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Hamas Official: Contrary to what You Read in the News, We Still Want to Destroy Israel

Posted by Tip Staff - May 11, 2017

Hamas Official: Contrary to What You Read in the News, We Still Want to Destroy Israel
Galilee Organization Unites Arab, Jewish Youth With Tech Training
Israel Takes Pride in Record on Religious Freedom
Israel Sees Record Breaking Tourism During First Four Months of 2017

Hamas Official: Contrary to What You Read in the News, We Still Want to Destroy Israel

Hamas will engage in "resistance" in order "to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948" with "no negotiations," a co-founder of the terrorist group Hamas asserted, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, still a top official of Hamas, made his comments at a press conference in Gaza, apparently in response to concerns expressed by another Gaza-based terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), that the policy document released last week suggested that Hamas no longer sought Israel's destruction.

“As partners with our Hamas brothers in the struggle for liberation, we feel concern over the document,” Ziad al-Nakhala, PIJ's deputy leader said in a statement on the group's website Saturday.

While some interpreted the new document as a change for Hamas, the terrorist organization never presented it as a replacement to its 1988 charter which calls for the destruction of Israel. Reuters reported that al-Zahar explicitly confirmed this at the news conference.

"When people say that Hamas has accepted the 1967 borders, like others, it is an offense to us," al-Zahar said according to the Reuters account.

"Therefore, there is no contradiction between what we said in the document and the pledge we have made to God in our (original) charter," Zahar concluded.


Galilee Organization Unites Arab, Jewish Youth With Tech Training

A Galilee-based organization, founded by a former Israeli air force pilot brings Israeli Jewish and Arab youth together by teaching them technical skill, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

The organization called Moona, was founded by Asaf Brimer, who retired from the air force in 2008. Brimer's vision is to "to take young adults and give them practical skills for the industry and give them mentorships,” while serving as "a facilitator to allow people to meet other kinds of people and to work together.”

Moona, is a trilingual pun. The word means "wish" in Arabic and is a syllable away from "moon" in English, and from "emunah" or "faith" in Hebrew. The goal of the organization is to give students technical skills that will open them up to opportunities in the high-tech sector.

The organization is based in the Arab town of Majd al Kurum, which is ranked of one of the cities in Israel with the lowest socio-economic status. Arab and Jewish students come Moona to work together in fields such as robotics, 3D printing and both hardware and software development.

“I grew up in a kibbutz and I and all the children growing there were always given the feeling that we were the best in the world,” Brimer told the Times. “That makes you grow up with a feeling that you can do anything. I grew up believing I was part of the best league in the world. So, I decided I needed to give that same feeling to others who have not been as fortunate as me.”

The programs at Moona are flexible. Businesses “tell us what their requirements and job opportunities are and we adapt our curriculum to their needs and match the students to the factory,” explained Ron Strugo, the manager of the Starter for Engineers program at Moona. “We give them the practical knowledge to meet the needs of the factories. Normally at school you are lacking practical experience and that is what we give them here.”


Israel Takes Pride in Record on Religious Freedom

After Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel this week of violating religious freedom of Muslims, Israeli officials have pushed back in a series of statements saying that Israel protects religious freedom for adherents of all religious groups.

In a strongly worded statement, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country should not preach to the only true democracy in the region.”

The statement specifically rejected the charge that Israel is in violation of religious freedom. “Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians – and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it.”

The claim is consistent with the first ever flagship report on religious freedom in the world, published in June 2015, by the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion and Belief and Religious Tolerance. The report singled out Israel as a positive example in the Middle East.

"Except for Israel, and to some extent Lebanon, all states from Mauretania and Morocco in the West, to the Gulf countries and Iran in the East, define themselves as Islamic and discriminate against other religions or belief communities,” the report said.

Also this week, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, emphasized Israel's protection of religious freedoms when he welcomed the The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby. Rivlin told Welby, "Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing. And Israel is committed to the values of freedom of religion for all people of faith. This is our value and our duty as a Jewish-Democratic state.”

Israel Sees Record Breaking Tourism During First Four Months of 2017

Incoming tourism to Israel tallied up impressive numbers in April 2017, with 349,000 tourist entries recorded — a 38 percent increase over April 2016.

In the first four months of this year, 1.09 million tourist entries were recorded – a 28 percent increase on the same period last year.

“When there is clear policy, we see results. Every month, we are witnessing exceptional statistics that illustrate the progress we are spearheading in the tourism industry and its tremendous contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

Levin said April 2017 was Israel’s busiest month for incoming tourism ever.

“This important and exciting milestone is part of a positive trend that has been taking place over the last half year or more. I hope and believe that, with hard work, we will continue to reap the benefits of this investment,” he said.

(via Israel21c)

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