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Palestinian vehicle Runs Down, Injures Three Israeli Soldiers

By DEBKAfile & IsraelNationalNews.com

Two soldiers were seriously injured when a Palestinian car crashed into them at the Shilo junction north of Ramallah Thursday. They are in intensive care in hospital. A third soldier was hurt more slightly. Soldiers in the vicinity fired at the Palestinian driver trapping him in his vehicle. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

According to an initial report from MDA Spokesman Zaki Heller, the injured include a 20-year-old man who is in critical condition with head injuries. Heller said the terrorist was receiving medical aid from an IDF team.

Lying on his hospital bed, Lt. Daniel Elbaz, a company commander in the IDF's Infantry Training School, recounted the car attack on him and his men. "At 3 p.m. I am carrying out my missions as part of the operational sector missions, reinforcing the forces in Judea and Samaria," he told a reporter for the IDF Spokesman's Unit.

"At about 3:15, I identify a vehicle coming at me at high speed. Just before reaching me he executes a sharp turn, hitting me and two of my soldiers. I realize that this is a terror attack and identify the terrorist trying to get out of the car. I shoot and neutralize the event."

All three injured soldiers are combat soldiers from the Infantry Training School, who were on patrol on Highway 60. The force reinforced the IDF forces in the region after the recent arson attack in the village of Duma, in which a baby was killed.

The attack is only the latest in a long list of terrorist attacks in which cars, trucks and other vehicles were used as lethal weapons. In the last such incident, several Israeli border police officers were wounded in a car-terror attack in Jerusalem May 20, close to the Mount of Olives, in the A-Tur neighborhood; their wounds were described as light-to-moderate. The terrorist was shot and critically wounded by police, and died of his wounds shortly after.

Four teenage boys were wounded May 14 by an Arab motorist in a car terror attack, at the entrance to the town of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. Three of the victims – all 16-year-old students – were described in light to moderate condition; the fourth was in serious condition.

On April 15, an Arab driver ran over and killed Shalom Yohai Sherki, the son of the popular Rabbi Uri Sherki, and brother of Channel Two journalist Yair Sherki. Sherki and a second victim, a woman around 20 years of age, were run over at a bus stop in the French Hill area of Jerusalem.

After the recent spate of vehicular attacks, official and semi-official Palestinian Authority publications called for more such attacks, according t Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). "The National Liberation Movement - Fatah" Facebook page, for one, showed a cartoon of a car with Palestine Liberation Organization flag colors trying to ram three fleeing Jews.

And in another vehicular incident, terrorists threw rocks on Thursday night at a Magen David Adom ambulance that was making its way to an ambulance station in the Jordan Valley. None of the paramedics aboard the ambulance were hurt, but the vehicle itself sustained damage.

Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller condemned the attack, saying, "We view seriously the deliberate attempt to damage a vehicle meant to treat and evacuate the wounded and the sick. We are confident that the security forces will do justice with the perpetrators and hope that the other side will act decisively and firmly to prevent similar incidents in the future," added Heller.

This is not the first time that an ambulance has been attacked by terrorists. In June, Arab terrorists opened fire on a civilian ambulance as it was driving along a road adjacent to Beit El in the Binyamin region of Samaria. At least three direct hits from the bullets were located on the ambulance, but fortunately no one was wounded in the incident.


Christians at UN: We Didn't Replace the Jewish Covenant

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Pro-Israel Christian groups are preparing to plan out the fight against Christian anti-Semitism at a special forum at the UN Headquarters in New York on the issue next Tuesday.

At the forum, which is sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Israel, Palau and Cyprus, both Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) and the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) - which represents over 40 million Christians worldwide - will speak out against anti-Semitism.

Making their presence all the more powerful is that a special emphasis is to be placed on Christian anti-Semitism, given the approaching 50th anniversary of the Catholic Church's Nostra Aetate decision that canceled claims that Jews killed Jesus, and called on the Church to fight anti-Semitism.

"The Catholic Church denounced anti-Semitism and deicide five decades ago, yet millions of Christians still believe the heresy of Replacement Theology, believing that the Jewish people are no longer the inheritors of the Covenant and that the Land does not belong to all Israel," said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, President of PJTN and a Special UN Envoy for WCICC.

"This is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible," she added. "PJTN will continue to act as a firewall around our Jewish brethren, as it is, and always was, our Biblical duty to stand with the State of Israel and the Jewish People. `Never again' isn't just an empty statement- it is something that needs to be worked on daily."

The forum is to be attended by numerous ambassadors, diplomats, clergymen as well as members of the public, and aside from giving facts and figures it will discuss how Christians can help fight the threat to Jews at the UN.


Can Jewish Refugees Claim Billions from Arab States?

By Dr. Adam Reuter       (Commentary)

More than 700,000 Jews fled from Arab countries by the mid-1960s, most of them immigrating to Israel. The property they left behind is estimated at billions of dollars, but the disintegration process most of these countries are going through doesn't leave Mizrahi Jews much hope for compensation.

Mizrahi Jews lived in the Arab domain for many generations, in Iraq from the days of Babylon and in North African countries since the Roman era. Throughout certain periods of history, the majority of the world's Jews lived in districts which are now controlled by Arab countries, but as a result of demographic changes and the immigration to Europe in the Middle Ages, only 5% of the world's Jews remained in the area at the beginning of World War II – mainly in Morocco, Iraq, Egypt and Tunisia.

The standard of living of the Jews in Cairo and in Baghdad on the eve of World War I was higher than the standard of living of Eastern European Jews, who lived in small and mostly remote towns. Their main occupations were in commerce, textile, customs, dressmaking, gold crafting, banking and finances.

In countries under Ottoman rule, Jews could also get into the governmental sector and become high-ranking government workers, tax collectors and even judges. Quite a few Jewish families gained a lot of capital over the generations.

At the same time, the Zionist movement evoked antagonism among the Arab residents, which increased amid the revival of nationalism. The establishment of Israel increased and intensified the anti-Semitism, leading to a rise in cases of harassment, plunder and even massacres.

The government of Iraq (which became an independent state in the 1950s) even nationalized Jewish businesses and much Jewish property, allegedly as "compensation" for the Palestinian refugees – but this money mainly reached the hands of senior government members.

In the early 1960s, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized Jewish property in Egypt, and the same happened to Libya's Jews. In Syria, Tunisia and Algeria, most Jews fled with only the clothes they were wearing after the declarations of independence, leaving all their property behind.

The Jews of Morocco were treated much better, and were perhaps the only ones who could leave in a relatively organized manner with their money, but in many other cases they left their homes and businesses behind.

By the mid 1960s, more than 700,000 Jews had left the Arab states, most of them immigrating to Israel. How much Jewish property was left behind? The estimates regarding the property left by Jews in Arab states vary from one source to another and are very difficult to verify, especially as there is a need to conduct a general evaluation of the real estate left behind in today's prices.

A large portion of nationalized Jewish real estate was left, for example, in the most posh neighborhoods of Cairo, Alexandria and Baghdad. The communal property of Egypt's Jews covered huge areas, including about half of the district of Maadi (a city of villas and gardens located about 20 kilometers from Cairo, where all the luxurious houses have turned into the residences of ambassadors from various countries).

In addition, there is a need to assess the flow of income from the factories, stores and businesses that the Arab regimes (or Arab neighbors) gained control of after the Jews fled, and which remained operational for many years (in rare cases, some are still operating today). Even the most conservative assessments point to compensation of billions of dollars, which according to some estimates reaches $15-20 billion, and much more.

What is are the chances of financial compensation? One of those trying to collect as much information and possible and raise an interest among members of the veteran generation and among the children of the Israeli refugees is Dr. Edy Cohen, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs and a senior researcher at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Cohen, the son of Jewish refugees who fled Lebanon in the 1980s, managed to collect information about this aspect of the "nakba" of the Arab state's Jews as part of his studies. Through the Kedem Forum for Arabic Studies and the conferences he holds, he is trying to create a buzz regarding the need to try to get Mizrahi Jews this huge financial debt back.

But the Arab states' current disintegration process is not helping the chances of actually receiving compensation. Syria no longer exists as a state, as only 25% of the territory is controlled by the Assad regime and the rest is divided between the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra, the national rebels and the Kurds.

The situation is similar in Iraq, where almost one-third of the territory is already controlled by ISIS. Libya has essentially been divided between a number of large tribes, and the situation in Algeria and Tunisia isn't promising either.

Of all the countries mentioned so far, the only relevant ones are Egypt and Morocco, which can allegedly afford to pay compensation. Morocco, which has a relatively stable economy, may be capable of paying damages if it has to, but Egypt – which is relying on external donations right now – won't be able to do so.

An amusing anecdote is the fact that huge Egyptian bank Misr, which has about 500 branches in Egypt and in other countries and which is owned by the Egyptian government, is now claiming ownership of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The bank is demanding compensation for the hotel's shares, which it says were expropriated by the Israeli Administrator General in as early as 1948. The Egyptians must have forgotten that the Israeli Administrator General can claim all the assets of Jewish families in Egypt – and that even after deducting the value of the King David Hotel, it could be quite a good deal for the State of Israel.

In February 2010, the Knesset approved a law safeguarding Jewish refugees' right for compensation. The law states that "as part of negotiations for peace in the Middle East, the government will include the issue of compensating Jewish refugees from Arab states and Iran for the property they lost, including property which was owned by a Jewish community in those countries."

According to one estimate, the lost property of Palestinians who became refugees following the War of Independence amounts to about 60% of the property lost by Jews expelled from Arab states. In the past decades, ideas have been raised about different deduction agreements.

It's possible that following an international agreement, the United States or other international elements will assume responsibility to financially compensate both sides as part of a final agreement settling this dispute, but in light of the shaky economic situation the entire developed world has been facing since the 2008 crisis, this possibility seems far-fetched at the moment.

(Dr. Adam Reuter is the chairman of the Reuter Meydan Investment House and CEO of Financial Immunities Ltd.)

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