Hezbollah Sends Mentally Ill Man to Test Israeli Border Fence
BY PESACH BENSON FEBRUARY 13, 2018
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel detained and subsequently repatriated a mentally unstable Lebanese man who crossed the border. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The man claimed he had been sent by two Hezbollah operatives, Mahadi and Ali Shahror, who reportedly threatened him with forced mental hospitalization.
The suspect, who was caught close to where he crossed into Israel, was under close surveillance by troops since he approached the fence.
According to subsequent reports, the Lebanese man, identified as Ali Mari, previously crossed into Israel on his volition 10 months ago.
2. Israel arrested and deported a Turkish national suspected of helping Hamas operatives establish themselves in Turkey. According to Ynet, many of the Hamas figures Cemil Tekeli assisted were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. A second Israeli national, Dara’am Jabarin was also arrested. He is “suspected of aiding in money laundering and transfer of funds to West Bank for terror activity.”
Tekeli’s interrogation revealed that Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas via, inter alia, the SADAT company, which was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser with close ties to Turkish administration officials . . .
During Tekeli’s interrogation, it became clear Hamas is in direct contact with Turkish authorities via terrorist Jihad Ya’amur, who was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Nachson Waxman and was released in the Shalit deal.
3. The trial of teenage Palestinian Ahed Tamimi began today, with the judge ordering the proceedings take place behind closed doors. Tamimi was arrested after trying to provoke a soldier by slapping him in front of video cameras.
In the News
• The PA’s escalating its opposition to US peace mediation. Abbas told Putin the PA “refuses to cooperate with the US in any form,” while chief negotiator Saeb Erekat got op-ed space in the New York Times to explain why.
• After the open Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria, the Washington Post examines the morphing internationalization of the Syrian conflict.
• Palestinians are denouncing the PA for helping a pair of IDF soldiers escape Jenin lynch mob yesterday. The two accidentally drove into the city, apparently after misusing Waze. The PA also returned weapons stolen from the soldiers.
• Knesset applies Israeli law to Ariel University in the West Bank.
• Hamas meets with Abbas rivals, including Mohammed Dahlan, as detente with Fatah crumbles.
• In first, Israeli diplomats attend UN conference in Malaysia, a majority Muslim country that has no ties with the Jewish state.
Malaysia was compelled to host the Israelis, since it was required to grant visas to all delegations in order to hold the international conference, the report added.
• The White House denied Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that he is in talks with the US to annex settlement areas in the West Bank. See Raphael Ahren‘s take.
• The Media Line takes a closer look at the likelihood of ties between Israel and Pakistan.
• Antwerp man filmed destroying 20 mezuzahs, harassing Jews.
• Unattended package detonated at Pittsburgh-area JCC.
cyber• If fake news doesn’t keep you up at night, fake information might. Aviv Ovadya, chief technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility, warns that an “information apocalypse” — a new level of misinformation and deception that makes fake news seem like child’s play. Buzzfeed caught up with Ovadya.
Technologies that can be used to enhance and distort what is real are evolving faster than our ability to understand and control or mitigate it. The stakes are high and the possible consequences more disastrous than foreign meddling in an election — an undermining or upending of core civilizational institutions, an “infocalypse.” And Ovadya says that this one is just as plausible as the last one — and worse . . .
And much in the way that foreign-sponsored, targeted misinformation campaigns didn’t feel like a plausible near-term threat until we realized that it was already happening, Ovadya cautions that fast-developing tools powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality tech could be hijacked and used by bad actors to imitate humans and wage an information war.
• Lead screed goes to South Africa Mail & Guardian writer Rumana Akoob. I don’t care if she doesn’t want Israel’s he