Shooting Attack in Hebron [UPDATED 8:42AM IL]

November 25th, 2015

ter0739: Preliminary reports of a shooting attack in Hebron, near the Machpelah. Emergency units responding.

It appears gunfire was directed at security forces in the area.

More to follow.

07:41: B’chasdei Hashem it is reported no one has been killed or injured. There is damage to property.


07:44: Gunfire was directed at a vehicle near the Me’oras HaMachpelah. Miraculously, no one was killed or injured. The vehicle was hit by gunfire.

A similar miracle occurred last night when gunfire struck a vehicle between Givat Assaf and Beit El in the Shomron as daily Islamic terror attacks against Jews continue throughout Israel.

08:42: The vehicle’s driver’s door window was hit by the gunfire. The car was parked in the lot by the Machpelah. It appears the gunshot was sniper fire.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Mrs. Sigal Buchris Speaks About Her Daughter, Terror Victim Hadar Buchris HYD

November 24th, 2015

hadMrs. Sigal Buchris spoke with Channel 2 TV News on Monday evening 11 Kislev. She was asked to describe her daughter, who she referred to as “very religious” and one who always is busy assisting others.

Mrs. Buchris told the media “I am a believing person. Hadar just returned from a visit to India. She told me ‘Ima I have a mission, I have to teach for there is a lack of teachers with Yiras Shomayim’.

“It appears this is what HKBH wanted, to have Hadar next to the Kisei HaKavod. I accept his verdict as difficult as it is”.

1The photo attached is that of the letter Hadar HY”D wrote when she left the Chabad House in India about two weeks ago in which she thanks them for everything.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

PHOTOS: Barzilai Hospital Preparedness Training Event Held on Tuesday

November 24th, 2015



Medical and administrative personnel in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital took part in a preparedness training event that simulated triaging and treating 100 victims. The major training event permitted the hospital to evaluate many aspects of patent documentation, care and transport, as many of the ‘wounded’ were transported to other hospitals located in the center of the country.

Supervising the training event were officials from the Ministry of Health and IDF Homefront Command as well as senior hospital administration.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: דוד אביעוז, Medabrim Tikshoret)

Police: Postal Worker Harassed Muslim Woman in NYC

November 24th, 2015

burqa2A postal worker arrested on hate crime charges had bumped into and spit on a Muslim woman before following her into a deli and threatening to burn down her place of worship, New York City police said.

Dainton Coley, 34, was arrested Tuesday.

Police said he approached two women who were wearing hijabs on a sidewalk in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood around 8 p.m. Friday.

Coley bumped into a 30-year-old woman who was pushing her infant in a stroller before he began shouting racial epithets and spit on her, police said. The two women ran off, but Coley chased them and followed them into a deli on the same block, police said. Coley then followed them around the store, screaming obscenities, and told the woman he was going to burn down her place of worship, authorities said.

Coley was awaiting arraignment late Tuesday on charges of aggravated harassment based on race or religion, menacing as a hate crime and child endangerment. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the accusations. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the charges.


BREAKING: Jewish Man Shot At Quick-Shop On River Road Near Kiryas Joel

November 24th, 2015


An 18-year-old Jewish man was shot just outside of Monroe, Tuesday night.

The shooting happened at around 9:15PM inside the Quick-Shop located at 118 River Road, in the town of Harriman – just outside of the Village of Kiryas Joel.

Sources tell YWN that a man walked into the store, and shot the man twice. he was reportedly struck in the arm.

Hatzolah of Kiryas Joel transported the victim to Westchester Trauma Center.

Police are searching for the suspect who fled the scene.

His name for Tehillim is Aharon ben Esther Chaya.


(Chaim Shapiro – YWN)

President Rivlin Meets with US Secretary of State Kerry

November 24th, 2015

kerriPresident Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday afternoon 12 Kislev held a working meeting at his residence with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was visiting the region.

President Reuven Rivlin welcomed the Secretary of State and stressed the high importance of the shared values between the two countries. He said, “You are here as a friend of Israel, and as a leader of Israel’s greatest friend, and most important ally – the United States of America. We always say our friendship is one of shared values, and a shared vision. But it is important, to emphasize what this means. It means our countries, our societies, could look in a mirror and see the other looking back. We see the similarities, in our Supreme Courts, and in our protection of the freedoms of speech and religion. We see it in the way, different communities, live together, and build a strong and healthy democracy.”

The President went on to speak of the current wave of terror attacks which Israel and many other countries was enduring. He said, “The terrible scenes we have seen, around the world, have shaken us all – and we continue to send our prayers to the injured and those who lost loved ones. Sadly of course, in Israel we are not strangers to the horrors of terrorism. The pain is the same, in Tel Aviv, as it is Paris, in Gush Etzion, as it is in Mali. And as it is in Sharon, Massachusetts, and I extend again, my deepest condolences, to the family of Ezra Schwartz; a US citizen murdered while here in Israel to study and volunteer.”

The President stressed, “All free nations are facing the threat of radical Islam – which is the product of hate not of faith – and all of us must work together against this great evil. We do not need to apologize for our belief in freedom. At the same time, while the world continues to face this threat, it does not take away from our duty, here, to find a way, to build trust between us and the Palestinians; between us and our neighbors. We can and must, show the world, that we can live together in peace.”

Secretary Kerry thanked the President for his warm welcome, and said, “I have had the privilege of coming to Israel for many years now. When I first visited Israel, I traveled in the north, to Kiryat Shmona where I saw what it was like for young children in the shelter, hiding from the Katyusha rockets. I have climbed Masada, floated in the Dead Sea, and have traveled to Sderot, and seen the carcasses and shells of rockets which have come out of Gaza. I feel very much a part of Israel.”

Sec. Kerry went on to speak of the strong and unbreakable bond between the two countries, and stressed that Israel had a right and an obligation to defend itself against threats to its citizens. He said, “The United States is very proud to be the friend and ally of Israel, a democracy in the Middle East. A strong country, though small, which shares our values about freedom and dignity, and respect for the individual. We honor this remarkable journey that Israel is on, as it sets an example to people by building a nation out of the desert, and breaking new frontiers in technology in medicine and so many other things.”

He continued, “This is a difficult time, we all know that. When citizens can be murdered, like Ezra Schwartz, my citizen from Massachusetts, who was on a mission here to learn and to share. And when as the citizens can be gunned down, like a soldier yesterday, and in the marketplace in Jerusalem. This is a challenge to all civilized people. We all have a responsibility to condemn that violence, to make it clear that you no frustration, no politics, no ideology, no emotion, justifies taking innocent lives.”

He concluded, “I stand here with you to express our outrage at this kind of violence, to condemn this violence, and to make it clear that Israel not only has a right to defend itself, but has an obligation to do so. The United States will continue to stand with Israel in support of your desire to live in peace and stability, without that violence.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photo: Mark Neyman, GPO)

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Visits Gush Etzion to Showing Solidarity

November 24th, 2015


Following the sharp increase in attacks in the Gush Etzion area, particularly at Gush Etzion Junction, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Tuesday morning headed out to the Gush in a showing of solidarity.

The mayor was greeted and escorted by Mr. Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. Also taking part in the event was MK (Bayit Yehudi) Shuli Muallem.

They visited the junction where the most recent fatal attack occurred, on Monday, which claimed the life of 21-year-old Hadar Buchris, a student in the Midrasha in Bat Ayin.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

New Jersey’s Chris Christie: Obama ‘Naive’ on IS Threat

November 24th, 2015

obchRepublican presidential candidate Chris Christie says President Barack Obama continues to underestimate the threat posed by Islamic State militants despite the Paris attacks.

“This is a cult of evil, everyone,” he said of the Islamic State group in a speech Tuesday to the Council on Foreign Relations. Christie called the Obama administration’s approach to the threat “naive and gravely dangerous.”

The New Jersey governor, who was a federal prosecutor during the 9/11 attacks, has long highlighted his resume as he tries to stand out in the Republican presidential field, especially during the heated debate over the expiration of the Patriot Act. But his arguments have found new urgency after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more, stoking new fears about potential attacks in the United States and a fierce debate about how the country should handle Syrian refugees. He is hoping the renewed focus on national security will help him revive his lagging campaign.

Christie is against allowing Syrian refugees into the country, even saying orphans under 5 should not be permitted. And he’s dismissed Obama’s assurances that Syrian refugees are subjected to a rigorous, years-long process, citing congressional testimony from FBI Director James Comey that information available on those seeking entry is often limited.

“We cannot allow ourselves at a time of great peril to put ourselves voluntarily at even greater risk just because there are some folks who believe that it’ll make our country look better,” Christie said. And he argued that Muslim-Americans will support his approach.

“What I’ll tell you is that Muslim-Americans are not nearly that sensitive, not nearly as sensitive as some of the people in opinion places here in Washington or in the White House believe they are,” he said. “They’re Muslim-Americans and they understand that the safety and security of their family is at risk just the way the safety and security of Catholics are at risk, Protestants are at risk, Buddhists are at risk, when the American homeland is not safe and not secure.”

He also said he’d be willing to reconsider his approach to the refugees— if Comey can convince him the vetting is thorough.

Like so much of Christie’s approach, he also got personal, speaking emotionally of his own experience on Sept. 11, 2001, when he spent five-and-a-half hours desperately trying to reach his wife, Mary Pat, who worked in lower Manhattan. He also spoke about friends he lost that day.

“The goal and the intent of the American president has to be first and foremost to prevent another generation of those widows and orphans on American soil,” he said.

Without referring by name to rival political outsiders like Donald Trump, or first-term senators like Florida’s Marco Rubio, Christie also warned about electing a candidate who is untested to the White House, as appealing as something new may seem.

“New seems fabulous until the moment comes when you need experience,” he said.

A super PAC promoting Christie is broadcasting ads contrasting Christie’s approach to foreign policy with that of Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. The group, America Leads, has reserved $6.5 million in commercial airtime this week through the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, adding to $7.2 million it had already spent on TV, advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG shows.


Jerusalem Education Gathering Held in a Hall Used by Missionaries

November 24th, 2015

benSchool principals were invited to a Jerusalem district kenos to take place on Tuesday, 12 Kislev. However, many of the invited participants did not attend as it was learned the Pavilion Hall hosting the event usually serves as a missionary base.

Officials in Bennett’s office explained the kenos was on a district level and has nothing to do with the ministry. Kippa News turned to Jerusalem district officials for a response, and were told “The Pavilion Hall in the Klall Building has a badatz hashgacha, has been used numerous times by Shas and previous conferences were held there as well”.

Yad L’Achim officials’ turned to Education Minister Naftali Bennett to change the venue. Following questions from a number of persons wishing to attend, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner Shlita announced one may not participate in a kenos at the venue, since it is used by missionaries. He called on participants not to attend.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Women Rally for Security at Gush Etzion Junction

November 24th, 2015

20151123_165332_1Hundreds of women demonstrated today at the Gush Etzion Junction where two attacks took place over the past week resulting in the murder of four Jews – three in a shooting attack last week including an 18-year-old American student Ezra Schwartz HY”D, Yaakov Ron HY”D of Alon Shvut, a PA resident and Hadar Buchris HY”D, 21, in a stabbing attack there on Monday, 11 Kislev.

The protesters, mothers and students living in the area, came to the junction by bus and private car from Efrat, Migdal Oz, Kfar Etzion and other local Jewish communities.

Gush Etzion Regional Council director Davidi Perl addressed the crowd and called for security, but stressed that police and military measures are only bandaids if the underlying root measures are not taken. “We must roll back the Two-State Solution and assert Israeli sovereignty in Yehuda and Shomron”, he stated.

Though not in time for the to defend the recent victims, stricter security measures are being implemented at the junction including the construction of new fences, a rerouting of Arab traffic to bypass the junction, new concrete blocks to counter car-ramming attacks at the bus stops, and the deployment of more soldiers.

Israel felt the brunt of the renewed Jihad attack-wave on Monday as a terrorist stabbed to death IDF soldier Ziv Mizrachi HY”D and injured a young woman at a gas station on highway 443, while in another incident an elderly Arab was stabbed by two female teen terrorists near Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda shuk.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: Yishai Fleisher)

New Jersey: Schaer, Johnson, Vainieri Huttle, Eustace And Mazzeo Bill to Protect Holocaust Reparations Now Law

November 24th, 2015

holLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Gordon Johnson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Tim Eustace and Vincent Mazzeo to protect monetary reparations received by Holocaust survivors from being seized has been signed into law.

“The physical and moral atrocities committed during World War II were compounded by monetary grievances that stretched on for decades,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Given the extraordinary lengths many Holocaust victims or surviving relatives have gone through to receive restitution, protecting these reparations is the least we can do.”

The law (A-1041) stipulates that, except for child support payment orders, monetary reparations designated for or received by a Holocaust survivor of Nazi persecution from any governmental source or victim assistance source shall be exempt from all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, attachment or other legal processes.

“Monetary reparations are a relatively small pittance for the enormous crimes committed against humanity by the Nazis,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “But for many surviving families, this is all they have and it should be protected at all costs.”

“As the dust has settled on this sorrowful chapter in history, certain things must be treated as sacred, and this is one of them,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This is the right thing to do for the many families who only have monetary reparations to serve as justice in the end.”

“Those most directly affected by the Holocaust suffered in indescribable ways, and while reparations can never undo that suffering, they do serve as a small measure of redress,” said Eustace (D- Bergen/Passaic). “This law is about preserving justice in honor of the men, women and children who experienced countless acts of violence and cruelty during this dreadful period.”

“No amount of reparations will ever be enough to repay families for the decades of loss and pain endured as a result of the brutality suffered during the Holocaust,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Helping families protect their reparations honors the thousands of lives impacted by the deplorable acts of this time in history. This law simply aims to do the right thing for New Jersey’s families.”

In 2000, a global settlement agreement and plan of distribution was ratified which included the establishment of an $800 million settlement fund designed to provide restitution to Holocaust victims and their survivors for money illegally obtained from Swiss banks by the Nazi regime. The Claims Resolution Tribunal has received over 32,000 claims from Nazi victims or their heirs to assets deposited in Swiss banks in the period before and after World War II.

At about the same time, the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims established a program to settle insurance claims never paid to Holocaust victims or their heirs. Recently, Holocaust survivors or their heirs have begun to receive reparations payments from the funds established for this purpose. It is estimated that approximately 4,500 Holocaust survivors live in New Jersey.

Because these funds represent reparations for money improperly seized or withheld, the sponsors hope to ensure that they are not further diminished by remaining subject to creditor or other claims.

The law also exempts these funds from estate recoveries under the Medicaid program. Under state and federal Medicaid law, a state must seek recovery from the estate of the deceased Medicaid recipient for all services received when the recipient was 55 years of age or older, such as nursing home services, home and community-based services and related hospital and prescription drug services.

Federal law exempts Holocaust reparations payments as assets/resources for the purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid as long as the payments are “separately identifiable,” that is, maintained in a separate account. Any interest or dividends earned on the reparation payments, however, are not exempt from Medicaid’s calculation of income and assets/resources. This law continues the exempt status of the reparations payments upon the death of the Medicaid recipient by providing that they are not part of the Medicaid recipient’s estate and, therefore, not subject to recovery in an estate proceeding of a Medicaid recipient.

The measure received unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Security Crisis Impacts Jerusalem’s Arab Taxi Drivers

November 24th, 2015

monitThe wave of Islamic terrorism plaguing Israel since erev Rosh Hashanah has had an impact on many areas, especially Yerushalayim. With each attack perpetrated in the capital one sees fewer and fewer people out and about. Many residents simply go out less, and for some, only when absolutely essential.

Despite the worrisome situation, some residents have found a positive aspect. Residents of Pisgat Ze’ev and Maale Adumim report the present security crisis has resulted in lower taxi fares. They explain that today, one can pay NIS 60 instead of NIS 90 or 100 for a cab to or from their home to the center of the city.

According to the MyNet report, the main users of taxis during weekends are the young returning from a night on the town, and today they can get a ride in a taxi for considerably less as drivers prefer to work for minimal profit rather than shut down entirely. This is also because people are aware most of the taxi drivers in the capital are Arab and many people simply fear taking a cab today as well. The drivers hope the reduced fare will help potential riders to reconsider.

Some of the Arab drivers reportedly explain they are simply remaining home, aware the situation is such that no one wants to ride with them.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Thanksgiving Getaway 2015: Cheap Gas but Fears of Terrorism

November 24th, 2015

traffic.jpgThat other Thanksgiving tradition — congested highways and jammed airports — is getting underway with gas prices low and terrorism fears high.

An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. That would be an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007.

Among the reasons given for the increase: an improving economy and the cheapest gasoline for this time of year since 2008.

On Tuesday, some travelers were gearing up for an early exit.

“There’s a little bit of a tie-up here, but I’m sure once we get going, things will be great,” Mark Sullivan said as he waited at New York’s Port Authority bus terminal. He was traveling to see family in Springfield, Massachusetts.

When it comes to projected driving delays, the three worst U.S. cities are in the West, according to the traffic data company INRIX. In San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, out-of-town trips Wednesday afternoon are expected to take about 40 percent longer than a normal commute.

Anyone trekking to a major airport should factor in 50 extra minutes on the road, according to INRIX — and that’s just getting to the airport, never mind getting through security.

Though there have been no changes to the nation’s terror alert status, the recent attacks in Paris, West Africa and elsewhere prompted the State Department to warn American travelers about the risks overseas.

Airfares have increased just 69 cents on average since last year, according to the Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes ticket transactions for airlines and travel agencies.


The Jewish Book Sale You’ve Been Waiting For

November 24th, 2015


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LISTEN: Baruch Levine – Bonim Atem Audio Sampler

November 24th, 2015

Producer extraordinaire Yochi Briskman is back with the newest jewel in the Project Productions crown, Baruch Levine‘s all new album entitled “Bonim Atem.” The album features some of the most diverse hits composed by the prolific composer, singer, arranger and Rebbe, R’ Baruch Levine. The album will also feature unique original arrangements by newcomer Meir Briskman, Yuval Stupel, Yochi Briskman, Yitzy Spinner and even Baruch himself. And if 10 all new hits from Baruch Levine isn’t enough for you, how about a guest appearance by Yonatan Razel. The album will hit the stores and sites in just a few days!

VIDEO: MK Yinon Magal Addresses his Arab Colleagues From Knesset Podium in Arabic

November 24th, 2015


MK (Bayit Yehudi) Yinon Magal used the Knesset podium to address Arab lawmakers in their native tongue, telling them there will not be a State of Palestine.

I speak to you in Arabic because I want you to hear the truth. Your leaders are not telling you the truth. Listen to me. We have returned to our land after 2000 years in galus. There is no comparable story in history. This is our only homeland. It is written in the Koran (Sura 7 verse 106) that terror and violence will not drive us out of here. Forget this dream that one day the Jews will leave the land. We are here on this land forever. Look around and what do you see? The Middle East has been destroyed but here it is the Garden of Edan. Look what has been built in 67 years – imperia. Look at the PA (Palestinian Authority) and what is has built in 20 years.

Look at Gaza, ten years without a single Jew. So what, nothing, as all your money is sanctified to trying to wipe out Israel. but this will not help. The truth is you are not trying to kill us because of an occupation but because you the us and because we are in charge here. You started wars in 1920, 1921, 1936, 1948 and suffered strong defeat in what you refer to as the Nakba.

You did not learn the lesson and launched an intifada in 1987, 2000 and now again and every centimeter and weapons given to you for the sake of peace is used against us. I am telling you to learn from history and not to once again fall into the same hole but know the truth – the State of Palestine will not be established between the ocean and the sea. Forget this dream.

The PA today has a president, a government, a police force and agencies. Dual existence is doable, peace is possible and security is possible but it must be mutual.

Any finally, Beis Hamikdash.

1. Al-Aqsa is not in danger. The mosque is out of the area of the Beit Hamikdash. We have no issues with al-Aqsa.

2. We will continue being mispallel for the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash speedily in our days as we have for 2000 years since its destruction.

It says in Koran (104/17) that we and you know there is now power in the world that can stop the Jewish People. Thank you.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Republican Campaign Rhetoric Has Muslim-Americans on Edge

November 24th, 2015

nypdMuslim-Americans who sued the New York Police Department over a surveillance program launched after 9/11 are on edge over the call for more surveillance from some Republican presidential candidates.

They say rhetoric from the campaign is recklessly playing on people’s fears.

Donald Trump has said law enforcement should keep close surveillance on mosques. He’s also floated the idea of a database for tracking Muslims.

Republican rival Ben Carson says any place where radicalization is going on should be monitored.

Baher Azmy is an attorney representing Muslim-Americans in the NYPD suit. He and others say the rhetoric comes from ignorance and is scaring Muslims in the U.S.


A Evening of Psychological Counseling for Zaka Volunteers

November 24th, 2015

IMG-20151119-WA0115 IMG-20151120-WA0002 IMG-20151120-WA0004 IMG-20151120-WA0005 IMG-20151120-WA0008Following the intense and almost daily terror incidents of recent weeks, particularly in the Jerusalem and Gush Etzion region, Zaka held an evening of psychological counseling for the volunteers who have been traumatized by the difficult and harrowing scenes they have witnessed. This activity is essential to ensure the emotional well-being of the Zaka volunteers, and their ability to continue their stressful work on an ongoing basis.

Dozens of volunteers from the Jerusalem and Gush Etzion region came together for an evening last week at the Jerusalem City Council, where they were able to talk and share their experiences and emotions with their fellow Zaka volunteers.

Divided into three smaller groups, the volunteers were able to open up and give vent to their emotions under the professional guidance of psychologists from the Israel Trauma Coalition. For two hours, one by one, they recounted their experiences and spoke about the difficulties they face in continuing their daily routine amongst such tragedy and bloodshed. There was a marked difference in the reactions of the veteran Zaka volunteers, who have witnessed the carnage of the first and second intifadas, and the newer Zaka volunteers, some of whom had never before witnessed such scenes.

The evening ended in all the groups coming together in uplifting song, under the direction of veteran Zaka volunteer Shimi Grossman.

Jerusalem Councilman Rabbi Yossi Deutsch addressed the Zaka volunteers, thanking them on behalf of the Mayor of Jerusalem for their sacred work for the benefit of the residents both in times of routine, but especially in these times of emergency. “You are on the front lines. We, the leaders of this city, draw strength from you when we see you carrying out your holy work with such dedication and emotional strength.”

Zaka Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi Zahav: “We will leave this evening with renewed strength and energies to continue in our volunteering efforts for the benefit of the people of Israel, both in our holy work and in our work sanctifying G-d’s name. Nothing will stop the Zaka volunteers serving the people of Israel.”

Tragically, since that evening, these same Zaka volunteers have had to deal with several stabbing and car-ramming attacks in Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion area, including fatal attacks.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: Zaka)

Afternoon Shooting Attack without Injuries in the Shomron

November 24th, 2015

b17:55: A vehicle traveling in the Binyamin Regional Council of Shomron was targeted by terrorist gunfire on Tuesday afternoon, between Givat Assaf and Beit El. When the driver was able to stop and check the vehicle, she found the vehicle was hit twice by the gunfire.

B’chasdei Hashem there was no one killed or injured in the vehicle that was traveling in the direction of Beit El. There is no mention if the gunfire came from a stationary or moving position but it is stated the gunfire came from the right of the road if one is traveling from Route 60 towards Beit El.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

White Chicago Police Officer Charged With Murder In Killing Of Black Teen

November 24th, 2015

chiA white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times was charged with murder Tuesday, just a day before the deadline a judge set for the city to release a squad-car video of the killing that officials fear will spark unrest.

The state’s attorney’s office said in a statement that Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 20, 2014, killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. A judge denied him bond at a noon hearing.

City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the video, fearing an outbreak of unrest and demonstrations similar to those that occurred in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody. The judge ordered the dash-cam recording to be released by Wednesday after city officials had argued for months it couldn’t be made public until the conclusion of several investigations.

Some community leaders said there was no doubt that the Cook County state’s attorney only brought charges because of the order to release the video.

“This is a panicky reaction to an institutional crisis within the criminal justice system,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said he hoped to see “massive” but peaceful demonstrations.

The city’s hurried attempts to defuse tensions also included a community meeting, official statements of outrage at the officer’s conduct and an abrupt announcement Monday night that another officer who’s been the subject of protests for months might now be fired.

Activists and journalists have long pressed for the video’s release only to be told that it had to be kept private as long as the shooting was under investigation. After the judge’s order to release it, the investigation was quickly wrapped up and a charge announced.

“You had this tape for a year and you are only talking to us now because you need our help keeping things calm,” the Rev. Corey Brooks said of Monday night’s community gathering with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Several people who have seen the video say it shows the teenager armed with a small knife and walking away from several officers. They say Van Dyke opened fire from about 15 feet and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also said PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, was found in the teen’s system.

Police were responding to complaints about someone breaking into cars and stealing radios.

Van Dyke was the only officer on the scene to open fire. He emptied his 9 mm pistol, shooting all 16 rounds from just feet away, Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Delaney said at Tuesday’s hearing.

He said the shooting lasted 14 to 15 seconds and that McDonald was on the ground for 13 of those seconds.

Witnesses said McDonald was moving away from the officer and never threatened him, Delaney said. Police say the teen had a knife, and Delaney said a 3-inch knife was recovered from the scene.

Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, maintains his client feared for his life and acted lawfully and that the video about to be released doesn’t tell the whole story.

Herbert said the case needs to be tried in a courtroom and “can’t be tried in the streets, can’t be tried on social media and can’t be tried on Facebook.”

Chicago police also moved late Monday to discipline a second officer who had shot and killed an unarmed black woman in 2012 in another incident causing tensions between the department and minority communities. Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended firing Officer Dante Servin for the shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, saying Servin showed “incredibly poor judgment.” A judge acquitted Servin of involuntary manslaughter and other charges last April, and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was accused of having not prosecuted the case properly.

Alvarez’s office is handling the Van Dyke case, but Jackson said a special prosecutor should oversee the case instead.

None of the city’s outreach will be able to stop protests once the video is released, said Jedidiah Brown, another of the pastors who attended the meeting with Emanuel. Emotions are running too high, he added.

The Rev. Ira Acree, who described the meeting with Emanuel as “very tense, very contentious,” said the mayor expressed concerns about the prospect of any demonstrations getting out of control.

The fears of unrest stem from longstanding tensions between the Chicago police and minority communities, partly due to the department’s dogged reputation for brutality, particularly involving blacks. Dozens of men, mostly African American, said they were subjected to torture at the hands of a Chicago police squad headed by former commander Jon Burge during the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s, and many spent years in prison. Burge was eventually convicted of lying about the torture and served 4½ years in prison.

Acree and Hatch said blacks in the city are upset because Van Dyke, though stripped of his police powers, has been assigned to desk duty and not fired.

“They had the opportunity to be a good example and a model across the country on how to improve police and community relations and they missed it,” Acree said.

The Police Department said placing an officer on desk duty after a shooting is standard procedure and that it is prohibited from doing anything more during the investigations.