SWI NEWS: Wed, Mar 14, 2012 20 Adar, 5772

 

1 Injured as Rocket Hits Downtown Netivot

Israel's asymmetrical cease-fire with Gaza continues as rockets continue to rain down on the south.

By Gavriel Queenann

First Publish: 3/13/2012, 10:55 PM

Damaged car in Netivot

Damaged car in Netivot

Reuters

Gaza terrorists fired a rocket into downtown Netivot around 21:30 (GMT+2) on Tuesday evening. Magen David Adom reported that one person was lightly injured after being hit in the hand by flying glass. 11 people suffered shock. The attack came just hours after a pair of rockets slammed into the Ashkelon beaches. No physical injuries were reported in that attack. At least seven rockets were fired into Israel earlier in the day despite a cease-fire brokered between Israel and Gaza's terror factions by Egypt. The attacks come as residents in Israel's south are prepare to resume their normal routines on Wednesday with a return to work and school. Islamic Jihad, a terror faction heavily involved in recent rocket attacks on Israeli communities, has said it will not honor any truce that does not include Israel's promise to halt targeted killings of terror leaders. During four days of hostilities terror groups fired more than 200 rockets at Israeli civilians, while the IAF responded by targeting the cells firing the rockets – killing 27 Gazans, of whom 25 were terrorists. The IDF laid the blame for civilian casualties at the door of the terror gangs, noting they were firing rockets from deep within densley populated civilian areas and using civilians as human shields. IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who previously called for a major ground incursion into Gaza to root out the terror infrastructure there, promised  "Quiet for quiet and fire against fire,” after the cease-fire was declared.

Prosor Slams Security Council Over Silence on Rockets

Israel's ambassador to the UN sends a letter to the Security Council: Millions of citizens are paralyzed – and there is no response.

By Elad Benari

First Publish: 3/14/2012, 1:13 AM

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Reuters

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, on Tuesday presented a letter of complaint to the UN Security Council and to the organization's Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, over the Council’s silence in the face of the continued rocket attacks on southern Israel. “250 missiles since Friday, a rocket every 20 minutes, and zero response from the Security Council,” Prosor wrote in the letter, reminding Ban that “during your visit to Israel you met with children from the south and saw the situation for yourself. Yesterday you told the members of the Council that the firing of rockets at Israel's civilian population should stop immediately and that it is unacceptable. But the Council members are still silent.” Prosor’s letter came after four days of hostilities during which terror groups fired more than 200 rockets at Israeli civilians, while the IAF responded by targeting the cells firing the rockets – killing 27 Gazans, of whom 25 were terrorists. The IDF laid the blame for civilian casualties at the door of the terror gangs, noting they were firing rockets from deep within densely populated civilian areas and using civilians as human shields. Prosor warned in his letter that “It is enough that one of the missiles hits the wrong place and Israel’s response will be completely different.” He added, “Millions of citizens are paralyzed – and there is no response. 200 thousand children are not going to school and there is no response. Something in this equation is not right.” On Monday night it was reported that Egypt had brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based terror groups. The ceasefire went into effect as of 1:00 a.m. (Israel time) Tuesday morning, but terrorists continued to fire rockets and missiles into Israel throughout the day. One person was lightly injured on Tuesday evening after being hit in the hand by flying glass when a rocket hit Netivot. 11 people suffered shock. The attack came just hours after a pair of rockets slammed into the Ashkelon beaches. No physical injuries were reported in that attack. On Sunday, Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN appealed to the Security Council, asking it to condemn the continued rocket fire at Israel’s southern communities. In his formal complaint letter Haim Waxman wrote, “The constant firing dramatically affects the daily lives of more than one million Israeli citizens. Many people have suffered from shock and tens of thousands of children remained at home so we can ensure their safety. Israel’s citizens are living under threat and danger.”

Fake photos of escalation posted on Twitter

By RUTH EGLASH

03/14/2012 01:47

UN official alleged to have knowingly circulating outdated images; pro-Israel posters also accused of misdeeds.

UN OFFICIAL Khulood Badawi posted thisBy Twitter screenshot

Within hours of witnessing an escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the South this past weekend, the twitterverse and blogosphere were suddenly flooded with images accusingly depicting the damage caused by one side against the other. However, as the battle between the two sides played out on the ground, a similar battle played out online with pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli activists quickly managing to discredit each other by uncovering fake, doctored or simply old photos and videos taken from previous conflicts or events.

In one incident, a local UN Official, Khulood Badawi (@KhuloodBadawi) from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs tweeted: “Palestine is bleeding. Another child killed by #Israel... Another father carrying his child to a grave in #Gaza,” with a link to a photo of a blood-covered Palestinian girl being carried by a man. Within hours, however, pro-Israeli online activist Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) uncovered that the photo was actually taken at least five years ago and most likely had nothing to do with any Israeli military action in the strip. “EXPOSED: UN Media Official Responsible for False Photo Tweet” read a followup headline blogged late Monday night by pro-Israeli watchdog organization Honest Reporting, which gave a full account of how the photo had been used to misrepresent Israeli actions this time around in Gaza and pointing out that it had already been re-tweeted by hundreds of people around the world. “Powerful images such as these have a deep impact on public opinion,” wrote Honest Reporting’s CEO Joe Hyams. “It is abhorrent that a UN employee working for a body concerned with humanitarian welfare would have more concern for manipulating public sentiment than a true desire to protect innocent human life. Badawi cares more for the lie, than for life.” He called on the UN to immediately remove Badawi from her position at the UN office, where she works as an information and media coordinator. Hyams’s call was echoed by a huge volume of Twitter users and by Monday night Badawi had ceased posting on Twitter. Attempts by The Jerusalem Post to obtain a comment from the UN on Tuesday were unsuccessful and messages to Badawi received no response. Meanwhile, Palestinian blogger and Twitter user Diana Alzeer (@ManaraRam) responded to criticism against her for tweeting the same erroneous photo first with an apology that she had been unaware the image was outdated, but with a very long blog commentary pointing out that pro-Israeli activists had similarly posted old photos and videos of rocket attacks. In one case, she highlighted a Twitter post by IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich who wrote: “A barrage of Grad rockets ranging 40 km., fired by Islamic Jihad into #Israel” with a link to a video that – Alzeer pointed out – was originally posted last October. Leibovich told the Post on Tuesday that she had only used the video to highlight the ongoing “actions of terror groups in Gaza.” “Launching a rocket does not differ whether it happened in November, July or now,” she said. “These organizations posted these clips themselves, maybe to recruit new people or boost moral, I don’t know but I never claimed that the events took place in the last few days.” Click here for special JPost coverage Leibovich said that she views posting messages on Twitter in the same way she sees giving a statement to the media and would never post something without thoroughly checking it first. “Today there were reports of rockets being fired that contained white phosphorous, I would never post anything about that until it had been properly checked and I am 100% sure I know it happened,” she said.

Arab church that backs Israel shuttered by Palestinian Authority

Arab church that backs Israel shuttered by Palestinian Authority video http://www.israeltoday.co.il/News/tabid/178/nid/23155/language/de-DE/Default.aspx#.T1-2NhwJHsk.facebook The First Baptist Church in Bethlehem was ordered closed by the Palestinian Authority on Saturday, according to Rabbi Russell Resnik of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations. Resnik reported the incident after meeting with Pastor Steven Khoury, the son of First Baptist's head pastor, Naim Khoury. "Steven told me that...a representative of the Palestinian authority showed up at his father’s church in Bethlehem and told him to shut the doors–they were closing down the church," wrote Resnik. The Palestinian officials reportedly did not specify why they were closing the church, but Steven, who pastors his own church in Jerusalem, told Resnik that it must be because of his family's support for Israel. Observers have noted with suspicion that the shuttering of First Baptist in Bethlehem came just one day after the Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which was organized and hosted by Bethlehem-based Christian leaders who do not support Israel's restoration. Messianic blog Rosh Pina Project noted that Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the same Palestinian Authority that shuttered First Baptist, had only days earlier attended and addressed Christ at the Checkpoint. In 2009, Steven Khoury was interviewed by CBN on the true reason for the suffering of Bethlehem's Christians.

Gazans celebrate 'victory' over Israel after truce

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

03/13/2012 22:17

"One round has ended, but the war has not ended and won't end until the liberation of Palestine," Islamic Jihad leader says.

Islamic Jihad operatives in GazaBy REUTERS

Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza City Tuesday  to celebrate "victory" over Israel following the Egyptian-brokered truce that was announced after midnight. Addressing the demonstrators by phone from Syria, Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah said that his group has sent an important message to Israel - "that despite the siege, the Palestinians are able to defend themselves, instill fear among millions of Israelis, disrupt their lives and send them hiding in shelters."

Shallah said that Israel was mistaken by assuming that the Gaza Strip was "easy prey." He boasted that his group, which fired dozens of rockets and mortars at Israel since last Friday, has "created a balance of terror with the enemy." "One round has ended, but the war has not ended and won't end until the  liberation of Palestine and the dismantlement of the Zionist project," Shallah declared. "Our men have turned the Gaza Strip from a jungle for rifles into a jungle for rockets." Mohammed al-Hindi, another Islamic Jihad leader, told the crowd that his group has succeeded in forcing Israel "to take one step backward." He claimed that Israel was eventually forced to "succumb to the demands of Islamic Jihad and pledge to stop assassinations. However, the Islamic Jihad official said that despite the truce his group would continue to prepare for the next confrontation with Israel. "This is the first time that the enemy succeeds in imposing its conditions on the enemy," al-Hindi added. Click here for special JPost coverage

Former Obama Pastor Endorses March on Jerusalem

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was Obama's pastor for 20 years, has openly endorsed the planned anti-Semitic March to Jerusalem.

By Danny Getchell

First Publish: 3/13/2012, 7:31 PM

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Reuters

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was US President Barack Obama's pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side, has endorsed the planned "March to Jerusalem" slated for March 30th. It follows on the heels of the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Doha Conference in Qatar on the Defense of ‘Occupied’ Jerusalem," a two day long effort to demonize Israel and deny Judaism’s more than three thousand year connection to Jerusalem. Both events are designed to reverse what their organizers call the "Judaization" of "occupied Jerusalem."  The White House has refused to comment on Wright's decision to endorse the "March to Jerusalem", or the presence of State Department consultants at the so-called Doha Conference. The National Conference of Jewish Affairs said "That the President's long-time pastor and "spiritual leader" is now endorsing the Global March to Jerusalem, without a reaction from the White House, underscores President Obama's failure to recognize the unalterable significance of Judaism's multi-millennial connection to Jerusalem, which is the capital of the Jewish State, Israel." Wright, of "God Damn America" notoriety, has also asserted on ABC News that the U.S. brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own "terrorism." He has also made openly anti-Semitic statements saying Jews have robbed him of his influence over Obama, “Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office." "he Jewish vote, the A-I-P-A-C vote, that’s controlling him,” Wright also has also claimed. Obama – who adamantly denied hearing any offensive statements from Wright during his 20 years he was part of the clergyman's flock, despite being shown numerous video clips of them – has sought to defend Wright in the past. "It's as if we took the five dumbest things that I've ever said or you've ever said in our lives and compressed them and put them out there — I think that people's reaction would, understandably, be upset."

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