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Northern Israel imam arrested for allegedly supporting Hamas

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Northern Israel imam arrested for allegedly supporting Hamas



Israel Police officers in Zichron Ya’acov apprehended a 60-year-old imam from Fureidis on Friday on charges of inciting terrorism and supporting Hamas. A search of his residence led to the seizure of Hamas flags as well as a map of “Palestine.”

The imam is a close relative of the local council’s head and is affiliated with the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement, which shares ties with the Ra’am Party and its chairman, Mansour Abbas.

The arrest of the imam has sent shockwaves throughout the town. The arrest came in the wake of a Friday sermon he delivered at a local mosque. Prior to the arrest, the Zichron Ya’acov local council attempted to ease concerns among residents after reports circulated on WhatsApp groups suggesting incitement occurred during the mosque gathering.

However, the council later distanced itself from taking responsibility for the reassuring messages, claiming they merely echoed a statement conveyed by the commander of the Zichron Ya’acov police station and another senior official. These statements indicated that the police, along with other agencies, have monitored all of the imam’s sermons since the war with Hamas in Gaza began and have not found any evidence of incitement or sedition. Nevertheless, the police arrested the imam anyway.

The imam’s lawyer told Walla!: “He did not incite or express support. He simply conveyed factual information as presented in the news. He does not endorse Hamas and condemns the events of October 7. I am confident that the truth will prevail, and he will be released soon.”

An Israeli Arab barista arrested for social media posts, freed in deal with Hamas

Furthermore, it was revealed yesterday that Rana Sawilat, a 27-year-old from Abu Snan in the Western Galilee, was among those released in the seventh round of the prisoner exchange for the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza on Wednesday. However, she was later arrested again and now faces charges of inciting terrorism and expressing solidarity with Hamas.

The arrest follows a Friday sermon delivered at the mosque in the village of Furaidis – Zichron Ya’akov (Credit: Yoav Etiel)

Sawilat was previously employed at an Aroma branch in Nahariya until the branch manager became aware of an Instagram post she published on October 7. She was fired after a termination hearing.

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She was recently arrested by Nahariya police officers and subsequently interrogated by a police fraud unit before being held in prison with Palestinian security prisoners.

Despite the alleged danger posed by Sawilat, as claimed by the state, she was unexpectedly released in the evening as part of the prisoner exchange deal for hostages in Gaza – which was a surprise even to her. According to her attorney, neither she nor her family were consulted prior to this arrangement.

According to the indictment, the post in question contained the sentence, “This day and this date will be remembered as the most glorious ever to happen to Palestine and the entire nation,” accompanied by the text, “Today we will invade them, and they will not invade us,” along with a hand symbolizing the “V” movement for victory and a flame emoji. The indictment was filed with the approval of Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara.

Sawilat has since deleted the post and expressed her apology. While she did not deny making the post, she claimed it was not intended as incitement but rather as a prayer for the residents of Gaza. In court, her lawyer said, “Who takes one post she published seriously? This is a case that does not warrant an arrest.”





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Iranian FM: Israeli weapons are ‘toys for our children to play with’

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Iranian FM: Israeli weapons are ‘toys for our children to play with’



Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian joked a day after Israel’s strikes in Iran that the weapons used were “more like toys that our children play with – not drones,” according to a Saturday article from Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency. 

Making the comments in an interview with NBC News, Abdollahian said “As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions.”

Threats against Israel

“If Israel takes a decisive action against my country and this is proven to us,” he said, “our response will be immediate and to the maximum and will cause them to regret it.”

The foreign minister went on to threaten that his comments were only a warning, and that “We could have hit Haifa and Tel Aviv… We could have also targeted all the economic ports of Israel.” 

The IDF displays an Iranian ballistic missile which they retrieved from the Dead Sea after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, at Julis military base, in southern Israel April 16, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Abdollahian said that the only reason that Iran had not successfully hit Haifa, Tel Aviv or any major port was because Iran’s “red lines [were] civilians…We only had a military purpose.”

A 7-year-old Arab girl was killed during Iran’s mass drone attack which saw hundreds of UAVs and multiple ballistic missiles fired seemingly randomly at Israel. While few Iranian aerial assault weapons successfully hit Israel, one hit a northern Arab village and one hit Arad- which is where the 7-year-old girl was killed. 





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White House urges Congress to quickly send foreign aid bill to Biden’s desk

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White House urges Congress to quickly send foreign aid bill to Biden’s desk



Passing the national security supplemental bills would send a powerful message about the strength of American leadership at a pivotal moment, the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement released Friday morning as the House continues debates on rules for proceeding with the bills. 

The supplemental funding package provides long overdue funding to support Ukraine as it continues defending itself against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. Ukraine must prevail, the White House said. 

This supplemental funding also helps Israel protect its people against Hamas and Iran and its other proxies, including Hezbollah.

The White House’s statement

“It is critical that we quickly help Israel replenish its air defenses following Iran’s recent brazen and unprecedented attack and ensure Israel maintains its military edge against Iran or any other adversary,” according to the statement. 

A MURAL in Tel Aviv depicts US President Joe Biden as a superhero defending Israel against the Iranian attack. On the strategic level, Israel suffered a whopping loss as Iran pierced American and Israeli deterrence frameworks with apparent impunity, the writer maintains. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

The funding would also provide urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians in Gaza and vulnerable people suffering around the world, the statement said, as well as critical support to Indo-Pacific partners. 

“The world is watching what the Congress does,” the White House said. “The Administration urges both chambers of the Congress to quickly send this supplemental funding package to the President’s desk.”





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American money ear-marked for PA security used to pay families of terrorists from Jenin – report

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American money ear-marked for PA security used to pay families of terrorists from Jenin – report



The Palestinian Authority’s General Security Service (GIS) has apparently admitted to using American money earmarked for security to pay the family of terrorists from Jenin, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report.

According to the report, on April 4, 2024, PA news agency WAFA published that the GIS in Jenin had given a grant to “the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners from the service’s ranks in the district.”

The GIS gave grants to around 36 families from among the “martyrs and prisoners.”

The vast majority of those identified as “martyrs” or “prisoners” were members of the GIS who had committed acts of terror, according to the PMW.

The grant was given at the direction of PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj, who emphasized a core principle of Mahmoud Abbas: “If we are left with one penny, it will be paid to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.”

Taylor Force, 29, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa on March 8, 2016 (credit: FACEBOOK)

Taylor Force Act

The US had all but ceased providing funds for the PA after the implementation of the 2017 Taylor Force Act, which blocked all funding for the PA general budget.

The act was named for Taylor Force, an American citizen killed in a terror attack in 2016, where the attacker’s family received money from the PA’s pay-for-slay program.

The exception to this was the funding of the PA’s security sector, which received around $45 million in 2022, according to the State Department’s website.

The PMW says that this money was then used to not only provide funds for terrorists and their families but also to train PA security forces, many of whom end up involved in terrorism, according to PA statements in 2023.

The PMW charge that US funds are now being used to directly fund and train terrorists in the West Bank.





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