired towards the city of Ashdod. One rocket was intercepted by
the Iron Dome anti-missile system, and a second was exploded in an open region. Yet
another rocket exploded in an open area in the Eshkol region, causing no physical injuries
or damages. Sirens were also heard in the city of Ashkelon and the vicinity. Rocket
attacks on Monday also targeted central Israel, including Holon, Bat Yam, Lod, and Rishon
Heavy fighting continued Monday in Gaza, with Israeli war planes bombarding more than
50 Hamas targets, Hamas firing as many rockets back into the Jewish state, and the death
toll topping 500. Israel reported hitting two weapons manufacturing sites and six
underground rocket launchers on Monday.
Palestinian officials said more than 500 Gaza residents have been killed by the Israeli
attacks, including 25 in one home in a Sunday raid, all but one from the same family.
"Twenty-five people! Doesn't this indicate that Israel is ruthless or not? Are we the
liars? The evidence is here in the morgue refrigerators," said Sabri Abu James, one of the
survivors, in condemning the Israeli assault. "The evidence is in the refrigerators." A
total of 20 Israelis, including two civilians, have been killed since the offensive began
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has published a translation of the
social media guidelines of Hamas' Ministry of the Interior. The main goal in these
guidelines is to portray Hamas as the victim of Israeli aggression.
"Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we
talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don't forget to always add "innocent
civilian" or "innocent citizen" in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on
"Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase "In response to the
cruel Israeli attack," and conclude with the phrase "This many people have been martyred
since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza." Be sure to always perpetuate the
principle of "the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling
[the role of] the reaction."
"Do not publish photos of military commanders. Do not mention their names in public,
and do not praise their achievements in conversations with foreign friends. Gazans were
also warned not to post photos of rockets being fired, as that would give "a pretext for
attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip."
Gazans using social media were also given practical advice by Hamas: "Do not publish
close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by
Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence."
President Barack Obama on Monday commented on the ongoing conflict in Gaza, saying that
Israel has the right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas but
that he has serious concerns about the rise in civilian deaths. Obama stressed he does not
want to see any more civilians killed in the conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel is "making every effort" to avoid
civilian casualties. But, he warned they would continue as long as Hamas sustained its
rocket attacks on the Jewish state. "We are making every effort not to harm the residents,
while Hamas is making every effort for the residents of Gaza to be harmed," Netanyahu
said. "We are sorry about every innocent person hurt. But as they are getting injured,
Hamas is to blame and Hamas alone. "
Two U.S. citizens, 24-year-old Max Steinberg and 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean
Carmeli, were among the 13 IDF soldiers killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip early Sunday
Steinberg, whose family lives in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, was a
sharpshooter in the Golani Brigade. His father, Stuart Steinberg, said Max visited Israel
for the first time in June 2012 on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, which helped him
realize where he belonged. After the trip was over, he told his parents that he was
planning to return to Israel and join the Israel Defense Forces. Max Steinberg made good
on that promise less than six months later, and lived in the southern city of Be'er
"He was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel," Stuart
Steinberg said. "He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was, and he was
dedicated to the work he needed to be doing."
Stuart Steinberg last spoke to his son at 4 a.m. (Los Angeles time, 2 p.m. in Israel)
Saturday. Max Steinberg called his father to tell him that his group had been injured when
two of their tanks collided, and had returned to Israel for treatment. Some soldiers had
broken bones, and Max had sprained his back, his father said. "He called me up at 4 a.m.
and said he'd be returning to Gaza, back to combat, to be with his friends."
Nissim Sean Carmeli, who also served in the Golani Brigade, was the son of Israelis who
moved to the U.S. many years ago. His parents, Alon and Dalia, left their home in South
Padre Island in Texas on Sunday to travel to Israel to bury their son. Carmeli returned to
Israel from the U.S. in 2008 and completed high school in Raanana, where he lived with his
two sisters, Gal and Or.
Thousands of people attended the funeral of fallen IDF soldier Nissim Sean Carmeli, who
was laid to rest in Haifa on Monday night. Carmeli was a lone soldier who had no other
family in Israel other than his two sisters.
As a result of his situation, officials of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team called on its
fans to attend Carmeli's funeral "so that his funeral will not be empty." In the call to
fans, the soccer club said that "Carmeli was a lone soldier, and we don't want his funeral
to be empty. Come to his funeral Monday night to pay respects to a man who died so that we
could live. This is the least we can do for him and for our nation," the message said.
Israeli media estimated that anywhere from 12,000 to as many as 20,000 people had
heeded Maccabi Haifa's call and attended the funeral.
And the war has reached home, as this personal note from your editor relates: A nephew
of my ex-wife posted this on my Facebook page after he was informed of the death of his
"When I met my nephew, Aaron, he was about two years old. My sisters and mom took his
older brother, Yonatan, to Disney and left (Aaron) sleeping... When he woke up I was
sitting in the kitchen. He came to the kitchen and looked around. He looked at me and kept
on looking around. He is another son to me. Words cannot describe how much I love this
"My sister and her two kids moved back to Israel. I couldn't stop crying for days and
was saddened by it for years. Yonatan was 5 and Aaron 3. Now they are 21 and 19. Aaron was
here in the States to visit his father and older brother who reside in the U.S. He was
supposed to stay here until Wednesday (but) his visit was cut short.
"He's on his way back to Israel today because one of his best friends, Daniel, was
killed last night in Gaza. May God rest his soul in heaven. I pray to Hashem to watch over
my Aaron and over all the children of Israel and the world. May none of us know the grief
of losing our children and may this nightmare end now by some miracle and we all live in
"My Aaron is definitely going directly to the line of fire (so) please pray with me for
my boy and for all the young men who are in danger. Thank you"
Israel Reported to Hit Hamas-Bound Rocket Arsenal in Sudan
The Jerusalem Post cited reports Monday that the Israeli military struck a Sudanese
weapons stockpile last week. Sources in Khartoum claimed on Monday that Israeli forces
struck a weapons arsenal which held long range missiles for Hamas.
The Arabic-language UK-based newspaper Al-Arab reported that the government in Sudan is
not confirming the incident in order to cover up relations with the terrorist organization
in Gaza. Such ties could entangle the country's president Omar al-Bashir with an
accusation of supporting terrorism from the US and Western nations. The attack, the Post
reported, "came only hours after Israel accused the Sudanese government of storing long
range missiles for Hamas."
Sudan has long been suspected of being a way station for arms being shipped from Iran
to its client Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Arms shipments and factories in Sudan have
reportedly been struck by Israel in the past. In 2009, it was reported that Israel struck
a convoy of trucks bearing arms to Gaza. Another two weapons convoys were attacked in
2001. An arms factory was reportedly targeted by Israel in 2012.
In March of this year, Israel intercepted the Klos-C, a ship with arms destined for
Gaza, just off of Port Sudan in the Red Sea.
Singing Familiar Songs Helps Alzheimer's Patients Speak
By Reuters & YnetNews.com
With advanced Alzheimer's disease, language deteriorates and patients spontaneously
speak less and less. In a small study from Israel, group music therapy sessions using
tailored songs helped people with middle- to late-stage Alzheimer's strike up
The study may be small, but it nicely demonstrates what music therapists and
gerontologists have known for a while, said Alicia Ann Clair, director of the Music
Education and Music Therapy Division at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, who wasn't
part of the study. "It's one of those things that's kind of known but has not been
researched so it's great this was done," Clair told Reuters Health.
In her experience, singing is a great way to engage with some people with advanced
dementia. People who may not otherwise be able to communicate may start to spontaneously
sing along, otherwise vocalize, make eye contact or simply calm down, she said.
"But (the new study) was done with people who had a history of singing and enjoying it
and being part of a singing culture. If you try to do this with non-singers I don't know
if they would engage," she noted. For the study, six patients ages 65 to 83 attended group
music therapy sessions twice a week for a month. Four of the patients were born in Israel;
the other two were born in Eastern Europe and immigrated to Israel in their early teens.
The patients were not able to consent to the study due to their cognitive state, so
their legal guardians or main caregivers gave consent.
Ayelet Dassa, a music therapist and the lead author of the study, selected 24 songs
popular in Israel between 1930 and the late 1950s for the sessions. "In Israel especially
for this group, they came here or were born when the state was becoming independent,"
Dassa told Reuters Health. The songs she chose were part of the foundation of the
patients' adult identity, which was tied to their country and their heritage, she
The music sessions led to spontaneous conversations about the songs, memories the songs
triggered and about the act of singing as a group. Some participants talked about life on
the Kibbutz many decades ago, or about learning certain songs in school with their music
teachers. Others expressed pride at being able to remember lyrics to the songs and
participating as part of a group.
Dassa published the study in the Journal of Music Therapy as part of her doctoral
dissertation with the help of her advisor, Dorit Amir, in the music department of Bar-Ilan
University in Ramat Gan, Israel.
"A large part of the conversation was about how they sang as individuals (and) as a
group, and they gave compliments to each other," she said. Many were excited to continue
singing even after the study was over, Dassa said. "The idea that they are part of
something is very important to people with Alzheimer's," she said. "They lose their sense
of self. Their self esteem is very low."
The major burden in Alzheimer's disease is losing communication, which distresses
patients and can make families feel isolated or hopeless, she said. In her nearly 20 years
of working with these patients as a music therapist, she noticed that singing could act
like a bridge over that divide.
She has seen people who couldn't speak or communicate in any way suddenly start
singing, she said. The study was inspired by one particular example: she sang to an older
woman who was unable to communicate but would scream a mix of Hebrew and English. The
woman couldn't sing along, but she quieted and made eye contact.
As Dassa finished singing, the patient said, "What a beautiful song."
"I instruct caregivers and families to use singing in their daily care," Dassa said.
"It helps elicit memories and reduce agitation, and helps reduce the resistance to many
activities, like taking a shower, eating (and) refusing to take pills on time."
Families only need basic instruction to get started, she said. But singing may not
always help these patients, Clair noted. Though some patients may start talking and
commenting on music or about past memories triggered by the music, they will likely still
be unable to engage in most conversation about present-day topics.
And while some songs elicit happy memories from the past, others may be linked to
unhappy memories. "If you happen to find a piece of music with which there are painful
memories associated it could cause distress, so if you're singing to the loved one and
they react by pulling away or grimacing, immediately stop what you're doing and switch to
another song," Clair cautioned.
Reading aloud is another way to engage patients who may not have a musical background,
"What we get down to here is caregivers losing all contact and really being desperate for
anything with which they can connect with people they love. They go to visit and there's
nothing to do," she said. "Singing is something you can do."
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