Newsletter : 15fx1230.txt
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Former Israeli PM Olmert Headed to Prison
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
A top Israeli politician heads to prison after a long corruption scandal. Israel's
Supreme Court Tuesday partially overturned a bribery conviction against former Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert. His sentence was reduced from six years to 18 months in prison.
Olmert expressed relief, saying a great burden has been lifted from his heart.
The ex-prime minister, who is 70, was convicted two years ago by a lower court of
accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to promote a controversial real-estate
project in Jerusalem. This allegedly occurred when he served as the mayor of Jerusalem,
prior to becoming prime minister in 2006.
Olmert denies it. He said, "I was never offered and I never took a bribe."
Nevertheless, while the Supreme Court overturned some of the bribery charges, it upheld
others. Therefore, Olmert will become the first former Israeli leader to spend time behind
State Prosecutor Liat Ben Ari said justice was served. She said "the case represents a
watershed in the war against corruption in Israel." The justice system, Ben Ari said, has
sent a strong message that "no one is above the law." Olmert led the centrist Kadima party
when he was prime minister and worked on pushing forward peace talks with the
Palestinians, before leaving office in 2009.
Olmert will apparently enjoy deluxe conditions in jail; He is expected to serve less
than 12 months in jail, assuming a third of his sentence is knocked off for good behavior.
Israel Hayom reported that be will be incarcerated in Bloc 10 of the Ma'asiyahu Jail in
Ramle, which holds mostly white collar offenders, child support debtors and the like. He
will share a cell with two prisoners and receive visits once every two weeks.
The fact that he is who he is, and that he has been privy to the most sensitive state
secrets, makes it impossible to keep him incarcerated among regular prisoners. Therefore,
the Israel Prisons Service), with guidance from the Israel Security Agency, renovated one
of the blocs in Ma'asiyahu Jail and readied it for prisoners who must be separated from
the rest of the prison population.
The bloc will be guarded by the IPS alone, and will have 10 cells, each with up to
three inmates. Other convicts from the Holyland scandal who are deemed to be under threat
may also be incarcerated there. The bloc will include a clubhouse, a canteen as well as a
kitchen and dining room. There will be a television in each cell, and each prisoner will
have the right to subscribe to a newspaper. Olmert and the other prisoners will be allowed
to wear civilian clothes in the bloc. They will have to wear orange prison suits during
visits, and if they have to visit the infirmary.
Ma'asiyahu Prison is named after Ma'asiyahu Shalum, the gatekeeper to the Holy Temple,
according to Jeremiah 35:4.
Terrorists Open Fire on Officers North of Jerusalem
Border Police officers came under fire by Arab terrorists on Tuesday night near Beit
Horon in Samaria, to the northwest of Jerusalem. Reportedly the officers identified
several Arab terrorists armed with guns driving in a car adjacent to the village of Tira
along Highway 443, in a section of the road in Samaria to the northwest of the
The officers are said to have approached the terrorists to check them, but one of the
terrorists opened fire. In response the soldiers shot back, although the attackers were
able to escape in their car. No soldiers were wounded in the incident.
Duma Suspect Finally Released
The Israeli courts ordered the release of one of the Jewish suspects in the lethal Duma
arson case on Tuesday, but after the Israel Prison Services (IPS) delayed his release
despite the order, the court forced them to comply. Lod District Court ordered the
suspect, whose identity remains under a media gag order, to be released to a 10-day house
After being held for 29 days - during the first 20 of which he was denied legal
consultation - police asked to extend his arrest based on alleged involvement in an
unrelated quarrel with Bedouin shepherds two years ago, in a request thrown out by the
However, the Honenu legal aid organization representing the suspects reported the IPS
was refusing the order to release him, as State Attorney Shai Nitzan had a request issued
to have the release delayed while submitting a petition. The group argued the delay was
illegal, and apparently the IPS finally relented and released the man from the Lod
Attorneys reported that the suspect testified he was subjected to torture, including
"violent shaking, hitting, banging his head against a wall, stretching his head back until
he vomited, and sleep deprivation for entire days."
His family released a statement shortly after the court ruled to release him, saying,
"The entire argument in the court throughout stages of the arrest was that they're dealing
with a ticking bomb as it were, and it was a lie from the beginning and they led the
court, the politicians and the public astray. We call to establish a parliamentary
investigation committee to examine the video tapes from the interrogation so that the
truth behind the claims of torture will reach the light," added the family.
Police in Jerusalem on Tuesday arrested the groom from a wedding three weeks ago, after
video from the event was leaked to the media showing Jewish extremists appearing to
celebrate the deadly Duma arson while waving weapons. Aside from the groom, three other
participants in the wedding were also arrested, and will be brought on Wednesday for a
hearing on an extension of their arrest. Earlier on Tuesday, the police detained a
resident of Kfar Tapuach in Samaria who was videotaped dancing at the wedding with a gun
in his hand.
In the footage dozens of men and boys can be seen dancing while waving guns and knives.
One masked individual can also be seen carrying a mock Molotov cocktail and a picture of
the Arab baby killed in the Duma arson attack, and at one point, the masked individual can
be seen stabbing the picture.
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir argued that the weapons seen passed around among minors in the
video were toy guns, and "even if this was a tasteless act, there is no criminal offense
in dancing like this." Regarding the wedding, Tzfat (Safed) Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu on
Sunday claimed that the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) "cooked up" the incident to cover up
public outcry, over allegations of brutal torture against Jewish suspects being held in
the Duma case.
Rabbi Eliyahu noted on past cases of reported entrapment by the ISA, and emphasized
that the one person present at the wedding who held up a picture of the Arab baby has yet
to be identified, arguing he may have been planted there to negatively portray the
"Hilltop Youth." Lending weight to the rabbi's questions are statements by the groom's
parents, who claimed the wedding was hijacked, that those videotaped dancing with the
picture were not invited guests, and that their son did not recognize them.
ISIS Issues Ruling on Female Slaves
Islamic State (ISIS) theologians have issued an extremely detailed ruling on when
"owners" of women enslaved by the extremist group can have sex with them, in an apparent
bid to curb what they called violations in the treatment of captured females.
The ruling or fatwa has the force of law and appears to go beyond the Islamic State's
previous known utterances on the subject, a leading Islamic State scholar said. It sheds
new light on how the group is trying to reinterpret centuries-old teachings to justify the
sexual slavery of women in the swaths of Syria and Iraq it controls.
The fatwa was among a huge trove of documents captured by US Special Operations Forces
during a raid targeting a top Islamic State official in Syria in May. Among the religious
rulings are bans on a father and son having sex with the same female slave; and the owner
of a mother and daughter having sex with both. Joint owners of a female captive are
similarly enjoined from intercourse because she is viewed as "part of a joint ownership."
The United Nations and human rights groups have accused the Islamic State of the
systematic abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls as young as 12, especially
members of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq. Many have been given to fighters as a
reward or sold as sex slaves.
Far from trying to conceal the practice, Islamic State has boasted about it and
established a department of "war spoils" to manage slavery. In an April report, Human
Rights Watch interviewed 20 female escapees who recounted how Islamic State fighters
separated young women and girls from men and boys and older women. They were moved "in an
organized and methodical fashion to various places in Iraq and Syria." They were then sold
or given as gifts and repeatedly raped or subjected to sexual violence.
Fatwa No. 64, dated Jan. 29, 2015, and issued by Islamic State's Committee of Research
and Fatwas, appears to codify sexual relations between ISIS fighters and their female
captives for the first time, going further than a pamphlet issued by the group in 2014 on
how to treat slaves.
The fatwa starts with a question: "Some of the brothers have committed violations in the
matter of the treatment of the female slaves. These violations are not permitted by Sharia
law because these rules have not been dealt with in ages. Are there any warnings
pertaining to this matter?"
It then lists 15 injunctions, which in some instances go into explicit detail. For
example: "If the owner of a female captive, who has a daughter suitable for intercourse,
has sexual relations with the latter, he is not permitted to have intercourse with her
mother and she is permanently off limits to him. Should he have intercourse with her
mother then he is not permitted to have intercourse with her daughter and she is to be off
limits to him."
Islamic State's sexual exploitation of female captives has been well documented, but a
leading ISIS expert at Princeton University, Cole Bunzel, who has reviewed many of the
group's writings, said the fatwa went beyond what has previously been published by the
militants on how to treat female slaves. "It reveals the actual concerns of IS slave
owners," he said in an email.
Still, he cautioned that not "everything dealt with in the fatwa is indicative of a
relevant violation. It doesn't mean father and son were necessarily sharing a girl.
They're at least being 'warned' not to. But I bet some of these violations were being
The fatwa also instructs owners of female slaves to "show compassion towards her, be
kind to her, not humiliate her, and not assign her work she is unable to perform." An
owner should also not sell her to an individual whom he knows will mistreat her.
Prof. Abdel Fattah Alawari, dean of Islamic Theology at Al-Azhar University, a
1,000-year-old Egyptian center for Islamic learning, said Islamic State "has nothing to do
with Islam" and was deliberately misreading centuries-old verses and sayings that were
originally designed to end, rather than encourage, slavery. "Islam preaches freedom to
slaves, not slavery. Slavery was the status quo when Islam came around," he said.
"Judaism, Christianity, Greek, Roman, and Persian civilizations all practiced it and took
the females of their enemies as sex slaves. So Islam found this abhorrent practice and
worked to gradually remove it."
In September 2014 more than 120 Islamic scholars from around the world issued an open
letter to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi refuting the group's religious arguments to
justify many of its actions. The scholars noted that the "reintroduction of slavery is
forbidden in Islam."
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