COURT THROWS OUT HAMAS APPEAL OVER TERROR LISTING: A top EU court on Friday 14 Dec. 2018 threw out an appeal by the Hamas terrorist organization against its listing by the bloc as a terrorist organization. The General Court of the EU rejected a bid by Hamas to end a freeze on assets held in the bloc that was imposed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. The ruling by the Luxembourg-based court is the latest round in a protracted legal battle between the EU and Hamas, which has opposed the sanctions from the outset. “By its judgment today the General Court dismisses Hamas’ appeal concerning the acts of the Council adopted between 2010 and 2014 and in 2017,” the bloc’s second-highest tribunal said. In Friday’s ruling, the General Court said the EU was entitled to list Hamas as a terrorist organization on the basis of a decision made by the British interior minister. “The General Court observes, contrary to Hamas’ submissions, that holding on to power following elections, the political nature of an organization or its participation in a government do not constitute grounds for avoiding the application of the rules,” the court said. (INN)
HALEY: PAYMENTS TO TERRORISTS NEED TO STOP: Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, once again called for the Palestinian Authority to stop its payments to terrorists, following the shooting attack at the Ofra junction in Binyamin. Haley was responding on Twitter to Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon, who wrote, “A short time ago, a despicable terrorist fired from a vehicle at Israelis – including a pregnant woman – in Ofra. Once caught, the Palestinian Authority will pay the terrorist a monthly salary, as this is part of the PA’s incitement campaign, which encourages such attacks.” Despite repeated calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has continuously stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full.” In a recent speech, Abbas called the PA’s continued payments to terrorists a “red line” that would not be halted under any circumstances. (Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU: STRIKE IN GAZA POSSIBLE REGARDLESS OF NORTHERN SHIELD: With Israel focusing on decreasing Iran’s presence in Syria and neutralizing Hezbollah’s precision-guided missiles and terrorism tunnels from Lebanon, it has no interest in an escalation now with the Palestinians, PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday 9 Dec. 2018. He continued that “If there is no choice, we are today in a situation to do much more in a military campaign in Gaza if needed, because we are taking advantage of the time to prepare. The security cabinet has already received an initial briefing.” At the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that in parallel with the IDF’s “determined and systematic effort” to uncover and neutralize the tunnels in the North, Israel is also working on the diplomatic track to condemn Iran and Hezbollah and increase sanctions against them. (J.Post)
ARAB MAN SHOT DEAD FOR ALLEGEDLY SELLING LAND TO JEWS: On Sat. 8 Dec. 2018, a Palestinian Arab man with residency in Israel-proper was gunned down in his hometown of Jaljulia after it was reported that he had sold personal property in the so-called “West Bank” [Judea & Samaria] to Israeli Jews. Ahmed Salama was declared dead at Meir Hospital in nearby Kfar Saba following a drive-by shooting. Palestinian media reported his “crime” matter-of-factly. An American-Palestinian named Issam Akel remains in Palestinian Authority custody for selling property on the eastern side of Jerusalem to Jews. (Israel Today)
BENNETT TO DRAW UP PLAN TO INCREASE ALIYAH FROM FRANCE: Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett is to formulate an action plan to increase immigration of French Jews to Israel, after telling the cabinet on Sunday 9 Dec. 2018 that Israel had missed “a historic opportunity” to bring tens of thousands of French Jews to Israel. PM Netanyahu made the request following Bennett’s briefing to the cabinet. After terror attacks against the Jewish community in France in 2015 and rising incidents of violent anti-Semitic attacks, it was thought that aliyah from the country would increase significantly. Netanyahu told French Jews in Paris that Israel was their home and that they would be warmly welcomed, and said that a special team of ministers would convene to formulate a plan to increase immigration from France. Only some 15,000 French Jews have made aliyah since 2015 however, with problems integrating into the country and finding work, especially having professional credentials recognized, frequently cited as significant causes for why mass Jewish immigration from France did not transpire. In 2015, then Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky together with the head of the World Zionist Organization and aliya groups drew up a detailed document stipulating what measures would be required to attract 50,000 French Jews to Israel, but the plan was never implemented. Bennett stressed that there are 200,000 French Jews who want to immigrate to Israel, but that the country and its institutions are unprepared for such immigration. (J.Post) “When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations” Ezek. 39:27.
NINE IN TEN EUROPEAN JEWS FEEL MOUNTING ANTI-SEMITISM: Anti-Semitism pervades the public sphere inside the EU, anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, and Jews fear anti-Semitic hate speech, harassment and even being recognized as Jewish a new EU report published on Monday 10 Dec. 2018 concluded. Some 89% of respondents believe that anti-Semitism has increased over the past five years in the country they live in, while 88% said that online anti-Semitism has increased over the past five years and 89% said that it was a problem in their country. The study was conducted across 12 EU Member States and surveying almost 16,500 individuals. “Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of anti-Semitism continue to plague the EU,” said Michael O’Flaherty, director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which commissioned the study. “Member States must take note and step up their efforts to prevent and combat anti-Semitism. Jewish people have a right to live freely, without hate and without fear for their safety.” The European Jewish Congress expressed considerable concern over the findings, saying that the report should be seen as a warning to European countries and leaders to take action. (J.Post)
ISRAEL CLEARS LANDMINES FROM SEVEN MONASTERIES BY YESHUA’S BAPTISMAL SITE: Efforts to clear thousands of landmines around the site where many believe Yeshua was baptized have reached a milestone and officials allowed a rare glimpse Sunday 9 Dec. 2018 of abandoned churches there. The church grounds around the site in Judea & Samaria have been empty and decaying for around 50 years, though pilgrims have been able to visit a nearby restricted area at the traditional baptismal spot on the banks of the Jordan River. Work at the Qasr al-Yahud Baptism Site, just north of the Dead Sea, contains churches, monasteries and chapels built in the 1930’s during the British mandate period. The work began in March 2018 and will require another eight months to a year to complete, said Moshe Hilman of Israel’s defense ministry. Mines have been cleared from Ethiopian and Greek Orthodox monastery sites as well as a Franciscan chapel, organizers said. Other grounds belonging to Russian, Syrian, Romanian and Coptic Orthodox churches are yet to be cleared. The plan once complete is to return the plots to the various church denominations and allow visits. (i24)
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