Israel Briefs 3-13-12

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PA calls Judean Shekel ‘Palestinian coin’

Click photo to download. Caption: A Judean Shekel that the Palestinian Authority daily publication called a "Palestinian coin." Credit: PMW.The official Palestinian Authority daily publication described a Judean Shekel sold at a recent auction in New York as an “ancient Palestinian coin.”

Sold for $1.1 million, the coin—from 66 CE, the first year of the Jewish rebellion against Rome—contains the Hebrew words “Shekel of Israel [Year] 1” on the front and “Jerusalem the holy” on the back, inscribed in ancient Hebrew lettering.

Yet, the PA daily said the coin is part of the “Palestinian cultural tradition,” Palestinian Media Watch reported.

—JointMedia News Service

Iran, Netanyahu continue to go back and forth on nuclear activity

As Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reiterated that the country “will never ever suspend our nuclear activities,” Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu has not ruled out military action against the country.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh insisted that Iran is only conducting nuclear research for the purpose of energy development. However, the IAEA’s director general, Yukiya Amano, said that, “Iran is not telling us everything.”

Netanyahu said that the timing of a strike on Iran “is not a matter of days or weeks,” but also “not a matter of years.” While Israel would welcome a peaceful resolution to the issue, “if I do not make the right decision, there may be no one left to explain to [why I made the wrong choice],” he said.

 —JointMedia News Service

Palestinian sympathizers use latest conflict to deceive on Twitter

Anti-Israel groups took to the Web to post several fabricated or antiquated photos of children who were allegedly wounded by the Israel Defense Forces in the latest round of fighting. However, quick-witted pro-Israel bloggers, tweeps, and the IDFs Spokesperson’s Unit exposed these fraudulent uploads.

In one photo widely distributed on the Internet since the current round of fighting began, a young girl is seen covered in blood, being carried by an older man. In a tweeted version of the photo, the caption reads, “Palestine is bleeding. Another child killed by Israel. Another father carrying his child to a grave in Gaza.”

The photo was first exposed as a fraud by Israeli blogger Avi Mayer on Twitter. After Mayer’s discovery, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the photo had been taken by Reuters in 2006, and did indeed show a girl who was injured, but not in an IDF attack.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Hamas to retaliate if Israel attacks Iran

Despite initial reports that Hamas intends to stay out of any conflict between Israel and Iran, Hamas is now threatening severe retaliation if any such war begins.

Hamas Spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum originally said that the organization’s effort is devoted to the Palestinian issue, and that it does not have the resources to be “part of any regional war,” according to reports.

However, another top Hamas official, Mahmoud Zahar, rejected this statement, threatening to retaliate with “utmost power,” if Israel takes any military action against Iran. He also said Hamas would target “whoever is helping” Israel in such an action, Haaretz reported.

—JointMedia News Service

Under the Iron Dome, and under the chuppah, I thee wed

Amid the latest round of Palestinian attacks from Gaza, Maor Kardi and Mor Peretz’s reception at the Silver wedding hall in Ashkelon was accompanied by the occasional early warning rocket siren, and still, the party went on as planned.

“We won’t let any Grad rocket or Code Red (early warning siren) dampen the most important event of our lives,” the couple said with a smile, moments before they walked down the aisle.

In the adjacent hall, another couple was getting married—Saar Uzan and Hagit Abutbul from Ashkelon. They, too, were determined to celebrate without changing their plans. The groom’s mother said defiantly, “If my son were to cancel or postpone the wedding it would certainly not have been because of the tense situation or the rocket threat—it would have been because of his painful shyness. He is a modest boy who would probably rather get married at the rabbinical courthouse, with his immediate family and only a handful of friends.”

Peretz said that amid all the excitement and wedding preparations she didn’t have time to think about the dangers. “We thought of everything—just not the Grad rockets. Now we’ll have a story to tell the next generation,” she said.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service 

Jewish Google founder wows Peres with virtual tour of his roots

Click photo to download. Caption: Shimon Peres. Credit: World Economic Forum.Israeli President Shimon Peres wrapped up a three-day tour of Silicon Valley on March 8 with a visit to Google headquarters. Google founder Sergey Brin personally hosted Peres.

At the start of his visit, Brin surprised the president with a virtual trip back to his childhood stomping grounds in Eastern Europe, using a three-dimensional Google Earth display. The virtual visit—spread over five giant screens—began in Wiszniewo, Poland (now Visnieva, Belarus), the city where Peres was born. Greatly moved, Peres asked his host to glide over to Valozhyn, the town where his parents were born. Peres then pointed out the location where his family’s house had been, as well as where their synagogue had stood.

Brin then upped the ante and took the president on a virtual trip to the moon, where they viewed a virtual model of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, and then sped off to Mars.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Knife-wielding terrorists caught in Samaria

Israeli police arrested an Arab woman in Samaria near a Jewish town, preventing an attack similar to the vicious stabbing of the Fogel family in Itamar a year ago.

The woman, 32, was carrying a knife and admitted she intended to carry out a stabbing attack, Israel National News reported.

Two other men with knives were caught trying to enter the Jewish town of Elon Moreh in Samaria earlier last week.

—JointMedia News Service

Iron Dome provides nearly ironclad missile defense

Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepted 90 percent of recent missile attacks on Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon—including three on Sunday morning—Israel National News reported.

“We will continue to improve home front defense including by means of additional Iron Dome systems, the effectiveness of which was shown again over the weekend,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

However, the IDF currently lacks adequate defense if Hamas were to use longer-range missiles to reach Rehovot, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi, closer to Tel Aviv. On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said expanding the Iron Dome should be a national emergency project.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on March 12, 2012 and filed under Briefs, Israel.