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Syria: Israel Launched Missile Attack on Damascus Airport

By Israel Hayom

Israel attacked several targets in the Damascus International Airport on Saturday night, Syrian state media said, adding that Syrian air defenses intercepted some of the incoming missiles. A war monitoring group said the attack targeted an arms shipment meant for Iranian forces or the Iran-backed Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist group. According to Syrian reports, the target of the strike was a weapons depot in the airport that contained weapons delivered from Iran. Additional reports suggested that the strike destroyed a Russian-made S-200 Syrian missile defense battery. Other reports noted underground explosions, which were heard across Damascus. The state news agency SANA posted pictures showing what appeared to be air defenses firing into the air. "Our air defense systems thwarted an Israeli missile aggression on Damascus International Airport," Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying. Witnesses at a major trade fair in the capital Damascus said they saw flares shooting up into the night sky. An IDF spokesperson declined to comment, saying that Israel does not discuss foreign reports. However, in a possible message to Iran, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning that the Jewish state's red lines were "sharper than ever." Speaking before the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, the prime minister added: "We must do everything to prevent war. Its victims destroy families and are an open wound in the heart of the nation. At the same time, if war is forced upon us, we must do everything to win it with minimum losses. Israel is always working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weapons. Our red lines are sharper than ever, and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever," he said. On Sunday morning, Israel's Hadashot TV reported that an Iranian Boeing-made cargo aircraft was targeted in the attack, along with several hangars disguised as belonging to the United Nations and global courier company DHL, to conceal their true purpose from Israeli intelligence. Israel rarely acknowledges attacks inside Syria but has said it would use military action to prevent weapons transfers to its enemies. Earlier this month, an Israeli military official said the Jewish state has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months. Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hizbullah forces in Syria that have joined the country's war fighting alongside the regime. An Israeli official said earlier this month that the targets were connected to Iran's elite Quds force and included air force components, support infrastructure, and weapons storage and manufacturing facilities. U.S. and Israeli officials have repeatedly insisted that Iran and Hizbullah withdraw from Syria, which shares a border with Israel.

Palestinian Stabs American-Israeli Man to Death in West Bank

By VOA News

An American-Israeli man, Ari Fuld, 45, was murdered in a terrorist stabbing on Sunday near the Gush Etzion junction, south of Jerusalem. The victim managed to shoot his assailant, a 17-year-old Palestinian, before collapsing. The victim, who was stabbed in the back, was treated at the scene and then evacuated under sedation to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he later succumbed to his wounds. The victim was identified as 45-year-old Ari Fuld, a father of four from the settlement of Efrat. He was a prominent figure in Israeli public diplomacy efforts in English and managed a blog defending Israel from the delegitimization efforts of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The assailant, identified as Youssef Ali Jabarin from the city of Yatta near Hebron, was also taken to hospital in stable condition and fully conscious. G., who witnessed the attack, said, "Suddenly, outside the restaurant, I heard shouts of 'Terrorist attack! Terrorist attack!' I saw the terrorist stabbing [the man], I saw him wounded. I started running after the attacker. Before he could get to where people were standing, the stabbing victim shot at him and one bullet hit him. Good for him!" G. said that the man collapsed after firing the shot. Magen David Adom paramedic Hagla Erez said she was shopping in the area when she heard shouting and the sound of shots fired. "I started running to the scene and saw a man about 40 lying on the ground, unconscious, with stab wounds in the upper body. I administered first aid, including stopping the bleeding and called the incident into Magen David Adom. Together with other MDA teams and IDF medical personnel, we kept up the first aid, and the man was transported to the hospital in critical condition." Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council Shlomo Naaman was called to the scene of the attack and briefed on the victim's condition. "We were enjoying a holiday atmosphere, and in one second [it became] an atmosphere of war for this country. We will fight this war with all the means at our disposal, including the expansion of settlements," Naaman said. "We also expect the IDF and the government to do everything in their power to prevent incidents like these," he continued. "We had a welcome period of calm, but our enemies aren't giving up and we won't, either. They need to choose – do they want to live with us here and behave like human beings, or do they want to behave like animals? If they choose the latter, they will pay the price," Naaman warned. Haaretz reported that Jabarin's parents contacted the Palestinian security apparatus on Sunday morning, before the stabbing attack, and warned them that he was planning to carry out a terrorist attack. Since 2015, Palestinians have killed over 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces killed over 260 Palestinians in that period, of which Israel says most were attackers. The Hamas terror group praised the terrorist responsible for Fuld's murder. "We welcome the stabbing attack in Bethlehem, which coincided with the killings of our people during the March of Return," Hamas said in a statement Sunday hours after the attack, referring to the "March of Return" riots on the Gaza-Israel border. Since the end of March, rioters have regularly gathered at the border to attack the Israeli security fence. The attack makes it clear that our people wish to continue the Jerusalem intifada. To resist the occupation, by using all means necessary, is our legitimate right." Born in the US, Fuld immigrated to Israel and settled in the town of Efrat, south of Jerusalem. He was a pro-Israel activist and fundraiser, who also served as a member of Efrat's rapid response security team. While the Hamas terror organization openly praised Fuld's murder, the Palestinian Authority's WAFA media outlet avoided mention of it, emphasizing that the terrorist had been wounded – playing down the stabbing attack prior to the shooting and describing the terror attack as a mere "allegation."

Baptist Pastor Finds Calling in Post-Holocaust Cemeteries

By Israel Hayom

Steven Reece pulls a shield over his face, takes a weed whacker in hand, and begins trimming tall grass in an overgrown, tick-infested Jewish cemetery in western Ukraine, where tombstones lie toppled and broken. For years now, Reece, an ordained Southern Baptist minister from Texas, has been cleaning Jewish cemeteries and erecting memorial plaques at mass grave sites in Poland, and recently Ukraine. The region, once Europe's Jewish heartland, saw millions of Jews shot and gassed by Nazi German forces during World War II, sometimes with the help of local collaborators. The 63-year-old American says cleaning up old cemeteries is his way, as a Christian, of honoring Holocaust victims while supporting the surviving Jewish communities here. He also hopes his mission can help alleviate the bitterness and misunderstanding that still festers sometimes between Christians and Jews. Reece explains that he is troubled by the failure of European Christians who mostly stood by passively as the Nazis marginalized, then persecuted and killed their Jewish neighbors. "To me, it means simply bringing together people who are separated by distance, by space, by conflict," Reece said, taking a break during a recent clean-up operation in Rohatyn, Ukraine, which before the war was part of Poland. "I saw the Jewish cemetery as a way to bring Jew and Christian together in a common place where they could work together with one another… The point of what I do is to reconcile."

Outside Ukraine, Reece and his team cleaned seven cemeteries in Poland this summer, including one in Oswiecim, the town where Nazi Germany operated the Auschwitz death camp. Reece, who grew up in Texas and is now a resident of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, says he is driven by a desire for justice that has been with him since his boyhood in the American south, where the mistreatment and segregation of black Americans was instituted in law. "I was in the seventh grade when Martin Luther King was assassinated. That made a tremendous impact upon me," Reece said during an interview in Warsaw. "And when I encountered the issue of Polish Jewish history, due to what happened here, I saw that there is a great injustice."

Part of his mission involves encouraging Diaspora Jews to work with local volunteers in Polish towns to continue the cemetery maintenance work. In 2010 he founded an Atlanta-based charity, The Matzevah Foundation, which takes its name from the Hebrew term for a headstone. The foundation brings volunteers to Europe from the Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee and partners them with Jewish descendants to care for their ancestral cemeteries. Since 2012, his organization has carried out 28 projects in 14 different locations with the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers, including some 250 Americans, but also Israelis, local Poles and Ukrainians. The recent work in Rohatyn was organized by Jewish Rohatyn Heritage, an organization run by an American couple, Marla Raucher Osborn and Jay Osborn, who have been gathering Nazi-damaged headstones scattered in the town and bringing them to the cemetery in Ukraine. Reece first came to the region in the late 1980s when he was on assignment in Poland as a photojournalist. After graduating seminary, he served for 12 years as a pastor in Warsaw and nearby Otwock, learning Polish and gaining a deeper understanding of what happened in Poland during WWII. The country was invaded from the west by Adolf Hitler's forces and from the east by Soviet forces. More than 5 million were dead by war's end. Under the German occupation, thousands of Christian Poles risked their lives to help Jews, but many did not act, and some joined the plunder and destruction. Reece, no longer a minister, says he wants to help local Jewish authorities struggling to maintain 1,400 cemeteries across Poland – a legacy of a country once home to the largest Jewish community in the world. That population has dwindled from 3.3 million on the eve of Germany's invasion, to 20,000 today. Mass grave sites continue to be discovered, and the challenge is made more difficult as Poland's economy grows and construction booms across the country. Reece said some in the Jewish community at first wrongly suspected he was seeking converts. "I don't deny who I am – I am a follower of Jesus – but that's the not the point of what I do," he said. "The point of what I do is to reconcile." Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said that initially, some were puzzled by Reece. "Steven is so unique, we're not used to people like that," he said. "But as soon as I met him I realized that he was the real thing," Schudrich added. "There are special, unique, saintly people in the world. It transcends religion, nationality and ethnicity. Steven Reece is one of them."

Israeli Watchdog Busts `Miss Hitler' Social Media Page

By World Israel News

Vocative, an Israeli watchdog, succeeded Thursday evening in getting the Russian social network VK, which was hosting a beauty pageant for "pure-blood" white women who idolize the Nazis, to remove its page. Candidates from Germany, Italy, Russia, and the United States were competing in the competition to become `Miss Hitler 2018'. A YouTube video announced "Miss Skuld" as the winner.

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