Tuesday, January 16, 2018

16-Jan-18: In Gaza, another invisible "Fell Short" wrecks a Palestinian Arab home

From the Deir al-Balah municipal website
This happened on Monday according to a report published late Monday night:
A rocket fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip struck a Palestinian home in Deir al-Balah by mistake, Arab media reported Monday. Located in the central Gaza Strip, two residents of Deir al-Balah were badly wounded and a third lightly wounded. ["Rocket from Gaza Strip accidentally strikes Palestinian home", Jerusalem Post, January 15, 2018]
Another "Fell Short". We only know about them from open sources but have reported on nearly a hundred of them in the past few years. Nearly a hundred rockets fired in the general direction of Israel with the intent of doing any sort of damage to any target that is Israeli - humans, buildings, vehicles, hardly matters what - that failed to cross the Gaza/Israel border. They fell short.

The ghastly aspects of this are not merely in the cold-blooded, blind Palestinian Arab pursuit of damage and injury to anything Israeli, which there certainly is. But where are the media reports about this? And about those that preceded? These rockets might just as well have been invisible for all the attention they get.

The answer seems to be, no one cares very much. Arabs injuring other Arabs (or worse) isn't a theme that gets much media attention except in Israel. And the Hamas regime that keeps the Gaza Strip under its doctrinaire jack-boot has even less interest in publicizing Fell Shorts or the misery they bring into the lives of hapless Palestinian Arabs onto whose heads, roofs and homes they crash.

Deir al-Balah probably sounds like a nondescript village to people unfamiliar with Gaza. It's not: located right in the middle of the Gaza Strip, it has a population of about 60,000 and lots of homes.

Monday was a busy rocket day for the Gazans though if you rely on the non-Israeli media you would find it hard to know that. Times of Israel reported
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday said the Hamas terror group had conducted rocket-launching experiments overnight, with the group preferring continued investment in war than in the well-being of the Gaza Strip’s population. Speaking a day after the IDF announced it had destroyed another border-crossing Hamas attack tunnel, the third in recent months, Liberman said: “I hear a lot about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, about the difficult situation. “The budget for Hamas’s military wing in 2017 was $260 million,” the minister said, noting that about $100 million was supplied by Iran. “All of this $260 million was invested in tunnels and in producing rockets. If they had invested $260 million in their water systems or their health systems they would be in a totally different place.” Liberman said that on Sunday night Hamas “fired three rockets into the sea, and this shows that despite the humanitarian situation and despite shortages in basic supplies they continue” to focus on warfare.
A reasonable person can understand the fury of the Palestinian Arabs. Harder by far is understanding why they don't do the logical thing and act against their inept and utterly corrupt rulers to improve their own lives and futures.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

10-Jan-18: Hamas praises a murderous drive-by shooting that orphans six young Israeli children

Today's funeral in Havat Gilad [Image Source]
Six more Israeli children - Renana, 10; Naomi, 8; Miriam, 6; Malka, 5; Ovadia, 3; and Benayahu, 10 months - all from Havat Gil'ad, have just become orphans in yet another Arab-on-Israeli drive-by shooting murder - the latest to join a tragic history such attacks.

Their father is being buried as we enter this text. (His is the Havat Gilad community's first funeral.) His wife Yael now faces challenges as a young widow that no one should ever know.

Around 8 pm last night (Tuesday), on Route 60, a major highway in the Samaria district of Israel that runs north-south between Beer Sheva and Nazareth via Jerusalem, a shooter armed with a gun opened fire from his moving vehicle in the direction of the car of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a remarkable man of 35:
Rabbi Shevach was a mohel, taught children in the community and also served as a volunteer in the regional health service. He had been a resident of Havat Gilad for 10 years... [Hamodia, January 10, 2018]
Shot in the neck, Rabbi Shevach managed to phone his wife. She raised the alarm and help was dispatched. Times of Israel says
civilian and military medics rushed to the scene and tried to stop the bleeding as they took him to Kfar Saba’s Meir Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after life-saving efforts failed. Immediately following the attack, troops launched a manhunt, setting up roadblocks in the area around the Palestinian city of Nablus as they looked for the perpetrators.
Rabbi Shevach in his Magen David Adom
ambulance brigade uniform [Image Source]
The hunt was aided by ad hoc IDF security checks that were put in place at the entrances to and exits from nearby Nablus and forces manned security crossings across the city, according to the military spokesperson. Israeli special forces joined the search, entering nearby Palestinian Arab villages to seek the attackers.

As of this morning (Wednesday), the army has said it is expanding the search and bringing in reinforcements. Attacks of this kind are often described as the work of lone-wolf operators. Much of the time, a cell of terrorists is revealed and a supply chain and operational command that stretch beyond our borders and into foreign countries. Too soon to eliminate any theories.

A Facebook post on Monday (in Hebrew) reported that a Jewish resident of the nearby Yitzhar community, driving in his car, saw another vehicle pull up next to him. The other driver brandished a pistol but was unable to fire for reasons unknown.
The terrorists of Hamas issued a statement last night (says Times of Israel) praising the attack, calling it “heroic” and warning that it is "a sign of future attacks to come". Another source quotes part of their message calling the murder:
heroic action, that came as a result of Israel’s crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 
Hamas stopped short of taking responsibility for the lethal terror attack. This doesn't mean they are uninvolved. And it certainly shouldn't be understood as a specific response to some specific complaint. The Palestinian Arab terrorist forces seek Israeli and Jewish victims always and everywhere, and have done for generations.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

09-Jan-18: Money, deception and terror: Israel is taking some concrete steps

Image Source: "The Palestinian Dream"
Over at the Jerusalem Post this afternoon, there's an important summary of information placed before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this afternoon ["Palestinian Authority paid terrorists nearly $350 million in 2017", Lahav Harkov, January 9, 2018].

If you're not already familiar with them, the data are simply eye-popping. In a society where the average income is about US$580 per month, the PA regime headed by Mahmoud Abbas gives that sort of money to anyone sentenced by the Israeli court system to three to five years in prison.

But since serious terrorist offences often come with sentences stiffer than 3-5, it's worth understanding what those offenders get paid by their perennially-broke government and what other benefits they can expect to get.
  • A terrorist sentenced to 20 years or more in prison is paid five times the average salary. It starts to flow while he or she is still in prison. And it then keeps coming - for the rest of the recipient's life. Does anyone think there might be some subtle message here about where the PA and Abbas are placing the emphasis in the vision they offer their citizens?
  • Then the fine print: If the imprisoned terrorist holds Israeli citizenship (there were about 1.8 million such Arabs in 2017 according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, meaning they represent 20.8% of Israel's total population), then they qualify for a US$145 bonus.
  • The sum paid each month by the PA for what the article calls "the most severe crimes" exceeds US$2,900 which is larger than the average Israeli income (currently about US$2,700 per month according to the article and about US$2,955 according to another source). 
  • Being married gets a terrorist a further increment, and there are add-ons for each child parented by the convicted terrorist.
  • There are also specific pay increases for (a) being married and (b) each child a terrorist parents.
  • If and when the terrorist beneficiary of all this largess gets out of prison, the PA law entitles him or her to a prestigious civil service post in its government
And as we observed not long ago ["25-Jul-17: The scale of the PA's terror-funding scheme keeps growing"], it's all getting worse, not better. 

At various times, advocates for the Palestinian Arabs contend that this is nothing more than social welfare and the Israelis are making a big deal out of nothing. But that's not so: the fact that you get more money according to the severity of the crime and/or the length of the sentence means that the payments are there to encourage serious crime - the more serious the better. And as Palestinian Media Watch has pointed out, the PA defines the entitlement to these payments in terms that ensure PA salaries do not go to Palestinian Arabs convicted of crimes such as theft - who may very well be social welfare cases - but do go to terrorist murderers in the service of Hamas and Fatah. Further elaboration is really not needed: anyone taking a dispassionate look at the realities knows the PA scheme has one clear purpose, and it's not the alleviation of poverty.

From a recent US summary of the scheme's impact:
The PA spent an estimated $300 million last year, roughly seven percent of its total budget, on these payments to more than 30,000 terrorists and their families. It does so at the direct expense of helping provide a better future for its own citizens, and despite its heavy dependence on foreign aid for income. Much of that aid comes from the United States - an average of $335 million annually over the last five years. The lion’s share, roughly $280 million per year in that span, is economic assistance to cover the PA’s significant debts, freeing up funds for their “pay-to-slay” system. The issue has not gone unnoticed by Congress. ["Passing the Taylor Force Act will mark a vital step in the War on Terror", TheHill.com, November 15, 2017]
We also noticed. See "08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look". And before that, we had posted dozens of reports and analyses [click here for more of them.)

The report delivered today to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is part of the current efforts to create a new law that will deduct the total of what the PA pays its terrorists and their families from the taxes Israel collects and until now has handed across to the PA. There's more money at stake there than most people would guess. A July 2016 Reuters report estimated the scale of Israel-to-PA transfers at between US$130 and US$155 million per month. Translating this to annual figures, it's something between US$1.5 and US$1.9 billion.

The new Israeli bill, says the Jerusalem Post, "will likely go to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in three weeks, with a first reading in the Knesset in the ensuing days". It's said to be largely inspired by the Taylor Force Act, a United States law that will stop all US aid to the Palestinian Arabs as long as the PA keeps paying salaries to terrorists and their families. (Our take:
"11-Jul-17: Incitement to terror: Sometimes it really is all about the money") The House of Representatives passed the bill in December 2017. It's now awaiting Senate approval.

The US is of course not the only state giving aid to the Abbas regime. Others include [according to this source] UNRWA and the EU through the European Commission [see "02-Jun-15: The obvious, petty lies that keep European money flowing into the hands of the PA's terrorists"], Japan, Canada, Norway [see "02-May-16: Norway's polite and cautious funding of Palestinian Arab terror"], Germany, Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom [see "14-Jun-16: In the UK, law-makers (some) worry over the bloodshed funded by their taxpayers"].

The deep and corrosive damage on Arab lives and on ours depends on the unquestioning passivity of ordinary tax-payers of (mainly) Europe and North America, leading us to ask some years ago: "20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?

It also depends on much less innocent, faceless government bureaucrats who silently and with little-to-no publicity (especially to their own citizens) sign the wire transfers behind closed doors and pay next to no attention to how those funds are spent or what's done with them. Darkness, secrecy and deception [see "6-Oct-06: Crying poor: The terror-laden rise and rise of the Palestinian national payroll and the men who allow it to happen"] have been part of the whole story pretty much from the outset.

Friday, January 05, 2018

05-Jan-18: In Jordan, the FBI fugitive Ahlam Tamimi (among others) pays tribute to her slapping/taunting/kicking Tamimi cousin

Last weekend's Jordanian "Festival" in homage to Ahed "Shirley
Temper" Tamimi [Image Source]
Some months ago, an Australian TV journalist contacted us about doing an interview after the Jordanians rejected a US request to extradite our daughter's killer.

The felon, a Jordanian woman called Ahlam Tamimi, murdered 15 innocent Israeli civilians, most of them children, in the bombing of Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in the summer of 2001. She did this on behalf of Hamas as its first-ever female jihadist. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of the people she killed.

In 2011, as part of the Shalit Deal, she was set free and returned to Jordan where her family lives and where she was born, raised and educated.

Two of Jordan's courts, in strange decisions several months apart (the first in September 2016; the second in March 2017) ruled that there are problems with Jordan's 1995 extradition treaty with the United States. As a result, they decided, she doesn't have to be extradited and the US treaty request can be refused. The US doesn't agree:
The Australian guy arranged for some inquiries to be made in Jordan and then got back to us saying his producers had decided not to interview us. Why? Nothing to do with us, he said, but because
  1. it turned out Tamimi's spoken English isn't very good - somehow leading to the conclusion that if she doesn't speak well enough, why bother hearing what the parents of one of her victims (meaning the two of us) have to say. Or more sharply: Our audience is more interested in hearing what the murderer says about the extradition story than what any of her victims think; and 
  2. Tamimi had been told by Jordan's government to lower her profile for a while. In simpler terms (our words) if Jordan was going to stick its finger in the eye of its American strategic ally, protector and benefactor (as it has and as it continues to do), it would be prudent not to publicly flaunt the gift of freedom that King Abdullah has given her. It's good to know that though it likes to call itself a constitutional monarchy, Jordan operates more like an absolute monarchy. If King Abdullah wanted Tamimi extradited, she would be have been shipped to Washington the same morning.
Last weekend, in response to the intense media attention on Ahed "Shirley Temper" Tamimi, the Jordanian media reported on a public event that took place in Amman. (For some excellent background, see "Why Is No One Talking About Ahed Tamimi’s Call For Stabbings?" in Forward, January 4, 2018). Some prominent Jordanian speakers were in the line-up which was heard by an audience filled with elderly men. Also: some women.

What caught our eye is that one of the speakers was Ahlam Tamimi, the mass-murdering fugitive jihadist in the flesh.

She appears to have decided to bring the brief keep-your-head-down phase of her career to an end in order to do the Tamimi thing. And although her extradition was blocked by a Jordanian court ruling on extremely technical grounds, no voices in Jordan that we know of have called for Jordan to do something against her. She's a national treasure. Murderer, maybe; but she murdered Jews, so where's the problem? (We have written about this several times, notably including "21-Mar-17: Tamimi extradition: When it's claimed that something is illegal in Jordan..." and "13-Jun-17: The hunt for our daughter's killer: today's radio interview".)

If anyone has a problem with our way of telling it, let them point us to Jordanian voices calling publicly for an end to the shame and embarrassment of Jordan openly harboring a confessed murderer of children who's on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list. There aren't any.

Our child's murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, speaking at last weekend's
Amman tribute to various things and her cousin Shirley Temper
[Image Source: Video Screenshot]
Last weekend's event was 'modestly' titled “The Festival for the Support of the Jerusalem Holy Sites and the Palestinian People and Declaration of Solidarity with Ahed Tamimi”. There's video coverage of the event and the speeches (all in Arabic) on YouTube (Ahlam Tamimi starts at about the 4 minute mark).

There are multiple Arabic newspaper reports in Al-RaiJO24AmmanNet and others. (We archived the Al-Rai version here; that's important if someone decides to take the source articles down for some reason.)
We haven't found any English-language reports from any Arabic source yet. Some might see that as significant. 

What Tamimi said to the crowd is predictable:
  • "The Hashemite leadership stood by the holy Islamic sites, and Prince Ali supported Ahed Tamimi with his words. [Stay tuned for some revealing comments we're preparing to publish about this. Prince Ali is the brother of the king.]
  • "The Zionist Project wishes to remove the Hashemite supervision of the Aqsa Mosque, and the response should be to terminate all the agreements and treaties with the Zionist enemy.
  • "Jordan should use its influence to  confront the American-Zionist plans in all areas."
  • "Ahed Tamimi is experiencing loneliness and sorrow in the Zionist prisons, which Ahlam has experienced herself, in addition to the numerous female prisoners and children prisoners into whose cause Ahed has breathed new life.
The thing we want to emphasize is this. Very prominent Jordanians, members of the country's political elite, have no problem sharing a public platform with a confessed killer of Israeli children who is also an FBI fugitive and the subject of American efforts to have her extradited to the US to face serious federal charges. Can you imagine this happening anywhere else? She's a wanted criminal but not in Jordan where she's a hero.

And Jordan, for those wondering, has given no sign it intends to prosecute Ahlam Tamimi in its own courts; in other places, that's the kind of thing that occasionally does happen when an extradition request is rebuffed on narrow technical or constitutional grounds. But not Jordan, which for all practical purposes is the largest and most powerful of the three Palestinian Arab countries, the other two being the Hamas entity and the Fatah/PLO/PA entity. (Again, a talking point for another time.)

Enthusiastic backers of the sixteen year-old Nabi Saleh Tamimi girl
at last weekend's Amman gathering [Image Source: Video Screenshot]
So what did those Jordanian dignitaries on the platform who had no problem sharing the limelight with the self-admitted, mass-murdering, Jew-hating fugitive from justice say?:
  • Taher al-Masri, a Palestinian Arab who served briefly as prime minister of Jordan said Arab claims to Jerusalem and Palestine concern not only the Palestinians but every Arab, every Muslim and every free person in the world. He called on the Arabs to support "our people in Palestine" and come to "the defense of the Islamic faith that is the basis of the concepts of our societies". Ahed Tamimi, the blonde girl from Nabi Saleh, "represents the spirit of Palestine". It is "no longer possible for us to remain silent on what is happening to Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause." And some anger directed at America: "The transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem is the second stage of the Zionist project, America's recognition of Greater Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" (quote marks are in the source text) meaning that Jerusalem is no longer part of the occupied Palestinian territories". He gave voice to a favourite Palestinian Arab theme - a Jewish Temple is going to be be constructed over the ruins of what he called "the Al-Aqsa Mosque". 
  • Saleh Armouti, a member of Jordan's parliament (we quoted him here last year) and one of Jordan's most prominent and noisy Islamists: "The American assistance and aid can go to hell if it will cost us our dignity." He's a man who's bothered by what he calls "shameful Arab silence" in the face of attempts to divide Palestine and Jerusalem which "are one and we do not accept any division between the two". Armouti is enraged by the "occupation" of what he called West Jerusalem which makes up 80 percent of Jerusalem. And another serve to America which, he said, "is a partner in the aggression against the Arab and Islamic nation. It must be boycotted and Trump should be tried before the International Criminal Court". 
  • Khamis Attia, deputy speaker of Jordan's lower house of parliament (and was the prime mover in an effort to get energy-starved Jordan to cancel its gas-importing deal with Israel in 2014): Jordanian anger over Trump's Jerusalem decision, he said, is great and the position of His Majesty the King on Al-Aqsa Mosque and on the Trump decision is honorable. 
  • Rula al-Hroub, a prominent former MP and (we're fairly sure) also a Palestinian: Praised King Abdullah "and the Hashemite leadership" on their resistance to the Trump decision. Wants the Oslo Agreements "to be brought down". "Palestine is Arab Muslim from the river to the sea and no one has the right to relinquish it, or any part of it."
For those new to Ahlam Tamimi's history: She was an undergrad student of journalism at the time she carried out the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria massacre. She was a part-time news-presenter at a Palestinian Arab TV station in Ramallah. She has described for the record how she rushed from the scene of the terror attack in the center of Israel's capital, having left the human bomb behind to explode a few minutes after her safe departure. She rode a bus back to the other side of the Green Line where, a few hours later in front of the cameras, she reported in straight-faced fashion on the massacre she herself had executed with her own two hands. She of course did not reveal her role as mastermind of that day's killings though she has said she wishes she could have revealed all to the exultant people in the cab:
"Afterwards, when I took the bus, the Palestinians around Damascus Gate [in Jerusalem] were all smiling. You could sense that everybody was happy. When I got on the bus, nobody knew that it was me who had led [the suicide bomber to the target]... They didn't even know one another, yet they were exchanging greetings... While I was on the bus and everybody was congratulating one another, they said on the radio that there had been a martyrdom attack at the Sbarro restaurant and that three people were killed. I admit that I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped for a larger toll. Yet when they said 'three dead,' I said: 'Allah be praised.'" ...Two minutes later, they said on the radio that the number had increased to five. I wanted to hide my smile, but I just couldn't. Allah be praised, it was great. As the number of dead kept increasing, the passengers were applauding. They didn't even know that I was among them. On the way back [to Ramallah], we passed a Palestinian police checkpoint, and the policemen were laughing. One of them stuck his head in and said: 'Congratulations to us all.' Everybody was happy." [MEMRI Arabic-to-English transcript of Ahlam Tamimi interviewed on Al-Aqsa TV, July 12, 2012]
Tamimi was born and raised in Jordan. She was sent back there when, despite the 16 terms of life imprisonment ("with no possibility of parole or early release" in the words of the judicial panel that had sentenced her) she hit the jackpot and was freed by Israel in the catastrophic Gilad Shalit Deal of October 2011. She married soon afterwards to a cousin who is also a convicted and freed murderer and a Tamimi like her. She has been living in Amman, Jordan ever since.

In March 2017, the  United States announced that  Federal charges had been brought against her, she had been added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list and the US had requested Jordan hand her over for prosecution under the 1995 Jordan/United States extradition treaty. Jordan refused and has continued to maintain its refusal. She lives free as a bird with no suggestion by Jordan it will prosecute her itself under Jordan's criminal code or in any way abridge her freedom of movement.

The all-powerful king of Jordan has powers that include appointing the judges, rotating the parliament at very frequent intervals and controlling the media. In its 2017 report, Freedom House rates Jordan's media "Not Free", ranking the country at 150 in a table of 199 countries.

Some of Jordan's friends in the US Congress might want to reflect on the implications of that and Jordan's derisory response to a US extradition request when they review relations between the two countries.

Also: that the murder of two Americans - one our daughter, one a tourist visiting Israel briefly with her husband and pregnant with her first child - mean nothing to the people, government and courts of America's Jordanian ally. They're with the loathsome Tamimi clan of Nabi Saleh and let no one have any illusions about how that works.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

03-Jan-18: Wednesday rocket fire on southern Israel - and more Fell Shorts

Far from reporters' eyes and awareness, the southern half of Israel has come under rocket attack three five times in the past several days. In chronological order:
  • On Friday, as we noted at the time ["29-Dec-17: Midday rockets from Gaza: two are intercepted in the air, one lands inside Israel"] three somethings (maybe mortars, maybe rockets - Israeli reports are divided, no one else cares) were lobbed into southern Israel in an attempt, it is speculated, to disrupt a well-attended ceremony for the missing-believed-killed IDF soldier Oren Shaul "whose remains are being held by Hamas in the coastal enclave" in the words of a Times of Israel report today. Two were intercepted in mid-air by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. The third crashed into an Israeli community causing some building damage. It was announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the IDF has concluded that Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group serving as a well-armed proxy for the Iranian military carried out the attack.
  • The on Monday night (not reported by us), a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at anything Israeli crashed into an open field in the Eshkol region. Neither injuries nor damage resulted which was not and never is the intention of the terrorists doing the firing.
  • This afternoon (Wednesday), a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip crashed into a field in the Eshkol region according to Times of Israel which says the IDF's early-detection systems spotted the launch as it happened but the site of its impact is still being sought. No Tzeva Adom (Red Alert) warnings were sounded, evidently indicating that once the trajectory was known, it was calculated not to be heading towards a populated area. For its part, Ynet says there were two rockets this afternoon: one around 2 pm, the other around 3:30 pm. (We see now that Times of Israel agrees.) Both crashed into the Eshkol region, and in neither case was there significant property damage or any injuries.
Several additional rocket and mortar firings during these past few days fell on top of Gazan homes and land and perhaps people. They're what we know as Fell Shorts. The Arab side never reports these, perhaps out of embarrassment. It's exceedingly rare for them to be mentioned at all by the major news syndication agencies like Reuters, AFP and Associated Press.

This is a pity because, as we see it, nothing expresses contempt for the lives and well-being of Gaza's Palestinian Arab population more clearly than the steady stream of rockets that fall short and land in their midst.

Victims of the property damage and of the injuries that follow are right out of luck, because no news reporters come to hear their stories. For Gaza's Hamas rulers, if no one knows about the Fell Shorts, they never happened. Click Fell Short to see that we have reported on close to a hundred such own-goals.

UPDATE Wednesday January 3, 2018 at 6:05pm: There's been a third Gaza-on-Israel firing - maybe a mortar, maybe a rocket. Times of Israel says unlike the two earlier attacks today, this latest one triggered the Color Red sirens indicating that there must have been a perceived danger to people and communities. As always, the rocket-persons can reliably be expected to continue until they're forcibly stopped.

Monday, January 01, 2018

01-Jan-18: Another reason we call it the catastrophic Shalit Deal

Sasson Nuriel, tortured and murdered in 2005 by Hamas
terrorists. One of them is now in Israeli custody,
suspected of having launched a
post-Shalit-Deal terror gang that was intercepted by Israel
in November. [Image Source: AP]
Another set of revelations from Israel's security establishment points today to yet another of the 1,027 beneficiaries of the 2011 Shalit Deal having been at the center of Arab-on-Israeli terror. This time, the terrorism was thwarted in time.

Israel National News reports ["Terrorist freed in 'Shalit deal' planned terror attack", January 1, 2018] that the leader of a recently captured gang of 17 Hamas terrorists had been in an Israeli prison up until October 2011 after having been convicted of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli, Sasson Nuriel, in 2005. (We started this blog about a year after that.)

A moment about the victim: Sasson Nuriel manufactured candies in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone on Jerusalem's eastern edge until his business got into financial difficulties. Needing to support a wife and three children, he closed the company and went to work for Maya, a spice manufacturer with premises in the same industrial park. On September 21, 2005, he left the factory to go out and buy chocolate. When he failed to return, his family called the police. Through an intelligence lead, they learned he had been kidnapped by a Hamas terror cell.

Shalit Deal: Armed Hamas terrorists watch as a bus carrying freshly-released
Palestinian Arab prisoners arrives at Rafah Crossing, southern
Gaza Strip, October 18, 2011 [Image Source: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90]
It eventually emerged that its members included two Palestinian Arabs who had worked for Nuriel in his candy business. On behalf of Hamas, they had lured him to a-Ram, an Arab village on Jerusalem's north side, by making up a story. A BBC report at the time said
Palestinian militant group Hamas has released a video of a bound and blindfolded Israeli businessman it says it kidnapped and later killed. The body of 51-year-old Sasson Nuriel, who vanished last week, was found near Ramallah in the West Bank on Monday. Hamas said it had planned to trade him for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, but decided to kill him after Israel began raids in the West Bank.
Israeli sources said his abductors brought Nuriel at gunpoint to Beitunia, a village under PA control and west of Ramallah. There they stabbed him to death, throwing his body into a garbage dump before claiming responsibility in Hamas' name. The dead man was 51.

Abdallah Arar, the man behind the Hamas 
cell busted six weeks ago by the Shin Bet,
and another Shalit Deal graduate 
This week's revelation via a Shabak (Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet) media release [reported here] is that the key person behind the Hamas terror cell discovered during November 2017 is Abdallah Arar. He had been part of that Hamas gang that murdered Sasson Nuriel in 2005. For the record, the Jerusalem Post says today that the gang consisted of five members.

Arar was deported to the Gaza Strip in the 2011 Shalit Deal. (Our daughter's murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, walked free in the same transaction.) Like so many other terrorists who were released at that time, he promptly went back to doing more terror.

The investigation into the cell and Arar's involvement is "currently being handled by the military prosecution, which is examining the investigation's findings prior to filing an indictment", according to the INN report.

Friday, December 29, 2017

29-Dec-17: Midday rockets from Gaza: two are intercepted in the air, one lands inside Israel

Kfar Aza around noon today [Image capture from this video]
It's a short and overcast Friday. In winter, the Sabbath arrives a little after four in the afternoon. But today, for thousands in Israel's south, the usual Erev Shabbat routine wasn't so routine.

Around 11:50 this morning, inbound rocket warnings were heard in dozens of Israeli communities in the a broad swathe of south-central Israel adjacent to the rocket-infested Gaza Strip.

Israel National News:
Sirens sounded in southern Israel as rockets were fired from Gaza at the Sdot Negev and Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Councils and two were intercepted by Iron Dome missiles. No one was hurt, but at least one building was damaged. According to an IDF spokesperson, three rockets were identified as being fired towards Israel, and the Iron Dome intercepted two of them. Arab media reported that IDF tanks responding to the rockets shot at targets in Gaza.
People attending a ceremony in Kfar Aza to mark the birthday of Oren Shaul took whatever cover they could as the photo above shows. To remind readers who do not recognize his name, the IDF has determined that he was killed in the fighting with Hamas during the summer of 2014. Hamas continues to hold his body for ransom.

Times of Israel says the third of today's three rockets
fell in Israeli territory in the Shaar Hanegev region, on the Gaza border.  Police said they found the rocket at the entrance to a building that had sustained damaged from the fall. Rocket warning sirens were heard shortly before midday in the Shaar Hanegev and Sedot Hanegev regions, sending frightened residents running to shelters. There were no immediate reports of casualties...
Zahava Shaul is accompanied to a nearby shelter as the rocket warnings are
heard [Image Source: Ynet]
UPDATE 2:30 pm December 29, 2017 | According to an updated Times of Israel report ["Gaza rockets apparently target ceremony for captured soldier", Times of Israel, today]:
The three rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel on Friday appeared to have been launched to deliberately coincide with a ceremony marking what would have been the 24th birthday of an IDF soldier who was killed, and whose remains were captured by Hamas, in 2014. A military official could not yet say that this was definitively the case, as the army was still investigating the issue, but said it “absolutely could be,” noting the uncommon timing of the attack. 
Ynet quoted Oren Shaul's mother, Zahava - imagine what the event must have felt like for her - saying "It's an unpleasant and frightening experience. The most important thing is that no one was hurt." The head of the Zionist Union political party Avi Gabbay who attended the ceremony said: "The rocket fire in the middle of the ceremony proves, more than a thousand witnesses, that deterrence has been lost. They knew there was a ceremony happening here, and they fired. It's intolerable. I hope our government responds properly." Among the other dignitaries present: Communications Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud); MK Oren Hazan (Likud); Golani Brigade Commander Shlomi Binder; Maj. Gen. (res) Hagai Topolanski, the former head of the IDF's Manpower Directorate; Haim Jelin MK, former head of the Eshkol Regional Council.

Times of Israel points out that
This month saw two weeks of near-daily rocket launches, the largest incidence of missile-fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. These daily attacks had recently seemed to have come to an end. According to Israeli assessments, the rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip. However, analysts have noted that Hamas has been either unwilling or unable to clamp down on the groups, as it has in the past.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

28-Dec-17: So how old is the Tamimi girl?

Screen shot
Depends whom you ask (as we originally wrote here).

In the order in which the following media reports were published, she was
So depending on which media report you want to believe, she was born (in the same order as those links above) in 1999, 2004, 1999, 2002, 2000, 2002, 2001, 2001.

Making her now 13, 15, 16, 17 and/or 18.

It's hard to be precise. We assume all this vagueness is intentional and part of the family's manipulation of her appearance, her image and her life.

UPDATE January 1, 2018: We tweeted this evening [here] that the Tamimi girl is now 16 years and 11 months old according to the Israel Prison Service, quoted today over at JewishPress.com We think this emphasizes how, since the age of 9, she has been the product of her clan's and parents' inputs, cynical manipulation and child abuse.

28-Dec-17: At a northern Jerusalem security checkpoint, a girl with knives and stabbing victims on her mind

Qalandiya Crossing and some of its security personnel who watch for
attackers [Image Source]
Barely noticed by reporters and overwhelmingly ignored by mainstream news editors, there has been a non-lethal security incident at one of the main entry points through which Palestinian Arabs pass on their way into Israel's capital city, Jerusalem.

But non-lethal was not the goal of the attacker.
A Palestinian teen was arrested Wednesday after trying to illegally enter Israel and allegedly carry out a terror attack, police said. The suspect, an 18-year-old female, was turned away at the Qalandiya crossing near Jerusalem, and later tried to cross again using her 7-year-old sister’s permit. When she was refused, she began arguing with border guards and tried to force her way in, a police spokesperson said. During subsequent questioning, the teen admitted to planning an attack in the Jerusalem area. A source with knowledge of the case told The Times of Israel that the Palestinian planned to buy a knife and stab a police officer. The woman, from the town of Qataneh, was jailed, pending a remand hearing. Her name was not released by police... ["Palestinian teen caught planning stabbing attack — police", Times of Israel, December 27, 2017]
You might want to note how:
  • The terror-minded suspect is about the same age as the young woman from Nabi Saleh of whom we wrote earlier this week ["24-Dec-17: Nabi Saleh, the media and a Tamimi child's journey"]. "Girls" of seventeen or eighteen are older, often by several years, than a steady stream of Palestinian Arab teens who have perpetrated (or been thwarted trying) terrorist Arab-on-Israeli attacks during the past two years. [Click on "Weaponizing Children" for dozens such recent cases.]
  • News about Jerusalem gets remarkably uneven coverage in the mainstream news industry. The decision of the Trump Administration to recognize that Israel's capital city for the past seventy years has been Jerusalem got vastly more coverage, even though no one's life was directly threatened by it.
  • In Qataneh (sometimes written Qatane), from where yesterday's would-be attacker lived, Israeli forces two years ago uncovered a massive weapons cache that included ammunition, knives, IDF uniforms and binoculars [source]. The village is located right next to the Israeli community of Har Adar, 12 km north of Jerusalem. The neighborhood has been in the news recently for the worst kind of reasons ["26-Sep-17: At Har Adar's entrance, an Arab-on-Israeli shooter with problems and a solution"] 
  • The security personnel who man the Qalandiya Crossing have realistic expectations by now of what some Palestinian Arabs, and in particular children, have on their minds. Consider for instance events that took place there just a few months back: "20-May-17: A child, a knife and another thwarted stabbing today on Jerusalem's northern edge". That attack-child was 14.
Over at Israel National News, their report of Wednesday's thwarted attack includes this rather poignant additional commentary:
The police said that "the soldiers and policemen work throughout the year at the crossings around the Jerusalem area and in their activities constitute human shields for the residents [of the city], prevent the entry of unauthorized persons into Israel and the smuggling of weapons. This is all in order to protect the residents of the State of Israel."
We can relate to this.

On the day our 15 year-old daughter Malki and 14 other innocents were murdered in the Hamas attack on Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria, the terrorist bomber and her human bomb passed through this same security crossing, Qalandiya. Tragically, no one thought to stop and interrogate the young man with the guitar case slung across his back that afternoon. In those simpler times, we didn't know our neighbours included people with the monstrous capacity to conceal a massively-explosive, shrapnel-packed weapon-of-mass-destruction inside a musical instrument container and then go looking for Jewish children to kill and maim.

Ahed Tamimi, the woman from Nabi Saleh now being called "girl" in much of the heavy media coverage, danced at the wedding of her cousin, the Sbarro massacre mastermind. Like other members of the Tamimi clan, she identifies with the achievement of the convicted-murderer and celebrates the deed and the doer.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

24-Dec-17: Nabi Saleh, the media and a Tamimi child's journey

Ahed Tamimi in court last week
[Image Source]
A depressingly large number of people posting in various social media channels are hammering away right now at a campaign that tries to characterize the Palestinian Arab teen Ahed Tamimi as a victim of Israeli oppression, a human rights activist and a freedom fighter.

She's the young woman many call Shirley Temper, a photogenic performer who for at least eight years now has been the central figure in a long-running propaganda performance orchestrated by her father Bassem Tamimi and his publicity business, Tamimi Press.

What others say about this is very much on our minds. What Bassem Tamimi himself says is a matter of record. Child abuse? Manipulation? Ha! The ugly child abuse in which he and his village engage chronically is dismissed in masterful fashion: "Our children are doing their duty and must be strong."

We keep running into people who think they know the story of the Tamimi clan. But it's clear to us that few understand the rich and ugly detail of their hatefulness, expressed not as mere protest and words but the kind of physical violence that has ended dozens of lives on the Tamimi side and among their many victims.

FBI Most Wanted Terrorist: The Arabic version is here
Regular readers of this blog know our oldest daughter Malki was murdered at the age of 15 in a massacre engineered by Bassem Tamimi's niece, Ahlam Tamimi. Since March 2017, she has been a fugitive from US justice, wanted by the FBI to face federal charges in Washington arising from the bombing/massacre of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem 16 years ago. She has confessed often and in great detail about her role as the mastermind of the slaughter.

Meanwhile Bassem Tamimi has been crowned a hero of Amnesty International. They sent him on a coast-to-coast roadshow in 2015. We tried to get some straight answers from him and from his generous sponsors at the time to some straightforward, related questions... but all we got was ignored: see "04-Sep-15: Mr. Human Rights Defender, a question if we may".

But Ahlam Tamimi, the confessed murderer, along with her uncle and aunt and cousin Nariman, Bassem and Ahed, are simply part of a long list of Tamimis associated with Arab-on-Israeli terror. Some of the details have been deliberately obscured or hidden. We have been doing what we can to publicize them. We revisited some of the barely-known details just a few days ago - see "19-Dec-17: Uncovering some of Nabi Saleh's hideous buried secrets".

On any objective view, enthusiasm for the "bravery" of Ahed (sometimes written Ah'd and Aahd) Tamimi is a strange thing because of how it ignores the trajectory of her emergence as a media figure and the center of a multimedia "Free Ahed Now" project.

How old is she? Depends whom you ask. She was 12 in September 2011 [quoted by Israellycool from an Arab source]; 8 in August 2012 [Source: +972, a far-left Israeli site]; 13 in December 2012 [Source: TimeTurk News and other Turkish sources]; 10 in December 2012 [Source: World Bulletin]; 13 in June 2013 [Source: Your Middle East]; 12 in February 2014 [Source; The Guardian]; 14 in September 2015 [Source: NBC News]; 16 in February 2017 [a South African source]. Thus she was born (in the same order as those links) in 1999, 2004, 1999, 2002, 2000, 2002, 2001, 2001. It's hard to be precise. And to be clear, it's fair to assume all this vagueness is intentional.

We have pulled together some images (below) from public sources that chart the process by which her family and her village - but most of all her parents - cultivated a media-ready provocateur. It's a dismaying chronicle not only because it shows how there are loathsome people who, even though they are parents, would do this to a child. But also because of the individuals, a distressing number of them progressive Jews, who have embraced this distressing and very obvious child-abuse while giving no sign they see the malice, the hate, the bigotry and the overt and calculated manipulation that has accompanied it from the outset until today.

▲ July 2, 2010: Screaming on demand for her father's cameras, Ahed Tamimi is confident enough to walk up to a fully armed soldier and shriek into his face. It's very likely someone told her not to worry, everything will be OK, just show fierce little-girl anger while the cameras roll. And so a career is launched. See more in this video from which the photo above was screen-captured. And here: "06-Sep-15: The making of a pigtailed provocateur". Watch carefully and you can see the child's mother in the same video clip. Mostly - since she has much less to offer than her child does - she stays out of camera range.


▲ September 2012: The CAMERA caption reads: "Mahmoud Abbas congratulates A'hd (right) and her cousin Marah for their "bravery" (From the Nabi Sabeh Solidarity blog)

▲ November 2, 2012: Captured on video by the cameras of Tamimi Press and stage managed by Bassem Tamimi, her father, Ahed screams "I spit in your face". [Image Source]

▲ December 24, 2012: Recognizing the power of a little blonde tyke who teaches the Israelis a lesson, Mevlüt Uysal, then mayor of the Istanbul district of Başakşehir (and currently mayor of Istanbul) awards the Tamimi girl the Başakşehir Hanzala Courage Award trophy [Image Source]

▲ December 31, 2012: The Tamimi handlers manage to set up an encounter for her with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [Image Source]

▲ December 31, 2012: Next thing you know, he gives her breakfast [Image Source]

 June 16, 2012: Ahed Tamimi on stage in Amman, Jordan, gazes longingly at her role-model cousin and Nabi Saleh's pride and joy, the boastful and confessed murderer-who-got-away-with-it Ahlam Tamimi. The occasion is the wedding of the Tamimi woman with another Nabi Saleh murderer (who is also the bride's cousin as well as little Ahed's cousin), Nizar Tamimi, the male in the photo. Everyone in the picture is a blood-relative of everyone else. As the published videos and photos attest, many members of the Nabi Saleh Tamimis traveled to Jordan to be present. Background: "22-Jun-12: A wedding and what came before it"

▲ A widely-published portrait of Ahed with the proud parents (father on the left) in February 2013 [Image Source]

▲ March 17, 2013: That's Ahed in the bottom row among the other eager "peace-makers" of Nabi Saleh. Her father and chief manipulator Bassem Tamimi is at top left; her mother Nariman Tamimi in the bottom left corner. Everyone's a relative. Some people read this and think the Tamimis are talking about some future activity of a peaceful nature. A reminder that in the so-called second Intifada, the death toll among Israelis was huge; among Arabs, substantially larger. Background: "17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns". And this follow-up: "29-Aug-15: Revisiting a Palestinian Arab village and its monsters". And another: "01-Sep-15: A tale of two villages: one devoted to non-violence, another that actually exists".

▲ November 21, 2014: AlwatanVoice publishes one of the many Tamimi Press snapshots of the Tamimi village children boldly marching to another entirely-artificial and contrived weekly "clash" with Israeli soldiers. As always, Ahed Tamimi is placed by her father in the most photographed position. Right behind her is Naji Tamimi, a full-time paid Fatah "activist" and cousin or brother (according to different sources) of Bassem Tamimi

▲ March 13, 2015 The weekly Nabi Saleh media-focused confrontation with restrained and patient Israeli soldiers [Image Source]

▲ March 13, 2015: Ahed playing her customary featured role in the weekly show outside Nabi Saleh , screaming on cue [Image Source]

▲ August 28, 2015: With her father Bassem moving into the camera's view for a brief moment (green shirt), but doing nothing to protect his daughter, Ahed Tamimi writhes and struggles with an embarrassed, lone Israeli serviceman who could have theoretically used his gun to get out of a difficult situation but naturally did not. It's as viral an image as Bassem Tamimi can ever have wished. [Image Source: CNN]

▲ September 2, 2015: Bassem, Nariman, Ahed and other members of the family are again honored by a personal audience with the president-for-life of the Palestinian Authority [Image Source]

▲ September 3, 2015: Not to be outdone by his boss, Sabri Saidam, the Palestinian Authority's minister of education visits the little town of Nabi Saleh to get a grip on developments there. Background: "10-Sep-15: It takes a village: The passion for violence of the peace-loving Tamimis"

▲ November 2015: Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, is paraded around the US by Amnesty International, In Ithaca, NY, where this photo is taken, he addresses an audience of school-children from Grade 3. There's outrage in the city ["School District: Ithaca 3rd graders exposed to anti-Israel rhetoric in the classroom" and "Judge sends Ithaca schools a message over pro-Palestinian speaker"]. Shortly afterwards, his visa to enter the United States was permanently revoked by the Obama administration.

▲ Some months ago, Ahed Tamimi addressed a committee of the European Parliament.

▲ November 2015: An invaluable examination by Petra Marquardt-Bigman of the Ahed Tamimi phenomenon, the horror of the messages emanating from her parents and cousins, and the context in which all this has been happening [The Tower

▲ From the Jewish Voices for Peace Twitter feed

The idea of referring to Nariman Tamimi, Ahed's mother, as a person with a "voice full of love and tenderness" is delusional. Don't believe us? Check out "02-Oct-15: Truth, honesty, love, murder... and useful idiots".

As to "butchered childhoods", we happen to know something about how that works. Our daughter Malki, who never thrust a fist into the face of anyone at all let alone a soldier, was fifteen when she became an unwilling participant in the explosive moment which the Tamimi clan celebrate yearly with such huge enthusiasm. 


Our murdered daughter Malki's picture (above) stands for the absolute opposite of what the Tamimi propaganda machine is marketing: goodness, kindness, concern for others, embracing the different and the weak and the damaged, always optimistic. It's tragic how many people fail to understand that simple truth.