Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tragedy On The Eve Of Passover, The Crisis In Ukraine Intensifies

Tragedy On The Eve Of Passover

One Israeli family suffered the ultimate tragedy on Monday when beloved husband and father Baruch Mizrahi was gunned down by Palestinian terrorists while driving his family to their Passover Seder.
The attack occurred not far from the Hebron suburb of Kiryat Arba, where the Mizrahi family was to celebrate the biblical feast.
The terrorist sprayed numerous rounds from an automatic assault rifle at passing Israeli vehicles. At least two cars were hit, both of them transporting members of the Mizrahi family. Baruch was killed by the gunfire and his pregnant wife, Hadas (pictured), suffered minor gunshot wounds and broken bones. One of the family’s five children, a nine-year-old boy, was also injured by shrapnel.
Hadas Mizrahi later recounted the harrowing incident for Israel’s Channel 2 News:
“We were driving from Modi’in to Kiryat Arba. At the Tarkumia checkpoint, we said hello to the soldiers, and kept going. After the first roundabout, a terrorist was standing at the roadside. Baruch shouted ‘A terrorist! Shooting!’ and pressed the gas pedal. Then I took a bullet. Baruch’s foot was still on the gas. The vehicle started to zigzag. I took the wheel and kept driving, away from the terrorists. …Meanwhile, the bullets were still flying by us and I told the children ‘duck down, duck down. Everything is OK.’ Once I saw that we were far away from the terrorist…I called [police hotline] 100 and informed them that there had been a terror attack.”
Meanwhile, Hadas realized that her husband had died. When soldiers arrived, she quickly instructed them, “Take the children so they won’t see their father is dead.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement blaming rampant anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian Authority for such acts of terror:
“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible. The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel. Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover.”
Netanyahu further noted that as of Wednesday morning, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had failed to condemn the murder of Baruch Mizrahi and the targeting of his wife and small children.

Yesterday the crisis in Ukraine significantly intensified. Hours after Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the numerous pro-Russian uprisings that have taken place in at least nine cities, government forces engaged about 30 armed militants at Kramatorsk airport, just south of the city of Slovyansk, approximately 100 miles from the Russian border. The exchange prompted a warning from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “I will be brief: Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, it’s frightening,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
The move is part of an overall counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming control of the eastern part of the country, following the takeover of official government buildings by pro-Russian separatists in at least nine cities. According to eyewitnesses, Slovyansk itself was being surrounded by Ukrainian troops, backed by armored personnel carriers and two helicopters. Pro-Russian forces have had effective control of the city since last Saturday.
What happened during the fighting is largely unclear, but Russian media sources claim between four and 11 militants were killed when Ukrainian troops stormed the airfield, while Yury Zhadobin, coordinator of a pro-Russian defense force, claimed two people were slightly injured and were taken to a hospital. The Ukrainian government claimed there were no casualties at all, but that they had taken an unspecified number of prisoners. Gen. Vasyl Krutov, Ukraine’s security services anti-terrorist unit chief, spoke outside the airport, saying his men had repelled an attack by men in green uniforms who had attempted to storm the facility earlier that afternoon.

After the standoff, hundreds of locals surround the airport, fueled by rumors that Ukrainian forces were getting ready to attack the city of Kramatorsk itself. Some attempted to enter the airport facilities, prompting Ukrainian forces to fire warning shots. When Krutov appeared outside to defuse tensions, he was attacked by the crowd.
Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a pro-Russian militiaman who said Ukrainian troops had seized the airfield, but Kramatorsk remained under their control. “We have, in fact, been pushed out of the airport, but the town is under our control,” the unidentified militiaman told the agency. “We won’t let anyone in.”
President Turchynov explained the reason for the move on his website. “The aim of these actions is to protect people,” he said. “Apart from Russian special forces and terrorists, there’s hundreds of thousands of innocent Ukrainian people deceived by Russian propaganda, and that is why we will take any needed anti-terrorist actions prudently and responsibly.”

Another troop buildup is going on near the city of Izyum, which is close to the border of the Kharkiv and Donetsk provinces in the east, 32 miles northwest of Slovyansk. An Izyum official who requested anonymity said the city has been used by Ukrainian troops as a feeding and fueling area since their arrival beginning last weekend. An Associated Press reporter claimed to have seen at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, along with helicopters and military vehicles, stationed 24 miles north of Slovyansk. Additional military equipment was also nearby, as were at least seven busloads of government troops wearing black military fatigues. “We are awaiting the order to move on Slovyansk,” said a soldier identified only by his first name of Taras.
In the city of Donetsk, Mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko begged pro-Russian forces not to follow through on their threat to seize city offices. “If the city authorities are paralyzed, it would be to the detriment of all inhabitants of the city,” he told reporters.

While the Obama administration is reportedly ready to up the ante, the EU is less enthusiastic, due to the reality that stronger sanctions would threaten an already weak economic recovery. Thus, while the US may suggest targeting Russian economic sectors such as financial services and energy, the EU prefers an expansion of individual asset freezes and travel bans. Without EU support, any additional sanctions by the US would have minimal effect. “The level of trade between the US and Russia directly is quite limited,” said Simon Mandel, vice president for emerging Europe equity sales at Auerbach Grayson & Co. “Whatever sanctions the US comes out with, unless the Chinese government or the EU are willing to support them, they will still have a minimal impact on the Russian government.”

In the meantime, 40,000 Russian military troops, replete with tank columns and fighter jets, remain based just outside Ukraine’s border. Putin rejects any links to the unrest sparked by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, even as Ukrainian security forces have produced recordings of conversations between Russians and Ukrainian separatists., and U.S. forces remain on high alert in the Black Sea. The situation is on a knife-edge and a wrong move by either party could ignite a deadly showdown. 

A group of eight Israeli Jews were arrested on Monday while attempting to ascend the Temple Mount and sacrifice a goat there in fulfillment of the biblical instructions regarding the Passover holiday.
Several organizations associated with the group told Israel National Newsthat the arrests were yet another indication of the total lack of religious freedom for Jews atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
That same Temple Mount again exploded in violence on Wednesday morning when Muslim mobs assaulted police and Jewish visitors.
The violence began as police opened the Mughrabi Gate, the sole entrance where non-Muslim visitors can enter the Temple Mount. Muslim rioters waiting on the other side of the gate hurled stones and firecrackers, prompting Israeli police to respond with rubber bullets and tear gas.
One police officer and dozens of rioters were injured in the melee, and the Temple Mount was quickly closed again to all non-Muslims.


Unknown said...

Obama administration wanting to divide Israel, Jews being arrested for celebrating the passover on the templemount, an Iinnocent Jewish family now without a husband and father due to murderous PA gunmen! Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map! Disgusting to say the least! Bible prophecy is unfolding before our eyes. God will protect Israel though.Ezekiel 38 and 39 are evidence of this. Praise God. The Jewish people will meet their TRUE MESSIAH soon enough and the murder bloodshed and persecution will be finally over! Jesus will reign as King!

Scott said...

amen to that!