Police Arrest E. J’lem Rock-throwing Gang Leaders

Melanie Lidman

Police Arrest E. J’lem Rock-throwing Gang Leaders

Over past 18 months, gang threw rocks and firecrackers at patrols of police, border patrol, and the Beit Yehonatan House.

The Jerusalem Post


Palestinian throws stone at W. Bank demonstration (Photo: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)

Police arrested five Arab youths from the capital’s Silwan neighborhood over the past month accused of being part of a gang that throws rocks at police officers.

The gang, called the Milad Ayyish Battalion, was named after a 17-year-old member who was killed from a bullet to the stomach during Nakba Day riots in Silwan in May.

Over the past year and a half, the gang threw rocks and firecrackers at patrols of police, border police and the Beit Yehonatan residential building in dozens of incidents, police said.

The stone-throwing damaged police jeeps and patrol cars as well as Beit Yehonatan, a heavily guarded building that is home to seven Jewish families and is often the scene of conflict.

Police indicted the five males, three of whom are under the age of 18, in the Jerusalem District Court on Monday. All five are under house arrest. Police believe the gang started as a response to the death in September 2010 of Silwan resident Samr Sirkhan, 35. Sirkhan was killed by a private-security guard patrolling near Beit Yehonatan, who said he found himself in a “lynch situation” when a group of residents threw stones at him.

Initially, the gang members called themselves the Battalion of the Martydom of Samr Sirkhan, but they changed the name after gang member Ayyish, from the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud just north of Silwan, was killed in May 2011.

The youths apparently wore clothes with the insignia of the Milad Ayyish Battalion to identify themselves.

The five suspects were indicted for conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted arson, attacking a police officer with the intent to seriously injure, disturbing the peace, and carrying and producing weapons.

Jerusalem Police deputy spokeswoman Shlomit Bajshi expressed optimism that the arrests would reduce the number of rock-throwing attacks.

“Every arrest and every indictment helps. This is a gang that’s responsible for dozens of incidents, so of course it will affect the number of incidents,” she said.

Bajshi added that there are a number of stone-throwing gangs in east Jerusalem, loosely organized groups of teenagers, but that many young residents also throw rocks independently.

Meir Indor of the Almagor Victims of Terror Organization, who was lightly wounded by rocks in Ras al-Amud at the intersection next to the Mount of Olives cemetery in 2010, said students from a nearby middle school regularly throw rocks at that intersection after classes are done for the day. He called it their “after school activity.”

In 2010, Silwan averaged four stone-throwing attacks per day, according to police statistics. Bajshi said the police are not focusing on breaking up gangs, but rather going after as many stone-throwers as possible.

“Everyone caught with a stone in his hand will be arrested,” she said.

However, the young age of many of the rock-throwers makes it difficult for police to stop them. The age of criminal responsibility is 12, and if a stonethrower is younger than 12, police are unable to punish the child beyond appealing to their parents.

Barghouti Refuses to Testify in US Civil Suit

Joanna Paraszczuk

Barghouti Refuses to Testify in US Civil Suit

Former Fatah leader, PA and PLO sued by family of US terror victim Esther Klieman.

The Jerusalem Post


Barghouti before entering courtroom (Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Former Fatah and al-Aqsa Brigades leader Marwan Barghouti was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to testify in a US civil suit filed by the family of an American terror victim.

Barghouti has been in prison since 2002 and is serving five life sentences for the murder of five people, plus an additional 40 years for attempted murder.

Esther Klieman’s family filed a civil suit in US courts in 2004, two years after 23- year-old Klieman was shot and killed by al-Aqsa Brigades terrorists. Klieman, an American citizen who lived in Neve Tzuf, taught children with Down Syndrome and was on her way to work when the terror attack took place in March 2002.

The civil lawsuit, brought under US anti-terror legislation, also names as defendants the PA; the PLO; Fatah; the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade; Fatah’s Tanzim wing; Force 17, Fatah’s former commando and special operations terror unit; Yasser Arafat; and the four terrorists responsible for the attack: Tamer Rimawi, Hussam Halabi, Anan Hashash and Ahmed Barghouti.

Rimawi, Halabi and Ahmed Barghouti are in prison, but Hashash remains at large.

The lawsuit claims that Barghouti, the PLO and PA “solicited, encouraged, permitted and advised” the other defendants to commit the terrorist act that killed Klieman.

The Klieman vs PLO and PA lawsuit is ongoing in the Washington, D.C. District Court, Israeli authorities permitted Barghouti to testify via video link in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, supervised by retired judge Yaakov Bezalel.

The Klieman family are represented in the US by Washington- based law firm Heideman, Nudelman and Kalik PC, which specializes in bringing claims on behalf of terror victims, and in Israel by attorneys Michael Dvorin and Mordechai Heller.

Dvorin told The Jerusalem Post that Wednesday’s deposition hearing was intended to obtain testimony from Barghouti regarding the connection between the PLO, PA and the al-Aqsa Brigades and Tanzim, how they perpetrated terror attacks, and to show Barghouti’s key role.

Barghouti refused on Wednesday to give testimony, saying that he does not recognize the authority of the Israeli court.

Before entering the courtroom, Barghouti, who has been in prison since 2002, was permitted to make a statement to reporters in which he said Israel should withdraw to pre-1967 borders to end the conflict with the Palestinians.

The convicted terrorist also said he supported the events of the Arab Spring, whose consequences he said would be “good for the Palestinians and will result in increased support for the Palestinians.”

Barghouti also said that he might run in the PA elections.

Following Barghouti’s statement outside the courtroom, terror victim Zion Suweri called on Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to order an investigation against the Prison Service as to why Barghouti was permitted to be interviewed by the media.

Suweri’s son Doron, daughter Sharon Ben-Shalom and son-in-law Yaniv Ben-Shalom were all murdered in a terrorist shooting attack on Road 443 in August 2001, for which Barghouti was deemed responsible. Ahmed Barghouti, one of the terrorists named in the lawsuit, was also considered responsible for the attack.

The Almagor Terror Victims Association, which petitioned Aharonovitch on behalf of Suweri, asked the Minister why the Prison Service guards who brought Barghouti to the courtroom did not prevent him from giving a lengthy media interview, as is standard practice for other convicted criminals.

Wednesday’s deposition hearing follows failed efforts by both the PA and PLO to dismiss the civil lawsuit on the grounds that US courts do not have jurisdiction over the two organizations. However, US District judge Paul L.

Friedman found that since both organizations have offices and bank accounts, and a multi-million dollar contract with a lobbying company in Washington paid for by the PA’s Ministry of Finance, they are eligible to be sued in US courts.

“The PLO and PA purposely engaged in numerous activities that resulted in both entities having a continuous and systematic presence within the United States,” Friedman noted in a recent hearing that gave the Klieman case approval to proceed to trial in the US District Court.

The PLO, PA and Barghouti also argued that the machine attack on the bus should not be considered an act of terror, but rather an “act of war carried out as part of the ongoing armed conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The judge dismissed this argument.

The next stage of the deposition will include additional testimonies, including from expert witnesses.

Almagor: Prosecute the Mufti of Jerusalem

Almagor: Prosecute the Mufti of Jerusalem

Israel National News


The Almagor umbrella organization of terror victims associations demanded, on Sunday, that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino, prosecute the Mufti of Jerusalem trial, after he declared that “The killing of Jews will bring the redemption.” Almagor accused the policy of the Justice Department policy for an increase in statements encouraging incitement to murder and terrorism against Jews, after the side Arabs came to the realization that they are immune from prosecution by the Justice Department.

The organization issued a statement that said, “Those involved in incitement understand that the Justice Ministery is more occupied with guarding the Palestinians’ freedom of expression, than with saving lives of Israeli citizens.”

Second Itamar Murderer Sentenced to 5 Life Terms

Jerusalem Post staff

Second Itamar Murderer Sentenced to 5 Life Terms

Samaria Military Court sentences Amjad Awad to five life sentences and seven years for killing five Fogel family members.

The Jerusalem Post


Hakem and Amjad Awwad (Photo: Courtesy)

The Samaria District Military Court sentenced Amjad Awad, one of two cousins convicted of brutally murdering five Fogel family members in the Itamar settlement last March, to five life terms and seven years.

Awad and his cousin, Hakim Awad, entered the home of the Fogels, stabbing and shooting to death parents Udi and Ruth, and killing three of their children: Yoav (4), Elad (11), and four-month old baby Hadas.

Hakim, 18, received his sentence in September, when the same military court sentenced him to five life sentences and five years.

The defendants, who are from the same clan, confessed to stabbing and shooting the two young brothers, their parents, and the three-month-old baby in the attack after they broke into the Itamar settlement adjacent to their village.

“I don’t regret what I did, and would do it again,” Amjad Awad told reporters in May. “I’m proud of what I did and I’ll accept any punishment I get, even death, because I did it all for Palestine,” he added.

The prosecution considered requesting the death penalty for the muderers, the Almagor Terror Victims Association said in a statement Monday.

The Association said they had learned from sources that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak intervened, and “sweetened the punishment of the vile murderers.”

“Now it’s only a matter of time before they are released and in which kidnapping,” the association said, referring to the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap.