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Second Iranian-Yemini Missile Attack on USS Mason

By DEBKAfile

For the second time this week the USS Mason destroyer was targeted Wednesday night by at least one incoming missile, newly supplied by Iran to Yemeni Houthi rebels that was fired from a Houthi-controlled area south of the Yemeni port of Hudaydah. The missiles did not impact the ship and no one was hurt.

The ship used countermeasures, but the officials are not yet certain whether the measures stopped the missile or if it fizzled. DEBKAfile earlier ran a report on the first Iranian-Yemeni missile attack on the US flotilla patrolling the Red Sea strait of Bab Al-Mandeb.

Contrary to Tehran's assurance to Washington in August that Iranian arms supplies to Yemeni Houthi rebels had been suspended, the rebels took delivery last week of the largest consignment of Iranian weapons to date. According to DEBKAfile's military sources, the shipment included highly sophisticated Scud D surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 800km; and C-802 anti-ship missiles (an upgraded version of the Chinese YJ-8 NATO-named CSS-N-8 and renamed by Iran Saccade).

They came with Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers and radar systems to fine-tune the targeting of these missiles by Iran's Yemeni proxies. The Scuds were given to the Houthi forces fighting in northern Yemen on the Saudi border, while the C-802s were delivered to the Houthis' Ansar Allah faction, which is under direct Iranian Rev Guards command. The missiles were posted at special launch bases constructed by Iran outside Yemen's two principal Red Sea ports of Mokha and Hudaydah.

Since no more than 62 km of Red Sea water divides the Saudi and African coasts, the Iranian missiles are well able to block shipping and tanker traffic plying to and from the Gulf of Suez and the Persian Gulf. Therefore, the threat of blockade hangs imminently over one-third of Saudi and Gulf Emirate oil exports. The same threat hangs over Israeli civilian and naval shipping from its southern port of Eilat through the Gulf of Aden and out to the Indian Ocean.

One of the most troubling aspects of this pivotal new menace to an international waterway was that US, Saudi, Egyptian and Israeli intelligence agencies missed the huge consignment of Iranian missiles as it headed towards Yemen. Neither did they pick up on the construction by Iranian military engineers of three ballistic missile bases – one facing Saudi Arabia and two Red Sea traffic.

Tehran's Yemeni proxies moreover landed large-scale military strength on Perim Island in the mouth of the Bab al-Mandeb strait, the chokepoint for ingress and egress from the Red Sea. Since the strait is just 20km wide, control of this island empowers this force to regulate shipping movements through this strategic strait.


Rioting in Jerusalem Area Continues as Palestinians Open fire on IDF Troops

By DEBKAfile, Israel Hayom, IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com

Rioting broke out in the Ras al-Amud and Sheikh Jarrah areas of Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, with Palestinians blocking streets and throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli security forces. Large numbers of elite Israeli police and border policemen were on the scene. Meanwhile, in the village of Naalin south of Jerusalem, a number of Palestinians approached IDF troops and opened fire on them, but none of the troops were wounded. Several Palestinians were arrested and taken in for questioning during a manhunt for the shooters.

Palestinians rioted in several areas of Jerusalem on Wednesday, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. In Silwan, a Palestinian youth was killed by a rubber-coated bullet from an IDF force after it was attacked with Molotov cocktails and firecrackers, and in A-Ram a number of youths were injured during rioting in which stones and firebombs were thrown at Israeli border policemen.

During the eve of Yom Kippur, Arabs threw rocks and Molotov Cocktails at border policemen who were on patrol near Silwan in East Jerusalem. As the menacing rioters got closer, the policemen started shooting, and a hit was identified. The rioters then started to disperse within the village. Police say the suspects were not located afterward. Later, a report was received claiming that the rioter who was shot was buried by locals during the night.

In addition, rioters shot firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at forces in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood during the course of the night. The rioters were dispersed. In Issawiya near Jerusalem, rioters also threw firebombs, rocks and firecrackers, directly aiming at forces on the scene. They burned trash cans and blocked entrances to the village. These rioters were dispersed with riot-dispersing techniques.


Mogen Dovid Adom Medics Treat 2,326 People Over Yom Kippur

By IsraelMationalNews.com

This Yom Kippur, as every year, Magen David Adom (MDA) medics had their hands full over the course of the holiday; 2,326 people were treated; 249 people fainted, were dehydrated and felt badly over the course of the fast. 11 needed resuscitation. 220 were injured in hits from cars and other means of transport.

Twenty people were injured in traffic accidents - among whom three were killed and five were moderately or lightly injured. Another 20 were injured from violent incidents across the country, among them two who were moderately injured.

MDA transferred 136 mothers about to give birth to hospitals. Among these, six gave birth while in the care of MDA medics. This year, three incidents were recorded of youngsters engaging in rock-throwing at ambulances and interfering with medics on the scene in the cities of Be'er Sheva, Eilat and Ashdod.


25 New 'Dead Sea Scrolls' are Revealed

By Live Science

More than 25 previously unpublished "Dead Sea Scroll" fragments, dating back 2,000 years and holding text from the Hebrew Bible, have been brought to light, their contents detailed in two new books.

The various scroll fragments record parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Ruth, Kings, Micah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Joshua, Judges, Proverbs, Numbers, Psalms, Ezekiel and Jonah. The Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered, had yet to yield any fragments from the Book of Nehemiah; if this newly revealed fragment is authenticated it would be the first. Scholars have expressed concerns that some of the fragments are forgeries.

These 25 newly published fragments are just the tip of the iceberg. A scholar told Live Science that around 70 newly discovered fragments have appeared on the antiquities market since 2002. Additionally, the cabinet minister in charge of the Israel Antiquities Authority, along with a number of scholars, believes that there are undiscovered scrolls that are being found by looters in caves in the Judean Desert. The IAA is sponsoring a new series of scientific surveys and excavations to find these scrolls before looters do.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in a series of 11 caves by the archaeological site of Qumran in the Judean Desert, near the Dead Sea. During that time, archaeologists and local Bedouins unearthed thousands of fragments from nearly 900 manuscripts.

Some of the Bedouin sold their scrolls in Bethlehem through an antiquities dealer named Khalil Iskander Shahin, who went by the name "Kando." Shahin died in 1993 and his son William Kando now runs his business and estate.

Many scholars believe that the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden in the Qumran caves around CE 70, during a Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire. They may have been written by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes.

Qumran and its caves are located in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967. Jordan at times has asserted that the Dead Sea Scrolls belong to them. Although the term Dead Sea Scrolls usually refers to the scrolls found at Qumran, there have been scrolls found in caves at other sites in the Judean Desert that are considered Dead Sea Scrolls.

Between 2009 and 2014, Steve Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, purchased 13 of the fragments, which he has donated, along with thousands of other artifacts, to the Museum of the Bible. Green is helping to fund construction of the museum, scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., next fall.

A team of scholars has published details of these donated fragments in the book volume "Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection" (Brill, 2016). The provenance of this batch of scrolls is not certain.

"Some of these fragments must have come from Qumran, probably Cave 4, while the others may have derived from other sites in the Judean Desert," wrote Emanuel Tov, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the book volume. "Unfortunately, little is known about the provenance of these fragments because most sellers did not provide such information at the time of the sale." Antiquities dealer William Kando told Live Science that he doesn't know where the donated fragments originated.

Scientists are conducting tests on the donated fragments to help determine if any are forgeries, said Michael Holmes, executive director of the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, in a statement sent to Live Science. The results will be combined with an analysis of the writing to help determine what the chances are of the different fragments being forgeries. "The results will be incorporated in our future museum exhibits, inviting visitors to grasp and engage with issues involved with assessing authenticity," Holmes said.

Martin Schøyen, a collector from Norway, owns the other batch of the recently revealed Dead Sea Scrolls. The texts from those fragments are detailed in the book "Gleanings from the Caves: Dead Sea Scrolls and Artifacts from The Schøyen Collection" (Bloomsbury, 2016). Also detailed in the book are other artifacts related to the scrolls, including a linen wrapper in which one of the Dead Sea Scrolls was found.

Schøyen, who has a vast collection of antiquities, began collecting biblical manuscripts in 1986. "The ultimate challenge had become to acquire a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls with a biblical text," Schøyen wrote in the book. "It was for me a 'Mission: Impossible.'"

His determination paid off as, gradually, he was able to track down scroll fragments that were for sale by a number of sources. He bought several from a family collection that is now in Zurich (the name was not published) and several more from the descendants of tourists or collectors who had purchased scrolls from Shahin's shop in Bethlehem in the 1950s. He also purchased a few fragments that were once owned by two scholars who had worked in the Qumran caves as students in 1948 (the students got the fragments as gifts from a bishop who supported the work).

"The quest that started as a 'Mission: Impossible' in 1986, gradually proceeded to become a collection of [about] 115 fragments from around 27 different scrolls," Schøyen said. He added that some of the fragments in his collection come from caves 1, 4 and 11 at Qumran, while some come from other caves in the Judean Desert.

A highlight from the newly published Museum of the Bible collection is a fragment from the Book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:13-16). The fragment tells of a man named Nehemiah who lived during the fifth century BCE, at a time after Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Persian Empire had taken over Babylon's territory and the Jews, who had been forced to leave Israel by the Babylonians, were allowed to return home.

The fragment records Nehemiah's visit to a ruined Jerusalem, finding that its gates had been "consumed by fire." According to the fragment text, he inspects the remains of the walls before starting work on rebuilding them.

Scholars have noted in previous studies that archaeologists hadn't found any copies of the Book of Nehemiah in the Qumran caves. How this fragment came to America is unknown, and scholars say they can't be sure it's from Qumran.

"It is assumed to come from Cave 4 [at Qumran], but in the final analysis it must be said that the provenance of the fragment remains unknown," wrote Martin G. Abegg Jr., a professor at Trinity Western University who led the team that analyzed the fragment, in the book "Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection."

A highlight from the Schøyen Collection is a fragment containing part of the Book of Leviticus. In the fragment text, God promises that if the Sabbath is observed and the Ten Commandments are obeyed, the people of Israel will be rewarded.

"If you walk according to my laws, and keep my commandments and implement them, then I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit," part of the fragment reads (translation by Torleif Elgvin). "I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down untroubled by anyone; and I will exterminate vicious beasts from the land, and no sword shall cross your land," the fragment continues. "I will look with favor upon you, and make you fertile and multiply you."

Schøyen published a note from William Kando saying that the Leviticus scroll fragment was once owned by his father who got it from Bedouin in 1952 or 1953 and it was sold, along with other fragments, to a customer in Zurich in 1956.





























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