Remembering the Park Hotel Passover Bombing

(Photo: wikicommons/Avi1111)

(Photo: wikicommons/Avi1111)

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack of the Second Intifada. On March 27, 2002, Jews around the world were celebrating Passover. The Park Hotel in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel, was hosting its annual Passover seder, with 250 guests observing the Jewish holiday. Many of the seder guests were elderly Jews without family or relatives, and many of these were Holocaust survivors.

As the seder was going on, a terrorist disguised as a woman sneaked into the hotel’s dining room with a suitcase full of explosives. At 7:30 pm, the suicide bomber detonated the bomb, killing 28 and injuring 140. Two victims later died from their wounds. A number of the dead were married couples, and the deceased included a father and his daughter.

The Hamas terrorists who planned the attack were arrested, with four of them receiving 29 life sentences and one being given 20 years in prison.

We remember the victims of this horrific moment in Israeli history, carried out as the Jewish people celebrated what should have been a joyous time. May their memories be a blessing.

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Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 10:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

Jews in France, Denmark Feel Sting of Terror Attacks

(Photo: flickr/piven)

(Photo: flickr/piven)

Yesterday, we reported on the alarming anti-Semitism faced by the United Kingdom’s Jews. But, as recent terror attacks have shown and as USA Today’s Maya Vidon and Katharina Wecker report, the rest of Europe is just as affected by the growing rash of Islamist terrorism:

Though Jewish communities across Europe have been growing and thriving, the atmosphere remains tense in France and Denmark, two nations rattled by recent deadly attacks aimed at Jewish facilities.

France has Europe’s largest Jewish population, about a half-million people, and has experienced rising anti-Semitism the past few years.

In the wake of January’s mass killings at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a kosher supermarket in Paris, many French Jews fear for their safety. A record 7,000 French Jews moved to Israel last year — double that of the previous year.

Jewish children in particular “are the victims of all sorts of attacks,” said Catherine Nicault, professor emeritus in contemporary history at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in northeast France.

“Unfortunately, the children suffer from hate and anti-Semitism in public schools, and that’s why, more and more, they take refuge in Jewish schools,” said Shlomo Katz, who teaches at a yeshiva in Paris. “The problem is that these Jewish schools are the target of anti-Semitic attacks and must be constantly under surveillance.”

About 10,000 soldiers and police have been protecting Jewish schools, synagogues and cultural centers in France since the attacks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for European Jews to move to Israel is being rebuffed by many.

“I do think very strongly that fear of anti-Semitism and terrorism is not reason enough to move to Israel,” said Tamar Shiloh, an Israeli journalist who moved to France to marry a Jewish Frenchman more than 10 years ago. “There is insecurity in Israel, too. There might be no anti-Semitism like in France, but there are other kinds of tension.”

In Denmark, the community of 6,400 Jews has been shrinking but has long felt safe, until now. The community is tense after a deadly attack in February…

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Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 2:05 PM  | Stand For Israel

Triple Suicide Bombing Kills over 100 in Yemen

(Photo: screenshot)

(Photo: screenshot)

While Islamist terrorists seem to target Christians and Jews, an attack today shows that their evil acts do not discriminate. The Times of Israel reports that three suicide bombers have killed over 100 today in attacks on mosques in Yemen’s capital:

Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, killing 77 and injuring 121 others, according to medical officials. The attackers targeted mosques controlled by Shiite rebels.

A Shiite rebel-owned TV channel put the toll at 137 dead and 345 wounded.

A report on the rebel-owned Al-Masirah TV channel said the bombers attacked the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques during midday prayers on Friday, traditionally the most crowded time of the week. It added that hospitals were urging citizens to donate blood.

Witnesses said that at least two suicide bombers attacked inside the Badr mosque. One walked inside the mosque and detonated his device, causing panic as dozens of worshippers rushed toward the outside gates. A second suicide bomber then attacked amid the panicked crowds trying to escape.

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Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 9:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

19 Killed in Tunisia Terror Attack, 2-3 Gunmen at Large

(Photo: wikicommons/ BEN KHALIFA WISSAM)

(Photo: wikicommons/ BEN KHALIFA WISSAM)

Tunisia – the North African democracy bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and Libya – has long been troubled by Islamist terrorism. Today, terror struck its capital city when gunmen killed at least 19 tourists at an art museum:

Attackers opened fire Wednesday at a major museum in Tunisia’s capital, gunning down 17 tourists as dozens more sprinted to safety. At least 21 people in all were killed, including two gunmen, but some attackers may have escaped, authorities said.

The attack on the famed National Bardo Museum in Tunis was the first on a tourist site in years in Tunisia, a shaky young democracy that has struggled to keep Islamic extremist violence at bay.

It wasn’t clear who the attackers were but security forces immediately flooded the area. Tunisia’s parliament building, next to the museum, was evacuated.

Private television Wataniya showed masked Tunisian security forces escorting dozens of tourists up nearby steps and away from the danger, as armed security forces pointed guns toward an adjacent building. Many elderly people, apparently tourists, ran in panic to safety, including at least one couple carrying two children.

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said 21 people were killed: 17 tourists, two gunmen, a Tunisian security officer and a Tunisian cleaning woman. He said the dead tourists came from Italy, Poland, Germany and Spain.

He said two or three of the attackers remained at large.

Several other people were reported wounded in the attack, including three Poles and at least two Italians.

Tunisia recently completed a rocky road to democracy after overthrowing its authoritarian president in 2011, seen by many as the start of the so-called Arab Spring. The country has been more stable than other countries in the region, but has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists in recent years, including some linked to the Islamic State group. It also has extremists linked to al-Qaeda’s North Africa arm who occasionally target Tunisian security forces.

A disproportionately large number of Tunisian recruits — some 3,000, according to government estimates — have…

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 at 12:40 PM  | Stand For Israel

Car Attack Terrorist Bought an Axe, Hunted Jewish Victims

(Photo: twitter/MickyRosenfeld)

(Photo: twitter/MickyRosenfeld)

Details were released Monday about Mohammed Salaimeh, a 22-year-old Arab resident of the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Jerusalem. Salaimeh was the terrorist behind the car terror attack on female Border Patrol officers in Jerusalem 10 days ago:

On March 6 at 9:50 a.m., Salaimeh drove in his car on Highway 1 in Jerusalem heading southwards, according to the indictment list. When he arrived at the Border Patrol headquarters in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, he saw the officers standing in a crosswalk, at which point he backed up, slammed on the gas and ran over the officers together with a bicyclist.

A Border Patrol officer who was manning the base’s entrance at the time of the attack together with another security guard saw the attack and opened fire at Salaimeh, damaging his car and bringing it to a halt.

Salaimeh then exited the vehicle while holding an axe in his hand, at which point the officer and security guard again fired at him, wounding the terrorist.

A total of six Border Patrol officers were wounded at different levels of severity due to the attack, along with the bicyclist who happened to be on the scene.

Under investigation the terrorist admitted to conducting the attack, adding that during the week prior to it he was planning an attack against Jews, and went to the Old City where he bought an axe which he stored in his car.

A day before the attack Salaimeh finalized his intentions to attack, and at 8 a.m. on the morning of the attack he left his house, driving around looking for Jewish victims.

First Salaimeh drove on Highway 1, from which he transferred to Begin Highway before returning to Highway 1. When he arrived at the base, he saw the officers and decided to attack them.

On Monday morning Salaimeh’s detainment was extended, after the prosecutor clarified she intends to submit an indictment against him.

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Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 9:40 AM  | Stand for Israel

Remembering the Coastal Road Massacre

(Photo: wikicommons/MathKnight)

(Photo: wikicommons/MathKnight)

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the terrorist attack known as the Coastal Road Massacre. March 11, 1978, witnessed what Time magazine called “the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history.

The attack began when 11 Palestinian terrorists from the Fatah group landed on the Israeli coast from Lebanon. After murdering a Jewish-American tourist on the beach, the terrorists shot at passing cars on the Coastal Highway, and hijacked a taxi, killing those inside. Next, they hijacked a bus. After the terrorists killed a teenager in a passing car, Israeli police were alerted and began to follow the bus.

The terrorist-held bus passed through many roadblocks – with exchanges of gunfire with police at each – before being stopped when its tires were punctured by nails planted by the police. There, at the Glilot Junction, Israeli police were finally able to stop the terrorists, killing nine of them in the process. During the final firefight, the bus burst into flames and exploded, and terrorists gunned down escaping hostages. By the end, 38 Israelis – including 13 children – had been killed, with another 71 wounded. Today, 37 years later, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives, and again ask God to bring peace to His people, Israel.

In this video, a survivor of the attack gives a first-person account of the Coastal Road Massacre (in Hebrew, with English subtitles):

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 12:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Five Wounded in Jerusalem Terror Attack

(Photo: twitter/MickyRosenfeld)

(Photo: twitter/MickyRosenfeld)

Terror once again found Israel and her people this morning. The Times of Israel reports that a terrorist used a car to ram four policewomen and a bicyclist, then tried to stab other innocent bystanders before being shot and subdued:

Five people were injured Friday morning in a car-ramming terror attack near a Jerusalem Light Rail station in the north of the city. Four of the wounded were young border policewomen, in their twenties, and the fifth was a civilian bicycle rider in his fifties.

A Palestinian man in a private vehicle hit the five as they stood on a sidewalk. He was identified as Mohammad Salima, 21, from east Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud. After the car attack, he then emerged from the vehicle with a butcher’s knife and attempted to stab passersby, but was swiftly shot and incapacitated by a Border Policeman and a Light Rail security guard at the scene.

The five victims suffered light-to-moderate injuries. They were treated at the scene by paramedics before being evacuated to the hospital. Two more border policewomen were treated at the scene for shock.

Salima was seriously injured. He, too, was taken to the hospital.

“The swift and determined response stopped the attack as it was beginning and prevented more innocents from being injured,” said Moshe Edri, a regional police commander …

Friday’s attack mirrored a spate of similar assaults on Israelis involving cars late last year, in the same part of Jerusalem.

We pray for the swift recovery of those injured in this heinous attack, and thank God that many more weren’t injured.

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Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 9:00 AM  | Stand For Israel

Security Forces Nab Hamas Terror Cell in Hebron

IDF soldiers in Hebron.

IDF soldiers in Hebron.

Israeli security forces busted a Hamas ring in the Hebron area that was planning a series of terror attacks, including suicide bombings, according to a statement from the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, on Monday:

The Shin Bet said it arrested 11 members of the cell in January, and that the group had carried out a failed bomb attack on Israeli troops in the West Bank.

Along with the arrests, security forces seized two sub-machine guns and explosives the cell allegedly planned on using to target Israelis, the Shin Bet said.

The main suspects in the case were named as Suhaib Mamoun Saltan, 20, from Hebron, and his cousin Salam Abbas Saltan, 28, a Hamas operative, who had been convicted and imprisoned by Israel in the past and was also at one time held under administrative detention.

The security service did not release the identities of the other nine suspects in Israeli custody.

In the coming days the Shin Bet will finish transferring the case files against the arrested men to the military prosecution and has asked that they be detained until trial, according to the statement.

“The activities of this cell reflects the real threat from Hamas activities in Hebron and especially from operatives that have been arrested in the past and then returned to the terror pool,” the Shin Bet statement read.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 2:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Jerusalem Mayor Subdues Terrorist After Stabbing Attack in City

nir barkatWhen a 27-year-old Jewish man was stabbed on Sunday by an Arab assailant in Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat and his bodyguard, who happened to be passing by, didn’t hesitate in taking action to subdue the terrorist and prevent a more serious attack, Israel’s NRG news website reported:

In an interview with Channel 2, Barkat – who had served as a company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade – said, “We were on our way to a meeting to be held in the municipality. When we arrived at IDF Square, my security detail noticed what was going on, and my body guard and I got out of the car. We saw a young man holding a knife. My bodyguard drew his weapon on the terrorist, who then threw away the knife. We didn’t think twice, we jumped on him and brought him to the ground. If he hadn’t dropped the knife, he wouldn’t have remained alive. When he was finally neutralized, we attended to the young man who was stabbed in his stomach. We waited for the police to arrive, and to my relief and joy, the whole incident ended fairly quickly.”

Murad Salman, a Magen David Adom Paramedic who arrived at the scene, said, “when we arrived, we saw a young man of about 27 years lying on the pavement in the Square, near the railroad tracks close to City Hall. He was bleeding from  a stab wound to his upper body. He was fully conscious and said that he had felt that someone had suddenly stabbed him. And when the stabber tried to stab him again, he fought with him with the aid of a wedding gift that he was holding in his hand, preventing additional injuries. We gave him medical treatment, which included stopping the bleeding, and gave him fluids. We then evacuated him to a hospital.”

The  youth was taken to Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. Salman added that his condition was defined as moderately serious.

Police are investigating the incident, and so far have determined that nationalistic motives were behind it. The…

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 11:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

Terrorists Increase Focus on Jewish Targets

Photo: René Sinn - Wikipedia

Photo: René Sinn – Wikipedia

A chilling video threat issued over the weekend by the Somali terror group al-Shabaab against specific Jewish-owned malls provides further indication that Islamist groups around the world are setting their sights on Jewish targets, according to a leading expert on Jewish security and terrorist threats:

“The most recent threat by al-Shabaab against malls, and more specifically against Jewish-owned institutions around the world, is another indication that global jihadi groups are increasingly focusing on Jews and Jewish institutions as a way to rally support for their cause,” said Dr. Joshua Gleis, president of Gleis Security Consulting.

Al-Shabaab’s recording, posted to YouTube on Saturday, mostly glorifies the group’s bloody 2013 attack on the Jewish-owned West­gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya which left 63 people dead and at least 175 wounded.

Towards the end of the nearly 77 minute video, a masked man with an English accent calls on Jihadists to attack specific targets

“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world,” he says.

“What if such an attack was to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota, or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, or in London’s Oxford Street, or any of the hundred or so Jewish-owned Westfield shopping centers dotted right across the western world?” he continues. …

Responding to the video in an interview on CNN, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “This latest statement from al-Shabaab reflects the new phase we’ve evolved to in the global terrorist threat, in that you have groups such as al-Shabaab and ISIL publicly calling for independent actors in their homelands to carry out attacks.”

Regarding the specific threat to Mall of America, Johnson said: “Anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place, we’ve got to take that seriously.” He advised people going to the Mall of America to be particularly careful, Reuters reported.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 9:16 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi’s Commentary
A Beacon of Freedom in a Sea of Oppression

Last week, a United Nations’ commission singled out Israel as the world’s worst violator of women’s rights – ignoring the Jewish state’s offering of full freedom to women…

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