Newsletter : 18fx0917.txt
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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