October 30, 2017

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

UAE apologizes to Israel for Judo handshake snub

The United Arab Emirates’ top judo official apologized to his Israeli counterpart Saturday (28th) after a tournament in Abu Dhabi saw Israeli athletes repeatedly snubbed by their hosts because of their country of origin.

Mohammad Bin Thaloub Al-Darei, president of the UAE’s Judo Federation, and Aref Al-Awani, another senior Emirates sports official, apologized to Israeli Judo Association head Moshe Ponte over the fact that an athlete from the UAE refused to shake hands with an Israeli judoka after a match during the several-day tournament, according to a statement from the International Judo Federation.

However, Israeli symbols were banned during the competition – the flag did not appear and “Hatikvah” was not played for Israel’s gold medalist Tal Flicker on Thursday (26th).



Terror tunnels found under UN-funded school

Officials from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for “Palestinian Refugees” in the Near East (UNRWA) discovered a Hamas terror tunnel underneath an UNRWA school recently, the organization reported on Sunday (29th).

The tunnel was found roughly two weeks ago by an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip.  A similar tunnel was discovered under another UNRWA school earlier this year.

“The presence of a tunnel underneath an UNRWA installation, which enjoys inviolability under international law, is unacceptable.  It places children and agency staff at risk,” UNRWA said in a statement.

Israel has long-warned that Hamas, which controls Gaza, hides military installations, tunnels and weapons under schools and hospitals in the Strip.

(israelnn.com; jpost.com)


UN earmarks $1.3 billion for Palestinian Arab independence

The United Nations has decided to set aside USD 1.3 billion in order to assist the Palestinian Authority (PA) in waging its diplomatic war against Israel, the Israeli NRG website reported.

According to the report, the funds are part of a wide-ranging program titled “United Nations Development Assistance Framework State of Palestine” which will move forward initiatives supporting “Palestine’s path to independence.”

According to a document detailing the program, the initiative will provide “training, capacity-building and technical advice” in order to assist “Palestinian victims” exploit the necessary “international accountability mechanisms” and prosecute “Israeli violations of international law.”

The document writes that the priorities of the initiative  are “ending the occupation, and achieving Palestinian independence.”



Gaza security chief wounded in apparent ISIS hit attempt

General Tawfiq Abu Naim, the head of the Gaza Strip’s Hamas security forces, was wounded on Friday (27th) by an explosion that targeted his vehicle.

Several other Palestinians were injured in the incident.  

Abu Naim was hospitalized and released Saturday (28th).  He served time in Israeli prisons and was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.

While Hamas blamed Israel for the attempted assassination, Israeli experts said that the Sinai-based Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate, against whom Abu Naim is leading a crackdown, was likely behind the attempt.



Death threats for refusing to hate Israel – Sue Ann Levy

Yahya Mohamid 20, from Umm el Fahm in Israel, calls himself a Muslim Zionist.

He says the Islamic Movement has controlled his hometown for 30 years.  On TV, in the streets and at school, he was fed a steady diet of anti-israeli rhetoric.

“Demonization of Israel is a big thing….We get little or no lessons about the Jewish connection to the land or what the Nazis did,” he recalls.

His whole world “flipped upside down” when he got a job at age 17 as a busboy in a hotel in Tel Aviv, a one-hour drive from his town.

When he started interacting with Jewish people at the hotel, “I realized there were two sides to this….It’s not black and white.  It was an eye-opener.”

In June 2014, when three Israeli teens were abducted in the West Bank, Mohamid joined the campaign to bring them back, posing with an Israeli flag on Facebook.

He said “everyone became violent against me and I was subjected to numerous death threats.”

But he insisted on staying in town, “because another voice was needed there,” he said.

However six months ago, someone planted bombs close to his vehicle and the police told him it was time to leave.



Israel tech brings clean water and healthcare to refugees in Africa

An operation bringing much-needed Israeli technology to impoverished Africans is making headway improving the daily lives of literally tens of thousands of refugees.  These results were achieved largely through the efforts of Innovation: Africa, which brings Israeli solutions to assist populations in rural African villages.

Israeli solar energy technology is at the heart of much of Innovation: Africa, which uses the country’s strategies, through which the sun’s power is harnessed to pump clean water and provide orphanages, medical clinics, and schools with the energy they need to store vaccines, medicines and other necessities.

Innovation: Africa, which began in Cameroon in April 2017, was founded by African CEO Sivan Yaari.

Yaari said recently, “Being here in Cameroon to see electricity in medical centers and clean water shows how we can change the world by working together,”



Copts call for action over church closures in southern Egypt

Coptic Christians in the south of Egypt renewed calls on local authorities for an end to discrimination, after a number of churches have been closed down in recent weeks.

Two churches in two separate villages in the province of Minya have been shut down by the authorities, a statement by the Minya diocese said.

It said that worshipers were harassed at both churches and pelted with rocks.

A third church was closed following rumors of a pending attack.

“We have kept quiet for two weeks after the closure but due to our silence, the situation has worsened…it is as if prayer is a crime the Copts must be punished for,” the statement on Saturday (28th” read.

Coptic Christians, who make up 10% of Egypt’s population of nearly 95 million, have been persecuted for many years.  They feel the state does not take their plight seriously.

In May, gunmen ambushed a group of Coptic-Christians traveling to a monastery in Minya, killing 29 and wounding 24.

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker bars Israel boycotters from doing business with his state

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an executive order that prohibits state agencies from entering into contracts with companies that boycott Israel.

Walker signed the executive order on Friday (27th).

“Israel is a firm and faithful friend of the United States,” the legislation reads.

Wisconsin exports over $80 million annually to Israel and imports over $200 million annually from Israel.



Hate letter and white powder mailed to NYC Israel Consulate

A letter decorated with swastikas that contained an unidentified white powder was mailed to the Israeli consulate in New York.

The letter was received on Thursday afternoon (26th), the New York Daily News reported, citing police sources.

The envelope also contained a hate letter, written in Hebrew, and was decorated with swastikas.



‘Jews will burn’ note left on Connecticut sixth-grader’s locker

A note reading “Jews will burn” was left on the locker of a sixth-grader at a middle school in southwestern Connecticut.

The superintendent of the Wilton city schools, Kevin Smith, told parents of the students at Middlebrook Middle School about the incident in a letter sent home Friday (27th).  The letter said that students caught committing such acts “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and subject to suspension and expulsion.”

Swastikas were drawn on the walls of the middle school’s bathroom twice this month according to the report.