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NEWS - News of the Lodges

PRESS REVIEW N°490
By Gilberte JACARET

ISRAEL

Two killed in shooting attack by Palestinian in Jerusalem

Written by EJP

Sunday, 09 October 2016 10:29

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Israel's Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan:''We have said the whole time that because the increase in the amount of incitement many will plan lone-wolf attacks.''

JERUSALEM (EJP)---A police officer and a 60-year-old woman were killed and five injured Sunday morning in a shooting attack by a Palestinian terrorist near a police station next to the Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem. According to a police report released shortly after the incident, the terrorist opened fire from within his vehicle on people standing by the station situated opposite police headquarters.

The terrorist—identified as 39-year-old Mousabah Abu Sabih from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and a full Israeli citizen—then fled the scene, continuing his rampage as he shot two people sitting in their car. He then proceeded in the direction of Tomb of Simeon the Just in Sheikh Jarrah where he stopped his vehicle and began shooting at riot police pursuing him on motorbikes. One of the officers was critically injured during the shootout and died from his wounds shortly thereafter. Another policeman was also lightly wounded in the fire exchange. Israel Border Police spotted the terrorist before shooting him dead.

Israel's Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, who arrived at the scene, told the press that there was no forewarning for this attack. "But we have said the whole time that because of the increase in the amount of incitement many will plan lone-wolf attacks," he added. He attributed responsibility for the attack to Facebook. "In my opinion, Facebook and other social media sites bear direct responsibility. It was two or three weeks ago that Facebook reopened Hamas's pages following Palestinian public pressure. In my eyes, it's scandalous."  "I don't necessarily draw a connection between this and the current attack," the minister clarified.
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 October 2016 10:58

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Security arrive at the scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

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Paramedics treat victims at the scene

Among the victims was a 60-year-old woman, who was immediately evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center
in critical condition and eventually succumbed to her wounds having been shot in her upper body.

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Security stand by following shooting attack (Photo: AFP)

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan arrived at the scene and spoke with the press, telling them there was no forewarning for this attack. "But we have said the whole time that because of the increase in the amount of incitement many will plan lone-wolf attacks," he added. Erdan then went on to attribute responsibility for the attack to Facebook. "In my opinion, Facebook and other social media sites bear direct responsibility. It was two or three weeks ago that Facebook reopened Hamas's pages following Palestinian public pressure. In my eyes, it's scandalous."

"I don't necessarily draw a connection between this and the current attack," the minister clarified.

It is not the first time that Erdan has espoused his vociferous opposition to the paucity of effective measures to counter rife online incitement. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated the attack was "a natural reaction to the continued crimes of the occupation against Palestinians and the al-Aqsa Mosque." His organization did not take responsibility for the attack, however.
First published: 09.10.16,


On Rosh Hashanah eve, Israel's population hits 8.58 million

Country now has 6.4 million Jews, 1.8 million Arabs — an overall increase of 2% over the previous
year

BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF September 27, 2016, 4:42 pm 2

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the State of Israel has a population of 8.585 million, 172,000 more than the same time last year. Israel experienced a population growth rate of almost 2 percent over the past Jewish year, consistent with previous years, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. Jews make up close to three-quarters of the population at 6.4 million residents, while Israel's almost 1.8 million Arabs make up one-fifth of the population. Those of other backgrounds, including non-Arab Christians and those not categorized as members of a religious group by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, make up less than 5% of the population, at 380,000 people. The country's birthrate was more than four times that of the death rate, with 189,000 babies being born during the past Jewish year and 46,000 people dying.

In the past year 30,000 people came to live in Israel, of whom 25,000 were new immigrants. By religion, the Jewish population of Israel increased by 1.9%, the Muslim population by 2.4%, the Christian by 1.5% and the Druze by 1.4%. Overall, the Arab population grew by 2.2%. Fifty thousand, seven hundred and ninety-seven couples wed in the past year, of whom almost three-quarters were Jewish, and 44,412 of the grooms and 45,547 of the brides were marrying for the first time. The average age of first-time husbands was 27.6; it was 25 for first-time wives. The report did not include foreign migrants and workers, who numbered 183,000 people at the end of 2015.

South American Israelis celebrate Colombian president's Nobel Peace Prize

Latin American Jews living in Israel added their voices to the chorus of congratulations sent to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  Santos, who on Friday won the distinction for his efforts to end Colombia's five-decades-long civil war, "is highly worthy of the prize not only for promoting peace with rebel militants but also for advancing his country and its society and for strengthening international alliances, including with Israel,"

Leon Amiras, chairman of the Association of Olim from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, told JTA.

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SYRIA


US suspends contacts with Russia on Syria, as Russia suspends plutonium treaty

Faced with a truce in Syria that never truly took hold, the US suspends talks with Russia regarding the deal; Russia also decides to air out its grievances against the US, suspending their plutonium disarmament treaty over disputes regarding Syria and Ukraine.

Associated Press and Reuters|Published: 03.10.16 , 21:22

The US State Department said on Monday that the US is suspending bilateral contacts with Russia over Syria. Russia, for its part, also came out with a statement on Monday, saying that it is suspending a plutonium disarmament deal wth the US.
The US announcement came after last week's threat by Secretary of State John Kerry to suspend contacts amid new attacks on the city of Aleppo. The department said in its statement that Russia had not lived up to the terms of an agreement last month to restore the cease-fire and ensure sustained deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged cities.

As part of the suspension, the US will be withdrawing personnel that it had dispatched to take part in the creation of a joint US-Russia center. That center was to have coordinated military cooperation and intelligence if the cease-fire had taken hold. The suspension will not affect communications between the two countries aimed at de-conflicting counter-terrorism operations in Syria.

An end to the Russia-US plutonium treaty

The US State Department's announcement came as Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a treaty, as well, regarding the Kremlin's agreement with Washington to clean up weapons-grade plutonium, thus signaling that he is willing to use nuclear disarmament as a new bargaining chip in disputes with the United States over Ukraine and Syria.Starting in the last years of the Cold War, Russia and the United States signed a series of accords to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals, agreements that have so far survived intact despite a souring of US-Russian relations under Putin.

But on Monday, Putin issued a decree suspending an agreement, concluded in 2000, which bound the two sides to dispose of surplus plutonium originally intended for use in nuclear weapons. The Kremlin said it was taking that action in response to unfriendly acts by Washington.The plutonium accord is not the cornerstone of post Cold War US-Russia disarmament, and the practical implications from the suspension will be limited. But the suspension, and the linkage to disagreements on other issues, carries powerful symbolism. "Putin's decree could signal that other nuclear disarmament cooperation deals between the United States and Russia are at risk of being undermined," Stratfor, a US-based consultancy, said in a commentary.

"The decision is likely an attempt to convey to Washington the price of cutting off dialogue on Syria and other issues."

US Secretary of State John Kerry last week warned that Washington could halt diplomacy with Russia over the conflict in Syria unless Russia took immediate steps to stop the violence there. Western diplomats say an end to the Syria talks would leave Moscow without a way to disentangle itself from its military operation in Syria. The operation was intended to last a few months but has now just entered its second year.

A list of grievances

As well as issuing the decree ordering the suspension of the plutonium cleanup deal, Putin submitted a draft law on the suspension to parliament. That draft linked the suspension to a laundry list of Russian grievances toward the United States. It said conditions for resuming work under the plutonium deal included Washington lifting sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the Ukraine conflict, paying compensation to Moscow for the sanctions and reducing the US military presence in eastern Europe to the levels they were 16 years ago. Any of those steps would involve a complete U-turn in long-standing US policy.

"The Obama administration has done everything in its power to destroy the atmosphere of trust which could have encouraged cooperation," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on the treaty's suspension. "The step Russia has been forced to take is not intended to worsen relations with the United States. We want Washington to understand that you cannot, with one hand, introduce sanctions against us where it can be done fairly painlessly for the Americans, and with the other hand continue selective cooperation in areas where it suits them."

The 2010 agreement, signed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called on each side to dispose of 34 tonnes of plutonium by burning it in nuclear reactors. Clinton said at the time that there was enough of the material to make almost 17,000 nuclear weapons. Both sides back then viewed the deal as a sign of increased cooperation between the two former Cold War adversaries. Russian officials alleged on Monday that Washington had failed to honor its side of the agreement. The Kremlin decree stated that, despite the suspension, Russia's surplus weapons-grade plutonium would not be put to military use.


Germany: US-Russia tensions 'more dangerous' than Cold War

Foreign Minister Steinmeier sounds alarm after Washington accuses Moscow of staging 'war crimes' in Syria

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By AFP


Ethiopian immigration to Israel resuming after 3-year freeze

Amid civil unrest in Ethiopia, first group of Jews since 2013 set to arrive in Israel on Sunday; 9,000 still waiting in Ethiopia

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL BY MELANIE LIDMAN October 5, 2016, 10:56 pm 8

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Ethiopian immigrants arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport in December 2011. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

The first group of Ethiopian Jews to move to Israel after waiting for three years will arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday evening, almost a year after the government approved the immigration of 9,000 Jews still left in Ethiopia.The 78 immigrants who will be on the flight were first approved by the Interior Ministry in 2013 but never came due to lack of budget for their absorption, which includes housing allowances for at least two years and apartment grants.

"The tickets are bought, the absorption centers are ready, and we're going to welcome them with open arms on Sunday," said Nimrod Sabbah, a spokesman for Likud MK David Amsalem. "The people waiting for them at the airport, you'll see, are soldiers and people who have served Israel, they have been waiting for years and years for their families," he said. "It pains me to say this, but if they were blond with blue eyes they would have been here ages ago. But they're black, and the government of Israel is behaving with deep racism towards them."

The move comes as Ethiopia is dealing with widespread violent anti-government protests, the most significant civil unrest in decades, centered in the Oromo and Amhara regions. Gondar, which is home to approximately 6,000 of the 9,000 Jews still left in Ethiopia, is located in the Amhara region.

According to Amnesty International, at least 100 people have been killed in protests this summer, and Ethiopian authorities have arrested human rights activists and journalists, both local and international. The government has shut down internet access for all or part of the country in an effort to hinder protest organizers ability to amass large crowds.

Times of Israel blogger Micha Oddenheimer witnessed some of the protests first-hand while in Ethiopia in August.
Sabbah said that the unstable political situation complicated the logistics for bringing the new immigrants. Originally, the first group was supposed to arrive in late August or early September.
One person approved to come to Israel on Sunday's flight confirmed via phone that a group was awaiting flights in Addis Ababa but declined to speak to The Times of Israel due to fears over his personal security.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will pay for the first group of flights for Ethiopian Jews. Last month, the ICEJ contributed $500,000 to the Jewish Agency via Keren Hayesod to cover the flights of the first wave of 523 Ethiopian Jews, as well as to sponsor flights for another 104 Jewish immigrants coming soon from France and the Ukraine, according to ICEJ spokesman David Parsons. Parsons added that the ICEJ is also fundraising to assist with absorption costs for Ethiopian Jews.

In the 2017-2018 budget, the Finance Ministry allocated a budget that would enable 1,300 Ethiopians to move to Israel, to be divided among a number of entities, including the Interior Ministry, the Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency, among others, according to Sabbah. Last November, the government approved the absorption of the 9,000 Ethiopian immigrants, but the plan faltered because there was no budget allocated for it.

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Members of the Falash Mura Jewish Ethiopian community wait for prayer service before attending the Passover seder meal, in the synagogue in Gondar, Ethiopia, April 22, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Two Likud MKs, Amsalem and Avraham Neguise, refused to vote with the coalition until the government funded the decision to bring the Ethiopian Jews to Israel, which it finally did in April. But the process has been stalled, and no plans had been made to resume the aliyah. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to meet members of the Jewish community while on a state visit to Ethiopia in July.

Ethiopian immigrants are expected to arrive in Israel at the rate of about 100 per month starting in November.