Monthly Archives: September 2014

Israel PM Netanyahu To UN: Iran, ISIS Cannot Acquire Nuclear Weapons

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Netanyahu displays photos at UN illustrating Hamas
using children as human shields.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — September 29, 2014 … Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations today.

He again implored the global community to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu asked the global forum: “Would you allow ISIS to acquire chemical or nuclear weapons?”

Netanyahu then spoke about Operation Protective Edge, the IDF operation to protect Israeli civilians from terror rockets and tunnels. Netanyahu stated that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. 

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He accused Hamas of committing “the real war crimes” by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. He held a photograph of Palestinian children playing near rocket launchers in Gaza.

“Israel’s defense knocked rockets out of the sky. Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles,” Netanyahu said.  

The Israel Prime Minister stated that Israel “faced a propaganda war because in an attempt to gain sympathy, Hamas used human shields, homes and hospitals to fire rockets at Israel while Israel surgically struck military targets.”

 

 

“Last week, many countries here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS.  And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, same countries that now support confronting ISIS opposed Israel for confronting Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.  ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control,” he said.

Netanyahu concluded: “Together, we must recognize the global threat of militant Islam, the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, and the indispensable role of Arab states in advancing peace with the Palestinians.”

Copyright © 2014 Israel News Agency ™ All rights reserved.

Ebola Virus Infecting ISIS Members

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By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem — September 29, 2014 … Israeli security sources say that the deadly Ebola virus may be spreading among member of ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria. The report states that dozens of ISIS terrorists have come down with symptoms identical to the killer virus which has claimed over  6,574 victims in five West African countries – Senegal and Nigeria are the other two – with 3,091 deaths reported.

The UN mission to combat Ebola opened its headquarters today in Ghana, where it will co-ordinate aid for the accelerating West African crisis.

The spread of Ebola has spiraled into the worst-ever outbreak, as the World Health Organization says it is has associated more than 3,000 deaths to the disease, although that is likely an underestimate of the real toll. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hit hardest. Senegal and Nigeria have also been affected, but have not reported a new case in weeks.

“We know that ISIS has training camps in Africa and it is highly possible that this is where contact with the disease was made,” said Avi, a commercial, global, anti-terrorism consultant. “This would add new meaning to the US stating that “no boots would be on the ground as both missiles and Ebola penetrates one of the worst evils the world has ever known.”

The success of Islamic State (ISIS) could shape the thinking of African Islamists, said Andrew Muzonzini, Zimbabwe’s head of external intelligence and a member of the African Union’s Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA).

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISISBilal Fawzi / AP Islamist gains in Iraq and Syria may inspire new tactics from groups in Africa.

“Given (Islamic State’s) brutality in pursuit of its cause, it would be prudent for us to brace ourselves for a new cadre-ship of extremist fanatics,” Muzonzini said at a CISSA conference in Nairobi.

African Islamist terror groups such as Nigeria’s Boko Haram have not made as dramatic an advance as Islamic State, which controls a wide region of Syria and Iraq. Both Boko Haram and ISIS are struggling for dominance in Africa.

 

Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terrorist Attacks

Bloomberg | September 23, 2014 

By ERIK LARKSON and CHRISTIE SMYTHE


                                                                                     Photographer: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images

Arab Bank Plc, Jordan’s biggest lender, helped Hamas militants carry out a wave of violence in Israel that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans, a New York jury decided in the first trial of its kind in the U.S. The company’s shares tumbled.

The Amman-based lender was found liable for doing business with more than 150 Hamas leaders and operatives in the early 2000s, helping finance about two dozen deadly suicide bombings, including attacks on crowded restaurants and buses in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, jurors decided yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. The shares dropped 5.6 percent to 7.32 dinars at 11:17 a.m. local time, the biggest decline in more than a month.

“The verdict is an incredible message that should be understood and heard by the entire financial community — if you do business with terrorists, you can be held liable” in the U.S., Michael Elsner, one of the plaintiffs lawyers, said in a phone interview.The case highlights the ways banks can play a role in funding terrorist groups and the extent to which they can be held responsible for monitoring their customers, even those who aren’t on government lists of terrorists. Credit Lyonnais SA and Bank of China Ltd. are facing similar cases in the U.S., alleging they served as conduits for terrorism financing.

David Miller, a former Manhattan prosecutor who worked on terrorism cases for the U.S. Justice Department and isn’t involved in the Arab Bank case, said the verdict may result in follow-up lawsuits.

300 Victims

The outcome sends “a powerful message to financial institutions of their continuing obligation to know their customers,” said Miller, now a lawyer at Bingham McCutchen LLP in New York.

The plaintiffs, about 300 victims of the attacks or their relatives, are seeking unspecified damages from Arab Bank that will be decided at a separate proceeding. The trial was the first against a bank on civil claims of violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, making the verdict a potential industry landmark.“There’s a huge sense of relief — it is an amazing verdict,” said Joshua Faudem, a 39-year-old

Detroitnative who was injured in a suicide attack on Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003. “This is a huge wake-up call, not just for banks, but for all big businesses, to wash their hands of these kinds of clients.”

Not Over

The verdict was handed down the same day a federal appeals court in Manhattan revived a similar suit filed by about 200 Hamas victims against National Westminster Bank, accused of maintaining accounts and transferring money for an alleged Hamas fundraiser, the Palestine Relief & Development Fund.The court reversed a lower-court dismissal of the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, ruling that it had used the wrong standard to determine whether NatWest, a unit of

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, knew it was supporting a terror group.“Obviously this case is a long way from over,” U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, who oversaw the Arab Bank case, said to lawyers after the verdict was delivered yesterday. “We have not finished our work by a long shot.”

The victims linked Arab Bank to 24 terror attacks, including a suicide attack on Holocaust survivors celebrating Passover at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, in 2002, which killed about 30 people and wounded more than 100.

A jury of eight women and three men deliberated fewer than two days before reaching the decision that the bank was liable on all 24 counts linked to the separate attacks.

Arab Bank will appeal the verdict because the judge’s instructions were “erroneous” and mistakes were made in determining which evidence would be allowed, Shand Stephens, a lawyer for the bank, said after the verdict.

Will Appeal

“The plaintiffs evidence in this case is a mile wide and an inch deep,” Stephens told reporters outside the courtroom. “The Second Circuit is going to reverse this,” he said referring to the appeals court in New York.The events at the center of the trial took place during the Second Intifada, a five-year Palestinian uprising in Israel that began in 2000 and resulted in thousands of deaths, including hundreds of civilians on both sides of the conflict. Non-U.S. victims were barred from joining the case.

Lawyers for Arab Bank told jurors during closing arguments on Sept. 18 that the lender followed international banking rules and that most of the accused customers weren’t designated as terrorists by the U.S., the United Nations or the European Union. The only customer who was a designated terrorist, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, slipped through the bank’s systems due to a spelling error, the lender argued.

Bank Paymaster

Victims also targeted the bank’s business relationship with The Saudi Committee for the Support of Intifada Al Quds, which was formed to pay the costs of the uprising. The organization used the Arab Bank as a “paymaster” to pass on stipends of more than $5,000 to families of suicide bombers and other terrorists, according to the plaintiffs.
Shukry Bishara, the Palestinian finance minister and a former executive at Arab Bank, testified on Sept. 11 that the lender made payments in the Palestinian territories to provide humanitarian relief, not compensate families of suicide bombers.

Witnesses for the plaintiffs testified that Hamas was probably behind all the attacks at issue in the case, which included deadly 2001 bombings at a beach-front discotheque in Tel Aviv and a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, as well as the 2003 bombing of a bus carrying families returning from prayers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall.

Others Responsible

Other militant groups in the region claimed responsibility for some of the attacks and may have been responsible, lawyers for the bank said in questioning the witnesses. Hamas was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in 1997.Arieh Spitzen, the former head of the Israeli military’s Department of Palestinian Affairs, told jurors in August that the bank transferred about $4 million from 2000 to 2001 to as many as two dozen Hamas leaders and operatives through its New York branch.

Spitzen said he was only able to review limited account information because the bank refused to hand over much of the data. The bank has argued it couldn’t supply more comprehensive information without violating criminal laws of Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. A federal judge ruled jurors could be told to infer from the bank’s failure to provide the information that it did business with terrorists, giving the plaintiffs a potential edge.

Supreme Court

Arab Bank fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to resist sanctions over its refusal to provide the account records to victims. In June, the high court rejected the bank’s appeal.

Arab Bank Chairman Sabih Al Masri, testifying for the company, said the attacks “destroyed opportunities for peace” and denied ever hearing that the bank supported terrorism. Al Masri, who took over management of Arab Bank in 2012 after former Chairman Abdul Hamid Shoman resigned, told jurors his brother was killed by a terrorist and his own life had been threatened because a company he owns supplied food to U.S. troops in the Middle East.The bank said a verdict for the plaintiffs would “undermine” the compliance systems used by financial institutions throughout the world and would “create vast uncertainty and risk.”

Inactive Branch

Founded in Jerusalem in 1930, Arab Bank grew to a network of 600 branches in 30 countries, according to its website. Committed to re building the Palestinian economy, it “emerged as the main vehicle for the payments by the international donor community,” Bishara said in a court filing.The bank opened a branch in New York in 1982, according to Bishara. In 2005, itagreed, without admitting wrongdoing, to pay a $24 million penalty to U.S. regulators over alleged failure to enact sufficient controls and adequately manage risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.The branch is no longer considered active, according to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website. The bank said in a financial report that it converted the branch to a different form of office with limited operations.

The penalty was a “great disappointment to Arab Bank,” Bishara said in a 2005 statement. He said the bank agreed to pay the penalty “in order to put this matter behind us.”

The case is Linde v. Arab Bank Plc, 04-cv-02799, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

 

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Rosh Hashana Jewish New Year Greetings

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By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — September 23, 2014 … Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Israel News Agency.

 Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Rosh Hashana greetings to Jewish communities around the world:

 “My friends,

 As Jews celebrate the New Year around the world, we can take pride in all that unites us. The Jewish people indeed always unite when faced with great challenges, and the past year was no exception.

 Over the past few months, three of our teenagers were kidnapped and brutally murdered, thousands of rockets were fired at our country and too many of our bravest young men and their families made the most painful of sacrifices in Operation Protective Edge.

 Throughout all that, we witnessed tremendous support for Israel from Jewish communities everywhere. And at the same time, we in Israel know that it has been a difficult period for many of your Jewish communities. You face increasingly virulent and even violent anti-Semitism.

 So on behalf of the people of Israel, I thank you for supporting our just campaign to defend ourselves; to provide the sustained peace and security that all Israelis deserve. And I assure you that we in Israel will continue to stand by your side as you confront hatred and intolerance. Jews everywhere must be able to live proudly and without fear.

 As we celebrate Rosh Hashana with our families and friends, we should also celebrate the strength we derive from our commitment to one other. That strength will serve us well as we meet the challenges – and also the remarkable opportunities – of the New Year.

 Israel is an amazing success story. The Jewish people are again sovereign and free in our own homeland. Together we have built a vibrant democracy, a robust economy, a global technological powerhouse.

 In the New Year, Israel will remain a beacon of freedom and human rights in an intolerant area; Israel will continue to be a source of innovation to the benefit of the entire planet; and Israel will not give up its dream of a secure and enduring peace with all our neighbors.

 Israel will remain a source of pride and strength for Jews, no matter where they live and I have no doubt that the future of the Jewish people is one of hope and promise.

 So on this holiday of Rosh Hashana, that is definitely something we can all celebrate.

Shana Tova, happy, healthy, peaceful New Year to all of you”.

Sponsored by JewishPr

US, Arab States Hit ISIS As Israel Kills Hamas Child Murderers

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ISIS no longer has time for YouTube beheading videos.

By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem — September 23, 2014 … The US and her allies launched airstrikes against Sunni terrorists in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a rain of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the terrorist’s de facto capital of Raqqa and along the Iraq border.

US fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the ISIS terrorists, known as the Islamic State. The Pentagon said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.

Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, US officials said, although the Arab governments were not expected to announce their participation until later Tuesday. The new coalition’s makeup is significant because the United States was able to recruit Sunni governments to take action against the Sunni terrorists of the Islamic State. The operation also unites the squabbling states of the Persian Gulf.

The strikes in Syria occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government, unlike Iraq, did not ask the United States for help against the Sunni terror group. Obama has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to step down because of chemical weapons attacks and violence against his own people, and defense officials said Assad had not been told in advance of the strikes.

Combined with a French airstrike last week on a logistics depot held by Islamic State terrorists in northeastern Iraq, the allied participation in the strikes allows Obama to make the case that his plan to target the Islamic State has international cooperation.

“I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, using an alternate name for the Islamic State.

“Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time,” Admiral Kirby said in a statement Monday night in Washington. “The decision to conduct these strikes was made earlier today by the US Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate.”

 The strikes against Islamic State killed at least 70 of its fighters on Tuesday in north and eastern Syria.

The coalition that attacked ISIS in Syria overnight “makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone,” US President Barack Obama said today.

At the same time, the United States took action — on its own — against another terrorist organization, the Khorasan Group. Obama described its members as “seasoned al Qaeda operatives in Syria.”

US officials said the group was plotting attacks against the United States and other Western targets.

The plots against the United States were discovered by the intelligence community in the past week.  The plot involved a bomb made of a nonmetallic device, toothpaste container, and clothes dipped in explosive material.

A plot involving concealed bombs on airplanes “was just one option they were looking at,” a US official said.

While missiles were slamming ISIS, the Israel Border Police’s respected YAMAM counter-terrorist unit on Tuesday stormed a building in Hebron that was housing the Palestinian terrorists who kidnapped and murdered three yeshiva teenage students in June.

In the raid, the team of crack commandos exchanged gunfire with the wanted Palestinians, killing them.

Israel had vowed to track down Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, the two Hamas operatives who in June abducted Gil-Ad Shaer ,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel16, three yeshiva students who were hitchhiking near Hebron.

Israel Sending Doctors, Nurses To Africa To Save Lives Of Ebola Victims

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By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem — September 22, 2014 … Doctors and nurses from Israel will be risking their lives as they join an international effort to combat the Ebola epidemic sweeping across  Africa.

Doctors and other health care professionals from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Beer Sheva who specialize in infectious disease are being sent to Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Liberia to treat infected patients and help prevent spread of the deadly virus.

Two physicians are already in Cameroon on behalf of the Israel Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and others will be joining them in the near future, while a shipment of medicine and medical equipment is planned to depart from Ben-Gurion International Airport this week.

The United States, along with a host of other nations, and international organizations have scrambled to combat the worst Ebola outbreak in history, which has killed some 2,600 people and infected around 5,300 others in West Africa since the early spring, according to the World Health Organization.

At a special deliberation Friday on the situation at the UN in New York, Israeli envoy Ron Prosor said that in the same way Israel extended aid to Haiti, Ghana and the Philippines following devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, it is now prepared to tackle “the new challenge” confronting the world.

“The international community holds the tools and the knowledge to save thousands of human beings, but at present the world’s response isn’t enough, people are pleading for help” Prosor said. He added that a world crisis requires an international response because “every country has a role in the fight against Ebola. The entire world has to replace the indifference with initiative and finding solutions.”


Israel – the first to respond with global, humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, IsraAID, a Beersheba-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises worldwide, will send two teams of its own experts to the Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone and Liberia later this week, according to the report.

One Israeli team will assist in operating a program for treating trauma that aims to help the general population deal with fear of the disease and the stress created in its wake. The other will instruct households in the use of hygiene kits to prevent further spread of the virus.

Israel Government To Develop National Cyber Authority To Defend Commercial Interests

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By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — September 21, 2014 … The following was communicated by the Israel Prime Minister’s media adviser to the Israel News Agency.

 At the weekly Cabinet meeting today Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

“Today, the Cabinet will approve a NIS 1.3 billion supplement for Sderot and the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. This is the largest investment that the State of Israel has ever made in this area. This is in addition to the NIS 417 million that we transferred during Operation Protective Edge. We are developing a new industrial zone in Sderot, transportation infrastructure in the area and are encouraging young people and students to move to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

We came to this country to build and to be built. We came to this part of our land in order to build and be built in it and nobody will uproot us. We will strengthen our hold and our development of this area just as in other areas. I say ‘as in other areas’ because on Tuesday we will submit for Cabinet approval a supplement regarding an approximately NIS 2 billion in additional funds for the communities and cities of the south. In the framework of this decision, we will build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva, in addition to the hundreds of additional beds for the existing Soroka Medical Center.

We will connect new natural gas infrastructures for the benefit of factories in the south. We will invest in initiatives to connect the Negev in the framework of the Digital Israel program. We will encourage small and mid-size businesses. We will develop tourism and all aspects of life including the important cyber aspect for all residents of the Negev, including Bedouin. This is a deep commitment on our part. I think that it has found expression.

I mentioned the word ‘cyber’. I would like to update the public and the Cabinet that I decided last week to develop a national authority on the cyber issue to arrange and see to defending the entire State of Israel on the cyber issue. That is, defending not only important facilities and security agencies, but how to defend Israeli citizens against these attacks. This is the establishment of a new authority. It is, in effect, the creation of an air force against new threats and not rely on this being carried out by existing agencies. We are in a new world; we are preparing with new forces. This has very major significance for the defense of the State of Israel in the future.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB) Head Dr. Eviatar Matania to lead its establishment. The new authority will receive the necessary responsibility and authority to defend the civilian sphere from cyber threats and will constitute an operative agency that will act alongside the INCB, which will continue to build and maintain the State of Israel’s national strength as an international leader in the field.

Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed INCB Head Dr. Matania to submit the initiative for Security Cabinet approval within 60 days and lead the establishment of the authority with a multi-year plan in cooperation with the other relevant agencies.

INCB Head Dr. Matania said: “Dealing with the cyber threat on the national level in the coming decades constitutes a strategic challenge that all countries must deal with. This is a historic decision. The establishment of a national cyber defense authority, alongside the effort to build advanced and unique technologies will bolster the State of Israel’s position as a leader in the field and make a major contribution to defending the economy and encouraging growth.”

Standard and Poor’s has maintained Israel’s A+ credit rating, but it must be noted that they said that this is based on the assumption that Israel will continue the responsible economic policy that we have led in recent years and not deviate from it. I think that this obligates us to an even greater effort that we have not yet completed in order to maintain security needs alongside the necessary economic responsibility, as well as the other needs of the State of Israel. In the end we are standing here with several clear components and the effort is yet before us.

I would also like to announce that, as of now, according to very interesting statistics, most of which are positive, the State of Israel in 2013 (there is always a one year lag), officially, I can tell Israelis on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, that Israel’s population has passed eight million. No less important, for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, more than six million Jews live here. This number has great significance in light of our people’s history in the previous century as well as in the current one.

While we never lack constant challenges from all sides I think that we proved over the past year that we can overcome them. Our strongest quality is the unity of the people and the heroism of our soldiers in repelling one of these threats and dealing a severe blow to our enemies on the southern border, of course.

On the eve of our holiday, I would like to send our best wishes for a full and rapid recovery to the wounded IDF soldiers and citizens and at the same time send our deepest condolences to the families of the fallen.

I would also like to commend the entire people of Israel for the determination and unity that they showed during Operation Protective Edge. I would like to send them greetings from the ministers and myself that they should now have the vacation that was denied them during the summer. Be with your families and above all, have a happy, quiet and safe year.”

Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Nissim Ben-Shetrit as Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 The Cabinet discussed visa exemptions for citizens of the Republic of Moldova who hold biometric passports. Click here for further details.

 Pursuant to the 1952 Civil Damages Law (State Responsibility), the Cabinet declared the Gaza Strip to be “enemy territory” retroactive to 7 July 2014.

 Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s 29 July 2014 decision regarding the route of the security fence in the area of Batir and UNESCO’s 20 June 2014 decision, the Cabinet did not see fit to change its previous decisions.

 The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal for the communal settlement and socio-economic development of Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip in 2014-2018.

Holocaust Gas Chambers At Sobibor Death Camp Discovered

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“The most emotional moment was when we found, near the gas chambers, a wedding ring inscribed with a Hebrew wedding vow,” said archaeologist Haimi, whose relatives were murdered in the camp.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency 

Jerusalem — September 17, 2014 … An archaeological dig in Poland has exposed the location of the gas chambers at the Sobibor death camp, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial announced today.

Over 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor, but on October 14, 1943, about 600 prisoners revolted and briefly escaped. Between 100 and 120 prisoners survived the revolt, and 60 of those survived the Holocaust. After the camp uprising, the Nazis bulldozed the area and planted it over with pine trees to conceal their crimes.

The archaeological dig at the Nazi death camp, which has been carried out by an international team of experts since 2007, has in the past uncovered thousands of personal items belonging to those interned at the camp, including jewelry, perfume, medicine and utensils.

A well was uncovered this week which was used by the Jewish prisoners in Camp 1, where the revolt took place. The well contained several personal items belonging to Jewish prisoners because German guards had thrown trash into it when the camp was being destroyed.

Dr. David Silberklang, a senior researcher at the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust research said: “The discovery of the exact location of the gas chambers at the Sobibior Camp is a discovery of the utmost importance in Holocaust research.”

He said it was important to understand that “there are no remains from any Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers, and therefore these findings are the only thing left from those who were murdered.”

Silberklang stated: “a small window has been open into their daily suffering.”

He said for the first time researchers would be able to better understand the murder process in the camp and what the Jews went through before their death.

“Finding the exact size of the gas chambers will enable us to understand what their capacity was and from there we can determine a more precise estimation of the number of people killed at the Sobibor Camp,” Silberklang said.

 

sobibor

He said the finding will also help fill in the puzzle of what happened to the prisoners who escaped from the camp during the rebellion.

Archaeologist Yoram Haimi said they were surprised at the size of the structure that housed the gas chambers and how well the chambers’ walls were preserved.

“The most exciting part is that we found near the gas chambers wedding rings with the inscription in Hebrew “Hare at mekudeshet li” (Behold, thou art consecrated to me).”

The Holocaust (also called Ha-Shoah in Hebrew) refers to the period from January 30, 1933 – when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany – to May 8, 1945, when the war in Europe officially ended. During this time, Jews in Europe were subjected to progressively harsher persecution that ultimately led to the murder of 6,000,000 Jews (1.5 million of these being children) and the destruction of 5,000 Jewish communities. These deaths represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of all world Jewry.

The Jews who died were not casualties of the fighting that ravaged Europe during World War II. Rather, they were the victims of Germany’s deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe, a plan Hitler called the “Final Solution” (Endlosung).

Yad Vashem (יָד וַשֵׁם) is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Lawpassed by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

Yad Vashem is located on the western slope of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Israel. The memorial consists of a 180-dunam (18.0 ha; 44.5-acre) complex containing the Holocaust History Museum, memorial sites such as the Children’s Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, a research institute with archives, a library, a publishing house, and an educational center named The International School/Institute for Holocaust Studies.

Israel Minister Yair Lapid Meets with Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney

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By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem — September 15 … The following was communicated by the Israel Finance Minister’s media adviser to the Israel News Agency.

 Finance Minister Yair Lapid, this afternoon in Tel Aviv, met with Canadian Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Steven Blaney. The two men signed a Declaration of Intent between the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Israel Tax Authority on Mutual Recognition of the Authorized Economic Operator Program.

Finance Minister Lapid opened the meeting by welcoming Minister Blaney to Israel and said, “We know that Canada is a true friend and your visit will strengthen further the cooperation between our two countries. We share the same moral values and unfortunately now we can all see that we share the same threat.

Israel is faced with Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east. We are dependent on the strength of our military and the strength of our economy to withstand these threats. We are not here just to survive but to thrive and we must also be open to opportunities. We must move to find a solution for Gaza based on a regional framework, through a regional summit which includes all the key partners including Canada. For progress to be made we must ensure that rehabilitation occurs alongside demilitarization. We are strengthened and encouraged by the support of our allies, and in particularly with Canada which stands steadfast by our side”

Israel Minister Lapid continued and said, “Today we will build on our already excellent relations in a field which is strong between us and that is our tax and customs administrations. Although customs agreements rarely grab the headlines, it is exactly this sort of cooperation which facilitates economic growth through trade. Today, the signing of a Declaration of Intent between the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Israel Tax Authority, on Mutual Recognition of Authorized Economic Operator Program, is a natural step forward. This agreement addresses our mutual interests and strengthens the commitment of our two nations to prosperity and security.”

Canada Minister Blaney thanked Minister Lapid for the warm welcome and said, “It’s a privilege to be here today for the first time in my life in the Middle East. I had the privilege to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem, as a Christian it’s been a moving experience and very impressive to see the development occurring in the State of Israel. It certainly is a journey and hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to come back and discover more. We value our relationship with Israel and as Public Safety Minister I’m glad to be here to move forward with additional commitments so we can move forward to increase business, facilitate trade and commerce in a safe environment.

This declaration will increase the cooperation and allow us to improve trade and security. Canada and Israel have a strong trade relationship and I look forward to the complete agreement.”

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