Daily TIP

Hamas jails Fatah members

Posted by Tip Staff - January 26, 2017
Imprisoned. A Hamas-run court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced eight members of Fatah’s security forces to jail terms ranging from seven years to life in prison for “undermining revolutionary unity,” The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Hamas’s Interior Ministry stated that the men, who have been unemployed since Hamas’s 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, had gathered intelligence about “the resistance factions, its structures, and tunnels.”

“We forcefully deplore and denounce the Hamas court’s ruling in Gaza, which came at the expense of eight Fatah members, on the basis of false and absurd claims,” stated Gaza-based Fatah official Fayez Abu Eitah, who also serves as co-vice chairman of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. “These rulings are arbitrary and political…and are a part of Hamas’s continued provocations against the Palestinian people.” Abu Eitah demanded that Hamas release the eight men.

The renewed rift between the two major Palestinian political parties comes one week after they announced in Russia that they had reached an agreement on a national unity government.

“This ruling shows just how far apart the two major Palestinian parties are from reconciliation,” Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post. 

Two attacks, three hours. Palestinian terrorists carried out two attacks within three hours against Israeli targets in the West Bank on Wednesday night. No Israelis were injured. There was a car ramming at a bus stop near the Israeli town of Kokhav Ya’akov and a drive-by shooting of an army outpost. One resident of Kokhav Ya’akov said, “’Tensions are rising for several days now. The vehicular attack was aimed at a bus station full of people, and if not for the concrete poles built around it [to protect against such car rammings], it could have ended differently. These incidents make us fear that this is a new wave of terror attacks after a relatively quiet period.” A Carl Gustav homemade machine gun, also known as the “Carlo”, which have been mass-produced in the West Bank and used in terrorist attacks against Israelis, was found in the vehicle that was used during the drive-by shooting.

Overnight, Israeli security forces launched a crackdown on factories producing the “Carlo.” The Times of Israel reported Thursday that crackdowns on these gun workshops between May and October 2016 had resulted in the tripling of the gun’s price. As the Times of Israel noted, “Throughout last year, the IDF shuttered 44 alleged gunsmithing workshops and seized more than 450 weapons in the West Bank.”

The terrorist attacks occurred the same day a bipartisan resolution was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that condemned Palestinian incitement to violence and reaffirmed the strong bond between Israel and the United States. The resolution noted that there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015 and described 266 of them.

Anti-Semitism on the rise. London’s mayor on Monday called on residents to act against hate crimes after a series of anti-Semitic attacks were reported in the city over the weekend, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

“I ask all Londoners to report any form of hate crime, no matter how trivial,” Sadiq Khan said. “A brick with a swastika on it thrown through a window of a Jewish home is not a trivial matter and needs to be addressed,” he added, referring to an incident that took place in the Edgware neighborhood on Saturday morning.

Hours before the brick-throwing, a group of people described as being identifiably Jewish were pelted with eggs while walking in the same neighborhood. Swastikas were also discovered on a property in the London borough of Barnet, while a municipal dumpster was vandalized with anti-Semitic slurs and a poster for the film “Denial” was defaced with spray-paint. The movie concerns historian Deborah Lipstadt’s legal battle against Holocaust denier David Irving.

While campaigning for mayor last year, Khan was outspoken about displays of anti-Semitism in his own Labour Party, which he called a “badge of shame.” In his first official act as mayor last May, he attended a Holocaust memorial event.

Before there were wristwatches, and certainly before there were cellphones, centrally located clock towers helped citizens keep track of time. A big bell in the tower (like Big Ben in London) chimed the hour, and a large clock face provided a visual aid. Nowadays, people don’t depend on clock towers to tell time, of course. But the structures are a beautiful testament to the history of timekeeping and to architectural styles of bygone days. The Turkish Ottomans constructed more than 100 clock towers throughout the empire in honor of the 25th anniversary of the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1901. Six of them were built in what was then Palestine — in Jaffa, Acre (Akko), Jerusalem, Haifa, Safed (Tzfat) and Nablus (Shechem). Israel Post issued postage stamps in 2004 depicting Zina and Zvika Roitman’s illustrations of five Israeli clock towers. These structures are picturesque backgrounds for a selfie, but don’t set your watch to the clocks because they are no longer reliable timekeepers. (go to Israel21c to see photographs of these historic clock towers)

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