Israel News

News Digest — 9/9/21

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Assessment: Recapturing 6 Escaped Terrorists Will Lead To Escalation

Israel’s defense establishment is concerned about the possibility of weakening the stability in Gaza, as well as in Judea and Samaria, and the rest of Israel, Kan News reported Thursday (9th).

According to the report, the concern is that recapturing the six terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa Prison, or clashes within Judea and Samaria, will lead to an additional escalation.

A security source emphasized that all of the relevant bodies warned before Rosh Hashanah of the possibility of an escalation in tensions, and security was therefore increased.  However, the source said, the Israel Prison Service “fell asleep.”

Meanwhile on Wednesday night (8th) clashes continued, with Palestinian Authority Arabs targeting IDF soldiers in several locations, including Hebron, Shechem, Qalqilya, and Bethlehem.  Near Ramallah, terrorists fired live bullets at IDF soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal methods.

Israeli security forces believe that at least some of the terrorist-escapees are still within Israeli territory.  As such, the search for the six – who are among the most dangerous in Israel – continues Thursday morning (9th).



Fatah Celebrates Escape of Terrorist “Heroes” From Prison

Senior Fatah official Munir Al-Jaghoub, head of the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission’s Information Office, celebrated the escape of what he called six “heroic” terrorists from Gilboa Prison Monday morning (6th) with a post he published on his Facebook page and Twitter account.

 “Heroic” Zakariya Zubeidi is a terrorist who commanded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s terror wing in Jenin.  In the indictment that was submitted against him, he was accused of committing a long list of terror crimes.”

“Another Fatah terrorist who was a partner in the escape from Gilboa Prison, and who is also called  a “hero” by Al-Jaghoub, is Ayham Kamamji who murdered young Eliyahu Ashri in 2006, and planned to blow up a bus filled with passengers using an exploding car carrying a massive explosive approximately 100 kilograms in weight.

Another terrorist Fatah “hero” who escaped from Gilboa Prison is Muhammad Ardah, an Islamic Jihad member who was put on trial and convicted for his part in initiating and executing a suicide bombing on Nov. 29, 2001, in which three people were murdered and many others were wounded.

Mahmoud Ardah, another Fatah “hero” who escaped Gilboa Monday (6th), was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to life and another 15 years in prison for terrorist attacks.  Islamic Jihad’s military wing defines him as the commander of the escape operation.

Still another Fatah “hero” terrorist who was a partner in the escape is Yaqub Qaderi, who committed a shooting attack in 2002 in which Yosef Ajami was murdered and a foreign worker was wounded.

It should be noted that just a few weeks ago Palestinian Media Watch warned that “the Israeli Prison Service apparently is unaware of what is happening with its terrorist prisoners, who are studying for academic degrees within the prison walls in contradiction of the Israeli government.”

“Tragically, we know now that they were doing more than just studying,” reported PMW.



Prison Guards Suspected Of Complicity In Escape Of Terrorists

Israeli security officials have extended the holiday closure of the areas within the control of the Palestinian Authority until Saturday night (11th) because of the escape of six security prisoners from Israel’s Gilboa Prison on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.  The closure was implemented as usual before the holiday and would have been lifted Thursday (9th) had it not been for the current security situation.

The decision comes as disturbances have broken out at several Israeli prisons.

Police believe that some prison guards may have aided in the escape of 6 security prisoners early Monday morning (6th).  Two Israel Prison Service officials are expected to be questioned on Thursday (9th).

The investigation is being conducted by the unit Lahay 433, which is known for handling serious criminal investigations, such as those involving cabinet ministers.

There are also reports of guards who failed in their duties, behaving irresponsibly and even sleeping on the job.  The prisoners apparently knew of this behavior and used it to their advantage.

Meanwhile, prisoners affiliated with the Islamic Jihad set fires in their cells and burned mattresses in the Ketziot and Ramon prisons.  They claimed to be protesting plans for the transfer of them to other prisons.

Opposition to mobilization of security prisoners, which began following the escape of the terrorists, is escalating.  Leaders among prisoners stated that “any Israeli security personnel who try to evacuate any of the Islamic Jihad prisoners will be set on fire.”  The prison service responded that they are prepared for any contingency and that they do not let the prisoners set the agenda. 

About 170 prisoners have already been moved around.  The prisons usually keep terrorists from Islamic Jihad and Hamas, or other organizations separate from each other.  This is done out of fear that members of different groups may attack one another because of long standing feuds.

Some terror groups have been calling on the Arab public to assist the escapees in any way they can and try to interfere with the current manhunt.

Hamas issued a statement warning Israel not to continue with what it called “retaliatory measures that violate prisoners’ rights.”  Hamas said that Israel is responsible for the prisoners’ welfare and that they “will not remain silent about any violation of their rights, and will not leave the prisoners alone in the battle.”

With the end of the Rosh Hashanah holiday Wednesday evening (8th), Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Israeli security personnel, saying, “Israel is ready for any scenario.”



Hacker Claims To Have Stolen Personal Data Of 7 Million Israelis

A hacker has launched an online auction for what he claims is the personal information of 7 million Israelis, and posted several images of Israeli IDs as proof, Israel Hayom learned Wednesday (8th)

On Tuesday evening (7th), the cybercriminal surfaced online claiming to have stolen the personal information of around seven million Israelis by hacking the server of City4U, a website used by municipalities to collect various payments and levies from residents, such as municipal taxes and various fines.  It is also used by city associations and water corporations for collection purposes.

According to Channel12 News, if the scope of the data breach is true, it could be one of the biggest hacks in Israel’s history.

On a Telegram page named “SANGKANCIL_ISRAEL_CITY4U” the hacker said he would offer the data as part of a “limited time offer” for one bitcoin.  The cryptocurrency is currently worth $45,000 per unit.  Citing the auction was his “surprise for the Jewish New Year,” he noted, “They think they are safe.  Haha.  I will post the identities and properties of Israelis,”  He later added, “Just wait, more surprises are coming.”

City4U which is run by the New Automation Company, said in a statement on Wednesday (8th), “We are investigating allegations of leaked information from the City4U system and are in constant contact with the National Cyber Directorate.”

“The New Automation Company invests considerable resources in information security and is certified to the information security standard ISO 27001.  The company regularly conducts risk assessments and intrusion tests, as well as regular inspections of its system’s vulnerability to cyberattacks.  This incident remains under investigation and we will apprise the public of any new findings,” the statement read.



Slovakian Government Apologizes For WWII Anti-Jew Laws

Slovakia’s government apologized on Wednesday (8th) for World War II legislation that stripped the country’s Jews of their human and civil rights.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the “Jewish Code” adopted on September 9, 1941, the government said in a statement that it “feels a moral obligation today to publicly express sorrow over the crimes committed by the past regime.”

The code also prevented access of the Jews to education and authorized the transfer of their property to non-Jewish owners.

The government said the anniversary is an opportunity to remember the crimes against Slovak Jews.

Slovakia was a Nazi puppet-state during World War II.  It sent over 70,000 of its Jewish citizens to Nazi concentration camps, where most of them perished.

The code is considered to include some of the toughest anti-Jew laws adopted in Europe during the war.



Arizona Divests From Ben & Jerry’s Over Its “Anti-Semitic” Israel Boycott

The office of the Arizona Treasury said on Tuesday (7th) that state laws prohibited continued investments in Ben & Jerry’s in light of its Israel boycott decision.

“Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statutes  35-393 et seq) states that a public state entity may not invest money with an entity that boycotts Israel,” the Arizona Treasury said, adding that it was in contact with Unilever on the matter in early August.

“Unilever PLC, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s was given an ultimatum: “reverse the actions of Ben & Jerry’s to come into compliance with Arizona law or face the consequences.  They chose the latter,” the Treasury wrote. 

“Arizona will not do business with companies that are attempting to undermine Israel’s economy and blatantly disregard Arizona law,” the Treasury added.

Some seven other states are weighing taking a similar step.  This includes: New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.