Israeli aid agency IsraAid said recently that it would send a team to the European countries grappling with the influx of refugees to the Continent. The civilian disaster organization will provide food and supplies, as well as assisting authorities and local organizations to improve the psychosocial well-being of the refugees and help in absorption efforts. “We can’t fail to extend a hand to help the tens of thousands of asylum seekers looking for refuge after fleeing the atrocities in the Middle East and Africa,” IsraAid’s founding director Shachar Zehavi said. In recent years, IsraAid has sent teams to work with displaced populations and deliver humanitarian aid in Iraqi Kurdistan, South Sudan, Nepal, Kenya and Haiti. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected calls for Israel to accept refugees from Syria, highlighting the inaction of Middle Eastern states not directly impacted by the deepening humanitarian crisis.

While countries with contiguous borders with Syria — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq — have taken in millions of refugees, Mr Netanyahu insisted Israel did not have the capacity to open its doors. “Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa,’’ the PM said. “We have already devotedly cared for approximately 1000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives.’’ But Israel was a small country lacking the “demographic and geographic depth” to offer sanctuary to refugees. “Therefore, we must control our borders against both illegal migrants and terrorism,” Mr Netanyahu said in Jerusalem. His comments came after the leader of Israel’s opposition Labour Party, Isaac Herzog, said the country should “carry out a process of absorbing refugees from Syria in addition to humanitarian efforts already being made”.

“Jews cannot sit still while hundreds of thousands of refugees are looking for a safe asylum,” Mr Herzog said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also appealed to the UN to press Israel to allow Palestinians refugees uprooted from long-established camps and settlements in Syria to seek sanctuary in the West Bank territories and Gaza. Turkey is housing an estimated two million refugees while Lebanon — with a resident population of just four million people — has accepted another 1.3 million displaced Syrians. Hundreds of thousands are living with relatives or in crowded camps in Jordan. Germany’s move to accept Syrian refugees who walked to the borders of the European Union has put the spotlight on oil-rich Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to do more than dispense cash. The five wealthiest gulf nations have so far refused to take a single refugee.

Left with nothing, these refugees travel thousands of miles from the Middle East, through central Europe and across the Mediterranean to reach countries like Germany and Austria. Others have tried to sneak on boats, trains, and trucks crossing the Channel to the UK. Almost 3,000 have died trying to reach Europe by sea this year, but hundreds more attempt the same life-threatening journey with their babies and young children every single night. The tragic death of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi who drowned trying to reach Greece from Turkey, inspired a seismic shift in the European attitude towards the 313,000 people who have reached the continent this year. None have been allowed into the nearby Gulf nations. Arab expert Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi said: “The Gulf must know now is the time to change their policy regarding accepting refugees from the Syria crisis. It is the moral and ethical step to take.”

Source: Times of Israel

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Islamic extremists are behind rock throwing attacks in Jerusalem and he’s calling for legislation to stiffen the punishment for such actions. “We will not allow the reality of Jerusalem to become one of throwing stones and disturbances,” Netanyahu told his cabinet. “This is not coincidental. Islamic extremist elements are trying to provoke us and we will use all necessary force, with determination and responsibility, so that they are unsuccessful,” Netanyahu said. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu had directed that draft legislation be advanced as quickly as possible “regarding severe punishment for stone-throwing.”

According to the statement, the State Attorney’s office said they have already called for detention and “stiffer punishments,” including “criteria for the possible imposition of economic sanctions on parents of minors who throw stones.” Netanyahu said there’s a need to “counter the campaign of incitement being waged against Israel regarding the Temple Mount” and charged that “Islamic elements” and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are leading those efforts. Netanyahu said there hasn’t been a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount and there are no plans to change it.

In a late development Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon has outlawed two Islamic groups who harass Jewish and Christian visitors to the Temple Mount. In a major victory for Temple Mount activists seeking to open the holy site to people, Ya’alon declared the Murabitun and Murabitat groups “unlawful organizations,” now making membership in or financing of the group illegal. Ya’alon finalized the law upon the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency and Israeli Police as a necessary means to preserve public peace and security. The Murabitun and Murabitat groups, comprised of Muslim men and women respectively, have become famous for their verbal and physical attacks on Jews visiting the Temple Mount.

Source: CBN News

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In a recent visit to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s made a statement regarding Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. He said “We will continue to develop seaports in order to lower the costs of goods. We will continue to pave highways and build railroads in order to join the Negev and the Galilee to the centre of the country. We will continue to build in Jerusalem, our eternal capital. We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem. I have heard a claim that our construction in Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant. These words are detached from reality. They foster false statements among the Palestinians. Just as the French build in Paris and the English build in London, Israelis build in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem.

Source: Wikimedia

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