Friday, August 16, 2019

16-Aug-19: Children with knives and another Arab-on-Israeli stabbing frenzy

Photo montage from an online source [here] shows the stabbers
as depicted today in the social media and via security cam footage
In the latest such attack, two Palestinian Arab children armed with knives ["Cop injured in Jerusalem stabbing attack; 2 assailants shot", Times of Israel, August 15, 2019] were stopped from killing their Israeli targets on Thursday.

Both are minors. At least one is 14 years old. Some reports, but not all, say the other is too.
Two teenage assailants stabbed a police officer, moderately injuring him, in an apparent terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday, officials said. The assailants were shot by security forces at the scene. One of them was pronounced dead at the scene, the second was critically wounded and taken to the hospital, a police spokesperson said.
Graphic video footage from the scene showed the two teenagers walk up from behind a group of police officers stationed in the Old City. As they approached, they suddenly pulled out knives and began repeatedly stabbing one of the cops. Other officers at the scene opened fire at the pair as they were stabbing the victim.
The injured police officer was approximately 40 years old. He sustained multiple stab wounds to the upper body, medics said.
“We gave him medical care, including stopping the bleeding and bandaging him, and we took him to the hospital,” one of the medics on the scene said. The officer was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Via social media [click to view], there's high quality graphic security cam video of the actual attack and of the quick and focused response by the Israeli security personnel.

The location is said to be the Old City's Chain Gate. It's one of the dozen open gates (though sometimes closed) that lead to the Temple Mount and is limited, in accordance with current Israeli security measures, to Muslim worshipers and visitors only. In Arabic, they call it Kubat A Silsila.

Shortly after the attack [Image Source]
Haaretz names the 14 year old knifer as Hamuda Khader a-Sheikh who is being treated for his wounds, and a 17 year old (in their version) they name as Nassim Abu Rumi who is said to have died at the scene. (In its report, Ynet says the dead attacker was also fourteen.)

Both evidently, though not confirmed, are from Al-Azaria, a village on the slopes of Jerusalem's Mount of Olives. It's better known to some as the Biblical town of Bethany, the home of Lazarus (hence its Arabic name).

Arab reports include wide-ranging claims that deny and distort:
  • Eyewitnesses refuted the IDF's allegations and confirmed that there was no stabbing. They explained that a settler tried to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and when the guards tried to stop him, he opened fire on the guard's foot... [Sabaharabi, Egypt]
  • The police opened fire on two citizens at the Gate of Chains [in the Old City] from the outside, then announced the martyrdom of one of them. The injury of the other is described as medium. An Al Aqsa guard was shot in the foot. [Arabic edition of Ma'an News, Bethlehem]
  • The Zionist media reported that a cop was injured by two Palestinian stabbers who attacked him in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem). The Israeli occupation troops shot directly at the two youths, injuring both of them, and closes the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Palestinian sources. [Al-Manar, Lebanon]
  • Video shows the pair approaching a group of Border Police officers and then lunging at them. The officers immediately open fire on the boys, and do not appear to attempt to subdue them with nonlethal means [from the especially loathsome propaganda mill of Electronic Intifada].
  • From a Gaza-based Arab reporter: "2 palestinian kids got murdered by israeli occupation fire in occupied Jerusalem after allegedly stabbing operation #BDS" [Twitter account with more than 6,000 followers]
How Palestinian Arab society weaponizes its children and encourages stabbing attacks in particular has troubled us for years. 

It's a chronic form of incitement that starts at the highest levels of the Palestinian Arab power structure: click for indexed articles.

Three years ago we wrote about how there is no way of avoiding the reality of large swathes of Palestinian Arab society being in the obvious thrall of a passionate embrace of vicious bigotry, murderous savagery and explicit incitement of their own children and grandchildren to murder and to be killed.

Two outside actors deserve a special mention in this grotesquerie:
  • The central role of UNRWA, ostensibly an agency that exists to ameliorate the suffering of Arab refugees (Palestinian Arab refugees to be more precise) but in reality a cornerstone of the seven-decades-long Arab strategy to keep the Palestinian Arabs displaced, as miserable as possible and in the news - ought to be acknowledged at this point. By their own reckoning, they play a huge role in the education of Palestinian Arab children. They are certainly part of the problem and not of the solution.
  • Amnesty International's increasingly explicit identification with the practitioners of the Palestinian Arab brand of terror makes plain their abandonment of principle and betrayal of their supporters' values. As we have noted several times [most recently here: "20-Sep-16: Another Pal Arab boy with a knife died today - exactly as the PA intended him to"], there's no longer anything to expect from them.
More than 80 of our blog posts have the tag "Weaponizing Children". This would be an excellent time to re-acquaint ourselves with the betrayal of, and the outrages perpetrated on, the children of Palestinian Arab society by those responsible for their well-being.

It's a reality that's difficult to deny or ignore though plenty of reporters and their editors nonetheless do just that.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

15-Aug-19: We remember

העליה לקבר והאזכרה לזכרן של 
מיכל רזיאל הי"ד 
ומלכה חנה רוט הי"ד 
תתקיים במקום קבורתן בהר תמיר ירושלים
ביום ד', כ' אב (21 באוגוסט 
2019) בשעה 17:30 

The annual Aliyah Lakever (going up to the gravesides) and Azkara (memorial service)
in memory of our daughters 
Malka Chana Roth HY"D and Michal Raziel HY"D
may their memories be for a blessing, 
will take place at the Har Tamir cemetery in Jerusalem
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 5:30 pm 

For driving directions, please email us.

The families

Monday, August 12, 2019

12-Aug-19: The pain of a child's murder: A burden of grief and injustice

Malki Z"L was deeply devoted to her blind and profoundly
disabled youngest sister
It appears that the pain of a child's murder is so inconceivable in our society that it is down-played. Swept under the carpet.

Frimet Roth | This op ed was originally published on the Israel National News website, August 8, 2019

I don't mention my murdered child, Malki, often.

Over the eighteen years since the terror bombing at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria, I have learned that most people are bored, disconcerted or annoyed by my dredging up that "ancient incident".

Closure, moving on, forgiving are the trendiest notions circulating in the world of grief.

A few years back, my husband, who had just delivered a talk about terrorism in his hometown, Melbourne, overheard an old acquaintance gripe about him. "Hasn’t gotten over that yet?"

I recall a CNN journalist reporting about a tragic mass shooting in the US involving children, commenting "The families of the victims certainly have several tough weeks ahead of them."

Weeks? Make that lives.

It appears that the pain of a child's murder is so inconceivable in our society that it is down-played. Swept under the carpet.

I vividly recall the silky feel of my Malki's hair, the way we swam the crawl together holding hands, the way we always walked up the ramp to our car arm in arm, the tears of pride I would shed whenever I heard her play the flute in a concert.

Her smile as she walked through our front door was infectious.

Her concern for anyone with disabilities was incomparable and unique for a teen. It was expressed not by vacuous words of compassion but rather active involvement with them.

Malki sought out places to volunteer as a caregiver even to the most profoundly affected children.

That included her youngest sibling Chaya who suffers from a rare genetic illness that includes severe epilepsy and blindness. Malki’s tenderness and devotion to her were incomparable.

And I remember the last time I heard her voice; she phoned me an hour before her life ended and we closed always, with the words “I love you.”

For the past eight years, our grief has been exacerbated by anger over injustice. The mastermind of that terror bombing, a Jordanian terrorist called Ahlam Tamimi, sentenced to 16 life terms in an Israeli court, was freed in the 2001 Shalit Deal.

She was “exiled” to her home – Amman – where she was reunited with her family. Some exile.

On March 14, 2017, the US Department of Justice unsealed charges against Tamimi and said it was requiring the Jordanian regime to extradite her to Washington. This was due to Malki and two other victims of that attack being US citizens.
But Jordan’s King Abdullah II has provided Tamimi with refuge, refusing to abide by his kingdom’s 1995 extradition treaty with the US.

My husband and I have asked that US officials pressure the king to hand over the monster he is protecting. Instead, the current US administration fetes him and his family, receives him in the White House as an honored guest, lavishes his shaky kingdom with massive cash gifts and other support.

The terror attack on Sbarro was unique in several ways.

One family was nearly decimated: a mother, father and three of their eight children perished.
Another couple lost their one and only child along with the baby she was carrying who would have been their first grandchild. I visit that bereft mother regularly as she now faces myriad health crises, confined to a wheelchair.

Sbarro is also unique in that Tamimi boasts to this day of “her operation". She has described in televised interviews how she scoured Jerusalem's city center for the perfect target - one that would be filled with women and children.

For years she hosted a weekly program beamed from Amman to viewers throughout the Arab world on Hamas' Al Quds TV station.

She smiled joyfully when she learned that her 15 victims included 8 children, not the mere three she claimed to believe.

She has been a constant presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where she incites her fans to follow her example. She is undeniably the incarnation of evil.

And yet she is safe, free and raising a family. Every day of this reality is another stab in our hearts.

This week, grieving Americans were assured by Federal authorities that the El Paso shooter who murdered 22 innocent victims would be deemed a terrorist. He would receive “swift and certain justice.”

The victims of terrorist Tamimi are still waiting for that.

Frimet Roth's daughter, Malki, was murdered in the Sbarro terrorist attack at the age of fifteen. She had gone to enjoy a summer vacation pizza with her friend Michal Raziel, who was killed with her. Frimet is a freelance writer. She and her husband live in Jerusalem with their family. More from the author ►

Sunday, August 11, 2019

11-Aug-19: What money can do: The Sbarro terrorists and the children of Ramot

Basing herself on the fine investigative work done routinely by Itamar Marcus and his colleagues at Palestinian Media Watch, Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman reported in the Jerusalem Post on the role played by money in the lives of the terrorists who destroyed Jerusalem's Sbarro Pizzeria exactly eighteen years earlier.

Here's how it starts:
Eighteen years ago, on August 9, female terrorist Ahlam Tamimi smuggled a bomb in a guitar case into Jerusalem and led a suicide bomber to the crowded Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem’s city center.

Suicide terrorist Izz Al-Din Al-Masri ate a slice of pizza and then blew himself up, murdering 15 people, seven of them children, and wounding close to 130 others.

“I have no regrets,” Tamimi told Channel 1 TV in an interview that was recently rebroadcast on Palestinian Authority TV. “No Palestinian prisoner regrets what he or she has done.”

Since that fateful day, in which two Americans – Malki Roth and Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum – were among the murdered, the PA has paid the seven terrorists who helped orchestrate the attack as well as Al-Masri’s family $910,823 (3.2 million shekels), according to a report released Thursday by Palestinian Media Watch.

These payments include monthly salaries paid to the terrorists in prison; payments to the family of the dead terrorist; and payments to the terrorists, like Tamimi, who were released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, brokered between the Israeli government and Hamas...
The report concludes with some observations about the catastrophic policies of the Mahmoud Abbas regime:
“The Palestinian Authority glorifies all its terrorists, including child murderers and suicide bombers, as heroes,” explained Maurice Hirsch, PMW’s head of legal strategies in a related release. “In addition to granting the terrorist prisoners a monthly salary, the 2004 PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners prohibits the PA from signing any peace agreement that does not include the release of all the Palestinian terrorists, including the child-murderers who carried out this attack.”

In 2018, the PA admitted to spending $134 million in salary payments to terrorists. Currently, every terrorist salary starts at a minimum of NIS 1,400 per month and can reach as much as NIS 12,000 month after 30 years.
J-Wire, an online Australian Jewish news service, gave Arnold Roth the opportunity on Friday to respond and published his comments here today:
In the park down the street from where we live in Jerusalem, the local teens are putting final touches today to the annual charity bazaar held every year the day after Tisha B'Av. The bazaar exemplifies how Israel and its children deal with the bitter experience of ultra-violent hatred like that which blew up the Sbarro pizzeria 18 years ago today and obliterated so many futures. My daughter Malki's life ended there that day.
How we manage and use resources says a lot about society. Money, spent wisely, would make Palestinian Arab lives better, improving their prospects in life, their health and education.

The chronically insolvent Mahmoud Abbas regime that lives from foreign aid chooses loudly, aggressively and without shame to devote a massive share of its budget to honoring the killers of children and to nurturing yet more of them. Tragically, this is one of the few ways the inept Palestinian Authority manages to change its hapless subjects' destiny.

The children on our street raise substantial funds each year from a fine event that remembers Malki and her dearest friend Michal Raziel. Their values symbolize and honour Israel and the Jewish people's efforts to create better futures - tikun olam. It's not an outlook our Arab neighbors share with us.

Eventually it will prevail. But only after the politicians behind the foolish funding policies of the governments refilling Abbas' purse understand the chronic damage they do and stop.
If you're in Jerusalem tomorrow, August 12, 2019, you won't regret coming along to the annual Ezra Charity bazaar that honors the lives of our daughter Malki Roth and her friend Michal Raziel. It's held in the northern Jerusalem community of Ramot: jumping castle, face painting, caricatures, live performances by Yam Refaeli and Harel Tal and the magic act of Lior Laufer. Proceeds of the bazaar benefit the Malki Foundation.

That's the official poster above, with details. Feel free to email us [click] if you need translation or directions.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

21-Jul-19: Jordan, peace and how little has actually changed

Today happens to mark the seventieth anniversary of a Middle East milestone:
The quote is from a scholarly tome dealing with the work of the United Nations Security Council. Turns out the military phase they mentioned had several more violent and deadly rounds to go over the following decades. So much has changed, especially here in Jerusalem where we live.

And in some ways so little too.

British-led soldiers of the Arab Legion, Jordan's state army, at the
renowned Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City
shortly after conquering, and just before utterly destroying, the synagogue.
Starting in 1948 when the Kingdom of Jordan's British-led military overran Jerusalem's eastern part and occupied the Old City and its unique holy places, unrestrained state-inspired vandalism became the fate of one of the world's most revered places.

Here's how the Jewish Telegraph Agency described it in a 1967 report compiled shortly after Israel finally took over:
A shocking record of destruction and desecration of Jewish holy places in and around Old Jerusalem during 19 years of Jordanian rule was documented today in the report of an inter-ministerial committee that was appointed after the Six-Day War to determine the state of Jewish shrines in Jordan held territory. The findings of the committee were summarized by Zerach Warhaftig, Minister of Religious Affairs, at a press conference here. 
As examples of the wanton disregard of the religious rights of others, Mr. Warhaftig noted the destruction of all but two of the 58 synagogues in the Jewish quarter of the Old City and the almost total destruction of the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives which has been in continuous use for more than 2,000 years. 
The cemetery was one of the Jewish holy places to which access was promised by the Jordanians in the 1949 armistice agreements although the promise was never observed. Tombstones were carried away for purposes ranging from fortifying mortar positions to building lavatories and the report says, documentary evidence and eye witnesses “make it clear beyond doubt that the desecration of the cemetery was carried out by Jordanian authorities for official purposes.”
The Jordanian Government, according to the report, had placed a special guard at the cemetery, but only to prevent tombstones from being pilfered by private persons. Their use was authorized for building military camps, fortifications, pathways and other installations and the walls of the building that housed the army commanders. Part of the road to the Intercontinental Hotel was paved with tombstones, the report said. And the Jordanians never bothered to remove the remains of the dead. In the Old City of Jerusalem, the report went on, only the synagogue of the Chabad Hassidim and the Torat Chayim yeshiva were left standing.
Dr. Warhaftig said that there was only one known instance of a clergyman protesting against the desecration and he was told by the Jordanian authorities to mind his own business. Moslem dignitaries whom Dr. Warhaftig questioned about the outrages disclaimed all knowledge. ["Cabinet Report Says Jordan Destroyed 56 Old City Synagogues, Desecrated Cemetery", JTA, November 2, 1967]
An armistice agreement signed almost exactly seventy years ago (April 3, 1949) in Greece governed relations between the new-born state of Israel and the Jordanians. The burden of the safeguards it included never really troubled the Arabs who ignored them totally. No one else seems to have cared:
  • Jordan had undertaken to give free access to the Holy Places and to cultural institutions, and use of the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives [Section III, Document 6, Article VIII, and Section V, subsection E, Documents 15 and 16]. It breached all of these obligations and it kept on breaching down through the years before its armed men were forcibly removed by the IDF in 1967. 
  • Jews were entirely barred from the Old City and denied access to the Western Wall and the other Holy Places of incomparable importance.
  • The Jewish Quarter in the Old City was systematically destroyed. (It took years, starting in 1967, for what was lost to start to be painstakingly reconstructed. The  job is still underway.)
  • Moslem residents of Israel were not permitted to visit their Holy Places in East Jerusalem. 
  • Christians didn't fare much better. In 1958, Jordanian legislation required all members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre to adopt Jordanian citizenship. In 1965, Christian institutions were forbidden to acquire any land or rights in or near Jerusalem. 
  • In 1966, Christian schools were compelled to close on Fridays instead of Sundays, customs privileges of Christian religious institutions were abolished. 
  • In May 1967, the Temple Mount became a military base for the Jordanian National Guard.
On 24 April 1950, a year after the largely-ignored armistice, a joint session of Jordan's House of Deputies and its House of Notables adopted a resolution [source] seizing formal control of all of the West Bank and the eastern (and older) part of Jerusalem.

Viewed through the lens of today, the opening words of the annexation document are startling:
In the expression of the people's faith in the efforts spent by His Majesty, Abdullah [great-grandfather of the present-day king of Jordan who has the same name], toward attainment of natural aspirations, and basing itself on the right of self-determination and on the existing de facto position between Jordan and Palestine and their national, natural and geographic unity and their common interests and living space, Parliament, which represents both sides of the Jordan, resolves this day and declares:
First, its support for complete unity between the two sides of the Jordan and their union into one State, which is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at whose head reigns King Abdullah Ibn al Husain, on a basis of constitutional representative government and equality of the rights and duties of all citizens...
It's easy to forget now that when the Hashemite military was riding high, the Jordanians and the Palestinian Arabs had no problem seeing themselves as a single Arab entity with shared interests, shared living space, national unity.

Occupied territories? National self-determination for a Palestinian people? Two-state solution? In your dreams.

Most readers understand that Jordan - the Hashemite Kingdom and its absolute ruler King Abdullah II - gets a lot of our attention these days. This of course is mostly because they harbor our daughter's killer and so far at least refuse to hand her over for criminal prosecution in the United States despite a treaty that requires them to do just that.

Hussein, Clinton, Rabin at the 1994 peace treaty signing
Jordan has never publicly addressed this issue, but simply persists in refusing to extradite her despite the perfectly valid extradition treaty the two countries signed, and have basically honored, since 1994. 

In Israeli circles, and despite wars in which Israel has had to defend itself from Jordanian invasion, there's long been a sense that in the unstable and frequently violent and bigoted Arab world, Jordan's has been a voice (relatively speaking) of moderation and reason.

It's a complex situation, and is growing more complex as Jordan's troubles mount, particularly the widespread and deep dissatisfaction with how the country's economy is being managed.

But complex or not, when Jordan has the opportunity to join moderate Arab voices but pointedly refuses, then Israelis and those who care for Israel's well-being will notice and draw inferences. For instance:
Oman FM: Palestinians must reassure Israel it’s not in peril  | Associated Press Omar Akour | AP | April 6, 2019 at 2:40 PM
DEAD SEA, Jordan — Oman’s foreign minister urged Palestinians on Saturday to reassure Israel that it is not under threat in the Middle East, drawing a rare public rebuke from his Jordanian counterpart. Oman’s Yusuf bin Alawi and Jordan’s Ayman Safadi shared the stage at a regional gathering of the World Economic Forum, held on Jordan’s shores of the Dead Sea. Bin Alawi spoke at a time of warming ties between Israel and several Gulf Arab states, as part of an unofficial alliance against Iranian influence in the region. The Omani minister said that Palestinians “should help Israel to get away from” what he said was its mistaken sense of being threatened.
Safadi responded sharply, to applause from the audience. “I beg to differ on a number of issues,” said Safadi. He noted that in 2002, as part of the Arab Peace Initiative, scores of Arab and Muslim countries offered Israel recognition in exchange for a withdrawal from occupied lands sought for a Palestinian state. Safadi said the problem is whether Israeli occupation “is going to end.”
Lebanon’s defense minister and Bahrain’s foreign minister were also present on stage during the exchange.
The recent rapprochement between Israel and several Gulf states has been fueled by deepening rivalries between regional camps, led by Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively. The Trump administration’s hard anti-Iran line has contributed to growing regional tensions.
In October, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman and Israeli officials visited the United Arab Emirates in recent months.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians feel increasingly sidelined, fearing Israel, Gulf states and the U.S. plan to strike a deal behind their backs about the future of war-won lands they seek for a future state.
Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, considers itself a strong advocate for Palestinian political demands. A majority of the kingdom’s citizens are of Palestinian origin.
Jordan's public bellowing over how Israel deals with Muslim rights in Jerusalem provides a sadly rich source of intemperate and frankly ugly stamping of the foot by Jordan's foreign ministry. This is from just a few weeks ago:
Jordan has called for an immediate halt to Israeli “provocations” at East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, warning of a new cycle of violence in the Middle East region, Anadolu reports. Hundreds of settlers forced their way into the flashpoint site on Sunday, in a rare tour in the final days of the fasting month of Ramadan, which ends this week. The tour has triggered clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli police, which chased assaulted a number of worshippers during the violence. In a statement, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry warned of the “dangerous consequences of Israel’s provocative and repulsive escalatory Israeli practices, which will drag the region into a new cycle of violence that may threaten the security of the region as a whole”. It called on the Israeli authorities to “immediately cease all these provocations”, which it described as “absurd, irresponsible, rejected and condemned”. ["Israeli ‘provocations’ will lead to violence: Jordan", Middle East Monitor, June 2, 2019]
For anyone who knows something of the history of the region and the devastation wrought by Jordan's heavy-booted occupation over nearly two decades, it's odd to note those ridiculous adjectives. Jordan, when it had the opportunity during the 19 years of its illegal and violent military occupation of Jordan and the West Bank, carried out deliberate, massive and systematic destruction and desecration of Jewish holy sites in and around Jerusalem.

The "provocations" are the sight of polite, respectful Israelis and Jews visiting Judaism's single holiest ancient place. For certain kinds of political analysts, politicians and politically-warped media reporters, this sight is just unbearable.

Note how certain especially bizarre elements play a role:

Image Source: Turkey's Anadolu Agency, a source of rabidly anti-Israel news
  • Jewish and Israeli visitors to the Temple Mount never walk, stroll or simply visit. They storm. The word is used religiously these days. (A quick Google search produces more than 600,000 hits.)
  • The Arab sources quoted in shabby reporting like this always seem to know, without ever speaking with them, that the Jews are "settlers". Even if they're from Brooklyn.
  • These Jewish and/or Israeli visitors don't actually go anywhere near the mosque constructed on the ruins of the First Temple and Second Temple. But in ideologically-obsessed parts of the Arab media, the entire football-field size plateau is lately termed "the Al Aqsa complex" to confer some spiritual air to the largest possible space. And yes, football is indeed played there by Arab boys.
Intemperate news reporting is a problem. But some other problems carry greater weight. For instance these three which bear a disturbing integrity-of-the-homeland similarity to each other:
  • This past October, Jordan decided to terminate the lease by Israel of two small areas on the Jordan River, roughly a thousand acres of agricultural ‎land‎, which had been farmed by Israelis for the past 25 years. The leases were part of the 1994 Jordan/Israel peace treaty. As the Jerusalem Post noted: "The 30 families which reside [there] live off these lands and export millions of dollars' worth of crops to the world as well as to the Israeli market." Jordan's king announced that he seeks “full sovereignty on our land”. There's surely a message in the unexpected and unwelcome move. From our conversations with relevant people, there's some doubt what that message is.
  • Another important deal between Jordan and Israel, a far larger and more strategic one signed in 2016, is arousing angst and furor as a result of a bizarre speech by a member of Jordan's parliament a couple of weeks ago. The deal concerns the sale of natural gas which is to be piped from Israel's Leviathan offshore gas field to Jordan's electric company. It's a $10 billion deal to be executed over 15 years; the first gas is due to be delivered early next year. But as  critically important as this is to Jordan's need for energy, it's (of course) opposed by a range of Jordanian political factions including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' local affiliate, on the customary grounds that if it involves normalization and cooperation with Israel, it has to be bad. Tareq Khouri, a Christian and an opponent of the transaction said at a Muslim Brotherhood gathering on July 3, 2019 that good Jordanians should bomb the gas pipeline. "Every lover of freedom in Jordan [should] give up his life and the lives of his children in order to bomb any gas pipeline [from Israel] that passes through Jordanian territory. We shall all be potential martyrs [and] prevent this pipeline from entering one centimeter of Jordanian soil."
  • A decade ago, reports emerged of the uncovering of an ancient Jerusalem pathway with considerable historical significance. Haaretz said: "Israel Antiquities Authority researchers have re-exposed a stretch of road in Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple period that is believed to have been used by pilgrims on their ascent to the Temple. Existence of the 40-meter segment of road, cleared over the past few months to open it to visitors, has been known of for more than a century. The excavation is taking place in the neighborhood of Silwan near the Siloam Spring." Then on June 30, 2019, this Israeli update: "After six years of extensive archaeological excavations led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, a 350-meter-long section of the Pilgrimage Road was unveiled at a festive ceremony in the City of David." Cause for celebration, right? Not necessarily, since Jerusalem is involved. So here's the full text of Jordan's official reaction: ["Amman condemns Israeli opening of "pilgrims road"", PETRA Jordan Gov't News Agency, June 30, 2019]: 
    "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Sunday slammed Israel for opening a tunnel beneath the Silwad town that is called the "pilgrims road" towards al-Aqsa Mosque/ Haram al-Sharif, issuing a warning that such "illegal and irresponsible" actions escalate tension. The official spokesperson of the ministry Sufian Qudah underscored Jordan's utter rejection of Israeli attempts that seek to alter the identity of the occupied city of Jerusalem, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings.  Such Israeli actions are "vile violations" of the international and human law, he said, calling on the international community to assume its moral and political responsibilities in promptly halting these practices and to emphasize the importance of respecting East Jerusalem's status as an integral part of the Palestinian territories, which have been under occupation since 1967, in accordance with the international law and resolutions of the international legitimacy."
When they want to, Jordan's official representatives can be quite talkative. A shame that on the subject of extraditing Ahlam Tamimi, they have not uttered a single official word as a government, leaving it to the media and their highest court to say the relatively little that has been offered to explain their indefensible policy.

As for their official spokesperson in the United States, Ambassador Dina Kawar of Jordan's Washington embassy blocks us on Twitter.

That of course doesn't change very much. But along with plenty of other evidence of Jordan being today very far from its moderate image, it contributes to the sense that they haven't really come a great distance since the days of blowing up ancient synagogues on a massive scale and maliciously denying Jewish history.

* * *
[This post, like a number of others before it, has been translated to Polish ("Jordania, pokój i jak niewiele się naprawdę zmieniło") by courtesy of Malgorzata Koraszewska over on the Listy z naszego sadu website. Our sincere thanks to her, and great appreciation to readers of this blog in Poland.]

Thursday, July 11, 2019

11-Jul-19: Keeping Ahlam Tamimi safe: A Jordanian case for double jeopardy?

We created this for our Twitter account. Please feel free to reuse it.
If you follow our Twitter account, you might have seen our reaction to some posts in the past few months by a veteran Palestinian/Jordanian journalist.

He has been responding to reports of criticism directed at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for maintaining its brazen refusal to extradite to Washington Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the Sbarro massacre in which our daughter was one of the many child victims.

The journalist believes the United States authorities (meaning the Department of Justice whose ranks of lawyers arguably know a thing or two about law) are trying to pull a fast one and that Tamimi cannot lawfully be extradited.

Here, using his precise words (and punctuation), are the various ways he frames the issue:
  • "It seems that the US is unaware of the concept of double jeopardy when it comes to the case of Ahlam Tamimi" [Tweet]
  • "Double jeopardy. You can't be tried and charged and serve for same act twice." [Tweet]
  • "US law is clear about double jeopardy. She was jailed by Israel why us the US trying to try her again" [Tweet]
  • "Double jeopardy. She was tried sentenced and served in Israeli jail. International doesn't allow being pinished twice for same act." [Tweet]
  • "Double Jeopardy Clause of 5th Amendment to  US Constitution makes it illegal to punish a person twice for the same case." Ahlam Tamimi case [Tweet]
  • "No bloody misinformation
    It is called Double jeopardy. She was tried sentenced and served in Israeli jail. International law doesn't allow being pinished twice for the same act" [Tweet]
  • "you are familiar with an American judicial issue: double jeopardy. Double jeopardy is a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges and on the same facts, following a valid acquittal or conviction." [Tweet]
  • "there is something called double jeopardy. Once a person is tried and sentenced they can't be punished again for the same act. If they are released in a prisoner exchange and given a pardon they can't be punished again. Please keep the facts straight and avoid untruthful HASBARA" [Tweet]
As a Jordanian, he pays a lot of attention to what he thinks American law is. Leaving aside how right or wrong his journalistic view of the law is, he might be overlooking how Tamimi's extradition is not being blocked by some US legal issue, but the law of Jordan.

Jordan's highest court said in March 2017 why it thinks Tamimi cannot be extradited ["20-Mar-17: The Hashemite Kingdom's courts have spoken: The murdering FBI fugitive will not be handed over"]. There is a Jordanian constitutional issue, they said. So the treaty is void. In fact, they astoundingly assert, it was void from the day it was signed in 1995.

We believe there is a lot wrong with their reasoning and explain some of it in this recent post of ours: "30-May-19: Paris, Amman, Washington: Extradition and what it can reveal about governments and terror". As we wrote there, the highest Jordanian court's decision to block the extradition of Tamimi to the US to face terrorism charges in Washington
now looks contrived and unconvincing. And though the United States isn't saying much about it, we think people ought to know... It decided within the same week as the announcement of Federal charges against Tamimi, in fact just days later. In a somewhat bizarre ruling it first confirmed what everyone already knew, that there is indeed an extradition treaty with the US and has been since 1995. The Clinton Administration had signed it with King Hussein's government when it wanted to get its hands - and did get its hands - on Eyad Ismoil, one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plotters. But, said the court, embarking on a Save Tamimi strategy, a constitutional flaw in the process meant that the treaty with the US could not be used to send the confessed killer to a Washington courthouse. Moreover, the treaty was not only invalid now. It had been invalid since the day it was signed. This is an astounding thing for a US ally to claim.
But whatever the Jordanian judges held in their March 2017 ruling about Tamimi, it's not what the professor of journalism said. And it's most certainly not what the US says.

(By the way, there's a well-reasoned and very worthwhile take-down of that Jordanian journalist here: "No, @DaoudKuttab, there is no "double jeopardy" in having celebrity terrorist Ahlam Tamimi face trial in the US" by the always-readable Daled Amos on the indispensable Elder of Ziyon site.)

But there's another factor at work here. We mentioned it in a post ["24-Mar-17: Our daughter's smiling killer: "Shocked" that US "decided to go after her for no obvious reason""] two years ago:

Our March 2017 blog post is here.
In a formal response to our questions at that time (March 2017), the Department of Justice stated to us as its official view that the Extradition Treaty between the US and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was signed on March 28, 1995 in Washington DC. This signing was followed by what's called the exchange of instruments of ratification on July 29, 1995. The Extradition Treaty entered into force that same day. 

And it continues to be in force. How do we know? We know because that treaty continues to be listed in an authoritative US government text entitled "Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, 2011". 

Constantly updated by the State Department, the most recent and current edition of that “Treaties in Force” document is posted online here. Anyone who looks today can find the treaty with Jordan on page 252.

So the US which is the other party to a two-sided agreement (also arguably Jordan's most important friend and backer in the world) has no doubt, and states for the record, that the treaty between them is fully in effect.

Then there's this.

On January 25, 1997, Jordan's Court of Cassation (the very court that ruled the treaty ineffective twenty years later) held that the Treaty was unconstitutional. That was said to be because Jordan had not submitted the Treaty to its parliament for endorsement. And in the twenty years since then, Jordan's parliament has still (to use the DOJ's language in its letter to us) "not approved the Treaty".

So if it was unconstitutional -
  1. Why was the same question put to Jordan's highest court a second time? Or, given the close ties between Jordan and the US, and Jordan's very high degree of dependence on the US - for the 27th time!
  2. Why has Jordan done nothing to fix what its highest court, but not its most important partner, says is a defect?
  3. How does it happen that, despite this finding of unconstitutionality, Jordan has kept on extraditing Jordanians to the United States to face terrorism charges? (Details on request. Or go find them via Google. They're not a secret, except from every mainstream reporter who has covered this story and failed to find them.) But draws the line at  a Jordanian woman whose extreme malevolence was directed specifically at Israelis? 
There might be reasonable answers. But then reasonable people might wonder at the complete silence of Jordan's government in the wake of the ruling. As far as we can tell, they imposed a total comment-blackout on the Tamimi decision that continues until now. 

For a far more sober and credible view of the law that applies to the Tamimi extradition, see an October 2017 commentary published by the respected National Security Law Brief:
Jordan's positions are without merit... the United States should not give up on attempting to extradite Al-Tamimi. If other countries place enough pressure on Jordan due to concerns of Al-Tamimi’s danger and susceptibility to planning another attack, Jordan may change its position... Jordan should reconsider its position and permit extradition in the case of Al-Tamimi for the safety of Jordanians, and citizens of other nations that may be subject to another attack by Al-Tamimi. Thwarting extradition not only violates the principle of comity, but it also perpetuates the international danger presented by Al-Tamimi... ["Pressure on Jordan: Refusal to extradite mastermind of deadly 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem contravenes international law and agreements", Michelle Munneke, published October 28, 2017]
You might also be interested in these posts of ours on the same subject:
The Jordanian journalism professor's double jeopardy claim doesn't seem to be on the minds of any of the relevant decision makers.

Monday, July 08, 2019

08-Jul-19: The BBC and Pay to Slay

Frimet and Arnold Roth with BBC's Yolande Knell
After several years of being below the media radar, we appeared on BBC News last week.

Its Middle East correspondent, Yolande Knell, prepared a report that examined how Israelis - in this case, the two of us (Frimet and Arnold Roth) view the Palestinian Authority's relentless program of incentive payments to imprisoned terrorists and to the families left behind by dead Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Being the BBC, the report then focused on how the same appalling payments are viewed within Palestinian Arab society. Or at least among that segment which benefits in a personal sense from those payments.

Note also - again, this being the BBC - that the word "terrorist" - is not mentioned once.

There's a scene in this which shows a rent-a-crowd assembly of Palestinian Arabs, mostly women, holding up placards with the faces of 'prisoners' while telling the interviewer "we're all in  prison". One of those faces, unmentioned, belongs to a convicted killer for whom we have especially low regard. Read about him here: "18-Apr-17: So what, in reality, is Marwan Barghouti?"

A related story by Ms Knell went to air on BBC radio some days earlier. We are heard in that too, but it has somewhat different content compared with the video. Click to hear it now.

We don't claim to be dispassionate observers. The Hamas savages responsible for executing the Sbarro pizzeria massacre in which our daughter Malki and fifteen other innocents were murdered in 2001 have collectively pulled in more than a million dollars in the years since their act of barbarism turned so many lives upside down. We provide the details here: "24-Aug-18: What aid funds handed to the Abbas regime ($1 million and growing) have done for savages who kill Jews".

The United States and the European Union are the major sources of the foreign aid cash that makes those Abbas payments possible. But Norway is prominent in the list as well as are the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

We have posted a stream of background pieces about their culpability and lack of good sense. For instance (and these are from four months of 2016 alone) -
As we said, there are many others. Click on "Rewards for Terror" to see dozens more.

(Illness is the main reason why our posts have been so few these past two months. Hopefully, that's behind us now.)

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

04-Jun-19: What do Palestinian Arabs think?

The PA Cabinet, presided over by prime minister Rami Hamdallah in 2017
Knowing what the Palestinian Arabs think - not what their elites say they think or what outside reporters guess their opinions are but what they tell trusted fellow Palestinian Arabs who happen to be professional pollsters about the things they actually believe - is a subject always worth revisiting.

Most of our previous poll-centered posts have been based on the published data of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), headed by Dr. Khalil Shikaki. Click here to go to those previous posts - we started analyzing them in 2011. We do that again below.

But first, stop and note an Associated Press report issued this afternoon that drives home something every Palestinian Arab knows but that gets poorly reported for reasons obvious to anyone who pays attention to how the Palestinian Arab conflict with Israel is covered in the news. (That's not meant as a compliment to reporters or editors.)

Key quote:
“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption in the Palestinian Authority, considering that we couldn’t have access to more important information,” said Majdi Abu Zeid, a researcher at the anti-corruption watchdog group Aman. The leaks coincide with a report by Aman finding that the government has improperly filled senior government jobs without advertising them, appointed officials’ relatives to senior posts and refused to disclose budgets of the presidential office and security forces.
The AP headline almost buries what the story really stands for: "A secret pay raise by Cabinet angers Palestinian public":
  • The pay raise was awarded to themselves by the members of the shadowy cabal around Mahmoud Abbas in 2017, and made retrospective all the way back to 2014. A real killing for the fat cats and only the thinnest of camouflage to explain themselves now that  they have been caught.
  • This happened when Abbas' prime minister was Rami Hamdallah. Described in June 2013 as "a British-educated academic and political independent" as well as a moderate and pragmatic when he took office, he was said to be an interim appointee. But he filled the role for six years, being replaced in April 2019. Evidently he's possessed of the sort of pragmatism that appeals to the PA's president-for-life.
  • An angry "Palestine public" is a phenomenon worth understanding. Our sense, looking at polling data, has long been that the Palestinian Arabs are consistently a great deal angrier with their corrupt and self-serving political elites than the news industry wants to report. And for perfectly sound reasons.
Now to the most recent published data from Dr Shikaki's authoritative PSR.

It's derived from interviews conducted in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and in the region controlled by the Palestinian Authority (Judea and Samaria are our preferred terms) between March 13 and 16, 2019. The data are summarized in a report called Public Opinion Poll 71, published online on April 9, 2019. Total sample size was 1,270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error: +/-3%.

Produce vendor, Palestinian Authority [Image Source]
Some findings that got our attention:
  • Elections: The Palestinian Arabs are starved for opportunities to vote for their rulers. Little wonder that more than seventy percent of them say they want elections for both parliament and president. But life and reality have made them realistic: 46% believe no elections of either kind will take place in the foreseeable future. It helps to know that Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian National Authority on January 9, 2005 for a four-year term that doesn't look like ending in his lifetime. The last time Palestinian Arabs got to vote for a parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, was a year after that, on January 25, 2006. But they haven't lost their interest: if they could vote for a parliament and all Palestinian factions were able to run, 70% say they would go vote. Fatah would lead with 39%; Hamas would get 32%; the other parties would share 8%; 18% can't decide right now. (Yes, this doesn't add up to 100% but the prospects of it happening are tiny anyway.) 
  • Leaders: Satisfaction with the performance of Abbas as president is 40% among residents of the "West Bank" and 24% in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In the extremely unlikely event of a two-horse race election for president, Abbas gets 51% of the vote and wins, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas gets 41%. Convicted murderer and loathsome prisoner Marwan Barghouti ["18-Apr-17: So what, in reality, is Marwan Barghouti?"] would be a stronger theoretical candidate for president than Abbas, scoring 64% to Haniyeh's 33%. 
  • Prime Minister: Without consulting Hamas, Abbas appointed Mohammad Shtayyeh as prime minister, replacing Hamdaleh, in mid-April 2019. Asked by the pollsters and although he's barely managed to do anything yet, about the same number of Palestinian Arabs (38%) were satisfied with the new guy as dissatisfied (40%). What do they base their opinions on? That's beyond our capabilities.
  • PA prosperity: The Palestinian Authority has been an economic basket case since its inception, and has done almost nothing since then to show it can do better. Quite the opposite. Abbas underscored this when he declared  a year ago during a meeting with families and relatives of Palestinian “martyrs” and former security prisoners (meaning terrorists): "Even if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families,.. We view the prisoners and the martyrs as planets and stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle, and they have priority in everything." Palestinian Arabs understand him: asked in March, 69% worried that the PA will not be able to keep paying salaries; the PA itself is by far the largest employer in the PA. More than half (54%) of all Palestinian Arabs worry that it will entirely collapse. There's no sign at all that this worries Abbas. Meanwhile, as the International Labor Organization noted here, "The unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has risen to the world’s highest level, at 27.4 per cent in 2017."
  • Whose fault? Asked who should be blamed for the awful state of the Gaza Strip (it's axiomatic that someone has to be), more than a third of all Palestinian Arabs (37%) voted for Israel. 25% blamed the PA and its president. The smallest vote, 21%, was expressed by those who somehow imagine it's the fault of Hamas who after all have only controlled Gaza since 2007 after winning the 2006 elections there and then violently overturning Fatah's control.
  • Image Source: Reuters
  • Corruption and fear: Two-thirds of all West Bankers say the PA cannot be criticized - meaning you don't do it if you know what's good for you. Asked "Do you think that there is corruption in PA institutions of the Palestinian Authority?" (probably sounds less clumsy in Arabic), 85% of West Bankers said yes. In Gaza, 76% said yes to the same question. Far as we can tell from the report, the Gazans were not asked about corruption in Hamas. Or if they were, the results were not published. Why? It's the Middle East.
  • Peace - and will there be a Palestinian state? A serious number, 39% which is higher than the last poll by 5 percentage points, say their preferred way of moving past today's reality is “reaching a peace agreement with Israel”. 30% say "armed struggle against the Israeli occupation” and 11% say “waging non-violent resistance”. Armed struggle gets relatively more support among those polled in the Gaza Strip (38%) compared with the West Bank (25%). 
  • Peace plans: 83%, an astronomical number, say the Trump Administration is not serious about its peace plan. 64% even oppose resuming dialogue between the Palestinian Arab leadership and the US. Opposition to such talks is stronger in the West Bank (70%) than in the Gaza Strip (54%). It's worth recalling that the Trump plan and all its details are still unannounced which obviously makes it easier to reject.

Friday, May 31, 2019

31-May-19: Al Quds Day kicks off with double-stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City

The Times of Israel caption to this photo: "Israeli security forces 
and medics remove the body of a Palestinian man who had 
stabbed two Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem, 
on May 31, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
At least two people were injured, one seriously, in stabbing attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City this morning. Times of Israel reports that the suspected terrorist was shot by police officers at the scene. His condition is not currently known (it's 7:20 am here).

But according to the rather laconic Haaretz version, "Israeli police said officers at the scene apprehended the suspect." (It appears now, some hours later, that Haaretz understated the impact on the terrorist. See below.)
Medics were treating one victim in serious condition, an approximately 50-year-old man, near the Old City’s Damascus Gate, which has seen a number of stabbing attacks in recent years. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said a second man was also lightly wounded near the Hurva Synagogue... [Times of Israel]
From Israel National News:
A man was very seriously wounded in a stabbing attack on Friday morning in an area in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. The man was stabbed in his upper body and Magen David Adom paramedics are making efforts to save his life. A short time later, reports were received about an 18-year-old who was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in the vicinity of the Hurva Synagogue. An initial investigation into the attack revealed that a terrorist arrived at the Damascus Gate, stabbed a man, and then stabbed another man in the Old City. The attacker was neutralized by police forces... Magen David Adom reported that at 6:31 a.m., a report was received of two men who were stabbed, one near Damscus Gate and the other near the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Post (7:30 am) also believes the two attacks are the work of one knifer:
Israel Police spokesman Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post that a "terrorist stabbed one person at Damascus Gate, critically injuring him, and made his way into the Old City and stabbed a second person inside injuring him moderately."
We're not yet seeing reports stating the obvious - that it's Al Quds Day:
an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel... [and] also held in several other countries, mainly in the Arab and Muslim world, with protests against Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem.Rallies are held in various cities by both Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the world.
Urged on by Iran [here], there are large-scale Al Quds Day events scheduled for this weekend in Sydney and Melbourne, in London and other locations.

UPDATE May 31, 2019 at 10:00 am: From Times of Israel:
“Around 6:20 a.m., the assailant entered through the Damascus Gate. He stabbed a man inside and began running from the scene. Along the way, he saw [a 16-year-old boy] and stabbed him as well,” police said. The suspected terrorist, a 19-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank, was shot dead by police officers at the scene, a police spokesperson said.
A quick scan of Arabic social media, mainly Twitter, shows the attacker is now called "martyr" which strongly suggests the financial future of another Palestinian Arab family has gotten a lot stronger thanks to Al Quds Day.

UPDATE May 31, 2019 at 11:00 am:  No names announced yet but it's reported that the first of the two stabbing victims this morning was a 16-year-old boy, attacked as he made his way from Shacharit morning prayers at a synagogue in the Old City back to his yeshiva.
From Israel National News
“On his way back from the Hurva synagogue to the yeshiva, someone jumped him from one of the courtyards,” the victim’s father told Reshet Bet... The victim had been learning overnight at his yeshiva [a tradition on Thursday nights], then went to the Hurva synagogue for morning prayers. “At first he didn’t realize that he had been stabbed by a knife,” his father continued, “he thought he had been punched in the back. His brother was with him, and they started to run towards the Hurva synagogue, and there they called for help.”
During the terror attack another victim, estimated to be about 50 years of age, was also stabbed, leaving him in critical condition. He was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He has been admitted to the hospital’s intensive care ward, and is unconscious and on assisted breathing.
Authorities say the terrorist entered the Old City at around 6:20 a.m. via Damascus Gate, stabbed his first victim on a side street, then fled the scene. As he ran, the terrorist spotted his second victim, stabbing him before being shot to death by Israeli police officers... The terrorist has been identified as a 19-year-old Palestinian Authority resident.
There's no coverage at this point on the scurrilous Maan News Service English-language site. But on its Arabic site, under a headline that calls him "martyr", it says
"Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian in the West Bank town of Jerusalem... The Israeli occupation forces closed all the doors of the Old City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented thousands of worshipers from reaching the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
No mention of today being Al Quds Day.

UPDATE May 31, 2019 at 2:30 pm: We have the names of the stabbing victims. One is 16-year-old Yisrael Meir Nachumberg, in moderate condition at the Hadassah Hospital on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.. The other is Gavriel Lavi, 50, who underwent emergency surgery at Shaarei Zedek Medical Center this morning and is now hospitalized in SZMC's intensive care unit. Israel National News quotes one of the doctors there saying "He arrived at the trauma unit with stab wounds all over his body - scalp, neck, back, chest and legs."

Video of the attack and its aftermath is posted on YouTube and embedded below.

UPDATE June 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm: Times of Israel says Gabriel Lavi who was seriously injured in Friday's stabbing attack is now breathing without the help of a respirator though he remains in intensive care at Shaare Zedek Medical Center. May he continue to a complete recovery.