Newsletter : 18fx0713.txt
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Report: Eli Cohen's Remains to be Returned to Israel: Widow: They're Trying to Deceive
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, considered one of the most reliable in the Arab world,
reported Thursday that Israel is very close to achieving a return of the remains of
legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen to Israel.
Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew, worked as an undercover Israeli agent in Egypt and Syria
before he was discovered and hanged in 1965. By the time of his discovery, Cohen had
managed to climb the ranks of the Syrian Defense Ministry, becoming the top advisor to
Syria's Defense Minister.
According to the report, Israeli intelligence received very accurate information about the
place of his burial and personal possessions held by Syrian authorities. It was also
reported that an agreement had been reached to transfer the located remains for DNA
testing, and if it turned out that they were Cohen's, Israel would be willing to relax its
position regarding the deployment of the Syrian army along the northern border.
Since being caught and executed in Damascus, Cohen's family has tried to locate his burial
place and bring him for burial in Israel. In the past decades, despite political talks
with the Syrians, there has been no progress on the issue.
Nadia Cohen, his widow, responded to a Kuwaiti newspaper report on contacts between Israel
and Syria to retrieve the remains of her husband's body. "I heard the news an hour ago
from friends who read in the Kuwaiti newspaper and showed us the text, and of course I
consulted with officials in the institution, and of course I have not received a final
"I spoke with the clerk, and she told me it was nonsense, that it never happened and
wouldn't happen, but I was waiting for information anyway from Yossi Cohen, the head of
the Mossad, and we have not yet received the final answer," Cohen said. "I do not think
it's real, and it does not seem to me that there really was a request like that."
According to her, someone is trying to deceive the family, perhaps because of the tension
between Israel and Syria. "If there was something then the Mossad would contact us and
tell us and prepare us, but I was the one who told them there was such an article, I'm
waiting for them to tell us where it came from. I think it's unfair. It's not nice. The
Syrians do not have to deceive us. We wish for ourselves and for him that this moment will
come," said Cohen.
Last week, the Mossad announced that it had recovered Eli Cohen's wristwatch. At a recent
memorial event for Cohen, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen showed the watch to relatives of the
fallen spy, which Eli Cohen used during his undercover work in Syria.
Report Reveals More and More Senior Citizens are Making Aliyah
The idea of aliyah Jews immigrating to Israel from the Diaspora generally
conjures up the image of young single people or young families. But plenty of people aged
65 and over also decide to come to Israel once they've already raised children and
grandchildren, according to a new report from the Knesset Research and Information Center.
The report, based on figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, reveals that 3,625
senior citizens made aliyah in 2017, comprising 14% of the total new immigrants for that
year. Nearly half of the senior immigrants arrived from Russia and Ukraine (28% and 20%,
respectively). Another 628 seniors (17%) moved to Israel from France; 349 made aliyah from
the U.S., and the rest came to Israel from other countries.
The report also provided an overview of aliyah by senior citizens from 1990-2017, during
which a total of 228,039 senior citizens relocated to Israel from all over the world. The
figures show that the gender breakdown among senior olim resembles that of the rest of the
country's senior citizen population, with 60% of new immigrants over the age of 65 being
women compared to 40% men.
The vast majority of senior citizens who made aliyah in this 27-year period came from the
former Soviet Union (82%). Another 3% of senior citizens came to Israel from Ethiopia, 2%
arrived from the U.S. and Canada, and 1% from France.
The Knesset report also includes less pleasing data: Numbers from the National Insurance
Institute for 2016 show that poverty was more prevalent among senior citizen immigrants
than among the general population of senior citizens in Israel, with 20.2% of new
immigrants over 65 living below the poverty line, compared to 16.7% of Israel's senior
population as a whole.
Police Arrest 3 Suspects in Kidnapping of Arab Boy
By the Jerusalem Post
Israeli police have arrested four suspects over the kidnapping of Karim Jumhour, a
seven-year-old Arab boy from the village of Kalansua in central Israel. Three residents of
the city of Lod, aged 27, 41 and 26 were arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of
involvement of the abduction of the boy. They were taken for questioning by the police's
On Thursday morning the suspects brought for remand extension hearings at the Rishon
Lezion court. A fourth suspect was arrested on Thursday. The court extended the remand of
all four suspects until July 19.
On Tuesday, police received a report that the boy had been kidnapped from the entrance to
his home and began extensive searches to find him. Footage of the incident released by the
police shows Jumhour walking toward a white car with a family member, and the kidnappers,
sitting in the front seats appear to say something to the boys. The older boy opens the
door to the backseat of the car, and a masked man pushes Jumhour into the white vehicle,
gets in after him, and they immediately drive away. The other boy runs away back toward
the house. It is believed that the child, who has not yet been rescued, is being held in
The background for the incident is reportedly a financial dispute between the boy's
family and the kidnappers. Israeli media reported that the kidnappers had demanded that
the boy's father pay them a ransom of 4 million shekels and he refused.
An investigation of the abduction discovered that Jumhour was most likely taken over a
debt of several thousand shekels owed by his father to the family of his estranged wife.
The child's father, Jabar, said he had paid his debt. "There might be some
misunderstanding, but there is no debt. I'm begging the kidnappers to return my son," he
Meanwhile, "senior" criminals from the Arab sectors are helping police search for Karim,
condemning the kidnapping of a child as a "red line. We don't touch children," said one of
them. "We certainly don't kidnap a child from his home because of a dispute involving his
father. It's unacceptable. We don't know such a thing."
"This is a grave and rare incident which crosses red lines, and we are using all our
resources - both covert and overt - to find the boy as soon as possible and bring him back
to his family in Kalansua," the spokeswoman for the Sharon police district told The
Jerusalem Post. Reports indicate that police are searching in the West Bank and well as
inside the Green Line.
Members of Knesset from Left-wing and Arab parties expressed outrage Wednesday following
24 hours of relative silence in the country concerning the kidnapping. Joint List Chairman
MK Ayman Odeh visited the boy's family on Wednesday, and later commented on the incident:
Odeh reiterated his desire and intent to abolish organized crime and end the phenomenon of
illegal weapons in the Arab community. "We demand a life of security for the Arab
society," he said. "There is only one police force in the country, and it cannot continue
treating the Arab communities as a backyard."
IDF Transfers CARE Packages to Syrians Fleeing Offensive Regime
By the Jerusalem Post
Israel's military transferred aid and care packages donated by residents of the Golan
Heights to Syrians displaced by fighting on the other side of the border, the IDF
Spokesperson's Unit announced. Called Operation Good Neighbor, the food and medical
supplies were transferred in two military operations by the Bashan Division and delivered
to Syrians in camps in the northern and southern Syrian Golan Heights.
Over the past week, hundreds of care packages were donated from communities in the Golan
Regional Council. The aid included personal gift bags containing toys, crayons, games,
candies and notes from Israeli children living in the Golan.
"For six years, a cruel war that has claimed the lives of more than 500,000 people has
been taking place in Syria, and the world remains quiet in the face of this horror. We,
the residents of the Golan, look right over the fence and see the people fleeing from the
killing fields together with their children, and clinging to the fence with Israel," said
Eli Malka, the head of the Golan Regional Council, who initiated the collection.
"We feel the moral obligation, in accordance with our values, to send humanitarian aid
and as much as is possible to build a relationship of humanity with those who have always
been our neighbors on the other side of the fence. The residents of the Golan have come
together wholeheartedly to raise and collect supplies, and make personal gift bags for the
Syrian children, to give them a moment of happiness in great chaos," he added.
The Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes and Iranian Shiite militias and Hizbullah,
has been pummeling the southwestern provinces of Deraa and Quneitra in an offensive aimed
at recapturing the strategic rebel-held areas bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights. In
recent days, rebels in Deraa handed over a swathe of territory along the border with
Jordan to Damascus.
The United Nations fears that between 285,000 and 325,000 internally displaced Syrians
have fled since the beginning of the current offensive. Some 189,000 have headed towards
the border with Israel.
According to the IDF, the military has recently carried out 30 designated aid operations
for Syrians displaced by fighting in the Golan Heights, transferring more than 130 tons of
food, 12.5 tons of baby food, 75,700 liters of fuel to operate generators, 20 medical
equipment units, 77 tons of clothing, 556 tents and 30 shadow nets. Calling the operation
"unique and exciting," Lt.-Col. E, the commander of the Good Neighbor Operation, stated
that those living in the Syrian Golan Heights have understood that Israel is not a country
"The Bashan Division is responsible for preserving the security of the residents of the
State of Israel, and of the Golan Heights in particular, and through the Good Neighbor
command it carries out the mission of defending them in partnership with the citizens (of
the area). All of this was done for our neighbors on the other side of the fence, who have
been educated to hate Israel and everything related to it, and in recent years have
understood that the only country which has aided them was the same one they feared."
Did Yad Vashem snub a Japanese Holocaust Savior?
By the Jerusalem Post
Japanese General Kiichiro Higuchi was responsible for saving the lives of many Jews who,
thanks to him, were able to escape from Europe to the USSR and from there to Manchuria.
Unlike Japanese Righteous Among the Nations Chiune Sugihara the general is not well known,
his grandson claims. "My dream is to plant a tree to honor my grandfather in Yad Vashem,"
said Prof Ryoichi Higuchi, the grandson of General Higuchi, who is now visiting Israel and
holding interviews with Jewish families who reside in Israel and were established by
Holocaust survivors his grandfather, he strongly believes, saved.
The Japanese embassy in Israel stated that they are in touch with Yad Vashem since 2005,
when Higuchi appealed to them, and that Yad Vashem claims that they researched the matter
and could not verify all the claims made by the applicant. For example, Yad Vashem asks,
if the Japanese authorities indeed rebuked General Higuchi for saving Jews, why can't they
find any records of it in the Japanese archives? Yad Vashem also stated that the process
is very lengthy and involves many steps needed to verify the claims that were made.
General Higuchi served as the commander of the Japanese-occupied Chinese Harbin Special
Branch between 1937-1938 and during the Otpor incident of 1938 gave Jewish refugees
stranded in Otpor, then in the USSR, entry into the Japanese-created state of Manchukuo
which existed in parts of China and Mongolia at the time. The Jewish refugees were allowed
to enter Japan itself later on.
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