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Netanyahu: We Are in the Midst of a Wave of Terror

By DEBKAfile, IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after a briefing at Jerusalem city police headquarters Wednesday: "We are still n the middle of a wave of terror. We are dealing firmly with terrorists, lawbreakers and inciters, placing all our resources at the disposal of security forces and employing the necessary methods for combating this wave of terror. We have known such situations before and we shall overcome this one too by resolve, responsibility and unity."

After an escalating number of terror attacks on Wednesday, security forces prepare for the trend to continue, but there appear to be no plans to restrict Palestinians' movements. After a Wednesday full of several terror attacks throughout Israel, including two within the Green Line, security forces are expected to increase readiness all over the country. Two Palestinians, both residing illegally in Israel, committed attacks on Wednesday, raising concerns among many that one terror attack will inspire another.

An Arab terrorist has injured at least one person in a knife attack on passersby outside Petah Tikvah's central mall close to Beilinson Hospital, in the third stabbing attack in a single day Wednesday. The attacker reportedly drew his knife and ran towards a crowd of civilians as he and his victim left the city's #1 bus, and succeeded in stabbing at least one of them before security guards opened fire in his direction, and succeeded in overpowering him. Witnesses said that the terrorist had been shouting 'Allahu Akhbar.' The terrorist has been identified as a 35-year-old Arab man from Hebron in Judea. He has been taken in for interrogation.

After the Israeli cabinet launched measures Tuesday for "strengthening anti-terror defense" – such as cameras in the sky - and officials labored to spread word that the surge of Palestinian violence of the past week was beginning to ebb, Israel was hit that night from offside by a vicious pro-Palestinian upheaval in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa.

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs swarmed onto the streets to hurl rocks and burning containers at police, passing buses and Jews on the street. Six police officers were injured. Fired up by the radical Israeli Northern Muslim Movement, the rioters brandished Palestinian flags and yelled "Allah is Great!" and "With our blood we shall redeem Al Aqsa!" At length, the police announced the disturbance had been brought to an end by negotiations with Arab community leaders in Jaffa.

Netanyahu finds himself cornered by two conflicting crises. While facing popular demands to quell Palestinian violence that caused four Israeli deaths and 30 people injured during the High Festivals, he is confronted with a mutiny within the government coalition and his own Likud party. At least half a dozen ministers angrily reject the line taken by the prime minister and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon for the past year - that the terror crisis must be handled "calmly and responsibly" - as nothing but softness on Palestinian terror.

Netanyahu has shot back by threatening to break up the government, which is less than a year old – either by inviting the opposition parties to join a new national unity government or calling a snap election. This threat is fairly hollow. Replacing the mutinous ministers with members of the Labor opposition is a non-starter since its leader Yitzhak Herzog scarcely controls his own party. A coalition with Yair Lapid's Future party and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu would be harder to control than the present lineup. Netanyahu finds himself in this corner because he is handling the two crises by political means as part of the same problem.

This tactic is taken by Palestinian extremist leaders as a sign of Israeli weakness and encourages them to pour more fuel on the fire of anti-Israel violence. Ineffective measures, such as the cameras in the sky, which never worked on the 443 highway to Jerusalem, for instance, make things worse. The trickle of rockets from Gaza contradicts Ya'alon's pledge to stop it. A proactive, creative hand against the escalating Palestinian violence would gain the support of all the ministers and ease the popular sense of pervasive insecurity.

In contrast to the Second Intifada, during which terrorists committed suicide attacks deep within Israel or made murderous infiltrations into settlements alongside enormous protests including thousands of rioters, it appears that there are no current plans to limit the movements of the Palestinian population.

The policy of the IDF's Central Command is to continue to separate terrorism from the local population, based on the perception that continuing the easing of restrictions on movement and working in Israel will be a restraining factor that can prevent a larger conflagration. The reliance on the economic factor as an element to prevent escalation can be seen in cities like Qalqilya, next to Kfar Saba, where the IDF has continued allowing Arab Israelis to enter to conduct business.

Netanyahu has barred all ministers and Knesset members from visiting the Temple Mount, according to a report Wednesday evening. The decision will be in effect until further notice, a source in the Prime Minister's Office confirmed to Arutz Sheva, and comes as Israel seeks to calm tensions with Jordan over the holy site, which is administered by the Jordanian Waqf under the terms of the peace treaty between the two countries.

Netanyahu issued the new rule before his speech to the UN last week, and but has not yet communicated it directly to cabinet ministers, who will be personally informed of the directive very soon.

However, despite reports in Ha'aretz that it will apply to Jewish and Arab MKs alike - the latter of whom have often played a direct role in Islamist harassment of Jewish visitors to the site - the source told Arutz Sheva that Arab MKs would be allowed up, while only their Jewish counterparts would be banned.

While Netanyahu can prevent cabinet ministers such as Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) - a frequent visitor to Judaism's holiest site - from visiting simply by threatening to fire them, he does not exercise similar control over MKs, and has therefore ordered police to physically prevent their entry.

The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, but in response to Muslim threats of violence Jews are banned from conducting any form of worship at the site, which also houses the Al Aqsa Mosque complex. Muslim extremists have escalated their attempts to prevent even limited Jewish visits to the holy site, harassing Jewish visitors and attacking police.

Clashes on the Mount escalated over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, when Islamist rioters barricaded themselves inside the mosque and hurled projectiles at police, who responded by entering the mosque and quelling the violence. That prompted angry threats from the Jordanians, who threatened to withdraw their ambassador from Tel Aviv. Netanyahu's moves are a bid to calm those tensions, but will be seen by right-wing critics as yet another capitulation to Arab demands.


Holocaust-Era Archive Uploads Thousands of Documents

By Deutsche Welle

The International Tracing Service has posted photos and personal papers of Nazi victims online, along with other selected documents from its massive archive. The group deals with people who disappeared during the Holocaust.

The organization published the first batch of some 50,000 documents on Wednesday, which makes for just a fragment of their collection encompassing 30 million items. The page is available in German, English and French, with an index and a search function provided. "Archives must not hide themselves from the digital world. Otherwise, one day they will be forgotten," said head of International Tracing Service (ITS) archive department Christian Groh.

The ITS was founded by Allies in the final days of the World War II. At first, its mission was help find the people who went missing in war zones or concentration camps. In 2007, the organization first granted access to its archives in the German city of Bad Arolsen to scholars and researches, marking the transition from a tracing service to a research institution.

The group's collection includes documents on Nazi death marches, forced labor and children lost during the war. ITS also holds around 3,300 personal items that Nazis had seized from concentration camp inmates. Most of them are photos, personal papers or small items, as the guards would usually seize anything of value.

Photos of some of the items and digital versions of personal documents were made available online on Wednesday. The ITS representatives said they were hoping the material would find its way to proper owners or their descendants. The organization also said it hopes that the documents could help academic researchers, families of the victims, but also students doing school projects. The ITS representatives also said that they intend to publish more documents. However, it was not possible to make their whole archive available online, according to the group.


Israel's Supreme Court Rules Twins of Muslim Father to be Raised as Observant Jews

By YnetNews.com

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in an extraordinary decision that a Muslim Arab who was born in Nablus and resided in Israel will continue to serve as the guardian of his twin daughters aged 5, but at the same time the foster family will be responsible for how they are brought up.

The twins were born in 2010 to their Muslim father and a mentally ill Jewish woman, who recently committed suicide. A few days after their birth, the twins were transferred to the welfare authorities and were handed over to an observant Jewish foster family. The foster parents requested to adopt the children, but the father refused and asked to remain their guardian.

After a legal dispute lasting years, the Supreme Court ruled that the father will continue to be the guardian so as to retain his dignity, but the upbringing will be done by the foster parents who will also receive the status of guardians with broad powers.

In its decision the Supreme defined a new concept called "strong foster care", namely long-term foster care which is not adoption, but is not exactly normal foster care, allowing the keeping of a child on a temporary arrangement for a certain period of time.

The Supreme Court ruled that the foster parents can decide on issues such as education, nutrition, health and other issues related to the lives of the girls, but they would have to consult with the biological parent on outstanding issues such as surgery. In other words, the biological father will remain the guardian "of honor" but the job of raising them will be almost completely in the foster care family's purview.

The struggle began in 2013 when the attorney general requested to declare the two girls capable of being adopted by a foster family. The Family Court determined that there was no justification for adoption and gave the foster family custody of the girls concurrently with the biological father's custody. The court then ruled that the foster parents would decide on day-to-day issues but would have to listen to the father's opinion on issues such as education and health. In other words, the foster parents would be responsible for the girls but would have to consult with the biological father on almost every issue important to their upbringing.

The foster family, represented by attorney Dr. Ronen Dalyahu and the Attorney General's Office, decided to appeal to the Supreme Court. The biological father, represented by attorneys Amikam Hadar and Hedva Shapira, claimed that the decision to give the children to a religious Jewish family was unwise and requested that the original ruling be retained.

A court expert ruled that the biological father did indeed have certain parental capacities, but found he could not address all of the girls' needs. In addition, the expert recommended changing the girls' family names to that of the foster family's. "We have often had the occasion to say that adoption files are perhaps the most difficult to rule on, sometimes dealing with heartbreaking situations where all parties are in the right, and there is no optimal solution that will leave no hearts unbroken," wrote Elyakim Rubinstein, Vice President of the Supreme Court, in his ruling.

Rubinstein ruled that although there is no place for adoption, he found a middle way between adoption and foster care - namely the `strong foster care'. The Supreme Court ruled, with the biological father's consent, that the girls will change their last names to include the foster parents' family name as well, and ruled that they will be educated in public religious schools. The Supreme Court also decided to reduce the number of meetings with the father and so the girls will meet with him only once every two weeks.

Lawyers Hadar and Shapiro, representing the biological father, said: "We are pleased with the balanced ruling. The court found an important middle way which combines foster care and adoption."

Ronen Daliyahu, representing the foster parents, said in response: "We are very pleased that we managed to convince the Supreme Court of the interests of the babies overrides any other interest. The framework set up will allow the girls to grow up in peace and quiet in the care of the foster care family who will be solely responsible for taking decisions about them."





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