Jerusalem terrorists had plotted to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [Photo: Israel Security Service]
A Hamas terror cell operating out of Jerusalem had been planning a mass casualty attack with the added goal of assassinating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hebrew-language news site Walla! reported Sunday. Although indictments were filed last month in the case, the details were only recently cleared for publication.
The cell consisted of six members, with direct support from operatives in Gaza. Cell leader Ahmed Azzam, originally from Kfar Yussuf but living in Abu Dis, revealed during interrogation that the group had planned to detonate a bomb at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue or Payis Arena during a speech by Israel’s leader.
According to the website, the cell had already secured a safe house in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town within Jerusalem, and amassed chemicals needed to build the explosive, such as potassium, hydrogen peroxide and fertilizer.
Under interrogation, Azzam revealed that he had first become interested in conducting a terror attack on behalf of Hamas while in an Israeli jail. In August, he established contact with one Abu Omer, a Hamas representative in Gaza, who provided support and direction. In November, he recruited 22-year-old Hizzam Sanduka, nicknamed “The Mechanic” for his knowledge of vehicles.
Sanduka was responsible for the bomb placement. It was also he who selected Netanyahu as a potential target. Working with a partner, he obtained the necessary components from Jerusalem-area nurseries and pharmacies. As a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, he was able to use a car with yellow Israeli license plates, which made it easier to get around without arousing suspicions, but Sanduka told investigators he still drove to Jaffa after purchasing his supplies to verify whether or not he was being followed.
Sanduka had also worked as a guard in an Israeli security company, and had been stationed in the past at the Arena, and thus intended to use his connections to gain access to the final target. Since he had been part of the team which built the stage in the Arena, he had considered it an ideal opportunity to plant the bomb, with the intention of taking out the Israeli leader and those closest to him. He told investigators the only reason he had not planted explosives at the time was that he did not have the knowledge or means to prepare them.
Sanduka also recruited Fahdi Abu Kia’an,19, a Bedouin from southern Israel, known to be a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS).
The cell debated a variety of terror methods, including kidnappings and suicide bombings. At one point, Azzam asked Sanduka to obtain a larger vehicle in order to smuggle more supplies, as well as potential suicide bombers, into Israel. The cell members also considered different targets, such as Malcha Mall or the port in Jaffa, where the carnage would be highest.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.