israel news

Israel News for 7-6-18

Prisoner Swap
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed Thursday that Israel is undertaking efforts to kick-start talks with Hamas to secure the release of Israeli citizens and the remains of IDF soldiers, following reports that Germany is acting a mediator between the two side in a possible prisoner exchange deal. According to the report, German envoys made several secret visits to the Gaza Strip and met with Hamas officials to discuss the possibility of implementing the prisoner exchange deal.

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Earthquakes in North
Northern Israel experienced its second earthquake in two days yesterday with a 3.2 tremor. The previous one, on Wednesday, was a 4.5 magnitude. Dr. Ran Nof, a seismologist in the Geological Survey of Israel, said, “We don’t see earthquakes getting stronger and more frequent. It seems unusual because we are not used to feeling earthquakes, but they occur all the time, in particularly at the Dead Sea’s depths, which is a tectonic border.” He added, “A 4.5 earthquake is weak and isn’t even considered a medium-magnitude earthquake; 5-5.5 earthquakes are considered as medium magnitude,” Dr. Nof explained. “Earthquakes 6-7 in magnitude are considered high-magnitude.”

However, Knesset member Yinon Azulay (Shas) blamed the quakes on the governments decision to allow egalitarian prayer services at part of the Western Wall. He said, “Maybe the earthquake occurred this morning because somebody is attempting to touch what is sacred to us. Maybe we should do some soul searching and realize the earthquake happened because somebody is tampering with something that is holy to us.”

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Holocaust Denial
Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust museum and research center, along with holocaust survivor groups blasted Thursday’s joint statement between Israel and Poland that said, “The wartime Polish Government-in-Exile attempted to stop this Nazi activity by trying to raise awareness among the Western allies to the systematic murder of the Polish Jews. As such, they created a ‘mechanism of systematic help and support to Jewish people’ and even took vigorous action against Poles who betrayed Jews. Although the joint statement acknowledges that there were cases in which Poles committed cruelties against Jews, it also says that ‘numerous Poles’ risked their lives to rescue Jews.”

The Yad Vashem statement said, “The existing documentation and decades of historical research yield a totally different picture: the Polish Government-in-Exile, based in London, as well as the Delegatura (the representative organ of this Government in occupied Poland) did not act resolutely on behalf of Poland’s Jewish citizens at any point during the war. Much of the Polish resistance in its various movements not only failed to help Jews, but was also not infrequently actively involved in persecuting them.”

However, the joint statement did say, “We acknowledge and condemn every single case of cruelty against Jews perpetrated by Poles during the World War II.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted, “The joint statement by Israel with the Polish government is a disgrace and is full of lies and harms the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. As education minister, Who is entrusted with imparting the legacy of the Holocaust, I reject it completely. It lacks factual and historical validity and will not be taught in the education system. I demand that the prime minister annul the declaration or bring it to the government for approval.”

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Spy Watch
In a special operation, the Mossad has recovered the wristwatch of master spy Eli Cohen, who operated in Damascus for years and was caught and hanged by the Syrians in 1965. The Mossad said, “After Eli Cohen’s execution on May 18, 1965, the wristwatch was held by an enemy state. Upon the watch’s return to Israel, special research and intelligence operations were carried out which culminated in the unequivocal determination that this was indeed Eli Cohen’s watch.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Mossad for “the determined and courageous operation, the sole objective of which was to return to Israel a memento from a great fighter who greatly contributed to the security of the state.”
Mossad Director Yossi Cohen added that “We remember Eli Cohen and do not forget. His heritage—of dedication, determination, courage and love of the homeland—is our heritage. We remember and have maintained a close connection over the years with his family, Nadia and the children. This year, at the conclusion of an operational effort, we succeeded in locating and bringing to Israel the wristwatch that Eli Cohen wore in Syria until the day he was captured. The watch was part of Eli Cohen’s operational image and part of his fabricated Arab identity.”

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