Israel kills drone near Syrian border

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN

updated 7:45 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014

An Israeli soldier walks near a border crossing Sunday in Quneitra. Israel shot down a drone over the area with a Patriot missile.


(CNN) — Israel has shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle that entered Israeli airspace near the Syrian border on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed.

The drone was destroyed by a Patriot surface-to-air missile over Quneitra in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.

“In spite of the IDF’s sensitivity to recent occurrences in the proximity of the border, we have repeatedly stated that we will respond to any breach of Israel’s sovereignty and will continue to act to maintain safety and security to the civilians of the State of Israel,” Lerner added.

This is the first drone from Syria that Israel has shot down, although the IDF has shot down UAVs from Hamas and Hezbollah before.

Syrian civil war in 2014

Syrian civil war in 2014

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Israel kills drone near Syrian border

Israel News, Photos and Videos – ABC News

AP ANALYSIS: A Grim Stalemate at War’s End in Gaza

for this in Israel , however ….. backed by both Hamas and the moderate ….. even though Hamas itself may not, yet Netanyahu launched ….. teens in the West Bank , an Israeli crackdown ….. violence. Now Israel seems less ….. have the Palestinian Authority back in Gaza , running at ….. keeping Hamas in check ….. the bigger Israeli – Palestinian ….. feared a total West Bank pullout that

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Israel News, Photos and Videos – ABC News

Israel calls on Arab nations to rebuild Gaza, takes 1000 acres of West Bank land

JERUSALEM Israel and several Arab countries should work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip while disarming Hamas militants who rule the territory, Israel’s finance minister said Sunday.

The remarks by Yair Lapid come almost a week after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after almost two months of fighting that devastated parts of Gaza.

“We need a regional conference, with the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Gulf States,” Lapid, a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party, told reporters in Jerusalem. “That conference should focus on one thing, ensuring the rehabilitation takes place alongside demilitarization,” he said.

It is unclear how he foresaw the group demilitarizing Gaza as Hamas has vowed it will never give up its weapons. Nor was it clear how responsive Arab countries, some of whom like Saudi Arabia have no formal ties with Israel, would be to such a conference. Lapid did not say if any countries had been consulted about the idea.

“This is a stupid demand, and no one among the Palestinian people would agree to such a thing … our weapons are used to defend our people, and this right was granted by heaven and human laws,” said Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.

Hamas and other Gaza militants fired 4,591 rockets and mortars at Israel during the fighting. Israel’s military says it struck 5,226 “targets” in Gaza. The two sides are set to hold indirect talks in Egypt next month on key disputes that remain unresolved.

Meanwhile Sunday, Israel announced the expropriation of about 1,000 acres ofWestBankland in a step that could help clear the way for construction of a new Jewish settlement.

The Israeli military made the announcement Sunday in accordance with a government edict. It said the directive was made at the end of a military operation in June that searched for three Israeli teens who were abducted and killed by Hamas militants. The Hamas kidnapping and murder of the teens sparked a chain of events that led to the 50-day war.

The expropriated land is in Gush Etzion, an area near Jerusalem where the teens were abducted. Israel hopes to keep the area under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the Israeli move and called for the decision to be revoked. He told the Palestinian news agency WAFA that it “leads to deterioration in the situation.”

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Israel calls on Arab nations to rebuild Gaza, takes 1000 acres of West Bank land

Israel shoots down drone from Syria

JERUSALEM, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The Israeli air force shot down an unmanned drone that crossed into Israeli airspace over the northern border with Syria on Sunday, Israeli military officials said.

Israel Defense Forces used a Patriot surface-to-air missile to shoot down the drone, which came across the border from the Quneitra region in Syria.

“The IDF will not tolerate a breach of the state of Israel’s sovereignty,” the army said.

It wasn’t clear whether the unmanned aircraft was meant to enter Israel or was part of an ongoing conflict at Golan Heights at the border between the Syrian government and rebel groups.

2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Yale Episcopal chaplain Rev. Bruce Shipman digs deeper

Time to revisit Rev. Shipman, the Episcopal Chapman at Yale. Readers will recall that Rev. Shipman wrote a letter to the N.Y. Times, responding to an op-ed about growing violent anti-Semitism in Europe, suggesting that the best antidotewould be for Israels patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question. I pointed out that by holding Jews responsible for anti-Semitism, Rev. Shipman was engaging in unacceptable victim-blaming. Let me put it even more bluntly now: he is blaming the victims of racism for the existence of racism.

A few updates.

First, my disgust at Rev. Shipmans letter has been widely shared, but not by some who want to turn this into another opportunity to debate Israeli policy. Most of those people, not being anti-Semites themselves, but rather due to ideological blinders being immune to recognizing anti-Semitism when it arises in a context related to Israel, would recognize the appalling nature of Shipmans letter if the context was different. Imagine, for example, a right-wing Christian who, following an attack by Christian Identity type on a synagogue, wrote the following: Critics of the synagogue attack and other manifestations of anti-Semitism makefar too little of the relationship between the immoral trash that Hollywood produces and growing anti-Semitism in the U.S. and beyond. the best antidotewould be for all Jews of goodwill to press their friends who run major studies to stop using movies to push an anti-Christian agenda that mocks traditional moral values. I use this example, by the way, because I actually once read an article making exactly this argument in a right-wing Catholic newsletter I happened upon in a student lounge at Marymount University in Arlington. The message, from that article and from Rev. Shipman, is if you want me to be your ally on combating anti-Semitism, you had better adopt my ideological agenda; otherwise, while Im not necessarily saying you get what you deserve, that kinda is what Im saying.

Second, Chabad of Yale released the following statement: Reverend Bruce Shipmans justification of anti semitism by blaming it on Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is frankly quite disturbing. His argument attempts to justify racism and hate of innocent people, in Israel and around the world. One can and should study the Israeli policies regarding human rights, and the honest student will realize the painstaking efforts undertaken by Israel to protect innocent civilians. Hamas, ISIS and other radical groups make it their mission to torture, rape and kill as many civilians as possible. Yet, no moral person however, would attempt to justify blatant global anti-Moslem hatred in light of these atrocities.I call upon Bruce Shipman to retract and apologize for his unfortunate and misguided assertion. Instead of excusing bias and hatred against others, he should use his position to promote dialogue, understanding, and tolerance. Rabbi Shua Rosenstein,Chabad at Yale University

Third, a reader points out that while Yale disclaims responsibility for Rev. Shipman because hes not on staff, in excusing anti-Semitism he seems to have violated several clauses of the Yale Religious Ministries Agreement, violation of which may result in exclusion from YRM and loss of standing as a member of YRM. It would behoove someone at Yale to file a complaint with the Chaplains office at Yale, and the university itself, about Rev. Shipman. Or the Episcopalians themselves could toss him out.

Fourth, here is how the Yale Daily News reported Rev. Shipmans reaction to the controversy. I note not just the absence of an apology, but his decision to reiterate his point: The turn to the right of the Israeli government and the magnitude of the civilian casualties in Gaza, the loss of hope among so many Palestinians and the continuation of annexation policies in the West Bank have some relation to the deplorable anti-Semitic crimes that we deplore. Yes, Rev. Shipman, we all know that the fighting in Gaza is related to anti-Semitic crimes. But only someone who is anti-Semitic to begin with would think to himself, Israel is doing what I consider bad things in Gaza; therefore I will beat up the next person I see wearing a yarmulke in Brussels, or try to storm a synagogue in Rome, or rampage through a Jewish neighborhood in Paris. Jews (like everyone else) have an absolute right to be secure in their persons and property regardless ofwhether people agree or disagree with the policies of a state or organization that claims to speak in ones groups name, or of people who are members of the same group. Its amazing that seven decades after the Holocaust one needs to even point this out to certain progressives like Rev. Shipman.

David Bernstein is the George Mason University Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Yale Episcopal chaplain Rev. Bruce Shipman digs deeper

Pope visits Muslim, Jewish sites on last day in Mideast

JERUSALEM – Pope Francis called for Christians, Jews and Muslims to work together for peace as he toured holy sites in Jerusalem on Monday, the final day of his Middle East pilgrimage.

On an early-morning tour of key sacred places in the walled Old City, the 77-year-old pontiff first visited Al-Aqsa mosque compound, then prayed at the Western Wall which lies just beneath it.

The pontiff was rounding off a whirlwind trip which saw him issue a unique invitation to the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pray with him at the Vatican to end their “increasingly unacceptable” conflict, as well as snatching a personal prayer moment at Israel’s controversial separation barrier.

Francis had promised the three-day pilgrimage, which began on Saturday in Jordan, would steer clear of political issues.

But he ad-libbed from his scripted speech to condemn anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and those behind conflicts in the Middle East.

“May we work together for justice and peace,” Francis said after being shown around the Al-Aqsa compound, which is also considered sacred by Jews because it was the site where their two famed Jerusalem temples once stood.

Entering the exquisite blue-tiled Dome of the Rock with its landmark golden cupola, used as a place of worship for women only, the pope first removed his shoes before walking down to visit the smaller, silver-domed Al-Aqsa mosque.

For Jews, the plaza is the holiest site in Judaism but they are forbidden by law to pray there, praying instead at the adjacent Western Wall, where the pope made his next stop.

Placing his right hand on the ancient stones, he bowed his head in prayer for a few minutes before placing a note in the wall, then sharing an emotional embrace with two close Jewish and Muslim friends travelling with him.

A controversial mass

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Pope visits Muslim, Jewish sites on last day in Mideast

Jewish Museum Shooting Claims Fourth Victim

A fourth person has died following a shooting spree at a Jewish museum in Brussels amid fears of a rise in anti-Semitism. Two Israeli tourists – reportedly a couple – and a French woman had already been confirmed dead following Saturday's shooting, which French President Francois Hollande says was clearly of "anti-Semitic character". "The anti-Semitic character of this act, a shooting in the …

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Pope: Israel-Palestinian stalemate 'unacceptable'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Pope Francis hug each other as Francis arrives at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Francis landed Sunday in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state as he began a busy second day of his Mideast pilgrimage. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

JERUSALEM (AP) Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts “unacceptable.”

In an unscripted move, Francis arranged a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian presidents at the Vatican next month. The meeting, while largely symbolic, shows how the pope has sought to transform his immensely popular appeal into a moral force for peace.

On the second day of a three-day swing through the region, the pope arrived in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christianity, before heading to Israel for the final leg of his visit.

While Francis mingled warmly with his Israeli hosts, his trip to Bethlehem included the day’s most powerful images as he expressed sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinians.

“I am with you,” he told a group of Palestinian children at a stop in Bethlehem’s Deheishe refugee camp. He also held a private lunch with five Palestinian families who say they have been harmed by Israeli policies.

Even the pope’s arrival in Bethlehem by helicopter straight from Jordan carried important symbolic significance. Past papal visits to the West Bank have come through Israel, which captured the territory in the 1967 Mideast war.

Palestinian officials hailed Francis’ decision to refer to the “state of Palestine.” In its official program, the Vatican referred to President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine,” and his Bethlehem office as the “presidential palace.” He pointedly called Abbas a “man of peace.”

Jubilant Palestinians cheered Francis as he arrived in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, shouting “Viva al-Baba!” or “Long live the pope!” Giant Palestinian flags in red, white, green and black and the Vatican’s yellow-and-white flags decorated the square, which is home to the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born.

“Coming to Bethlehem and flying to Bethlehem from Jordan shows solidarity with the Palestinian people, which is wonderful. We need that,” said Samar Sakkakin, a 52-year-old Palestinian-American from Canton, Michigan.

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Brussels killings due to 'incitement' against Jews: Netanyahu

Israel's premier said late Saturday that the attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, which left three dead and one badly wounded, was the result of anti-Jewish and Israeli sentiment in Europe. "This act of murder is the result of constant incitement against Jews and their state," Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman joined Netanyahu's sentiment …

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Reports that Beirut synagogue will reopen dismissed as rumors

BEIRUT: Beiruts Maghen Abraham Synagogue has not been reopened and no date has been set for the buildings re-inauguration, said Bassem al-Hout, a lawyer and mukhtar for Lebanons Jewish community.

The synagogue, located in Wadi Abu Jamil in Downtown Beirut, was badly damaged during Lebanons 1975-90 Civil War and has been undergoing an extensive renovation for the past five years.

The construction is basically done, Hout told The Daily Star.

But it doesnt have any benches or furniture, he explained. He refused to speculate on when the synagogue would reopen. Moreover, there are no Jewish religious leaders, called rabbis, in Lebanon to lead religious proceedings, Hout said.

The Jewish community also still has plans to move a trove of historical documents related to Judaism in Lebanon into the synagogue.

The synagogue, which was constructed in the first decades of the 20th century, was shelled by the Israeli army in 1982 during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, according to news reports published by the Associated Press. Both Jewish and Muslim refugees had taken shelter in the synagogue during the Israeli siege, and were seen fleeing into the streets after the building was shelled.

The synagogues feeble, pock-holed shell was shuttered for decades.

The entire renovation project, Hout said, has cost between $4 million and $5 million.

Hout denied recent reports claiming the synagogue was set to reopen.

These are just rumors made up in the press, he said.

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Reports that Beirut synagogue will reopen dismissed as rumors

Palestinians Just Make Stuff Up About Israel Killing Their Children! Fmr Israeli Ambassador To U.S. – Video

Palestinians Just Make Stuff Up About Israel Killing Their Children! Fmr Israeli Ambassador To U.S.

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Israel Denies 'Baseless' Rumor It Will Give 'Last Supper Room' to Pope

By Lawahez Jabari

TEL AVIV Israel on Wednesday denied “baseless” rumors that it plans to hand the Vatican control of a building where Christians believe Jesus held the Last Supper.

Orthodox Jews have been plastering posters around Jerusalem claiming that Israel is about to relinquish control of the room ahead of a visit and planned Mass by Pope Francis next week.

Religious Jews revere the building on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion as the tomb of the biblical King David and say it must not be used for Christian prayer.

Writing in response to the claims Wednesday, the Israeli foreign ministry said: “The rumors about handing over the Last Supper Room to the Vatican are baseless.

“This is part of an attempt to stir things up in the field, and to cause tension around the Popes visit.”

Christian pilgrims from Romania pray at the Cenacle, or Upper Room, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem on May 19. For Christians, the room is the place where Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples before he was crucified.

Christians are currently allowed to pray there for two days each year, but the Vatican has for years petitioned Israel to give it more access.

A senior Catholic official told Reuters last week that the two sides were close to a deal allowing official daily prayer there, but not a transfer of control.

Wednesday’s statement added: “It should be emphasized that there is no intention of handing over or giving any rights at the Last Supper Room to the Vatican, not during the Popes visit in Israel, and not after it.

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Gandhi, Non violence and the Occupy Movement: A conversation with Norman Finkelstein – Video

Gandhi, Non violence and the Occupy Movement: A conversation with Norman Finkelstein
On August 25th, 2012 Occupy Brooklyn TV sat down with Norman Finkelstein — political dissident and world renowned scholar on the Israeli-Palestine conflict . On August 25th, 2012 Occupy Brooklyn…

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Gandhi, Non violence and the Occupy Movement: A conversation with Norman Finkelstein – Video

Defense for Children Palestine Publishes Video Footage for Recently-killed Palestinian Teens

RAMALLAH, May 20, 2014 (WAFA) Defense for Children international Palestine movement obtained Tuesday a video footage featuring the recent killing of two Palestinian teens during clashes near Ofer prison, said a press release issued by the movement.

The video shows the unprovoked and cold-blooded killing of Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher, 16, who were both fatally shot in the chest with live ammunition near Ofer military prison in the city of Beitunia.

The video footage was captured by surveillance cameras installed on a nearby house where the incident took place. The images captured on the video show the unlawful killings of the both teens where neither of them posed a direct and immediate threat to the lives of soldiers at the time of shooting, said Defense for Children Palestine.

These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes, said Director General of Defense for Children Palestine Rifat Kassis.

Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher, 16, were both fatally shot in the chest with live ammunition near Ofer military prison in the West Bank city of Beitunia during a peaceful demonstration marking the 66th anniversary of Nadkba. Both boys were transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah where they were later pronounced dead.

Israeli forces continue to use excessive force and recklessly fire live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets on unarmed protesters, including children, killing them with impunity. While Israel claims to open investigations into such incidents, they are not transparent or independent, and seldom result in a soldier being held accountable said Kassis.

The Israeli militarys own regulations dictate that live ammunition must be used only under circumstances of real mortal danger, but the regulations are not enforced and frequently ignored by Israeli soldiers, according to research by DCI-Palestine and a recent report by BTselem, an Israeli human rights group.

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Defense for Children Palestine Publishes Video Footage for Recently-killed Palestinian Teens