Behind The News

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Rejected candidate for police insisted on enlisting, took out terrorist as cadet

Shimon Tadala fought for years to join the Israel Police, which had refused to accept him because of an open case. In the end, at 32 years of age, he succeeded in joining up—only nine weeks later, he successfully shot dead the Jordanian terrorist at Damascus Gate who was trying to stab a Border Policeman last week.

“I didn’t do anything; I just fulfilled a dream,” said Tadala on Thursday after receiving a certificate of appreciation at the National Police Academy, where he is completing his policing course.

An incident from his distant past, when he was 16 years old, kept him from fulfilling that dream for years: an open case against Tadala and a few of his friends for participating in a skirmish and attacking police officers. At the conclusion of the investigation, it turned out that no such attack had taken place, and Tadala was not charged with anything.

After his IDF service, Tadala presented himself at the police enlistment office and filled out the paperwork, only to be refused because of “his criminal past.” He tried time after time, but the response remained the same.

Tell of Tadala’s repeated attempts reached Assistant Commissioner Avi Neumann, currently the head of the police’s training division. He called in the tenacious man for a face-to-face conversation. Neumann recalled that conversation at the certificate-awarding ceremony Thursday: “I understood that the man wanted and was suited to be a policeman.”

The convinced assistant commissioner brought Tadala’s résumé to human resources and said, “Here’s a person who wants to be a police officer, and I’m sure that he’ll be a fit.” Neumann was not dissuaded by the case from Tadala’s youth. He said to Tadala, “It was very hard to enlist you; you’ll have to be a good policeman.”

Last week, along with other cadets, Tadala was sent to strengthen police forces; he was assigned to the Old City’s Damascus Gate. He saw a Jordanian terrorist wielding two knives charging a Border Policeman and quickly drew his sidearm, ran towards the attacker, and shot him before he could harm his target.


Tadala didn’t see his actions as particularly meritorious and refrained from posting, so it was only around mid-week that the academy’s commander’s learnt of his role in the incident. The ceremony awarding him a certificate of appreciation was swiftly arranged and a surprised to the honoree. Along with Neumann were the academy’s commander, Assistant Commissioner Chaim Blumenfeld, and Deputy Commissioner Gila Gaziel, the head of the police’s human resources.


Tadala stated that he had not foreseen calling on his training so soon, adding, “I did what I had been taught in the course, and I acted automatically. I promised that I would prove myself, and I intend to continue thus in the future.”

The cadet stated that his next dream was to rise from the enlisted rank to that of an officer in the police.

Massive explosion rocks Hungarian capital Budapest, multiple casualties reported

A powerful blast struck a central area of the Hungarian capital Budapest late Saturday. Footage on social media shows a large police presence at the Oktogon intersection.

Witnesses have reported several casualties.

Two victims are reported to be police officers, and have been rushed to a hospital.

Hundreds of people appear to be out in the street as a massive police operation swings into action.

While the cause of the explosion is yet to be confirmed, witnesses say there are casualties.

According to locals there are a number of people being treated in the street near the Corninthia hotel.

There are some reports that the incident could be a gas explosion though authorities have not yet confirmed.

In videos emerging from the scene people appear to be being treated for injuries in the street however there does not appear to be damage to buildings.

Members of the public say they are being evacuated from restaurants as the emergency services continue their work at the scene.

Twitter user Ilona Vanouplines ‏said: “I heard and felt a really loud #explosion in the city center of Budapest, a lot of police cars are passing by at Erzsébet krt.”

Assad forces pour into area near Israel border, prepare operation in Quneitra

The Syrian army has sent additional forces to the city of Quneitra, in Syria’s south west border, close to Israel’s border, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

A source reportedly told Fars, “A large contingent of the fourth mechanized divisions, comprised of recent graduates from the Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces school in Deir Attiyah, have joined the 90th Brigade’s headquarters in Golan Heights, where they will await orders to launch a large-scale offensive.”

The soldiers are reportedly being sent to take the city of Jubata al-Khashab, which was under rebel rule for the past two years.

Last week the Syrian army engaged in heavy fire against rebel groups in the Quneitra area.

The Golan Heights has recently seen a dramatic increase in spillover from battles in Syria, with eight mortar shells striking in the area in the the last month, prompting several Israel Air Force retaliatory strikes on Assad regime artillery.

Earlier in September, tensions escalated after the Assad regime’s military fired two surface-to-air missiles at Israeli jets that were conducting a retaliatory strike. The IDF said the jets were far from the threats, and dismissed Syrian claims of a direct hit on Israeli aircraft.

North Korea threatens US with ‘tremendous consequences beyond imagination’

North Korea’s foreign minister went on the offensive on Friday telling the United Nations that ‘going nuclear’ is his country’s only way to defend itself and vowed to further bolster its nuclear military forces.

Speaking to the General Assembly in New York, Ri Yong-ho said his country will ‘continue to take measures to strengthen its national nuclear armed forces in both quantity and quality.’

He spoke just two weeks after North Korea’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test provoked worldwide condemnation, prompting the UN Security Council to begin work on a new sanctions resolution.

‘Going nuclear armed is the policy of our state,’ Ri, who has been foreign minister since May, told the world gathering.

‘As long as there exists a nuclear weapon state in hostile relations with the DPRK (North Korea), our national security and the peace on the Korean peninsula can be defended only with reliable nuclear deterrence,’ he said.

In his address, Ri acknowledged that the nuclear tests ‘may not be easily understood by European countries,’ which he said were now ‘less sensitive’ to security concerns decades after the end of the Cold War.

But the foreign minister said North Korea ‘had no other choice but to go nuclear,’ to defend itself ‘from the constant nuclear threats from the United States.’

He also said the tests are a demonstration of the ‘strongest-ever will’ of North Korea’s ruling party and people.


After the latest blast on September 9, Pyongyang claimed it had significantly advanced its ability and tested a miniaturized nuclear bomb for a warhead that could be mounted on a missile.

Japan and South Korea used their addresses at the General Assembly this week to raise alarm bells over the threat from North Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanded that the world find a new way to confront Pyongyang after a decade of UN sanctions failed to change its behavior.

‘The threat to the international community has become increasingly grave and all the more realistic,’ he said Wednesday. ‘It demands a new means of addressing it, altogether different from what we applied until yesterday.’


South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yung Byung-se suggested that the North could be stripped of its status as a member of the United Nations for refusing to accept the Security Council’s decisions.

‘I believe it is high time to seriously reconsider whether North Korea is qualified as a peace-loving UN member,’ he said in his address on Thursday.

However, such a proposal is likely to be opposed by China, Pyongyang’s ally, which has repeatedly called for a de-escalation of tensions.

North Korea’s membership in the United Nations-the only major international forum where Pyongyang has a voice-dates back 35 years to when the two Koreas were admitted simultaneously.

China, which is in negotiations with the United States on a new sanctions resolution, is also pushing for a resumption of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

Yung accused North Korea’s government of engaging in a ‘fanatical and reckless pursuit’ of nuclear and missile programs that had reduced the country to a wasteland of poverty and oppression.

Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to fighting anti-semitism in Germany dies aged 96

A Holocaust survivor who was honoured by Angela Merkel after he dedicated his life in post-war Germany to fighting anti-semitism has died aged 96.

The German chancellor met Max Mannheimer in May last year as part of a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the closing of Dachau concentration camp.

Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Twitter that she was mourning his death, adding that ‘we owe him gratitude.’


Mannheimer spent two years being held in different death camps, including Auschwitz. Most of his family was murdered during the Holocaust.

After the end of the Third Reich in 1945, Mannheimer dedicated his life to talking about the horrors he experienced.

He also became the head of the community of former prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp, in southern Germany.

German news agencies report that Mannheimer died on Friday at a Munich hospital. No cause of death was given.

2,000 teens radicalized by ISIS in France

Around 2,000 teenagers have been radicalized by ISIS propaganda in France, a security source told Le Figaro, adding that the number of girls embracing jihadist ideology is on the rise.

Since the start of the year, security forces have identified 1,954 young men and women as ISIS terrorist organization sympathizers, Le Figaro reported.

An unnamed high-ranking security service official told the paper that the levels of radicalization among teens in the country have increased by 121 percent compared to January 2015.

Seventeen French youths have been killed fighting for the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, the source added.

According to the official, 37 teens have recently been indicted in France on charges related to extremism and terrorism.

Another trend worrying the authorities is the increasing number of teenage girls sympathizing with Islamic State terrorists, he said.

The jihadists are preying on youths who have psychological problems, who experience difficulties at school, or who are going through a tough time due to their parents’ divorce, the source said.

Special recruiting techniques employed by IS make those young men and women an easy target for the radicals, he added.

Broadcaster BFMTV reported that in the first week of September alone four teens were arrested in France for establishing contacts with Islamic State.

They were all recruited by Rashid Kassim, a 29-year-old Frenchman, who contacted teens through social media and encouraged them to stage terrorist attacks.

Earlier this week, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the terrorist threat in the country is higher than ever before.

The minister added that 300 people have been arrested in France for links to terrorist activity since the beginning of the year.

France has been on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in January 2015 in which 12 people were killed, and the Paris assaults in November of that year, when at least 130 people were killed by Islamic State terrorists.

This year the country was shocked by a tragedy in Nice on July 14 when a truck driven by an IS supporter plowed through crowds during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 84 people.

Also in July, two Islamic radicals murdered Father Jacques Hamel in northern Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray by cutting the 85-year-old priest’s throat.


Ceremony held honoring heroes of the wave of terrorism

Forty-five police officers and six civilians were honored this week with medals and citations for demonstrating extraordinary bravery during the past year’s wave of terrorism.

In a ceremony held at the Police Academy in Beit Shemesh attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, the elite YAMAM unit also received citations for operations against terrorism in the last two years.

Among the citizens who were decorated was Rabbi Nehemia Lavi who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in October 2015. His widow and children accepted the Civil Courage Medal on his behalf.

According to the police statement, “While at home, the Rabbi heard the cries of a woman outside and knowing the dangers and hostile environment outside, went out anyway, where he fought the terrorist with all his strength. Unfortunately, the terrorist managed to stab the Rabbi and murdered him.”


Amichai, the rabbi’s brother, told the audience, “This coming Sunday we will go to Nehemia’s grave to mark a year since his passing. We think the medal doesn’t belong just to Nehemia, but to all the people of Israel, who stood firm against the enemy.”

Yifat Ben Ari, the widow of Ofer Ben Ari, also accepted the Civil Courage Medal on behalf of her husband who was killed accidentally by police fire in the course of a terrorist attack at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem in 2015, when he left his car to help wounded civilians.

At the ceremony, his widow said, “Ofer was a man of peace and was an endless giver. He was a proud father. Even on his last day he showed love, courage and sacrifice. I was privileged to live by his side.”


During the course of the ceremony, the Medal of Distinguished Service was given to Hadar Cohen, a border policewoman who was killed this February at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. According to the statement accompanying the citation, “Hadar recognized what was happening, loaded her weapon and opened fire on two terrorists. She was surprised by a third terrorist she didn’t see, who shot and killed her.”


In his remarks, Minister Erdan noted the dedication of officers and civilians. “Time and time again, police officers and civilians neutralized terrorists and saved lives. The first instinct in a situation such as this is to run and save one’s self, but not here, not in Israel. When you hear about people who risked their lives to save people they don’t even know, it gives strength. It is mutual responsibility.”

Police Commissioner Alsheikh added, “This wave of terrorism brought a record of security challenges to the police. Many attacks have been prevented by the vigilance of officers. The operations and activities of the police have saved many lives and that is the job of police.”

Pollard: It will take a miracle to get me back to Israel

Jonathan Pollard, the American-Israeli spy who spent 30 years behind bars said it would “take a miracle” for him to be able to fulfil his dream of living in Israel.

Speaking to Israeli reporter Amir Bar Shalom of Channel 1 in an impromptu interview on the street in New York, Pollard said he still believes that the people of Israel stand in support with him, but is not sure about the Israeli government.

“Do you still feel like Israel is behind you?” Bar Shalom asked.

“I feel that the ‘am’ [Hebrew for nation] is clearly behind me,” Pollard replied.

“And the government, no?” Bar Shalom asked.

“Well, the government will do whatever it wants to do, I don’t know,” the former spy said.

“Yesterday we were in the meeting of [US President Barack] Obama and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. I don’t think he mentioned you,” Bar Shalom said.

“That’s why I said it’s going to take a miracle to bring me home,” Pollard replied.

Pollard, 61,was released on parole from the facility in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been serving a life sentence.

Under the terms of his release Pollard must remain in the US for the next five years unless he receives permission from the president.

In addition, he must stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., submit any computer he uses for inspection, and wear a GPS-monitoring device at all times.

Netanyahu has previously requested that Pollard be allowed to serve out his five-year parole in Israel, a request repeatedly turned down by US courts.

Netanyahu to meet Trump and Clinton in NY

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet separately Sunday with both US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in New York according to NBC. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns confirmed that meetings would be held.

Netanyahu is currently in New York for the annual UN General Assembly and spoke Thursday. In his speech at the assembly, Netanyahu said that the relationship with the US is stronger than ever, adding that “the United Nations rejects us, but the United States supports us.”


Last December, Trump was slated to meet with Netanyahu in Israel, but decided to postpone the visit, which was scheduled for December 28, 2015. According to the announcement, Trump said he will visit Israel “after I am elected president of the United States.” Trump explained to Fox network that, “Netanyahu said he expected the meeting between us, but I did not want to put him under pressure. I’m also in the middle of a strong campaign which is progressing well and it wasn’t easy to hold the visit.”

At the time of the cancellation, Trump was at the center of global uproar over a statement he made to prohibit Muslims from entering the US. At the same time, 37 Knesset members signed a letter demanding that the Prime Minister publically condemn Trump’s remarks and cancel the scheduled meeting.

Clinton and Trump will hold their first debate Monday, in Hofstra, New York six weeks before the election will be held on November 8.

It will be the first scheduled debate of three and will provide undecided voters an opportunity to choose. Analysts believe the debate will attract an audience of approximately 100 million Americans.

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