Turkey Invades Syria
(Arutz Sheva) Turkey has reportedly struck 63 targets in Syria, in a vengeance attack on ISIS in Jarablus.
Turkey’s army and international coalition forces on Wednesday started an operation to drive Islamic State jihadists out of a key Syrian border town, a statement from the Turkish prime minister’s office said.
“The Turkish Armed Forces and the International Coalition Air Forces have launched a military operation aimed at clearing the district of Jarablus of the province of Aleppo from the terrorist organisation Daesh,” it added, using an Arabic acronym for IS group.
The state-run news agency Anadolu said the operation began at around 4 am local time (0100 GMT).
Turkish F-16 jets dropped bombs on IS targets in Jarablus -- the first such assault since a November crisis with Russia sparked by the downing of one of Moscow’s warplanes by the Turkish air force, the private NTV television reported.
Security sources quoted by Turkish television said a small contingent of special forces travelled a few kilometres into Syria to secure the area before a possible operation.
Broadcaster CNN-Turk reported that Turkish artillery hit 63 targets in Syria.
Several mortar rounds from IS-held Jarablus hit the Turkish border town of Karkamis on Tuesday, prompting the army to pound the jihadist positions on Syrian soil with artillery strikes.
Israeli Judo Olympian Sells Autographed ID Badge to Help Kids With Cancer
(JNS.org) Israeli Judo Olympic bronze medalist Yarden Gerbi will auction off the name badge she wore during the Rio games to raise money for kids with cancer.
The Children’s Oncology Department at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital will receive the proceeds from Gerbi’s eBay auction going on now through Aug. 29.
“Yarden proves that she is not just a champion on the field, she’s also a whole-hearted player with a true soul,” said the medical center director Professor Roni Gamzu, as reported in Arutz Sheva. “The whole hospital, and the children of the ward, thank her profusely for thinking of us, and for the support and encouragement she is giving to sick children.”
In the first three hours of online bidding, the highest amount offered for the name tag exceeded $10,000.
Gerbi wrote on her Facebook page that she had visited the children’s oncology ward at Ichilov.
“I met amazing kids who are heroes, doing their best to fight and keep high spirits,” Gerbi wrote. “I recently found out that Liran Or, a sweet and loving girl whom I was in contact with, had passed away. That’s the reason I decided to donate to the same ward.”
Law & Order’s Steven Hill, Orthodox Jewish Actor, Dies at 94
(BBC News and combined sources) U.S. actor Steven Hill, who was best known for roles on the original “Law & Order” and “Mission: Impossible” TV shows, has died at the age of 94. Hill played undercover team leader Daniel Briggs in the first series of “Mission: Impossible” in 1966, and he appeared as District Attorney Adam Schiff on NBC’s “Law & Order” for 10 years from 1990.
“Law & Order” producer Dick Wolf described Hill as “one of the truly great actors of his generation.” He was also “one of the most intelligent people I have ever met,” Wolf said, adding, “He is also the only actor I’ve known who consistently tried to cut his own lines.”
Hill began his acting career on Broadway in 1946 and took classes alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift at the Actors Studio in New York.
In a 1996 interview with The Washington Post, Hill reflected: “I don’t think I ever worked as hard as I should have.”
He was a regular on Broadway and on television in the 1950s and ‘60s, but quit acting after “Mission: Impossible,” which he said was “not the happiest experience.”
But he returned to showbusiness with supporting roles in films like “Yentl,” “Billy Bathgate” and “The Firm,” and earned two Emmy Award nominations for his “Law & Order” performances in the 1990s.
He died on Tuesday at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, his wife, Rachel, told the Associated Press news agency.
Israel Busts Palestinian Weapons Mills in Massive West Bank Raid
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli security forces raided seven illegal Palestinian weapons mills in the Hebron and Bethlehem area on Monday night, in the largest crackdown of its kind over the last year.
The raids were carried out by five IDF battalions, the military’s Judea and Samaria Division, the Shin Bet security agency and the Judea and Samaria District Police in an effort to root out illegal weapons production and trading.
IDF and Border Police troops found 22 lathes in seven separate weapons factories. Dozens of firearms, weapons parts and cartridges were also uncovered in the operation. The lathes and weapons found were seized by security forces.
Separately, a trove of illegal weapons and munitions was discovered Tuesday night during an Israeli security forces raid on several weapons mills in the Bethlehem area. A joint operation by the Judea and Samaria District Police and the military’s Etzion Brigade, Tuesday’s raid was the second operation this week targeting illegal Palestinian weapon manufacturers and dealers across Judea and Samaria.
The search yielded a hunting rifle, guns, dozens of rifle barrels, a large variety of gun magazines, hundreds of bullets and a large number of firearm components such as triggers and safeties, as well as military clothing. Some of the guns were foreign models while others were made in the increasingly sophisticated local weapons mills. Along with the firearms, security forces found stolen bullets, knives, handcuffs, nunchucks, flak jackets and American army uniforms, according to Israeli media reports.
A military official described the raids as part of “the biggest operation carried out this year against illegal arms” in Judea and Samaria.
He said two suspects, one of them a “high-profile arms dealer,” were arrested during Tuesday’s raid. Both have been turned over to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.
A military source with the Judea and Samaria Division told Israel Hayom the troops were surprised by the sheer quantity of illegal arms seized. “We thought they [the Palestinians] would be a little more sophisticated. We didn’t expect to just find them [the weapons] lying around.”
Israeli Soldier Hurt in Palestinian Stabbing Attack
(JNS.org) An Israeli soldier was lightly hurt in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist near the Jewish community of Yitzhar in the Shomron Regional Council south of Nablus on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the IDF, the attack began as a Palestinian vehicle was throwing rocks at passing vehicles. After security forces pursued the vehicle and forced it off the road, a Palestinian man exited the car and then proceeded to stab one of the nearby soldiers, lightly wounding him.
The assailant was then shot and killed by the injured soldier at the scene of the attack.
The soldier was evacuated from the scene for medical treatment and the IDF is investigating the attack.
Chabad in Italy Offers Assistance to Earthquake Victims
(Chabad.org) Neighbors, friends and rescuers spent the day Wednesday digging through rubble in the desperate hopes of finding people alive after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked central Italy at about 3:30 a.m., killing more than 120 people. The epicenter was centered near the town of Norcia, Italy, about 100 miles from Rome, where buildings also reportedly swayed from the resulting tremors.
Rabbi Menachem Lazar, co-director of Chabad Piazza Bologna, Rome, with his wife, Rivka, took to social media to help coordinate relief efforts among members of the Jewish community, as well as with earthquake specialists in Israel. In an early-morning posting, he wrote: “Chabad has received requests for help and of people asking to help. We are trying to coordinate. If you need help, please contact us.”
He also used to Twitter to let people know that Zaka, an Israeli search-and-rescue team, was ready to join in the search for survivors and was awaiting the green light from Italian authorities to enter the country.
Strong aftershocks measuring as high as 5.5 on the Richter scale continue to shake the ground there. Italy has a history of severe earthquakes, including a quake in 2009 that killed 300 people.
Israeli Diplomat Visits Muslim African Nation With No Formal Ties to Israel
(JNS.org) Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold on Monday visited the African country of Guinea, a Muslim nation that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Gold’s three-day trip to West Africa included the visit to Conakry, the capital of Guinea on Sunday, to meet with President Alpha Conde and 10 government ministers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced plans to visit many West African countries by the end of the year, hoping to improve Israeli-African relations by focusing on shared interests in development and ways to fight Islamic terrorism.
In July, Netanyahu traveled to East Africa to re-establish ties with Guinea. A few days later, Gold also visited the president of another Muslim African nation, Chad, which also has no diplomatic ties to Israel.