Archive for the ‘Jerusalem’ Category

WATCH: IDF soldier who neutralized Halamish attacker speaks out – The Jerusalem Post

The three Israeli victims of Friday evening’s lethal terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish were named Saturday night.

Seventy-year-old Yosef Salomon and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, a 36-years-old and a father of five, were all murdered in the attack.

Yosef’s wife Tovah is still hospitalized after suffering grave injuries.

The three were enjoying a Friday evening meal and the whole family had gathered that night to celebrate the birth of Elad’s son who was born less than 24 hours earlier.

Their happy, calm evening was interrupted when 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abdel from the nearby village of Khobar infiltrated their home and wielding a knife, began assaulting them. While the three were slain, some of the family members did manage to flee during the rampage.

The terrorist was eventually neutralized by a soldier who was in the area and heard the sounds emanating from the scene.

The soldier, who is serving in the IDF’s Oketz Unit (an elite canine special forces unit), recounted Saturday how he had rushed to the scene of the terror attack. “I was standing outside the house and I saw the terrorist from the window. I understood that I had to act cool-headedly and be professional. I fired one bullet at him, and it hurt him in the stomach and neutralized him,” he said.

“Mostly I was at the right place and at the right time,” the soldier added. “We join the family in their grief and hug them. Personally for me it’s a complicated event, I’m trying to focus on the fact that in the little that I did I prevented something that could have been a much worse event in a short amount of time.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his deep sorrow over the murders of the father and his two children on Saturday night. “This is an act of terror that was carried out by an animal of a human, incited by profound hatred. Security forces are doing the best they can in order to maintain security, and will take all the steps necessary to do so,” the premier stated.

The times of the funerals have yet to have been released.

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WATCH: IDF soldier who neutralized Halamish attacker speaks out – The Jerusalem Post

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July 22, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

UN chief Antonio Guterres expresses concern over Jerusalem violence – The Indian Express

By: IANS | United Nations | Published:July 22, 2017 10:06 am United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has deeply deplored the three deaths in the clashes on Friday with the Israeli security forces. (Source: Reuters/File)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem, where three Palestinians were killed and 400 wounded in clashes following the Friday prayers. There has been scene of escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Old City area with protests over security measures and restriction on access to the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem.

Guterres has deeply deplored the three deaths in the clashes on Friday with the Israeli security forces, Xinhua news agency reported.He has called for these incidents to be fully investigated, Guterres spokesperson said in a statement.The Secretary General has urged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from actions that could further escalate the situation.

In the statement, Guterres also called all political, religious and community leaders to help reduce tension. The Secretary General reiterates that the sanctity of religious sites should be respected as places for reflection, not violence, said the statement.

Anger across East Jerusalem and the West Bank boiled after Israel limited Muslim access to the holy Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalems walled Old City on Friday, allowing only women and men over 50 to enter.

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UN chief Antonio Guterres expresses concern over Jerusalem violence – The Indian Express

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Abbas freezes relations with Israel after deadly clashes over Jerusalem shrine – Los Angeles Times

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday froze ties with Israel hours after clashes with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem and the West Bank left three Palestinians dead and hundreds injured, in one of the worst days of unrest in years.

Three Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian in the settlement of Halamish, northwest of Ramallah, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The attacker was later shot by an off-duty soldier who was in the area and taken to the hospital in critical condition, the IDF said.

A fourth Israeli was injured in the stabbing, which occurred around 9:30, according to the army.

The violence broke out after thousands of Muslim worshippers held prayers and demonstrations around Jerusalems Old City in a standoff with Israeli police to protest new Israeli metal detectors at the entrance to a plaza holy to Jews and Muslims outside the Al Aqsa Mosque. The security move has escalated tensions in the Palestinian territories and spurred a crisis between Israel and its neighbors because it is viewed as an effort by Israel to tighten control over the religious site.

After an emergency meeting Friday evening with top aides in Ramallah, Abbas conditioned a resumption of contacts with Israel on the removal of the metal detectors.

They are a political move hiding under the cover of an imaginary security pretext that aims to control Al Aqsa Mosque and evade the peace process as well as turn the conflict from a political one to a religious conflict, Abbas said, according to a statement on the Palestinian official news agency.

In a rare sight during noon prayers, worshippers filled Salah el Din street, an East Jerusalem commercial thoroughfare just outside Herods Gate, as demonstrators chanted, Oh armies, destroy their thrones and Rattle the knife.

Despite fiery sermons and chants opposite hundreds of Israeli riot police around the Old City, the noontime prayers ended with only isolated incidents of violence. But in the hour or so after the crowds dispersed in the vicinity of the Old City, the clashes began to spread throughout East Jerusalem and to the West Bank.

Rioters hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers, and security forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades. An Israeli police spokesman said five officers were slightly injured, and about a dozen rioters were arrested. Palestinian medics said they treated people who had been injured with rubber and live bullets.

The dead included Mohammed Sharaf, 18, and Hassan Abu Ghannam, 20, who were killed amid clashes in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras el Amud and A Tur, respectively. Mohammed Lafi was killed in the West Bank town of Abu Dis, just outside the Jerusalem border. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, nearly 400 demonstrators were injured during the Friday clashes.

Mourners carried bodies of the dead through the streets and chanted, We will continue the fight. Meanwhile, scuffles broke out at Al Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem when Israeli police arrived to search for suspects in the rioting.

In the West Bank, clashes and casualties were reported in the Qalandiya refugee camp, in Bethlehem and Hebron. In Gaza, Palestinians held demonstrations near Israeli military positions along the border.

The casualty count and the widening chaos seemed to confirm warnings through the week about the risk of a dangerous escalation from the standoff over the metal detectors and the esplanade. The site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is a tinderbox of religious tensions, and has touched off waves of Palestinian-Israeli violence in the past.

In neighboring Jordan, thousands streamed into Amman’s downtown district to pray at the Husseini mosque and to take part in a protest that brought both Jordan’s Islamist and leftist parties together. Egypts foreign ministry called on Israel to immediately stop the violence and intensified security against the Palestinians.

The Muslim Waqf authority responsible for the Al Aqsa Mosque has encouraged believers to demonstrate opposite the metal detectors, but not to go through them. Amid pressure to defuse the tension, Israel in recent days had been holding quiet talks with Jordan, which is the official custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Israeli media reported that security leaders were divided over what to do about the metal detectors, with the Israeli army and the Shin Bet supporting removing the equipment and the police recommending that it remain in place.

But after an emergency session hours before the prayers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus Cabinet decided to keep the metal detectors.

The metal detectors are a critical tool for ensuring the security of all visitors to the mount, said Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan before the Cabinet meeting, according to the Israeli news outlet Maariv-NRG.

The police also imposed an age restriction for the first time in years, banning male worshippers under the age of 50 from participating further inflaming accusations.

Abbas, who had cut short a visit to China ahead of Friday prayers, huddled with advisors and officials. At the end of the meeting, Abbas announced that he had decided to suspend contacts on all levels implying that he had decided to suspend coordination between Palestinian security forces and the Israeli army in the West Bank as well. The cooperation is credited with keeping stability in the West Bank in recent years, but that could be upended by a freeze in security ties at a time of a wave in rioting.

Israeli officials said the attack in Halamish was carried out by a man named Omar Al Abed. The Israeli army published a picture of the blood-soaked kitchen floor in the home where the attack took place. Israeli news outlets reported that Al Abed carried out the attack during a dinner at the start of the Jewish sabbath.

Israels ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, called on the Security Council to condemn the attack.

The international community must demand that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA put an end to these heinous attacks and stop their ongoing encouragement of violence, Danon said.

The escalating crisis was touched off a week ago, after three Palestinian citizens of Israel ambushed two Israeli policemen with machine guns outside the Temple Mount and then were killed by police on the plaza. Israel closed the esplanade for two days and canceled Friday prayers for the first time in decades. When the holy site was reopened, police installed metal detectors outside two entrances to the plaza.

The violence Friday didn’t result in the worst-case scenarios that Israeli security officials feared. Israel’s army on Friday afternoon released two of five battalions put on alert a day before.

But the deaths, the high number of casualties and the breadth of the unrest increased the likelihood that violence will continue.

Jerusalem has not witnessed such sights in more than a decade, said Ofer Zalzberg, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, and much more may come.

Sights, sounds, and the people that made the first day of 2017’s Comic-Con a sight to behold.

Sights, sounds, and the people that made the first day of 2017’s Comic-Con a sight to behold.

Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova are preparing already for their August 2018 congressional primary rematch by raising and spending campaign money.

Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova are preparing already for their August 2018 congressional primary rematch by raising and spending campaign money.

Staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske, and Special Correspondent Nabih Bulos contributed reporting

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UPDATES:

5:45 p.m: This article was updated with new information on the victims of the stabbings and the attacker.

3:05 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who announced a freeze in contacts with Israel.

12:15 p.m.: This article was updated throughout with staff reporting.

This article was originally published at 8:00 a.m.

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Abbas freezes relations with Israel after deadly clashes over Jerusalem shrine – Los Angeles Times

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

The two words that explain tensions over Jerusalem’s Old City – CNN

Those words were “Terra Sancta,” or Holy Land, he told CNN in a 2000 interview.

So what is Terra Sancta? The answer varies depending on whom you ask. All three Abrahamic faiths lay claim to parts of Jerusalem’s Old City. The imposing stone walls are home to the holiest sites for Judaism and Christianity and the third most important site in Islam.

But no piece of real estate is more contentious than a hill in the city’s southeast corner. The first indication of that complexity might be the fact the compound that sits atop the hill goes by two different names. For Jews, it is known as the Temple Mount; for Muslims, it is the Noble Sanctuary.

Its religious significance dates back to the very beginning, not just of Jerusalem, but of existence, at least as far as the Bible is concerned. At the very heart of the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary is the Foundation Stone, the point at which the Old Testament holds that the world was created. It is also here that the biblical patriarch Abraham came to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith.

Later, two Jewish temples would be erected on this spot. Muslims believe the Foundation Stone was also the destination for Mohammad during his Night Journey; it is from this point that Mohammad ascended to heaven. Today the stone is housed in the Dome of the Rock. The adjacent mosque — Islam’s third holiest — is called al-Aqsa, which means “the farthest” in Arabic.

Each story connected to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary has increased the site’s significance to the Abrahamic religions, while heightening its sensitivity. Any perceived change to the holy site sends tensions in the Old City and the region soaring.

And in a region where politics and religion are often linked, the site has taken on ever greater political significance. For Palestinians — both Muslim and non-Muslim — the site, in particular the Dome of the Rock, has become the symbol of national self-determination.

For Jews, whether secular or religious, control of Jerusalem’s Old City — and with it the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary — acquired ever greater cultural and historical importance. It was seen as a fundamental step in the return of the Jewish people to their roots, put down thousands of years earlier. The final political status of Jerusalem has confounded peace negotiators for decades.

You have to go back to the Six Day War of 1967 for the last full-scale battle for “Terra Sancta”.

When the dust settled, and after Israel had seen off Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in the process occupying vast new tracts of land, it was Jerusalem’s Old City, captured from the Jordanians, that was the biggest prize of all.

In a celebration of victory during the war, Israeli soldiers raised the country’s flag over the Dome of the Rock. Within minutes, Israel’s defense minister ordered the flag removed, careful not to turn a political war into a religious struggle.

Sensitive to the potential explosiveness of the location, Israeli officials met with the Jordanian Waqf — the body that managed the site — and came to an agreement on the status quo that has existed, uneasily at times, to this day.

The agreement saw the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary remain under Israeli security control, but the Jordanian Waqf has remained the custodian, determining who is allowed to pray there. While Jews and Christians are permitted to visit, only Muslims are allowed to pray.

It has always remained a potential flashpoint. In September 2000, when then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a visit to the holy complex, he said it was to reassert the right of Jews to visit the site. But it was widely seen as a confrontational political act, and it helped spark an already combustible situation into a full Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada. Roughly a thousand Israelis and more than three thousand Palestinians were killed until it finally subsided in 2005.

Ten years later, a round of violence that began in late 2015 saw the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem become one of the hottest flashpoints. A series of Palestinian attacks on Israeli police led to Israel shutting down the once-thriving market that was a hallmark of the historic site.

July 2017 brought yet more tension after three Arab-Israeli men killed two Israeli police officers in the Old City. The three assailants were also shot dead.

Israel closed the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary to everyone but Israeli security officials. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office tried to alleviate fears by stating, “The status quo will be preserved.”

But increasingly it seems the status quo is in the eye of the beholder. Police installed metal detectors at various entrances to the complex following the deadly shooting.

The Waqf, along with other Islamic and political organizations, has rejected the new measures as a flagrant violation, and has accused Israel of unilaterally trying to expand its control over the holy site. Israel says the move was to prevent weapons from being stashed on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary.

Since the new measures, protests have sprung up in the Old City and in the West Bank. Jordan and other Arab countries have called on Israel to remove the new security measures; the Waqf has told Muslims to pray in nearby streets and alleys instead of passing through the metal detectors.

In the meantime, Palestinian officials warn that, without heeding their calls for a return to the status quo, the security situation could quickly deteriorate as calls for additional protests mount.

CNN’s Andrew Carey contributed to this report from Jerusalem.

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Clashes in Jerusalem following noon prayer – The Jerusalem Post

Palestinians and police clashed near Lions’ Gate following the noon prayer on Friday. Muslim worshipers also protested and clashed with police forces in Salah a-Din street, Ras al-Amoud, a-Tour and Wadi Joz. At least three Palestinians were killed during the clashes.

Clashes were also reported at the Kalandia checkpoint and protests were held in Bethlehem, Tulkaram, Jericho and Hebron in the West Bank.

Police said that clashes started after the rioters started to throw stones at the security forces. Police used water cannons to disperse the rioters.

Inside the Old City, worshipers gathered after the prayer to protest. Near the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) the rioters were dispersed by stun grenades.

Some 10 people were arrested in Jerusalem, and other 17 in the West Bank, following the clashes.

People waiting to pray told The Jerusalem Post that they opposed violence, and that eventually the Israeli government would remove the metal detectors. We have patience, they said.

Prayers were held all over the Old City, mainly next to police checkpoints. Following the Wakfs call, people were trying to pray as close as possible to al-Aksa mosque, and the only Azzan (call to prayer) that was heard in the Old City came from the Temple Mount mosque.

Earlier this morning, the top police command held a special assessment meeting ahead of the prayer.

Police chief Roni Alsheich said that the police’s duty was to allow worshipers to practice their beliefs, but at the same time not to allow people to break the law.

We must remember that lasts week attack was a crossing of a red line, he said. They were trying to harm the delicate situation of the Temple Mount. But the Israel Police is here to prevent every attempt to unbalance the the order here.

Alsheich also called on Palestinian leadership to prevent further escalation of the situation. I call on Arab leadership to show responsibility and not to fan the flames, he said.

Palestinians were demonstrating against the recently installed metal detectors at the gates of Temple Mount. Top Wakf leaders dubbed the installation as a severe violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount.

The move came following last Fridays deadly attack at the compound, in which two Israeli policemen were killed.

Last night a security cabinet meeting was held to discuss this topic, and it was decided that the metal detectors would remain.

Three gates were open for Muslim worshipers as of Friday afternoon: The Gate of the Tribes (Bab al-Asbat), the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) and the Gate of Chain (Bab al-Silila).

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Crisis over Jerusalem holy site intensifies ahead of Friday prayers – Los Angeles Times

Days of escalating clashes and a diplomatic crisis over recently installed Israeli metal detectors at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalems Old City are stoking concern of a new wave of violence ahead of Friday prayers.

Girding for a surge of friction at noontime prayers on the Muslim day of rest, the Israeli army put five extra battalions on alert. Meanwhile, international diplomats called for a compromise as Israel and Jordan looked for a path to defuse a standoff before Friday.

Israeli authorities installed the security equipment Sunday, two days after a shootout on the esplanade holy to both Jews and Muslims in which three Israeli Arabs with homemade machine guns killed two Israeli Druze policemen and were then killed by security forces.

Palestinian officials and the Muslim Waqf authority responsible for the Old City site have rejected the metal detectors as unilateral change to long-standing agreements on access and management of the site and instructed worshipers to hold demonstrations and prayers outside the complex rather than pass through the metal detectors. The Old City protests since then have devolved into daily rioting and clashes with police and spread to other Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

The Israeli-Jordanian dialogue is being conducted via the countries intelligence and security agencies a channel used in the past to resolve potentially explosive conflicts around the Jerusalem holy site, said Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan familiar with the contacts.

Whether there will be a climbing down by all sides involved, I dont know, said Eran, a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv University think tank. They will certainly need an elegant formula which will create a situation in which weapons cant be brought into the compound and wont be seen as a regime totally controlled by Israel.

Israeli security experts have said it will be practically impossible to have tens of thousands of Palestinians pass though the metal detectors during holy days.

The holy esplanade is called the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims who believe its the spot where the Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven. Jews call it the Temple Mount for the two ancient temples that once stood on the place.

Israel has said the metal detectors are necessary to tighten security at the sensitive site after three men from the Israeli Arab city of Umm Al Fahm used guns smuggled into the compound last week. On Thursday, Israeli police released a video purporting to show attackers and an accomplice in and around the plaza with a bag of weapons in the compound before the attack.

Palestinians said the metal detectors mark a unilateral restriction on access to worshipers by Israel, and they fear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will go along with calls by members of his right-wing coalition to assert Israeli sovereignty there and drop a ban on Jewish prayer on the plaza.

The deaths, the two-day closure of the Temple Mount, and the metal detectors there have seemingly left Jerusalem and the West Bank teetering on the brink of a wider conflict. Disputes over access to the plaza sparked the second Palestinian intifada in 2000, as well as weeks of stabbing and car ramming attacks in 2014 and 2015. In both disputes, Jordan and Israel were able to reach a series of understandings that helped calm tensions.

In two separate incidents this week, the Israeli army said it shot and killed two Palestinians who tried to run over and stab soldiers at checkpoints in the West Bank.

Palestinian residents of the Old City said clashes with police usually peak in the evening, when hundreds have faced off with Israeli security forces in riot gear.

We will not go through the electric gates. This is not something that belongs to them, said Yousef Hammad, 53, who works at a souvenir shop near the entrances to the plaza. If they dont let people in, it will be a big mess for all of Palestine, not just here.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Thursday called on the international community to pressure Israel to reverse its decision on the metal detectors, and President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday cut short a visit to China in order to return to Ramallah to deal with the crisis.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Wednesday that it was up to Israel to defuse the crisis, according to the official Petra news service. Israel’s respect for the historic and legal status in the Al Aqsa Mosque and the end of all attempts to create new facts on the ground is the key to restoring calm in the holy shrines, he said.

The U.S. and the United Nations issued statements urging the sides to work together to find a compromise.

I am deeply concerned by the recent surge in tensions and violence around the holy esplanade in the Old City of Jerusalem, said Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in a statement Thursday. I call on all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation and on moderate voices to speak up against those who try to fuel tensions.

The White House press secretary released a statement urging Israel and Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions and find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo.

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‘Scaffolding’, Hong Sang-soo triumph in Jerusalem – Screen International

Festival reveals the award winners from its 34th edition.

Scaffolding has won the best Israeli feature film prize at the 34th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival.

The debut feature from director Matan Yair produced by rising Israeli production outfit Green Productions takes home a prize worth $28,000 (100,000 ILS).

Scaffolding also scooped the best actor prize for debutant Asher Lax and an honorary mention in the best cinematography category for DoP Bartosz Bieniek.

A jury consisting of Elle producer Sad Ben Sad, artist Yael Bartana, cinematographer Agns Godard and Cntia Gl, director of film festival Doclisboa, said of the film: For a film that combines the reality of a group of teenagers and the will of questioning cinema and the role of filmmaking. For its capacity of capturing the tenderness sometimes behind these kids violence, their capacity for love, their surprising imagination, in a society that places them in a marginal role forever.

The festivals international competition, running for a second year in 2017, saw the top prize go to Hong Sang-soos On The Beach At Night Alone, which premiered at Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

The film receives a prize worth $20,000, put up by the The Wilf Family Foundation.

A jury consisting of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, actress Evgenia Dodina and journalist Deborah Young commended the film in a statement: Using the simplest of cinematic tools, Hong Sang-soo creates a mysterious magic, rooted in the heart of daily life. Love, hatred, affection, rage, sexuality, loneliness and deep pain are reflected in the face and body of a young woman, the main character, one of the deepest descriptions of a human being weve seen in cinema in recent years.

The international jury also awarded honourable mentions to Mohammad Rasoulofs A Man Of Integrity and Valeska Grisebachs Western.

The Van Leer award for best Israeli documentary film went to Anat Yuta Zuria and Shira Clara Winthers Conventional Sins. The film follows a man who returns to the diary of his 15-year-old self, recounting the abuse he suffered at the hands of a network of Orthodox Jewish paedophiles.

Elsewhere, Savi Gabizons Israeli feature Longing won the festivals Audience Favourite Award and also took best screenplay.

International Competition

The Wilf Family Foundation Award, in the sum of 20,000 USD: On The Beach At Night Alone by Hong Sang-soo

Honorary Mentions: Western by Valeska Grisebach; A Man Of Integrity by Mohammad Rasoulof

International First Features Competition

The FIPRESCI Award for Best International First Feature: Tehran Taboo by Ali Soozandeh

In the Spirit of Freedom Competition in Memory of Wim van Leer

The Cummings Award for Best Feature Film: The Other Side Of Hope by Aki Kaurismki

The Ostrovsky Family Fund Award for Best Documentary: City Of Ghosts by Matthew Heineman

Honorary Mention: The Venerable W. by Barbet Schroeder

The Haggiag Competition for Full-Length Israeli Feature Films

The Robert Nissim Haggiag Award for Best Feature Film, in the sum of 100,000 ILS: Scaffolding directed by Matan Yair and produced by Gal Greenspan, Roi Kurland, Stanisaw Dziedzic, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery

The Anat Pirchi Award for Best First Film: Doubtful by Eliran Elya

The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Script: Longing by Savi Gabizon

The Haggiag Award for Best Actor: Asher Lax for his performance in Scaffolding; Honorary Mention: Adar Hazazi for his performance in Doubtful

The Haggiag Award for Best Actress: Samira Saraya for her performance in Death Of A Poetess

The Aaron Emanuel Award for Best Cinematography: Shai Goldman for Doubtful; Honorary Mention: Bartosz Bieniek for Scaffolding

The Jerusalem Foundation Award for Best Editing: Michal Openheim for The Cakemaker

The Jerusalem Foundation Award for Best Original Score: Daphna Keenan for Family

The Audience Favorite Award: Longing by Savi Gabizon

The FIPRESCI Award for Best Israeli First Feature:Holy Air by Shady Srour

The Van Leer Competition for Full-Length Israeli Documentary Films

The Van Leer Award for Best Documentary: Conventional Sins by Anat Yuta Zuria, Shira Clara Winther

Van Leer Award for Best Director of a Documentary: In Her Footsteps by Rana Abu Fraiha

Honorary Mentions: Born In Deir Yassin by Neta Shoshani; A13901 by Tal Haim Yofee

The Israeli Short Films Competition

The Van Leer Award for Best Live Action Film: Portrait Of My Family In My Thirteenth Year by Omri Dekel-Kadosh

The Van Leer Award for Best Documentary Film: Keren Or (A Ray of Light) by Lihi Sabag; Honorary Mention: The Brides Tree by Shadi Habib Allah

The Jerusalem Development Authority Award for Best Animated Film: Hadarim by Shlomi Yosef

The Israeli Video Art and Experimental Film Competition

The Lia van Leer Award, courtesy of Rivka Saker: Sleepers by Ruth Patir

The Ostrovsky Family Fund Award: Sham (There) by Thalia Hoffman

The Jewish Experience Awards – Courtesy of Michaela and Leon Constantiner

The Lia Award in honor of Lia van Leer for films dealing with Jewish heritage: The Cakemaker by Ofir Raul Graizer

The Avner Shalev – Yad Vashem Chairmans Award for Artistic Achievement in Holocaust-related Film: 1945 by Ferenc Trk

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Israeli ex-pat family kicked off Brooklyn-bound flight – The Jerusalem Post

Airplane takeoff. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A family of five from Brooklyn was sent off a JetBlue flight in Florida, with the reason in dispute.

Tamir Raanan and his wife, Mandy Ifrah, were ready to fly home with their three children from Fort Lauderdale last month when their 1-year-old daughter kicked the seat of the passenger in front of her.

Ifrah told the New York Daily News that she apologized to the woman and then set about calming her child. She also told other news outlets and airport security that the woman told her she should tie her childs feet down before switching seats.

The airline asserted that after a verbal altercation that included physical threats, the family was asked to deplane.

A video of the encounter with airline security taken on Raanans cellphone shows Ifrah speaking to her husband in Hebrew at one point. The family is Jewish and the couple are expatriate Israelis.

The airplane returned to the gate and the family was asked to leave the plane. A member of the JetBlue staff told the couple that they would receive a refund for the flight.

Broward County Sheriffs deputies were called in to deal with the situation, as the family continued to stand at the gate and complain about being removed from the flight.

Theyre kicking you off the plane whether its right, whether its wrong, this is their plane. So they can do whatever they want to do, a deputy said. That doesnt mean you dont have any recourse. It doesnt mean you cant solve this in another way. Youre not getting home tonight on JetBlue.

You guys have to go. You can take it up with JetBlue make a complaint, sue them. You have all kinds of options.

In a statement, JetBlue said the family was removed [a]fter a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer. The customers refused repeated requests and our crew members deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund.

David Templer, an attorney for the family, told the Washington Post that the incident was a non-event and did not require removing the family.

The family stayed in a hotel overnight after buying extra diapers, wipes and childrens clothes. They flew back to New York on a different airline, discovering upon arrival that their luggage had been sent back to Florida. They had to pay to have it returned to them, according to reports.

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Residents Home, Roads Open, Fire Out in Jerusalem Forest – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Maor Kinsbursky / Flash 90

Residents in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit HaKerem and Romema are home once more and all the roads leading to the Jerusalem Forest have reopened, after firefighters successfully extinguished a large fire on the slopes of the Jerusalem hills late Thursday afternoon.

Jerusalem District Police reported early Thursday evening that residents in the Romema neighborhood and a number of other areas began returning home as firefighters got control of a fire that had raged at least two hours in the Jerusalem Forest.

Residents living in apartment buildings on Rehov Panim Meirot were ordered earlier to evacuate due to heavy smoke from the fire. At the same time, police also began evacuating elderly residents at a senior citizen residence on Sorotzkin Street, along with members of the staff. A number of residents were also evacuated from the area of Meshoreret Rachel and Arazim Streets, towards Beit HaKerem.

Numerous people were evacuated suffering from smoke inhalation, said United Hatzolah emergency medical response spokesperson Raphael Poch.

The fire began just before 4 pm in the forest below the neighborhood. At least five firefighting crews were busy on the slopes of the capital battling large forest fires that broke out in the Jerusalem Forest. Four firefighting planes also worked together with the crews to put out the blaze.

Police and security forces operated in the area along with firefighting crews as well.

Due to the thick billows of smoke, traffic was stopped from Herzl Boulevard to Beit HaKerem, Ish Shalom Boulevard and the roads leading towards the Jerusalem Forest.

The efforts of the firefighters succeeded in slowing the spread of the fire, said a spokesperson for Jerusalem District Police, and ultimately stopping it entirely before the flames got completely out of control.

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Residents Home, Roads Open, Fire Out in Jerusalem Forest – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

WATCH: IDF soldier who neutralized Halamish attacker speaks out – The Jerusalem Post

The three Israeli victims of Friday evening’s lethal terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish were named Saturday night. Seventy-year-old Yosef Salomon and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, a 36-years-old and a father of five, were all murdered in the attack. Yosef’s wife Tovah is still hospitalized after suffering grave injuries. The three were enjoying a Friday evening meal and the whole family had gathered that night to celebrate the birth of Elad’s son who was born less than 24 hours earlier. Their happy, calm evening was interrupted when 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abdel from the nearby village of Khobar infiltrated their home and wielding a knife, began assaulting them. While the three were slain, some of the family members did manage to flee during the rampage. The terrorist was eventually neutralized by a soldier who was in the area and heard the sounds emanating from the scene. The soldier, who is serving in the IDF’s Oketz Unit (an elite canine special forces unit), recounted Saturday how he had rushed to the scene of the terror attack. “I was standing outside the house and I saw the terrorist from the window. I understood that I had to act cool-headedly and be professional. I fired one bullet at him, and it hurt him in the stomach and neutralized him,” he said. “Mostly I was at the right place and at the right time,” the soldier added. “We join the family in their grief and hug them. Personally for me it’s a complicated event, I’m trying to focus on the fact that in the little that I did I prevented something that could have been a much worse event in a short amount of time.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his deep sorrow over the murders of the father and his two children on Saturday night. “This is an act of terror that was carried out by an animal of a human, incited by profound hatred. Security forces are doing the best they can in order to maintain security, and will take all the steps necessary to do so,” the premier stated. The times of the funerals have yet to have been released. Share on facebook

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July 22, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

UN chief Antonio Guterres expresses concern over Jerusalem violence – The Indian Express

By: IANS | United Nations | Published:July 22, 2017 10:06 am United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has deeply deplored the three deaths in the clashes on Friday with the Israeli security forces. (Source: Reuters/File) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem, where three Palestinians were killed and 400 wounded in clashes following the Friday prayers. There has been scene of escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Old City area with protests over security measures and restriction on access to the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem. Guterres has deeply deplored the three deaths in the clashes on Friday with the Israeli security forces, Xinhua news agency reported.He has called for these incidents to be fully investigated, Guterres spokesperson said in a statement.The Secretary General has urged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from actions that could further escalate the situation. In the statement, Guterres also called all political, religious and community leaders to help reduce tension. The Secretary General reiterates that the sanctity of religious sites should be respected as places for reflection, not violence, said the statement. Anger across East Jerusalem and the West Bank boiled after Israel limited Muslim access to the holy Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalems walled Old City on Friday, allowing only women and men over 50 to enter. For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

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Abbas freezes relations with Israel after deadly clashes over Jerusalem shrine – Los Angeles Times

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday froze ties with Israel hours after clashes with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem and the West Bank left three Palestinians dead and hundreds injured, in one of the worst days of unrest in years. Three Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian in the settlement of Halamish, northwest of Ramallah, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The attacker was later shot by an off-duty soldier who was in the area and taken to the hospital in critical condition, the IDF said. A fourth Israeli was injured in the stabbing, which occurred around 9:30, according to the army. The violence broke out after thousands of Muslim worshippers held prayers and demonstrations around Jerusalems Old City in a standoff with Israeli police to protest new Israeli metal detectors at the entrance to a plaza holy to Jews and Muslims outside the Al Aqsa Mosque. The security move has escalated tensions in the Palestinian territories and spurred a crisis between Israel and its neighbors because it is viewed as an effort by Israel to tighten control over the religious site. After an emergency meeting Friday evening with top aides in Ramallah, Abbas conditioned a resumption of contacts with Israel on the removal of the metal detectors. They are a political move hiding under the cover of an imaginary security pretext that aims to control Al Aqsa Mosque and evade the peace process as well as turn the conflict from a political one to a religious conflict, Abbas said, according to a statement on the Palestinian official news agency. In a rare sight during noon prayers, worshippers filled Salah el Din street, an East Jerusalem commercial thoroughfare just outside Herods Gate, as demonstrators chanted, Oh armies, destroy their thrones and Rattle the knife. Despite fiery sermons and chants opposite hundreds of Israeli riot police around the Old City, the noontime prayers ended with only isolated incidents of violence. But in the hour or so after the crowds dispersed in the vicinity of the Old City, the clashes began to spread throughout East Jerusalem and to the West Bank. Rioters hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers, and security forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades. An Israeli police spokesman said five officers were slightly injured, and about a dozen rioters were arrested. Palestinian medics said they treated people who had been injured with rubber and live bullets. The dead included Mohammed Sharaf, 18, and Hassan Abu Ghannam, 20, who were killed amid clashes in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras el Amud and A Tur, respectively. Mohammed Lafi was killed in the West Bank town of Abu Dis, just outside the Jerusalem border. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, nearly 400 demonstrators were injured during the Friday clashes. Mourners carried bodies of the dead through the streets and chanted, We will continue the fight. Meanwhile, scuffles broke out at Al Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem when Israeli police arrived to search for suspects in the rioting. In the West Bank, clashes and casualties were reported in the Qalandiya refugee camp, in Bethlehem and Hebron. In Gaza, Palestinians held demonstrations near Israeli military positions along the border. The casualty count and the widening chaos seemed to confirm warnings through the week about the risk of a dangerous escalation from the standoff over the metal detectors and the esplanade. The site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is a tinderbox of religious tensions, and has touched off waves of Palestinian-Israeli violence in the past. In neighboring Jordan, thousands streamed into Amman’s downtown district to pray at the Husseini mosque and to take part in a protest that brought both Jordan’s Islamist and leftist parties together. Egypts foreign ministry called on Israel to immediately stop the violence and intensified security against the Palestinians. The Muslim Waqf authority responsible for the Al Aqsa Mosque has encouraged believers to demonstrate opposite the metal detectors, but not to go through them. Amid pressure to defuse the tension, Israel in recent days had been holding quiet talks with Jordan, which is the official custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Israeli media reported that security leaders were divided over what to do about the metal detectors, with the Israeli army and the Shin Bet supporting removing the equipment and the police recommending that it remain in place. But after an emergency session hours before the prayers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus Cabinet decided to keep the metal detectors. The metal detectors are a critical tool for ensuring the security of all visitors to the mount, said Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan before the Cabinet meeting, according to the Israeli news outlet Maariv-NRG. The police also imposed an age restriction for the first time in years, banning male worshippers under the age of 50 from participating further inflaming accusations. Abbas, who had cut short a visit to China ahead of Friday prayers, huddled with advisors and officials. At the end of the meeting, Abbas announced that he had decided to suspend contacts on all levels implying that he had decided to suspend coordination between Palestinian security forces and the Israeli army in the West Bank as well. The cooperation is credited with keeping stability in the West Bank in recent years, but that could be upended by a freeze in security ties at a time of a wave in rioting. Israeli officials said the attack in Halamish was carried out by a man named Omar Al Abed. The Israeli army published a picture of the blood-soaked kitchen floor in the home where the attack took place. Israeli news outlets reported that Al Abed carried out the attack during a dinner at the start of the Jewish sabbath. Israels ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, called on the Security Council to condemn the attack. The international community must demand that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA put an end to these heinous attacks and stop their ongoing encouragement of violence, Danon said. The escalating crisis was touched off a week ago, after three Palestinian citizens of Israel ambushed two Israeli policemen with machine guns outside the Temple Mount and then were killed by police on the plaza. Israel closed the esplanade for two days and canceled Friday prayers for the first time in decades. When the holy site was reopened, police installed metal detectors outside two entrances to the plaza. The violence Friday didn’t result in the worst-case scenarios that Israeli security officials feared. Israel’s army on Friday afternoon released two of five battalions put on alert a day before. But the deaths, the high number of casualties and the breadth of the unrest increased the likelihood that violence will continue. Jerusalem has not witnessed such sights in more than a decade, said Ofer Zalzberg, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, and much more may come. Sights, sounds, and the people that made the first day of 2017’s Comic-Con a sight to behold. Sights, sounds, and the people that made the first day of 2017’s Comic-Con a sight to behold. Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova are preparing already for their August 2018 congressional primary rematch by raising and spending campaign money. Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova are preparing already for their August 2018 congressional primary rematch by raising and spending campaign money. Staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske, and Special Correspondent Nabih Bulos contributed reporting ALSO Saudi prince arrested after videos appear to show abuse Trump said he left his seat at G-20 dinner because the Japanese first lady spoke no English. She’s pretty fluent Quake jolts Greek and Turkish resorts, killing 2 and injuring hundreds UPDATES: 5:45 p.m: This article was updated with new information on the victims of the stabbings and the attacker. 3:05 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who announced a freeze in contacts with Israel. 12:15 p.m.: This article was updated throughout with staff reporting. This article was originally published at 8:00 a.m.

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

The two words that explain tensions over Jerusalem’s Old City – CNN

Those words were “Terra Sancta,” or Holy Land, he told CNN in a 2000 interview. So what is Terra Sancta? The answer varies depending on whom you ask. All three Abrahamic faiths lay claim to parts of Jerusalem’s Old City. The imposing stone walls are home to the holiest sites for Judaism and Christianity and the third most important site in Islam. But no piece of real estate is more contentious than a hill in the city’s southeast corner. The first indication of that complexity might be the fact the compound that sits atop the hill goes by two different names. For Jews, it is known as the Temple Mount; for Muslims, it is the Noble Sanctuary. Its religious significance dates back to the very beginning, not just of Jerusalem, but of existence, at least as far as the Bible is concerned. At the very heart of the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary is the Foundation Stone, the point at which the Old Testament holds that the world was created. It is also here that the biblical patriarch Abraham came to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith. Later, two Jewish temples would be erected on this spot. Muslims believe the Foundation Stone was also the destination for Mohammad during his Night Journey; it is from this point that Mohammad ascended to heaven. Today the stone is housed in the Dome of the Rock. The adjacent mosque — Islam’s third holiest — is called al-Aqsa, which means “the farthest” in Arabic. Each story connected to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary has increased the site’s significance to the Abrahamic religions, while heightening its sensitivity. Any perceived change to the holy site sends tensions in the Old City and the region soaring. And in a region where politics and religion are often linked, the site has taken on ever greater political significance. For Palestinians — both Muslim and non-Muslim — the site, in particular the Dome of the Rock, has become the symbol of national self-determination. For Jews, whether secular or religious, control of Jerusalem’s Old City — and with it the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary — acquired ever greater cultural and historical importance. It was seen as a fundamental step in the return of the Jewish people to their roots, put down thousands of years earlier. The final political status of Jerusalem has confounded peace negotiators for decades. You have to go back to the Six Day War of 1967 for the last full-scale battle for “Terra Sancta”. When the dust settled, and after Israel had seen off Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in the process occupying vast new tracts of land, it was Jerusalem’s Old City, captured from the Jordanians, that was the biggest prize of all. In a celebration of victory during the war, Israeli soldiers raised the country’s flag over the Dome of the Rock. Within minutes, Israel’s defense minister ordered the flag removed, careful not to turn a political war into a religious struggle. Sensitive to the potential explosiveness of the location, Israeli officials met with the Jordanian Waqf — the body that managed the site — and came to an agreement on the status quo that has existed, uneasily at times, to this day. The agreement saw the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary remain under Israeli security control, but the Jordanian Waqf has remained the custodian, determining who is allowed to pray there. While Jews and Christians are permitted to visit, only Muslims are allowed to pray. It has always remained a potential flashpoint. In September 2000, when then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a visit to the holy complex, he said it was to reassert the right of Jews to visit the site. But it was widely seen as a confrontational political act, and it helped spark an already combustible situation into a full Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada. Roughly a thousand Israelis and more than three thousand Palestinians were killed until it finally subsided in 2005. Ten years later, a round of violence that began in late 2015 saw the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem become one of the hottest flashpoints. A series of Palestinian attacks on Israeli police led to Israel shutting down the once-thriving market that was a hallmark of the historic site. July 2017 brought yet more tension after three Arab-Israeli men killed two Israeli police officers in the Old City. The three assailants were also shot dead. Israel closed the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary to everyone but Israeli security officials. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office tried to alleviate fears by stating, “The status quo will be preserved.” But increasingly it seems the status quo is in the eye of the beholder. Police installed metal detectors at various entrances to the complex following the deadly shooting. The Waqf, along with other Islamic and political organizations, has rejected the new measures as a flagrant violation, and has accused Israel of unilaterally trying to expand its control over the holy site. Israel says the move was to prevent weapons from being stashed on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary. Since the new measures, protests have sprung up in the Old City and in the West Bank. Jordan and other Arab countries have called on Israel to remove the new security measures; the Waqf has told Muslims to pray in nearby streets and alleys instead of passing through the metal detectors. In the meantime, Palestinian officials warn that, without heeding their calls for a return to the status quo, the security situation could quickly deteriorate as calls for additional protests mount. CNN’s Andrew Carey contributed to this report from Jerusalem.

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

Clashes in Jerusalem following noon prayer – The Jerusalem Post

Palestinians and police clashed near Lions’ Gate following the noon prayer on Friday. Muslim worshipers also protested and clashed with police forces in Salah a-Din street, Ras al-Amoud, a-Tour and Wadi Joz. At least three Palestinians were killed during the clashes. Clashes were also reported at the Kalandia checkpoint and protests were held in Bethlehem, Tulkaram, Jericho and Hebron in the West Bank. Police said that clashes started after the rioters started to throw stones at the security forces. Police used water cannons to disperse the rioters. Inside the Old City, worshipers gathered after the prayer to protest. Near the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) the rioters were dispersed by stun grenades. Some 10 people were arrested in Jerusalem, and other 17 in the West Bank, following the clashes. People waiting to pray told The Jerusalem Post that they opposed violence, and that eventually the Israeli government would remove the metal detectors. We have patience, they said. Prayers were held all over the Old City, mainly next to police checkpoints. Following the Wakfs call, people were trying to pray as close as possible to al-Aksa mosque, and the only Azzan (call to prayer) that was heard in the Old City came from the Temple Mount mosque. Earlier this morning, the top police command held a special assessment meeting ahead of the prayer. Police chief Roni Alsheich said that the police’s duty was to allow worshipers to practice their beliefs, but at the same time not to allow people to break the law. We must remember that lasts week attack was a crossing of a red line, he said. They were trying to harm the delicate situation of the Temple Mount. But the Israel Police is here to prevent every attempt to unbalance the the order here. Alsheich also called on Palestinian leadership to prevent further escalation of the situation. I call on Arab leadership to show responsibility and not to fan the flames, he said. Palestinians were demonstrating against the recently installed metal detectors at the gates of Temple Mount. Top Wakf leaders dubbed the installation as a severe violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount. The move came following last Fridays deadly attack at the compound, in which two Israeli policemen were killed. Last night a security cabinet meeting was held to discuss this topic, and it was decided that the metal detectors would remain. Three gates were open for Muslim worshipers as of Friday afternoon: The Gate of the Tribes (Bab al-Asbat), the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) and the Gate of Chain (Bab al-Silila). Share on facebook

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July 21, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

Crisis over Jerusalem holy site intensifies ahead of Friday prayers – Los Angeles Times

Days of escalating clashes and a diplomatic crisis over recently installed Israeli metal detectors at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalems Old City are stoking concern of a new wave of violence ahead of Friday prayers. Girding for a surge of friction at noontime prayers on the Muslim day of rest, the Israeli army put five extra battalions on alert. Meanwhile, international diplomats called for a compromise as Israel and Jordan looked for a path to defuse a standoff before Friday. Israeli authorities installed the security equipment Sunday, two days after a shootout on the esplanade holy to both Jews and Muslims in which three Israeli Arabs with homemade machine guns killed two Israeli Druze policemen and were then killed by security forces. Palestinian officials and the Muslim Waqf authority responsible for the Old City site have rejected the metal detectors as unilateral change to long-standing agreements on access and management of the site and instructed worshipers to hold demonstrations and prayers outside the complex rather than pass through the metal detectors. The Old City protests since then have devolved into daily rioting and clashes with police and spread to other Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. The Israeli-Jordanian dialogue is being conducted via the countries intelligence and security agencies a channel used in the past to resolve potentially explosive conflicts around the Jerusalem holy site, said Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan familiar with the contacts. Whether there will be a climbing down by all sides involved, I dont know, said Eran, a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv University think tank. They will certainly need an elegant formula which will create a situation in which weapons cant be brought into the compound and wont be seen as a regime totally controlled by Israel. Israeli security experts have said it will be practically impossible to have tens of thousands of Palestinians pass though the metal detectors during holy days. The holy esplanade is called the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims who believe its the spot where the Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven. Jews call it the Temple Mount for the two ancient temples that once stood on the place. Israel has said the metal detectors are necessary to tighten security at the sensitive site after three men from the Israeli Arab city of Umm Al Fahm used guns smuggled into the compound last week. On Thursday, Israeli police released a video purporting to show attackers and an accomplice in and around the plaza with a bag of weapons in the compound before the attack. Palestinians said the metal detectors mark a unilateral restriction on access to worshipers by Israel, and they fear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will go along with calls by members of his right-wing coalition to assert Israeli sovereignty there and drop a ban on Jewish prayer on the plaza. The deaths, the two-day closure of the Temple Mount, and the metal detectors there have seemingly left Jerusalem and the West Bank teetering on the brink of a wider conflict. Disputes over access to the plaza sparked the second Palestinian intifada in 2000, as well as weeks of stabbing and car ramming attacks in 2014 and 2015. In both disputes, Jordan and Israel were able to reach a series of understandings that helped calm tensions. In two separate incidents this week, the Israeli army said it shot and killed two Palestinians who tried to run over and stab soldiers at checkpoints in the West Bank. Palestinian residents of the Old City said clashes with police usually peak in the evening, when hundreds have faced off with Israeli security forces in riot gear. We will not go through the electric gates. This is not something that belongs to them, said Yousef Hammad, 53, who works at a souvenir shop near the entrances to the plaza. If they dont let people in, it will be a big mess for all of Palestine, not just here. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Thursday called on the international community to pressure Israel to reverse its decision on the metal detectors, and President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday cut short a visit to China in order to return to Ramallah to deal with the crisis. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Wednesday that it was up to Israel to defuse the crisis, according to the official Petra news service. Israel’s respect for the historic and legal status in the Al Aqsa Mosque and the end of all attempts to create new facts on the ground is the key to restoring calm in the holy shrines, he said. The U.S. and the United Nations issued statements urging the sides to work together to find a compromise. I am deeply concerned by the recent surge in tensions and violence around the holy esplanade in the Old City of Jerusalem, said Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in a statement Thursday. I call on all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation and on moderate voices to speak up against those who try to fuel tensions. The White House press secretary released a statement urging Israel and Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions and find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo. Experience Los Angeles 2049 at the Blade Runner 2049 Experience, only at Comic-Con. Experience Los Angeles 2049 at the Blade Runner 2049 Experience, only at Comic-Con. Mitnick is a special correspondent. @joshmitnick

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

‘Scaffolding’, Hong Sang-soo triumph in Jerusalem – Screen International

Festival reveals the award winners from its 34th edition. Scaffolding has won the best Israeli feature film prize at the 34th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival. The debut feature from director Matan Yair produced by rising Israeli production outfit Green Productions takes home a prize worth $28,000 (100,000 ILS). Scaffolding also scooped the best actor prize for debutant Asher Lax and an honorary mention in the best cinematography category for DoP Bartosz Bieniek. A jury consisting of Elle producer Sad Ben Sad, artist Yael Bartana, cinematographer Agns Godard and Cntia Gl, director of film festival Doclisboa, said of the film: For a film that combines the reality of a group of teenagers and the will of questioning cinema and the role of filmmaking. For its capacity of capturing the tenderness sometimes behind these kids violence, their capacity for love, their surprising imagination, in a society that places them in a marginal role forever. The festivals international competition, running for a second year in 2017, saw the top prize go to Hong Sang-soos On The Beach At Night Alone, which premiered at Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. The film receives a prize worth $20,000, put up by the The Wilf Family Foundation. A jury consisting of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, actress Evgenia Dodina and journalist Deborah Young commended the film in a statement: Using the simplest of cinematic tools, Hong Sang-soo creates a mysterious magic, rooted in the heart of daily life. Love, hatred, affection, rage, sexuality, loneliness and deep pain are reflected in the face and body of a young woman, the main character, one of the deepest descriptions of a human being weve seen in cinema in recent years. The international jury also awarded honourable mentions to Mohammad Rasoulofs A Man Of Integrity and Valeska Grisebachs Western. The Van Leer award for best Israeli documentary film went to Anat Yuta Zuria and Shira Clara Winthers Conventional Sins. The film follows a man who returns to the diary of his 15-year-old self, recounting the abuse he suffered at the hands of a network of Orthodox Jewish paedophiles. Elsewhere, Savi Gabizons Israeli feature Longing won the festivals Audience Favourite Award and also took best screenplay. International Competition The Wilf Family Foundation Award, in the sum of 20,000 USD: On The Beach At Night Alone by Hong Sang-soo Honorary Mentions: Western by Valeska Grisebach; A Man Of Integrity by Mohammad Rasoulof International First Features Competition The FIPRESCI Award for Best International First Feature: Tehran Taboo by Ali Soozandeh In the Spirit of Freedom Competition in Memory of Wim van Leer The Cummings Award for Best Feature Film: The Other Side Of Hope by Aki Kaurismki The Ostrovsky Family Fund Award for Best Documentary: City Of Ghosts by Matthew Heineman Honorary Mention: The Venerable W. by Barbet Schroeder The Haggiag Competition for Full-Length Israeli Feature Films The Robert Nissim Haggiag Award for Best Feature Film, in the sum of 100,000 ILS: Scaffolding directed by Matan Yair and produced by Gal Greenspan, Roi Kurland, Stanisaw Dziedzic, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery The Anat Pirchi Award for Best First Film: Doubtful by Eliran Elya The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Script: Longing by Savi Gabizon The Haggiag Award for Best Actor: Asher Lax for his performance in Scaffolding; Honorary Mention: Adar Hazazi for his performance in Doubtful The Haggiag Award for Best Actress: Samira Saraya for her performance in Death Of A Poetess The Aaron Emanuel Award for Best Cinematography: Shai Goldman for Doubtful; Honorary Mention: Bartosz Bieniek for Scaffolding The Jerusalem Foundation Award for Best Editing: Michal Openheim for The Cakemaker The Jerusalem Foundation Award for Best Original Score: Daphna Keenan for Family The Audience Favorite Award: Longing by Savi Gabizon The FIPRESCI Award for Best Israeli First Feature:Holy Air by Shady Srour The Van Leer Competition for Full-Length Israeli Documentary Films The Van Leer Award for Best Documentary: Conventional Sins by Anat Yuta Zuria, Shira Clara Winther Van Leer Award for Best Director of a Documentary: In Her Footsteps by Rana Abu Fraiha Honorary Mentions: Born In Deir Yassin by Neta Shoshani; A13901 by Tal Haim Yofee The Israeli Short Films Competition The Van Leer Award for Best Live Action Film: Portrait Of My Family In My Thirteenth Year by Omri Dekel-Kadosh The Van Leer Award for Best Documentary Film: Keren Or (A Ray of Light) by Lihi Sabag; Honorary Mention: The Brides Tree by Shadi Habib Allah The Jerusalem Development Authority Award for Best Animated Film: Hadarim by Shlomi Yosef The Israeli Video Art and Experimental Film Competition The Lia van Leer Award, courtesy of Rivka Saker: Sleepers by Ruth Patir The Ostrovsky Family Fund Award: Sham (There) by Thalia Hoffman The Jewish Experience Awards – Courtesy of Michaela and Leon Constantiner The Lia Award in honor of Lia van Leer for films dealing with Jewish heritage: The Cakemaker by Ofir Raul Graizer The Avner Shalev – Yad Vashem Chairmans Award for Artistic Achievement in Holocaust-related Film: 1945 by Ferenc Trk

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

Israeli ex-pat family kicked off Brooklyn-bound flight – The Jerusalem Post

Airplane takeoff. (photo credit:REUTERS) A family of five from Brooklyn was sent off a JetBlue flight in Florida, with the reason in dispute. Tamir Raanan and his wife, Mandy Ifrah, were ready to fly home with their three children from Fort Lauderdale last month when their 1-year-old daughter kicked the seat of the passenger in front of her. Ifrah told the New York Daily News that she apologized to the woman and then set about calming her child. She also told other news outlets and airport security that the woman told her she should tie her childs feet down before switching seats. The airline asserted that after a verbal altercation that included physical threats, the family was asked to deplane. A video of the encounter with airline security taken on Raanans cellphone shows Ifrah speaking to her husband in Hebrew at one point. The family is Jewish and the couple are expatriate Israelis. The airplane returned to the gate and the family was asked to leave the plane. A member of the JetBlue staff told the couple that they would receive a refund for the flight. Broward County Sheriffs deputies were called in to deal with the situation, as the family continued to stand at the gate and complain about being removed from the flight. Theyre kicking you off the plane whether its right, whether its wrong, this is their plane. So they can do whatever they want to do, a deputy said. That doesnt mean you dont have any recourse. It doesnt mean you cant solve this in another way. Youre not getting home tonight on JetBlue. You guys have to go. You can take it up with JetBlue make a complaint, sue them. You have all kinds of options. In a statement, JetBlue said the family was removed [a]fter a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer. The customers refused repeated requests and our crew members deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund. David Templer, an attorney for the family, told the Washington Post that the incident was a non-event and did not require removing the family. The family stayed in a hotel overnight after buying extra diapers, wipes and childrens clothes. They flew back to New York on a different airline, discovering upon arrival that their luggage had been sent back to Florida. They had to pay to have it returned to them, according to reports. Share on facebook

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed

Residents Home, Roads Open, Fire Out in Jerusalem Forest – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Maor Kinsbursky / Flash 90 Residents in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit HaKerem and Romema are home once more and all the roads leading to the Jerusalem Forest have reopened, after firefighters successfully extinguished a large fire on the slopes of the Jerusalem hills late Thursday afternoon. Jerusalem District Police reported early Thursday evening that residents in the Romema neighborhood and a number of other areas began returning home as firefighters got control of a fire that had raged at least two hours in the Jerusalem Forest. Residents living in apartment buildings on Rehov Panim Meirot were ordered earlier to evacuate due to heavy smoke from the fire. At the same time, police also began evacuating elderly residents at a senior citizen residence on Sorotzkin Street, along with members of the staff. A number of residents were also evacuated from the area of Meshoreret Rachel and Arazim Streets, towards Beit HaKerem. Numerous people were evacuated suffering from smoke inhalation, said United Hatzolah emergency medical response spokesperson Raphael Poch. The fire began just before 4 pm in the forest below the neighborhood. At least five firefighting crews were busy on the slopes of the capital battling large forest fires that broke out in the Jerusalem Forest. Four firefighting planes also worked together with the crews to put out the blaze. Police and security forces operated in the area along with firefighting crews as well. Due to the thick billows of smoke, traffic was stopped from Herzl Boulevard to Beit HaKerem, Ish Shalom Boulevard and the roads leading towards the Jerusalem Forest. The efforts of the firefighters succeeded in slowing the spread of the fire, said a spokesperson for Jerusalem District Police, and ultimately stopping it entirely before the flames got completely out of control.

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed


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