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Report: Israel Attacks Iranian Weapons Depot in Syria

By Israel Hayom & A loud explosion was reported at an Iranian munitions warehouse in southwest Syria on Tuesday, with unconfirmed Arab media reports suggesting it was an Israeli strike. Al Jazeera reported Tuesday that the warehouse, belonging to an Iran-affiliated militia, was located in the town of Daraa, where President Bashar Assad's forces have recently retaken much of the rebel stronghold. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a number of explosions were heard in northern Daraa, which is under the control of Assad's army. Israel has repeatedly pledged to take action to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in neighboring Syria. Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that "the funding mechanism for Iran's aggression has been shattered. The IDF, including the Israeli Air Force, will continue to act forcefully against Iranian targets in the area. We will defend our borders, our sovereignty and the security of our citizens tenaciously and without compromise." Last week, Netanyahu referred to Israel's attacks on Syria and said at the graduation ceremony of the pilots' course that "We blew up Iran's cash machine. The ones who provided the most cash to Iran were stopped short, and the Iranian people are feeling it in their pockets. The IDF, and the Air Force, will continue to act with force against Iranian targets in the area."

Hamas' Incendiary Toys Fly as Far as Jerusalem Hills

By DEBKAfile
Hamas' latest terrorist ploy is proliferating. On July 2, a record 50 fires were ignited by exploding balloons and kites, which reached Beit Shemesh in the Jerusalem Hills for the first time. DEBKAfile reports that the IDF has suspended its drone attacks and gunfire against the Hamas vehicles used for the transfer of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza across the border into Israel. Monday saw the most devastating number of kites and balloons to land in Israel in the nearly three months of this offensive – 45-50 fires were ignited. Heads of the overtaxed fire brigade were forced to warn the government that the firefighting system is on the point of collapse. They also warned that the emergency reinforcements of manpower and equipment diverted to the Gaza district from other parts of the country were creating dangerous shortages elsewhere. These warnings coincided with signs that Hamas is expanding its successful terror-by-arson project to other parts of the country. Whereas the communities adjoining the Gaza Strip suffered the worst damage – 47,000 acres of orchards, crops, woods and natural preserves reduced to a smoking, black wasteland – the bane is spreading from the south to central Israel. The dangerous toys, having become a daily threat in Netivot, Ofakim, KIryat Gath and Lachish, landed over the weekend in Gan Yavne, Gedera and Rehovot and on Monday, were discovered for the first time outside Beit Shemesh in the Jerusalem Hills. The heavily wooded hill region around Jerusalem, the capital, presents a constant fire menace in arid summer conditions. The forests were targeted last year by arsonists who set eight fires which came close to residential districts in Jerusalem before they were brought under control. Police have warned the public not to touch or go near any kites or balloons before calling emergency services, because they are likely to be booby-trapped.

Hamas Lures IDF Soldiers into Cyber Traps with Facebook, Dating Apps

By TPS and World Israel News

Cyber terrorists associated with Hamas have been involved with trying to lure IDF soldiers into downloading a Hamas-generated mobile phone app that would give the terror group access to soldiers' personal information, allow them to retrieve sensitive security information, and remotely install malicious applications that could turn mobile phones into weapons. In a statement, the IDF Spokesman's Unit announced that the army had launched Operation Broken Heart to combat the threat. According to the IDF, about 100 soldiers fell for the trap, downloading spyware to various devices, with no damage reported to Israeli security. In January 2018, a report surfaced about a suspicious figure on Facebook named Lina Kramer, who had a conversation with a soldier on Facebook and later on WhatsApp, listing an Israeli phone number. But instead of trying to entice the soldier to download a virus through an illegitimate source, the individual asked the soldier to download an app called "GlanceLove." "Not long after the first attacker approached us, we'd already begun receiving dozens of reports from soldiers about suspicious figures and apps on social networks," said Colonel A., the Head of the Information Security Department. "Upon investigating the reports, we uncovered hostile infrastructure that Hamas tried to use to keep in contact with IDF soldiers and tempt them to download apps that were harmful, and use the soldiers to extract classified information," he added. "I got a message on Facebook that looked innocent at first, from someone named Lina Kramer," added L., an infantry soldier. "We started talking on Facebook, then we moved to WhatsApp, and then she asked me to download an app called GlanceLove. When I looked at her profile, I saw that it had content, and that she had an Israeli phone number."

An Israeli Wrestler Calls Himself `The Chutzpah' and Europe Loves to Hate Him


Like many Israelis visiting Europe, Lior Brooks is keenly aware of his compatriots' reputation abroad for rudeness. The boorish stereotype is so well known that it has its own term there – "the ugly Israeli" – and been the subject of many an awareness-raising campaign. There's even an entire nonprofit, Good Will Ambassadors, devoted solely to educating Israelis to behave better abroad. But Brooks isn't part of that effort. A professional wrestler who tours Europe regularly, he has taken the "ugly Israeli" to new levels, building around it an entire persona called "The Chutzpah." The characteristics of The Chutzpah "are pretty straightforward," the 28-year-old told the Israel Broadcasting Corp. on a recent interview. "An Israeli who doesn't give a f**k, an a**hole who'd do anything to win. A classic villain." Wearing his white-and-blue spandex costume emblazoned with a star of David, Brooks likes to deliver short, insulting introductions before his matches. "All my life I didn't understand why my grandfather left Prague to Israel," he said at a recent match in the Czech Republic. "But now that I'm here, I can fully understand why he did that move: Your country stinks! Your president is corrupt, he's a drunk!" he hollered as the audience booed, many of them smiling. "Everybody here tonight can kiss my ass!" During the choreographed fight — a match that involves real blows, enormous exertion and plenty of theatrics — Brooks delivers what he calls a "krav maga kick" to his Hungarian adversary's groin. As the rival lies on the mat feigning unconsciousness, Brooks ceremoniously puts on a kippah and shouts out in Hebrew: "Blessed are You, Lord our God, king of the universe, amen!" as he lands his so-called "chosen people elbow blow" on the prostrate athlete. The crowd chants "f**k you Lior" as Brooks flips them the finger. "I was looking for the boos," Brooks, a 6? 1," 220-pound redhead, told the Israeli film crew in Prague in January, as he was squeezing sweat out of his ponytail. "I'm not here to be a crowd-pleaser." Soft spoken, polite and eloquent in English and Hebrew, his real-life demeanor seems the opposite of the loud-mouthed, trash talking brute he portrays on stage. "Most fans nowadays know that professional wrestling is in fact theatrical sport and not a competitive competition, so you mainly work on their emotion with your skills in and out of the ring," Brooks told JTA. "I guess it's sort of like a stand-up comedy or a movie, just that you wear tights and your stage is the ring," he added. But ultimately, it "is all about putting smiles on people's faces." Brooks, a video editor and personal trainer from Netanya, is currently pursuing a stand-up comedy career. He is a popular performer among wrestling promoters in Europe. They book him for matches on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis. That's no small feat in a field that's saturated with hundreds of performer-athletes, each plugging their own shtick in the hope of landing gigs. There are hundreds of wrestling leagues with varying degrees of professionalism, Brooks said. "The competition is nuts, you have hundreds upon hundreds of different wrestlers and you have to find a unique niche to find an audience," he said. Brooks began wrestling in 2012 under a different persona, or gimmick, as they are known in the field. A former wrestler told him in 2015 that he should create an Israeli character. Initially, Brooks expected his persona to appeal to Jews. But he also ended up a favorite of sorts among non-Jewish audiences who respond to his act because it's provocative, at times funny, unique and stereotypical. Backstage, Brooks drops his act and chats amicably with a German colleague whose stage name is Robert Kaiser and whose wrestling character is a neo-Nazi. Sharing a name with a prominent member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, he wears black shirts and boots while wielding a baseball bat on stage. Chuckling, Brooks suggests to Kaiser that they team up for a stage rivalry known as a feud: "The Jew boy fights the neo-Nazi." Kaiser smiles and shrugs. Brooks asks what makes Kaiser's get-up neo-Nazi. "Well, it's typical German neo-Nazi gear, called Pegida," says Kaiser, naming the anti-immigration movement in Germany. (Its leaders deny any connection to or affinity with neo-Nazis.) Kaiser, a 35-year-old semi-professional wrestler since 2011, likes to speak about his "grandfather's legacy" ahead of matches in countries, like the Czech Republic, that Germany occupied during World War II. He often rants on stage about "foreigners." But off stage, he is trained by two Muslims: Ahmed Chaer and Ali Aslan – themselves professional wrestlers. Back home, Brooks has a fan in his father, a professional wrestling enthusiast who introduced his son to the game. "My mom on the other hand," Brooks said, "she doesn't care for it but sometimes likes to watch, less for the physical side of things and more for the entertainment value."

US Court: Teen Murdered by Hamas Partially to Blame Because He Traveled in Judea

By World Israel News

A US judge has told the parents of Naftali Frankel, who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists together with another two Israeli teens in the summer of 2014, that they were partially to blame for his death because they chose to send him to a school in an area supposedly prone to terror attacks. The three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014 in the Gush Etzion area of Judea and Samaria. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave three weeks later on the route to Hebron. A couple of months later, Israeli Special Forces tracked down and killed the terrorists. In 2015, Racheli Frankel, Naftali's mother and a US citizen, filed a lawsuit against Iran and Syria in a federal court in Washington in a bid to hold them accountable for their son's murder. During the proceedings, Racheli Frankel recounted the devastating night of her son's abduction and the subsequent torturous weeks. Federal Judge Rosemary Mayers Collyer accepted the family's claims but chose to award them a very small amount in compensation, arguing that the family had taken its chances and endangered itself when it chose to live in Judea and Samaria, according to the ruling obtained by Israel's YnetNews and published on Tuesday. Collyer conceded that Frankel's murder "was a tragic event for which money can never compensate his family." She was convinced that Iran and Syria did provide material support and resources to Hamas in Israel, which contributed to the hostage-taking and murder of the boys, but ordered the defendants to pay only $1 million for Naftali's pain and suffering, $50 million in punitive damages, and $4.1 million to his family in "solatium damages," a term for the mental anguish suffered. The family sought damages of $340 million. The Frankel family appealed the low sum in compensation, but Collyer refused to reconsider her decision, stating that the plaintiffs had taken the risk involved in living beyond the Green Line in Israel and sending their son to a school in Gush Etzion. Explaining the decision to award the family a relatively small sum, Collyer noted that Frankel was kidnapped and murdered for being Jewish and Israeli, not because he was an American citizen. This somehow affects the amount the family is entitled to receive in civil damages, she asserted. Racheli Frankel was shocked by the judge's comment. "This is unthinkable," she said. "The children were on their way home from school. How can the teens be responsible for their own death?" The family members appealed the ruling through attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Robert Tolchin of the Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center, saying that the court exceeded its authority and involved unlawful considerations in its decision. Last month, a court ruled that the Frankel family is entitled to a higher level of damages than that awarded by the earlier judgment and handed the case back to Collyer, clarifying that no guilt should be ascribed to the victim. The court also said that it found "no legal basis" to limit damages based on being "targeted for his affiliation with Israel, rather than the US." "We filed the claim to `irritate the bad guys,'" Racheli Frankel explained, according to Ynet. "There are many, ways to fight terror, and in this case we are trying to put financial obstacles in their way. Even if a large sum of money is awarded, no one will enforce the ruling. We don't actually expect to receive the money." Frankel referred to the original ruling as "outrageous," adding that "the boys were on their way home from school. Does that make it okay to kill them?" Meir Katz of the Berkman Law Office, who is one of the attorneys representing the Frankels, welcomed the new ruling. Darshan-Leitner stated that "we are glad that the court of appeals ruled that Naftali shouldn't have expected to be murdered by Palestinian terrorists because he studied beyond the Green Line. The statement that the Frankel family took the risk of being kidnapped and murdered because of their place of residence justifies terrorism and violence against innocent civilians. Moreover, when such a statement is issued by a court—alongside a financial reward to Palestinian terrorists—it may encourage further acts of terror, in Israel and worldwide." Iran will not pay, but the Frankels may receive the money through the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. The Fund is financed by fines paid by entities found to be engaging in business with countries in violation of US sanctions.

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