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Gaza Drone Crashes in Israel

By YnetNews.com

A miniature drone penetrated Israeli airspace on Thursday afternoon, crashing in an open area near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip. The craft was identified in the skies of Gaza at approximately 1 p.m., prompting IAF fighter planes to be scrambled towards it.

The drone eventually fell to the ground without any injuries. Military engineers arrived at the scene to examine it. The drone was under surveillance from ground and air during its entire 40-minute flight.

Last summer, on the seventh day of Operation Protective Edge, an unmanned aerial vehicle produced by Hamas penetrated Israeli airspace. It was eventually intercepted by a Patriot battery in the Ashdod area. The military wing of Hamas claimed it had launched that UAV for "special operations" deep inside Israel.

The IDF has faced enemy UAVs in the past. On August 14, 2006, the final day of the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah attempted to send multiple drones into Israel. One crashed as a result of a technical malfunction before reaching Israel.

The other was identified and downed by IAF planes in the western Galilee. A week before that, another drone was downed over the sea. Additionally, last year the IDF said it had intercepted a Hizbullah UAV above the sea near Haifa.


Amsterdam Won't Twin with Tel Aviv Because of 'Occupation'

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Plans to set up a formal twinning agreement between Amsterdam and Tel Aviv have been dropped because some members of the city council oppose the idea, the English-language website Dutch News reported Thursday.

According to the report, Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan withdrew the plan due to pressure from the left-wing green party GroenLinks, the Labor party and the Socialists, who said they would not support the twinning program.

The mayor was also under pressure from a number of other pro-Palestinian Arab organizations, which claimed the move is inappropriate because of Israel's "occupation" of Judea and Samaria. There should be no twin city deal "as long as Israel occupies Palestine, structurally infringes human rights and continues its settlement policy," Rutger Groot Wassink, leader of the green party GroenLinks, was quoted by Dutch News as having said.

Two years ago, Vitens, a Dutch water company, decided to cut ties with its Israeli counterpart Mekorot, claiming it had come to the conclusion that it was "extremely hard" to work with Mekorot on future projects "because they cannot be taken out of the political context."

Israel's Foreign Ministry subsequently filed a formal complaint with the Dutch ambassador to Israel over the Vitens boycott. Later, however, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte rejected the water company's boycott of its Israeli counterpart.


From Tel Aviv to Amsterdam for €48

By YnetNews.com

Six years after entering the Israeli market, British low-cost airline easyJet has introduced a new route between Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. The airline is currently the second largest operating out of Tel Aviv, and the addition of the new route is part of the natural growth in demand as a result of the open skies agreement between Israel and the EU.

The new route is the 10th easyJet route from Israel, after London (Luton and Gatwick airports), Manchester, Paris, Milan, Rome, Berlin, Basel and Geneva.

EasyJet Network Development Manager Neil Slaven, who is in charge of the routes to Israel, visited the country several months ago and indicated that the company had conducted research which pointed to the profitability of an Amsterdam-Tel Aviv route.

EasyJet has been active in Amsterdam since 1996. Although it only opened a main office in the Dutch capital about a year ago, it has been operating flights from there to more than 20 destinations across Europe. It was only a matter of time before the company would seek to operate flights from the city to Israel as well, as Amsterdam is considered a popular destination among Israeli passengers and European tourists.

EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said in a recent conversation with Israeli reporters that the company planned to add routes and flights to Israel based on demand. She added that the company's flights to Israel positioned it as one of the airlines with the highest volume of activity in the country and that she planned to remain in that position.

"We will increase the number of routes to Israel and constantly look into new destinations," she said, adding that when the company first began its activity in Israel most of its passengers were incoming tourists. Within a short period of time, the number of Israelis using the company's services jumped to 40%.

According to a company press release, "Starting fares from Tel Aviv to Amsterdam are priced from €48.49 Euro (taxes included, one direction) and from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv €46.47 (taxes included, one direction)." On sale from Thursday, the airline will operate the route four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, year-round. The first flight departs on Oct. 26, 2015.


Hamas Says Israel Released Father of 'The Green Prince'

By IsraelNationalNews.com & AFP

Israel on Thursday released a founding member of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea and Samaria, the terror group claimed, a year after he and hundreds of other Hamas terrorists were arrested following the murder of three Israeli teenagers last June.

Hamas claims that Hassan Yousef, a seasoned terrorist leader who has spent years in jail and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council parliament in 2006 while in Israeli custody, has worked entirely in the "political wing" of the terror group, which largely leads the diplomatic offensive against Israel and secures weapons and backing.

He is also known for having disowned his son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, after he worked as an informant for the Israel Security Agency under the codename "The Green Prince."

"Occupation forces (Israel) on Thursday released Hassan Yousef after he was in administrative detention for an entire year," Hamas said in a report on its website, Hamas.ps. The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If the Hamas report is true, the release comes amid unprecedented concessions Israel is making in time for the Muslim fast month of Ramadan, allowing access from Gaza to Jerusalem and direct buses for Arabs from Judea and Samaria to the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism.

Yousef's 36-year-old son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, went public several years ago with having been a top source of inside information on Hamas's terror activities in the service of Israel's domestic security service during the Second Intifada that began in 2000, when Hamas carried out dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against the Jewish state.

He has since reportedly converted to Christianity and fled to the United States, and likewise published an auto-biography of his fascinating work thwarting Hamas's terror schemes.


ISIS Sells 42 Yazidi Women to Its Terrorists as Sex Slaves

By IsraelNationalNews.com & Reuters

The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group on Thursday sold 42 Iraqi women it had abducted from the Yazidi religious minority to its fighters in eastern Syria as sex slaves, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the women were being treated as "slaves" by the jihadists and were sold "for between $500 and $2,000 dollars." The women were abducted last year in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq where ISIS had launched a wide offensive, the Britain-based monitor said.

Earlier this month they were brought to the ISIS-held town of Mayadeen in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province. "Some were abducted with their children but we do not know their fate," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The Yazidis, a religious minority which lives mainly in Iraq's Sinjar region, are neither Muslims nor Arabs and follow a unique faith. They are considered infidels by the jihadists. In 2014, the jihadists massacred Yazidis, forced tens of thousands of them to flee, captured thousands of girls and women as spoils of war and used them as sex slaves. The UN has said the atrocities committed against the small community may amount to genocide.


Transsexual Gay Duo Seeks 'Acceptance' - in ISIS

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A Russian pair are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "going off the straight and narrow" - the two, a transsexual man and his gay female friend, have left to join the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terror group in Syria after complaining they weren't accepted in Russia.

The duo from the Kamchatka region of far-eastern Russia apparently were unaware that ISIS publicly executes gay people by throwing them off buildings and stoning them, reports the British Daily Mail on Wednesday.

Alexei T. and Viktor E., who goes by Viktoria and dresses as a woman, reportedly left home after being lured by online ISIS videos which pander to a disenfranchised young crowd - but not to young homosexuals or transgenders who feel ostracized in their home communities.

The "battle trannies" as Russian media has dubbed them apparently hoped they would be accepted by ISIS. The two converts to Islam are both 22-years-old and have already set off for Syria; they have been placed on a list of wanted terrorists.

An unconfirmed report by a local news source in Kamchatka, kam.24.ru news agency, cites police saying they are now in a mental health institute, stating, "one of them was put there (in a mental institute - ed.) following a court decision because of his predisposition to suicide, and the other went there because he wanted to."

Alexander Vinogradov of the local police said, "we would always be interested in stopping people from joining a terrorist organization but in this case there is a double motive, as our information is that this would not be accepted if they managed to get all the way to Syria, and it is unlikely that they would live very long once their sexual orientation was revealed."

He noted ISIS's online recruiting campaign targets those who feel out of place, but does not appear to have gay people in mind as its target audience.

Daily Mail provided a background picture from those who knew the duo in exploring how they arrived at the contradicting status of gay radical Muslims. Viktor's aunt said he and his gay friend were not the most intelligent, adding that Viktoria is taking hormone replacement therapy to take on the physical characteristics of a woman.

He "did not have enough money for the surgery and asked relatives but we all refused. The next thing we knew was that they were wanted by the police after it was found they had gone to join ISIS. Viktor had been walking around in women's clothes and wearing makeup and was living with his mom before converting to radical Islam," said the aunt.

She added that Viktor's mom "told him that he would probably be killed if he went there dressed as a woman, but he said that if he could travel there as a woman, he believed they would accept him as a woman."

A former teacher said that Viktor "was a boy. He had girlfriends, had a very short haircut, clothes without any decoration. He was a typical guy. And then later he came here to school to get a copy of his diploma with a different name on it, Viktoria instead of Viktor." At that time, he was "wearing a short skirt, earrings and with long hair. He told me: 'change my diploma from Viiktor to Viktoria. If you don't do so, I will complain.'"

Viktor apparently had a violent characteristic that would be a match for ISIS, as according to a former girlfriend of his he beat her regularly. "Viktor was very strange...he beat me black and blue," she said. "But I didn't complain to police because he threatened me with his older brother. He said that it would be bad for me."

When she tried to break up with him he hit her harder. "I came to school with a huge bruise under my eye. I was asked what happened, and I could not say, because one teacher was close to his mother. They hushed it up," she said, noting that when he said he wanted to be a girl and date boys she was shocked. After they broke up he kept her dresses, and as she recalls, "I saw him in one of my dresses."

Viktor and Alexei's approach to radical Islam came under curious circumstances, according to Bashir Bashirov, head of the Union of Muslims of Kamchatka. "The first time they came to pray was about a year ago...they said they were man and wife. The mosque is open to everyone, so how can we prohibit anyone coming? We treated the newcomers as Muslims, we couldn't even imagine there were not straight. And how can one tell?"

Soon thereafter the two hooked on to radical Islam and "started blaming us for stepping aside from pure Islam...I personally tried to change their minds but in vain. They stopped attending prayers and started telling everyone that we delude ourselves and practice Islam in a wrong way."


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