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50 Killed in Suicide Bombing at Turkey's Ataturk Airport

By DEBKAfile & Reuters

At least 50 people were killed and at least 60 more were wounded in a terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport, located just outside of Istanbul in Turkey, on Tuesday evening. An official in Turkey said that the majority of those killed in the attack were Turkish citizens, while the Foreign Ministry in Israel said there is no indication that any Israelis were injured. Israeli passengers who were stranded at the airport following the attack were taken to nearby hotels until flights are renewed on Wednesday.

Turkish officials have confirmed that two suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the attack. The attack took place in the international departures area, according to CNN. Gunfire also heard at the site was from Turkish security forces attempting to stop the bombers, officials added. In the confusion, some witnesses had told Reuters they saw gunmen open fire from an airport car park.

As with previous attacks, the Turkish government has placed a media blackout on Turkish outlets reporting the attack. Footage has emerged apparently showing terrified commuters taking cover at the airport in the aftermath of the bombings. See

Turkey has in recent months been targeted with deadly attacks by terrorists from the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group - including suicide bombings - as well as smaller-scale attacks by left-wing extremists. The country has also been rocked by an ongoing insurgency with Kurdish separatists.

A Turkish news source, the Dogan News Agency, reported that police believe ISIS was behind attack on Istanbul airport but a Turkish official said it's too early to confirm.

Turkish authorities said two and possibly three suicide bombers blew themselves up in the attack. The terrorists were fired upon by police in an attempt to stave off the attack, possibly avoiding a far greater number of casualties. One bomber blew himself up outside the international departures terminal and the other blew himself up outside the terminal for domestic flights. One of them opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle before detonating his bomb. Witnesses said a third bomber threw a grenade and then exploded.

DEBKAfile notes that June 28 is the second anniversary of the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" in Syria and Iraq and the self-appointment of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its head. The first reaction to the attack from US intelligence sources was that ISIS was on record as having threatened more attacks on airports after Brussels.

IDF General: Dozens of Rockets Will Hit Central Israel in Next War with Hizbullah


Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, speaking at a conference Monday shared some projections of what a future conflict in Lebanon would bring to the home front in Israel's heartland.

"In the 2nd Lebanon war, 70 tons of explosive warheads hit Israel. Let's estimate the next war will bring four times that and round up. So we're talking about 300 tons per month. That's equal to what our air force drops in five hours."

However, Golan argued, the challenge was not insurmountable. "Don't you think we can withstand this? Do we not have a national sense of fortitude?". He also offered statistics that brighten the picture somewhat, "Of all the rockets fired up till now, only 4% have hit in built up areas, and only 1% have hit buildings directly."

According to Golan, "We're the country best equipped to deal with this kind of emergency. I look at the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area. How many rockets will land there? Several dozens. We can handle that. The Home Front Command has prepared directives for all relevant government bodies, and we just need to make sure that everyone is doing their job and ensuring preparedness. Israel has a peerless early warning system that lets civilians know exactly what to do."

Regarding preparations for dealing with the threat from Hizbullah, Golan said some populations may need to be evacuated from areas adjacent to the border, but made sure to note that he is "opposed in principal to evacuations, despite the fact that some small scale evacuations may be necessary."

Golan summarized, "The IDF knows that the best defense is offense, the removal of the threat. We need to make sure to strengthen the home front, but make sure to remember that wars are won by accomplishing offensive objectives. We've had worse times in our history. Our situation is anything but catastrophic, no one has stopped fighting, and we need to keep our heads. The last war in Lebanon saw the deaths of 42 civilians and I certainly don't dismiss this. It's been difficult, and things will get more difficult, but there is no doubt we have the ability to handle the situation."

Palestinian Scout Organization Erases Israel from Map


Just months after its acceptance into the World Organization of the Scout Movement the Palestinian Scout Association has been exposed indoctrinating its young members to deny the existence of the State of Israel.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently sponsored an event to mark the Palestinian Scout Association's acceptance as a full Member Organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. At the ceremony, senior PA officials including Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs Jibril Rajoub and PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam presented plaques which erased the state of Israel entirely from the map.

The Palestinian Scout Association was conditionally recognized as a non-voting member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1996. However, it only became a full member on February 27, 2016. To celebrate this event the Palestinian Authority sponsored an event attended by Jibril Rajoub, PA District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam, and Sabri Saidam. They, along with other PA Officials, handed out plaques featuring a map of "Palestine" which encompasses all of the State of Israel.

This is part of the PA's wider campaign of denying the existence of Israel. PMW reports on many incidents of children's TV explicitly denying the existence of the State of Israel. In one PA TV program, The Best Home, the host along with his puppet sidekick taught that "the size of Palestine is 27,000 sq. km." However, in reality, the total combined area of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is only 6,220 sq. km. 27,000 sq. km would include all of the State of Israel excluding the Golan Heights - once again belying the PA's declared commitment to a "two state solution."

PMW noted, for example, that one of the quiz questions claimed several Israeli locations as being "Palestinian." The show's host asked callers to identify the "highest mountain in Palestine", giving them the options of Mount Meron in the Galilee, the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, or Mount Ebal in Samaria.

While Mount Ebal is under Palestinian Authority control and the Mount of Olives, though a part of Israel, has been demanded by Arabs seeking an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders, Mount Meron is well within the Green Line. Nevertheless Meron was included, and was the winning answer for the question.

In another case PMW reports that the host of the PA TV game show Box 101 began by welcoming his viewers with the following words. "Dear viewers, good evening. May Allah bless you and welcome from wherever you are watching us throughout Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River." See:

Haredi Rabbis Come Out Against Prenups


Rabbi Avraham Sherman, a former member of the Great Rabbinical Court and a student of former haredi leader Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv, has joined those voicing opposition to prenuptial agreements. The rabbi signed off on a joint letter recently published by a group of haredi rabbis strongly opposing prenuptial agreements, which in recent years have become common among modern Orthodox circles in the US such as the Rabbinical Council of America.

According to the haredi rabbis who signed on to the public letter, a gett (divorce) given after a prenuptial agreement has been enacted is considered to be a gett meuseh (a divorce granted against the husband's wishes), and is invalid. The implications of the letter are that a prenuptial agreement before the wedding is liable to be highly problematic if the couple should later decide to divorce.

In the legal ruling, the rabbis wrote that "all obligation of child support or anything else intentionally done with a goal of coercing the get disqualifies the get, and it doesn't matter if they refer to the gett openly."

However, none of the rabbis who signed off on the letter currently hold an official post in the Rabbinical Court system, and therefore there is great doubt as to whether their religious ruling will hold any weight for those requiring the services of the Rabbinical

Signatories to the letter included Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, Ra'avad of the Edah Haharedit, as well as Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach who previously was head of the Rabbinical Court in Tiberias, the Chief Rabbi of the Gilo neighborhood in southern Jerusalem .

Sources: Israeli Archeologists at Work in Palmyra Under Heavy Russian Guard

By DEBKAfile

Syrian opposition sources in the city of Homs said Tuesday that a delegation of Israeli archeologists are conducting excavations in the Syrian city of Palmyra under heavy Russian guard. The archeologists are said to be searching for ancient Hebrew inscriptions on the antiquities. The sources, who did not specify when the archeologists arrived, say that the Israelis are living within the Russian military camp that was set up next to the city, and that they are accompanied by a large group of Russian soldiers whenever they go to work. The Israelis are said to have brought interpreters to help them communicate with the soldiers.

According to the sources, the archeologists are working at four sites in the city but their main work is at the al-Naser arch where they are expecting to find monuments with ancient Jewish writing. The sources claim that the archeologists have only found a mummy and some gold. No discovery of ancient Jewish relics has been reported.

DEBKAfile states "There is no doubt that the publication is intended to damage Syrian President Bashar Assad and show that his decision to enable the Russian military to operate in Syria resulted in the presence of the Israelis in the country."

Man Who Claimed He Escaped Auschwitz Admits Story Is a Lie
> By Israel Faxx News Agencies

A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man who has for years lectured to school groups and others about what he said were his experiences at Auschwitz now says he was never a prisoner at the German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Joseph Hirt, of Adamstown, made the admission in a letter to the LNP newspaper. He said he used poor judgment and faulty reasoning in trying to tell the story of those affected by the Nazis. "I am writing today to apologize publicly for harm caused to anyone because of my inserting myself into the descriptions of life in Auschwitz," Hirt wrote. "I was not a prisoner there. I did not intend to lessen or overshadow the events which truly happened there by falsely claiming to have been personally involved."

Hirt's admission came weeks after his story of escaping from Auschwitz was questioned by Andrew Reid, a history teacher in Turin, New York. Reid and several students attended an April presentation by Hirt, and the educator concluded that many of the speaker's claims didn't add up.

He launched his own investigation, which culminated in a 25-page letter he sent to media outlets and organizations that had written about or hosted Hirt. Those organizations unknowingly perpetuated "his false claims to an even greater audience," Reid said. Among other findings, his research indicated that the identification number tattooed on Hirt's arm was actually that of another prisoner from 1944.

Hirt apologized to Reid in a phone call earlier this month, according to Reid, who said he pushed Hirt to make a public apology. In his letter, Hirt recounted a visit he made to Auschwitz several years after World War II and said he was determined "at that moment to prevent the loss of the truth" about life and death at the concentration camp. He said he was wrong to lie to discuss the "the important truth of the suffering and death of so many" at the hands of the Nazis. Hirt said he was wrong and asked for forgiveness.

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