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Turkey's Erdogan Expected to Spit Fire at OIC Meeting on Jerusalem

By The Jerusalem Post

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will use a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, to better position himself domestically and in the Muslim world, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said on Tuesday.

According to the official, Erdogan is following a pattern of behavior he used in 2010 following the MV Mavi Marmara protest ship incident, in which he rode his confrontational approach to Israel to a position of great popularity in the Arab and Muslim world.

Erdogan – whose rhetoric over the Jerusalem issue throughout the last week has been vitriolic – is convening an "extraordinary meeting" of the OIC to discuss President Donald Trump's recent decision, in the hopes of issuing a joint Muslim reaction to it.

Turkey is currently the president of the 57-member organization that includes Muslim countries on four continents, and Erdogan is scheduled to address both the opening and closing sessions of Wednesday's summit, taking advantage of the gathering to cast himself in the role of the Muslim defender of Jerusalem. Erdogan has accused the United States of ignoring Palestinian claims to east Jerusalem and "trampling on international law."

Trump: 'The Jewish People are a Light to All Nations'


President Donald Trump wished the Jewish people a happy Chanukah as the Festival of Lights got underway at sundown on Tuesday. "Chanukah is a time for Jewish families around the world to come together around the lighting of the menorah and celebrate the miracles of the past and promises of the future. Melania and I wish all of our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrating this meaningful holiday a happy and healthy eight nights in the company of those they love," Trump said in a statement.

"The miracle of Chanukah began more than 2,000 years ago, when the practice of Judaism was made punishable by death. A small band of Jewish patriots rose up and reclaimed their Jewish identity by vanquishing a mighty army. In their pursuit to rededicate their holy Temple, the Jewish heroes found only enough oil to light the Temple's menorah for one night. However, a miracle occurred and with God's grace the oil lasted for eight days."

"On this holiday, we are proud to stand with the Jewish people who shine as a light to all nations. We also stand with the people of Israel, the Jewish State, which has itself a miraculous history of overcoming the tallest of odds. We hope that those observing the holiday here, in Israel, and around the world have a wonderful holiday," he concluded.

Last week, Trump hosted a Chanukah reception at the White House, continuing the annual tradition started by former President George W. Bush. In his remarks at the reception, Trump noted that this is an "especially special" Chanukah, and mentioned his declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital which was made a day earlier.

"Chanukah is a time for Jewish families around the world to celebrate the miracles of the past and the promises of the future. We are proud to stand with the people of Israel and renew our enduring bond," said Trump. "And right now I'm thinking about what's going on and the love that's all over Israel and all about Jerusalem," he added.

Female Soldier Rescued from Lynch: 'I Saw Death'


Shelly Rodriguez, who was rescued a year ago from a lynching in the Palestinian Authority city of Tulkarm, decided on Tuesday to tell about the moments of terror she experienced during the ordeal.

Rodriguez and her friend, both young women in IDF service at the time, were driving in her car and after making a wrong turn, entered the Arab city and were attacked with rocks. "I'm glad it's behind me, I saw death in front of my eyes," she said in a conversation with Five with Rafi Reshef on News 10. "You have to avoid shock and just function."

When Rodriguez was asked how she made the mistake of entering Tulkarm, she explained that the settings delineating Palestinian Authority areas A and B of Judea and Samaria in the Waze navigation software were turned off.

Area A of the Palestinian Authority is not under Israeli control in any way, while Israel oversees security for Area B. Area C is not part of the PA and contains all the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria and about 4% of the total Palestinian Arab population. Tulkarm is in Area A.

"When I see them (Arabs, ed.) in the street, I'm afraid something will happen," she admitted today, a year after the incident. "Shortly after the incident, I had a period when I couldn't drive my car because I was afraid someone would appear and begin hurling rocks at me. If someone would cut in front of me in traffic I would jump up and down in the from the tension."

Israeli Researchers: Surgery on Children May Cause Chronic Trauma

By The Jerusalem Post

One-third of children who undergo operations develop pediatric medical traumatic stress, or PMTS, according to newly published study by researchers at the Ariel University Department of Behavioral Sciences.

While the psychological distress disappears spontaneously for many, a significant portion of youngsters might develop chronic mental distress and dysfunction including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PMTS refers to a set of psychological and physiological responses of children and their families to pain, injury, serious illness, medical procedures and invasive or frightening treatment experiences. These responses can include symptoms of arousal, re-experiencing the trauma and avoidance.

PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event – either by experiencing or witnessing that event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PMTS causes reluctance to follow doctor's instructions, fear of medical staffers and injections, sleep difficulties, restlessness, repeated bad dreams – even nervousness at seeing white uniforms.

Tens of thousands of Israeli children undergo surgery each year. As part of their treatment, many of them are exposed to pain, uncertainty, helplessness, fear of disability and life-threatening situations.

The study was carried out on children who underwent operations in the pediatric surgery department of Hadassah University Medical Center, in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem, in cooperation with Ariel University researchers.

Children's emotional reactions to surgery had not been studied before, said doctoral student Amihai Ben-Ari, who worked under the direction of Prof. Dana Margalit and Dr. Porto Ben-Harosh. A total of 230 children who underwent surgery – 79 girls and 151 boys – were included in the study. The majority of operations had been planned in advanced, while one-quarter of the procedures were emergency surgeries. The average length of hospitalization was 4.5 days. During the study, two tests were performed – the first was done close to the time of surgery and the other, after about three months.

The findings showed that a significant proportion of the children in the study reported persistent mental distress, with 31.7% of developing PMTS and 11.3% reporting PTSD. Risk factors include: parental anxiety, duration of hospitalization, number of invasive medical procedures and the family's socioeconomic status.

Today, many children with chronic post-surgical PTSD remain undiagnosed and untreated due to lack of awareness about the subject and insufficient allocation of resources for treatment, the authors wrote. Identifying children at high risk for the condition can bring about effective intervention, despite limited resources. There appears to be a need for a future screening tool to identify children at risk of developing a medical-stress syndrome, they concluded.

Agreement Reached: High School Teachers' Strike Ends


The high school teachers' strike has ended after the Teachers' Associated reached a new employment agreement with the Finance Ministry on Monday, setting teachers' starting salary at NIS 8,000 ($2,265).

The turning point in negotiations came after the Teachers' Association decided to cancel all tests, including tests preparing students for the matriculation exams' winter dates, putting pressure on the government to reach an agreement.

The main points of the agreement: The starting salary for a new teacher will be NIS 8,000 starting Sept. 1, 2018. All educators under the collective agreement will receive an additional NIS 480, paid in increments over 4 years. The maximum stipend for continuing education programs for teachers who are part of the "Oz Latmora" reform will be increased from 18% to 19%.

Teachers will receive additional pay for any additional roles they take on at the school. Teachers who serve as educational advisor will see an increase of 3% to their additional pay, which will be done in two stages: 2% starting January 2020 and 1% starting January 2021. All educators will receive a one-time bonus of NIS 1,000.

The Teachers' Association has committed not to strike over issues covered in the agreement until February 28, 2022. After reaching the agreement, the head of the Teachers' Association, Ran Erez, thanked the teachers, saying their "strength and determination" helped bring to the achievements in the agreement.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon welcomed the agreement, saying it would "lead to the improvement of the quality of teaching, narrow the gaps in the education system and increase motivation to work in the field of education. The teachers are precious assets who protect our children, and our job is to protect them and give them the tools they need to do their job."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett also welcomed to agreement. "Today, we are putting the teachers of Israel at the top of the national list of priorities," he said. "The starting salary for teachers will increase by 20%. This is a real hike to salaries, which would greatly help teachers who are only starting out. We will continue to do whatever it takes to bring talented and ideals-driven people into the education system."

Education Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuav noted the increase to a teacher's starting salary, saying it "would allow us to recruit young, quality teachers to the education system."

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