An American inmate being held in an Israeli prison has been killed after shooting at the prison guards and seriously injuring two of them. Samuel Sheinbein had been held in the Israeli prison since 1997, and his death brings closure to the family of the Maryland man he murdered.
According to reports, Sheinbein stole a weapon and began firing at the guards. He then barricaded himself inside the prison, where a stand-off ensued. Sheinbein then fired again, hitting three more guards. Units dispatched to the scene returned fire and killed Sheinbein.
Sheinbein's case brought international attention after he fled to Israel to avoid a life sentence in Maryland for killing and dismembering 19-year-old Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr. Sheinbein and Aaron Needle strangled Tello with a rope before hitting him several times with a sharp object. He then used an electric saw to dismember Tello's body before burning it. more >>
A hardline rabbi group said in an open letter that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared a war on God through his recent peace talk efforts between Israel and Palestine.
The letter was sent to Kerry this past Sunday by the Rabbis from the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel, an activist group that opposes any diplomatic talks between Israel and Palestine that involve territory concessions. The letter states that Kerry's recent mediation efforts between Israel and Palestine will only result in "heavenly punishment" for all parties involved.
"Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas's terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For God awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time," the letter reads. more >>
Scarlett Johansson is addressing criticism of her endorsement of SodaStream, an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank, with a statement this week.
Just one week before her SodaStream ad appears on television during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, the actress issued a statement explaining her position as the company's first global brand ambassador. Pro-Palestinian activists have targeted the company for operating in West Bank, an Israeli territory claimed by the Palestinians.
In the statement, Johansson said that she "never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance" while joining SodaStream International Ltd. more >>
The U.S. has responded to stinging comments made by Israel's defense minister, who recently described Secretary of State John Kerry's approach to the Middle East peace initiative as "messianic" and said he hopes Kerry will ultimately leave the Middle Eastern country alone.
"The remarks of the Defense Minister if accurate are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel's security needs," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement released Tuesday.
Israel's defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, reportedly told the Yediot Aharonot , the biggest selling newspaper in the country, on Tuesday, "Secretary of State John Kerry came here very determined and operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling." more >>
A 2,000-year-old burial box believed by some to contain the remains of James, the brother of Jesus Christ, is set to go on public display in Israel, though it is stirring debate among Roman Catholics who reject that Christ had biological siblings.
Oded Golan, the Israeli antiquities collector who owns the limestone burial box, insists that "this is the oldest evidence that mentions the name of Jesus Christ," according to a report in The Guardian, written by journalist Matthew Kalman, who maintains the James Ossuary Trial Jerusalem blog.
"There is no doubt that it's ancient, and the probability is that it belonged to the brother of Jesus Christ," he added. more >>
Palestinian militant group Hamas has accused Israel of intentionally flooding the Gaza Strip during a massive storm last week. But Israel says that the dams it is accused of opening don't even exist.
"The allegation of [Israel] opening dams and flooding the Gaza Strip is baseless and false," Uri Schor, a spokesman for Israel's Water Authority, shared with The Times of Israel in response to the accusations, adding that no dams exist in the area.
"The opposite is true: due to the damage caused by the storm – which affected all neighboring countries and not only the Palestinian Authority – Israel responded to a special appeal conveyed through the UN, transferring four high-power pumps to the Gaza Strip intended to help residents remove water from flooded areas." more >>