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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
July 20, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Metal Detectors at Temple Mount Protect Worshippers (Prime Minister of Israel-Twitter)
    The metal detectors and security measures at the entrance to the Temple Mount are there to prevent terror and protect worshippers - like at religious sites everywhere.
    For example, security checks are conducted at the entrance to the Al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait.
    See also How Do Other Countries Protect Security at Holy Sites? - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)
    In Mecca there are 5,000 CCTV cameras and 100,000 people employed to provide security during the annual Hajj.
    At St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in Rome, metal detectors were installed and photos show nuns and the faithful passing through them.

Israel Sends Firefighting Planes to Help Montenegro (Ynet News)
    Israel sent a firefighting plane to Montenegro on Wednesday to help battle fires in that country. A second plane will depart Thursday.

Israeli Courts to Let Palestinians Sue PA for Torture - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    51 Palestinians tortured by the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israel can sue the PA in Israeli courts for damages, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Wednesday.
    According to the court, PA officials tortured the Palestinians by "beating them on all parts of the body, hitting them with lead pipes, extinguishing cigarettes on their bodies, hanging them in torture positions for hours and starving them."
    Some "were also exposed to extreme heat and cold, or extremely hot or cold water was dumped on them," and authorities ordered doctors to pull out healthy teeth.
    Notably, the court said that if Palestinians were cooperating with Israel to thwart terrorist attacks on Israelis, the PA was also obligated to assist in such efforts under the Oslo Accords.

Turkey Reveals Location of U.S. Forces in Syria - Dion Nissenbaum (Wall Street Journal)
    Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency released a lengthy article and a map it said showed the locations of 10 bases used by U.S. forces in northern Syria battling Islamic State.

Israeli Drive to Hire More Arabs Leads to 500 Jobs - Tali Heruti-Sover (Ha'aretz)
    A joint initiative between the government and Israel's biggest employers to hire more Israeli Arabs saw more than 500 people taken on in 2016.
    Between April 2016 and June 2017, hiring of Israeli Arabs reached 722, with 200 serving in positions at headquarters or senior management.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Calls for Action Against Hizbullah Weapons Buildup
    U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday "expressed alarm over the build-up of weapons by Hizbullah, a situation that demands the international community's attention," the U.S. Mission to the UN said in a statement. Haley stressed that the international community must "apply more pressure on Hizbullah to disarm and cease its destabilizing behavior, especially toward Israel." Haley added that the UNIFIL mission must be "fully engaged in addressing the threat posed by Hizbullah."  (AFP-Daily Mail-UK)
        See also Hizbullah's Growing Strength in Lebanon (BICOM)
  • U.S. Ends Covert CIA Program to Arm Anti-Assad Rebels in Syria - Greg Jaffe and Adam Entous
    President Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the Assad government. Even backers of the policy have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria in 2015. "It's probably a nod to reality," said Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official and director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. U.S. officials said the decision had the backing of Jordan, where some of the rebels were trained.
        U.S. involvement in Syria now consists of a vigorous air campaign against the Islamic State and a Pentagon-run train-and-equip program in support of the largely Kurdish rebel force that is advancing on Islamic State strongholds in Raqqa and along the Euphrates River valley. (Washington Post)
  • New U.S. Report Blasts Iran as "Leading Sponsor" of Terrorism - Tracy Wilkinson
    In a new report, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday labeled Iran the world's top government sponsor of terrorism. The report highlights Iran's arming of Hizbullah in Lebanon and anti-Israel groups like Hamas, plus its support for Syrian President Assad. It notes that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps served as the government's "primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad."  (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 (State Department)
  • Central European States Say EU Must Show More Support for Israel - Marton Dunai and Jeffrey Heller
    Europe should better appreciate Israel's key role in Middle Eastern stability, leaders of four central European nations - Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - said on Wednesday at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Budapest. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Metal Detectors Don't Alter Status Quo at Temple Mount - Amos Harel
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the metal detectors at the Temple Mount were nothing new. "We told the Jordanians that until 2000, metal detectors were being used partially at the Temple Mount....The installation of metal detectors does not constitute any change in the status quo. It is only meant to prevent a repeat of an attack with weapons."
        Meanwhile, the "Day of Rage" which Fatah declared for Wednesday passed with relatively few incidents. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Israel in Talks with Jordan, Palestinians to Resolve Temple Mount Security Issue - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Aiding 200,000 Syrians Living near Border - Anna Ahronheim
    Israel launched a new project dubbed "Operation Good Neighbor" in June 2016 to increase civilian aid for Syrians. Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Ashur said, "We have learned from the Americans who lost the Iraqi population. We realized that we could do more for the population near our border than what we were doing at the time." The IDF is working with international organizations and donors to transfer aid to over 200,000 Syrians living close to the Israeli border.
        In the past year alone, the IDF has given to Syrian civilians over 360 tons of food and flour, 456,000 liters of gas, 100 tons of clothes (55 tons of warm clothes), 12 tons of shoes, as well as generators and mobile caravans to use as clinics or classrooms. Additional aid included 12,000 packages of baby formula, 1,800 packages of diapers, and 600 meters of piping to re-establish ruined water infrastructure, giving 5,000 people running water. This is in addition to the over 3,000 wounded and sick Syrians who have been treated in Israel since 2013. "Once a week a busload of sick children comes into Israel," Ashur said. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Syrian Civilians Thank Israel for Aid - Judah Ari Gross
    "Israel is the friend of the Syrian people, a humanitarian country," said  a wounded Syrian man who had been brought to Israel for treatment. "They teach us that Israel is the country that hates us the most," a Syrian woman who had received treatment said. "We came and saw with our own eyes what they are giving us here." Another woman said, "In this difficult situation Israel stood by our side, helped us with everything that we need. We very much respect the people in Israel."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Inside the IDF's Effort to Provide Aid to Syria (Israel Defense Forces)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Abbas Can't Evade Responsibility for Temple Mount Tensions - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas joined Jordan's King Abdullah in condemning last Friday's Temple Mount terror attack. But he cannot evade responsibility for what may happen next as the Muslim Waqf tries to further foment Palestinian unrest by protesting Israeli security measures. No one has done more to promote the lie that Israel is seeking to destroy the Temple Mount mosques than the PA leader. And it is the official print and broadcast media in the PA that keeps this issue alive in the minds of Arabs. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Muslim Medic Who Responded First to the Temple Mount Terror Attack
    Nedal Sader, 37, a nurse and father of five, was the first medical professional to arrive at the Temple Mount following the attack in which two Israeli policemen were shot dead by Arab-Israeli gunmen. Sader, a Muslim volunteer with the United Hatzalah ambulance service, said, "It doesn't matter who the person is. Whoever needs help most gets help first." Sader joined the rescue service in 2012, soon after his father died of a heart attack while waiting for an ambulance. He said he hoped to improve emergency medical care in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.
        Sader said that in the past five years, he has responded to seven major Palestinian attacks in the Old City, often on a motor scooter provided by United Hatzalah. On Friday, the first casualty Sader came upon was one of the slain officers, whom he quickly determined was beyond help. Police officers then directed him to the second fallen officer and, finding no pulse, he began CPR, continuing until an ambulance arrived, but the officer never revived. (JTA)

Israeli "Mental First-Aid" Method Offered to Attack Victims - Jonah Mandel (AFP)

  • Moshe Farchi, head of Stress, Trauma and Resilience Studies at Israel's Tel-Hai College, developed an unorthodox model for treating mental trauma and preventing post-traumatic stress disorder during his years as a mental health officer in the military, and is now sharing it with first responders in other countries. His principles are simple, easily applicable and, to the layman, possibly counterintuitive.
  • "One thinks that a person in distress should be contained, held." But thinking and making decisions are what the person needs to do in order to be freed of a "sense of helplessness." "We can't stop the threat - the rocket has hit, the event has taken place. What we can do is stop the helplessness. The opposite of helplessness is effective action. That's why first of all we need to activate the person, to diminish the helplessness."
  • Activating the person includes asking concrete and factual questions, giving him or her the ability to make decisions. "The two main goals are to quickly return a person to being functional in a way that would reduce the risk of getting killed, and reducing the risk for more serious disorders" in the future, such as PTSD, said Lt.-Col. Dr. Ariel Ben Yehuda, the psychiatrist who currently heads the clinical branch in the Israeli army's mental health department.
  • People in life-threatening situations tend to feel confused, lonely, frozen or disoriented, said Ben Yehuda. "Farchi's method addresses these issues. This isn't psychiatric treatment, rather something very focused. You can do it in two minutes, but the idea is to 'reset' the person."
  • A key aspect of Farchi's method is that it should not be reserved for professionals, but spread to as many people as possible. "The chance that a person (experiencing trauma) will be next to a professional is very small, but that a layman will be next to him is very high," Farchi said.

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