TEL AVIV — A new monument to pay tribute to Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation has been unveiled in Tel Aviv.Workers install a memorial in Meir Park in Tel Aviv to honor gay victims of the Holocaust.
The memorial stands in front of the municipal community center established in Gan Meir (Meir Park) for the gay community in 2008, ahead of Tel Aviv’s centennial, reported the Jewish Daily Forward.
This should give the EU reason enough to finally declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
LIMASSOL, Cyprus — A Hezbollah operative who worked as a courier for the group in Europe said at his trial Thursday that he had instructions to record the arrival times of passenger flights from Israel to Cyprus, prompting Israel to press the European Union to formally declare the militant group a terrorist organization.
During a cross-examination, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub described himself as “an active member of Hezbollah” with the code name “Wael,” and that he had received a salary of $600 a month since 2010. Asked why he had a code name, he answered through an interpreter, “In general, the party is based on secrecy between members. We don’t know the real names of our fellow members.”
Mr. Yaacoub said that his handler, a shadowy figure known only as Ayman, told him to track the landing times for an Arkia Israel Airlines flight between Tel Aviv and Larnaca, Cyprus. Ayman also asked him to look into the rental prices of warehouses, he said.
Mr. Yaacoub, 24, who holds Lebanese and Swedish passports, described himself as a pawn, following orders but not involved — or at least not knowingly involved — in planning an attack. But prosecutors say that is exactly what he was doing. Intelligence experts in the United States and Israel say that Mr. Yaacoub was one small player in the covert war that has pitted Israel against Iran and the militant group.
Mr. Yaacoub’s testimony, which began here on Wednesday, has provided an unusual look inside the operations of the secretive group. Mr. Yaacoub on Thursday described the weapons training he had received as a member of the group.
It’s unreal that we still live in a world where bomb proofing hospitals are still necessary. I had hoped that things like this, bomb shelters, etc would have gone away after the Cold War ended.
The underground hospital in Tel Aviv is located underneath the Ted Arrison Medical Tower, which is currently in use.
Will Israel take military action against Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon?
It is a question that has been asked and answered in dozens of different ways over the last year, with heated discussion of red lines, enrichment percentages, centrifuge output capabilities, bunker-busting bombs and the fuel capacity of Israeli bombers.
The Iranians deny that they even intend to build such a weapon, saying that their nuclear program is a peaceful, civilian operation, aimed at medical research and cheap energy.
But despite the questions, Israel is without a doubt preparing for the possibility of a strike on its cities in case it does decide to hit Iran’s enrichment facilities.
Margaret Warner and her NewsHour team visited a place in Tel Aviv designed to protect against just such a strike: a four-story hospital built almost entirely underground. In case of a conventional, chemical or biological missile attack against the city, the hospital can be totally self sustaining for up to seven days.
The director of the facility, Dr. Gabriel Barbash, told Warner that he is certain the facility will be needed one day.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll have to use this facility,” he said.
His fears are not unfounded. If Israel were to take out Iran’s nuclear development facilities, the response could be fearsome.
From Lebanon in the north, Iran-sponsored Hezbollah could rain rockets on Israeli cities. Down south in Gaza, Hamas — which has already proven their willingness to fire on Israeli, even into Tel Aviv — could also mobilize.
Iran “will not be like Saddam Hussein or Bashar al-Assad,” said former Israeli Gen. Amos Yadlin in an interview with Warner. Yadlin was referring to two other incidents where Israel neutralized budding nuclear programs in their neighborhood. The first, in 1981, was when Israeli jets took out a nuclear reactor at Osirak. Yadlin, then a young pilot, flew a fighter jet on that mission. The second, was in 2007, when when the Israeli air force again destroyed a nuclear reactor, this one in Syria. Neither Arab country mounted a response, but Yadlin says that Iran won’t remain quiet.
Iran “will retaliate,” he said. “No doubt about it. They’ve (been) preparing for it for the last five, six, seven years.”
That — in the eyes of the Israeli government — is reason enough for an underground hospital.
Mob boss Nissim Alperon survived another alleged assassination attempt in Tel Aviv on Thursday. He ran from his car after a man on a motorcycle stuck a bomb to the door, moments before the vehicle exploded and was consumed by flames.
The car bombing was the ninth hit attempt that Alperon has survived in the past 12 years.
The explosion left the vehicle a smoldering wreck, damaged a car in the next lane, and shattered the windows of a bus a few meters away.
Nine people were hurt, with three suffering light injuries and six suffering from shock. All of the injured were evacuated to Ichilov Hospital at the city’s Sourasky Medical Center.
The most treacherous storm in a decade paralyzed much of the country on Tuesday, climaxing with the shutdown of Israel’s main highway in both directions for nine hours due to flooding.
Power outages were reported, the entrance to Tel Aviv was all but blocked and residents of some city neighborhoods braced for possible evacuation.
On Tuesday, the Ayalon Highway - the main traffic artery in Tel Aviv - reopened only at about 4 P.M. after closing before the morning rush hour. It was the first time in 20 years that the Ayalon has been closed for such a long time..
Two people are being reported as having drowned due to floods in the West Bank. Last night also saw the Israeli Navy called in to evacuate residents in the cities of Hedera and Beit Hefer due to severe flooding.
In the past few hours, heavy snow has been falling in the city of Jerusalem, after previously falling in the northern regions of the country.
The storm by now is considered to be the most intense since the one that hit in the winter of 1992-1993. Such events are something of a rare thing in a region that is generally characterized by dry weather and “weak” rain periods.
Naturally, what also made headlines was how some folks got around the problems. In the city of Netanya, a few residents got around the problem of flooded streets by using kayaks to paddle around the streets, and in Tel Aviv, with most the Ayalon Highway closed, a trio of (potentially insane) Israelis crossed a part of it on water ski tubes..
A bomb exploded on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 15 people in what Israeli officials said was a terrorist attack that could complicate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Celebratory gunfire rang out across Gaza as the news spread and the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas praised the bombing, but no one claimed immediate responsibility.
The blast shattered windows on the bus as it drove along a tree-lined street next to Israel’s huge defense ministry headquarters. Israel’s ambulance service said four people suffered moderate-to-severe injuries and 11 were lightly hurt.
Police said it was not a suicide attack and suggested that someone might have left the device on the number 142 bus.
The driver, who escaped largely unscathed, told reporters he had not seen anyone suspicious get on board.
“I felt the explosion … Smoke was everywhere, you couldn’t see a thing,” he said. The blue and white vehicle was not torn apart by the blast, indicating it was a relatively small device.
So much for the supposed imminent ceasefire…
Has Hamas fulfilled its threats? A large explosion occurred on a bus on Shaul Hamelech Street at the center of Tel Aviv, not far from the Kirya. According to reports from the fied, many rescue forces are heading to the scene of the event, with at least 13 casualties reportedly evacuated. A suspect is being held for interrogation on suspicion of involvement in the attack.
According to information i’m hearing on the local radio stations, the police are also ordering that the Azrieli shopping center (Israel’s biggest and most crowded, since it’s right on top of a major bus and train station) be closed, which is a disturbing first. Apparently they’re worried that another attack could be headed in the direction of the shopping mall..
A security guard at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sustained light wounds to his leg on Tuesday after being assaulted with a knife and an axe.
Security guards fired warning shots and then arrested the assailant. The circumstances of the incident are being investigated. Police said the suspect is a 41-year-old man from central Israel.
“We came to Tel Aviv from Beersheba to escape the security situation,” an eye witness told Ynet. “We heard shots and saw the security guards take down a person who shot them.”
Tel Aviv is not Israel’s largest city - Jerusalem is nearly twice the size — but Tel Aviv is much more than the 400,000 people who reside within its municipal boundaries. Both in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the name is shorthand both for what Israelis call “the center” — the matrix of freeways and palm trees where half of the country’s population resides - and for a lifestyle enjoyed beyond the tensions that define “the conflict.” It’s a sangfroid that galls more religious and ideological Israelis, and utterly enrages Palestinians who sense the despair of their own situation deepened by the lives being richly enjoyed in the center.
So the sickening wail of air raid sirens across the tree-lined grid of the Mediterranean city on Thursday night was a significant development in the Gaza conflict, now a couple of days old. So were the reports of residents seeking cover under the tables of the cafes where they had gathered to begin the Israeli weekend, not that Tel Avivans gather anywhere else during the week. The conflict had finally come to Tel Aviv.
“Some of the places were empty last night,” Nadav Shoshan says in a café that, on a Friday morning at 10, usually requires a wait for a table. There was no waiting now. Not half dozen customers sipped cappuccinos and browsed menus, weighing the merits of muesli versus shakshuka, an Israeli dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. “It’s not a typical Friday morning,” the waiter says. The streets, while not empty, were far from crowded, and even farther from carefee. In the Jaffa section, an older man escorting his wife into a mid-block crosswalk screamed at a driver who slowed to a stop a bit too slowly for his frayed nerves. The driver rolled down the passenger side window to scream back. “Maybe we will die today,” a lawyer told her cleaning lady. The cleaner, a Third World national imported to fill the jobs done by Palestinians before Gaza and the West Bank were sealed off, laughed. Everything is relative. But nothing is more contagious than fear, or less rational.
Among the targets, the IDF statement said, were underground medium-range rocket launching pads. The most recent blitz of air strikes brought the total number to some 320.
Palestinians have fired over 300 rockets from Gaza into the South since the IDF launched its operation. Two rockets triggered an air raid siren in Tel Aviv, marking the first time that a real siren was sounded in Tel Aviv since the Gulf War in the early 1990s.
According to Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, 16 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the operation. At least two children, including an 11-month-old baby were among the casualties.