“He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” Isa 53: 3, 4
RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY KILLED IN SHOOTING ATTACK: The Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov was killed in a gun attack in the Turkish capital on Mon. 19 Dec. 2016. The gunman who assassinated Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition shouted out “Aleppo” and “revenge” as he fired, according to an eyewitness account. “When the ambassador was delivering a speech, a tall man wearing a suit fired into the air first and then took aim at the ambassador,” said Hasim Kilic, a correspondent for a Turkish daily. The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria. According to information released by Turkish authorities the gunman was one of the rebels against the Syrian army. Security forces tracked down the suspect and after a short gunfight he was shot dead. (Arutz-7)
12 DEAD, 48 WOUNDED AS TRUCK PLOWS INTO BERLIN CHRISTMAS MARKET: An unidentified man hijacked a 25-ton truck and plowed through crowds in Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Square, on Monday, killing 12 people and injuring 48. The truck’s original Polish driver was found dead in the cab, apparently murdered. German police are still searching for the attacker, after an initial suspect was deemed to be innocent. German media, citing police at the scene, said the attack took place on the market, situated at the foot of the ruined Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, which was kept as a bombed-out ruin after WWII. The truck careened into the Berlin market at what would have been one of the most crowded times for the Christmas market, when adults and children would be gathering in the traditional cluster of wooden huts that sell food and Christmas goods. In the last few weeks, European sources have warned that ISIS is planning on carrying out terrorist attacks around Christmas, and that open-air markets will be the organization’s prime targets. The US has issued similar warnings regarding such markets. The tragedy came just hours after the Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov was shot in a terrorist attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel has said she is ‘shocked, shaken and deeply saddened’ by the Berlin market attack. The German Chancellor is facing a furious backlash over her open-doors policy on immigration in the wake of the assault. Merkel has come under huge political pressure for allowing nearly a million people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa to arrive in the country this year and last. (Ynet/UK Dailymail) Please intercede against terrorist hits across the globe during the Christmas and Hanukkah season.
BERLIN ATTACKER STILL ON THE LOOSE, WRONG MAN IN CUSTODY, POLICE SOURCES SAY: The hunt is still on for the driver who rammed a Berlin crowd on Monday, killing at least 12, as authorities now believe they have the wrong person in custody. The Pakistani asylum-seeker arrested Monday and suspected of the attack has denied involvement, officials have said. “We have the wrong man and therefore a new situation,” a senior police chief told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. “The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage.” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere — Germany’s top security official — said that authorities have “no doubt” that the attack was intentional. (Fox)
TRUMP SAYS TERRORISTS ‘MUST BE ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH’ FOLLOWING BERLIN ATTACK: Donald Trump has vowed to ‘eradicate’ terrorists from the ‘face of the earth’ after 12 people were killed at a Berlin Christmas market: ‘Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.” However, President Barack Obama has yet to comment on the incident as he is currently enjoying his annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii. But the White House did release a statement confirming the President was being kept up-to-date on the latest events in Berlin as well as the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Meanwhile White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said: ‘The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, which has killed and wounded dozens. Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies.” (UK Dailymail)
PM SENDS CONDOLENCES TO GERMAN PEOPLE AFTER BERLIN TERROR ATTACK: PM Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the German people following Monday night’s terrorist attack. “We send our condolence to the families of those killed, to the German government and a speedy recovery to the injured, including an Israeli citizen. This attack, along with other terror incidents, shows that terror is spreading to every place in the world and can only be stopped if we fight it, and we will beat it.” he added. “But we will beat it faster if all free nations unite and join the war to defeat terrorism.” Global Jewish leaders have also sent condolences to Berlin Christmas market victims and their loved ones in the wake of Monday’s tragedy. (INN/J.Post)
ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES DISCOVER ‘LARGEST-EVER’ ILLEGAL WEAPONS FACTORY IN JUDEA & SAMARIA: Israeli security forces this week found what they are calling the largest illegal weapons factory ever discovered — underneath a Palestinian home in Hebron. Security forces discovered more than 100 Carl Gustav m/45 barrels, Russian 7.62 sniper rifles and M16 rifle parts with assembly instructions. Forces also seized 15 lathes (a machine for shaping metal) and other production materials used for making illegal homemade weapons. The raid, which involved hundreds of soldiers from several IDF units and the Israeli Border Police, is part of an ongoing campaign by security forces to uncover and destroy illegal weapons production facilities in Judea & Samaria that have been used in terror attacks against Israel. Security forces seized the weapons from the facility and arrested two of the factory’s owners, a father and son, who were interrogated by the Shin Bet security agency. During an initial interrogation, the father claimed the facility, which sat underneath his home, was producing farming equipment. (Algemeiner)
ARAB MEMBER OF KNESSET SUSPECTED OF HIGH TREASON: Basel Ghattas, a member of the Joint Arab List faction in Israel’s Knesset, is suspected of committing high treason. Israel Police reported on 18 Dec. 2016 that they have “substantial evidence” that Ghattas smuggled cellphones to jailed Palestinian terrorists. Ghattas often visits Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, as he sees himself as part of the Arab “struggle” against the Jewish state. On several of those visits, police officials say the lawmaker smuggled 15 cellphones to two specific Palestinian prisoners. Following his visit to prisoners this week, authorities tried to stop and question Ghattas. But he cited his immunity as a member of Knesset and refused. Now police officials are opening an investigation into his conduct, and not a few Knesset members are calling for Ghattas to have his immunity stripped. A former commissioner of the Israel Prison Service said Ghattas could face serious jail time if convicted. Of course, he could also decide to flee the country like former Arab Member of Knesset Azmi Bishara did after it was discovered he was aiding Hezbollah in a time of war. (Israel Today)
OBAMA WASHES HIS HANDS OF SYRIA: President Obama says Assad, Russia and Iran have blood on their hands, and the US has no way to save Syria without conquering it. The US president declared last weekend that Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, Iran and Russia are responsible for the carnage in Aleppo and argued there was nothing Washington could have done to stop the war, short of a military takeover of Syria. And he warned Assad, who has been engaged in a brutal civil war against opposition forces since 2011, that he will not be able to slaughter his way to legitimacy. “The world as we speak is united in horror at the savage assault by the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies on the city of Aleppo,” he told an end-of-year news conference. “This blood and these atrocities are on their hands,” he said. Obama also admitted that he had asked himself whether the United States did enough to halt the conflict. But he concluded that there was no public appetite for the kind of large-scale US military intervention earlier in the war that he believes would have been the only way to halt it.
Russia, meanwhile, is working with Turkey to oversee an evacuation of the last rebel-held pocket of Aleppo. On Friday 16 Dec. 2016, the Syrian government suspended that operation, trapping thousands of civilians and rebel fighters in the city and increasing fears of a bloodbath to come. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that Aleppo had become “a synonym for hell” and urged “the parties to take all necessary measures to allow safe resumption of this evacuation process.” (Arutz-7)
ISRAELIS RALLY FOR SYRIAN CIVIL WAR VICTIMS: Hundreds of Israelis gathered outside the Russian and US embassies in Tel Aviv on 18 Dec. 2016 to protest the international community’s failure to stop the reported massacre of civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo. “I’m here doing the only thing I can, because I feel powerless in this ordeal,” one protester told media sources. “There are people who are suffering, so we have to do something.” Another protester, Rabbi Hananel Rosen, explained why Israeli Jews would take up the cause of even their most intractable enemies: “God created the world and everybody in it in the image of God, and if we’re not willing to put our foot down about that, then we’ll find ourselves religiously and morally wanting.” Meanwhile, an Israeli grassroots campaign aiming to bring emergency supplies to embattled Syrians, on Mon. 19 Dec. 2016, surpassed its set goal to raise $155,000 for Syrian children. (J.Post/Israel Today)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff