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Hamas Says it is ‘Studying’ Paris Proposal for Hostage Deal

Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, gestures as he speaks during his visit at Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon September 6, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

i24 NewsHamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday confirmed receiving a proposal for a hostage and ceasefire deal, that was drawn up in Paris, and which has been pushed by the mediators in the negotiations.

The chairman of the political wing of Hamas says it “is in the process of studying the proposal and submitting a response on the basis that the priority is to stop the aggression.”

In an official statement, Haniyeh added that he received an invitation to visit Cairo to discuss the framework proposal issued in the Paris meeting “and the requirements for its implementation according to an integrated vision that achieves our struggling people’s national interests in the foreseeable future.”

Former Hamas chairman, Khaled Mashal, recently described the Palestinian consensus as not giving up on “our right to Palestine in its entirety, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea, and from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat.”

Hamas had already insisted, Monday night, on achieving a “complete and comprehensive ceasefire” in Gaza, rejecting a temporary truce even after the cessation of what they term “Israeli aggression.”

The stance contradicts earlier indications from Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who hinted at a potential shift by Hamas towards a less strict ceasefire demand. As well as reports that negotiators in Paris, representing Israel, had accepted a framework agreement for the release of hostages with the assistance of American, Qatari, and Egyptian officials.

Following the multiple reports on a potential deal, Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir posted on X, “Reckless deal = dissolution of the government.”



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Holocaust and Srebrenica survivors launch Jewish-Muslim effort to prevent genocides

(JTA) – To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day this weekend, several prominent Holocaust survivors and Jewish leaders headed to the site of a different genocide — that of Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s.

They were there alongside Bosnian Muslim leaders to launch a new initiative aimed at advocating for peace and preventing future genocides.

“While we here today cannot change the past, we can and we must do all in our collective power to change the future,” Menachem Rosensaft, a professor at Cornell Law School who was born to Holocaust survivors in a displaced persons camp in Germany, said at the ceremony.

The event took place Sunday at the Srebrenica Memorial Center, a museum marking the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces in the summer of 1995. Survivors of the Bosnian genocide attended the event, according to organizers.

Jacob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said he hoped the United Nations would declare July 11 as a remembrance day of the Srebrenica massacre, just as it eventually declared Jan. 27 to be the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust.

“Our initiative today will help in that,” said Finci, who was born in a concentration camp in Italy in 1943.

The initiative comes amid intense tensions following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s military response in Gaza. Those tensions have increased as Israel has fended off allegations that it is committing genocide in Gaza, where, according to Hamas data that Israel does not dispute, more than 26,000 people have been killed during the war there.

Participants in the event decried the Oct. 7 attack, in which about 1,200 Israelis were killed and more than 24o taken hostage, while also emphasizing that the toll on Palestinians in Gaza must be considered.

“We must condemn and repudiate the savagery perpetrated by Hamas against Jewish men, women, and children on Oct. 7,” Rosensaft said. “And at the same time, let me state equally clearly and equally unambiguously here today that we must not, we cannot be indifferent to the deaths and displacements endured by Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” who are “victims of a war for which they bore no responsibility whatsoever.”

Husein ef. Kavazović, grand mufti of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, called the initiative “our humble contribution to building peace and better understanding.”

“Resistance to occupation cannot be a justification for committing crimes, just as calling for a fight against terrorism cannot be a justification for killing civilians and collective punishment,” Kavazović added.

Kavazović and Rosensaft signed a memorandum that cited Jewish and Muslim traditions, according to which anyone who saves a single life has saved the whole world.

“The significance of this initiative is far reaching,” said Germany’s high representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Сhristian Schmidt. “By building bridges between historic experiences of their communities, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders show the way towards mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.”

Schmidt said he hoped the initiative “finds followers, may I say, including the Christian community, who will spread this message all across the country and beyond.”

Also speaking at the event were Emir Suljagic, director of the Srebrenica Memorial Center, and Johann Satler, head of the European Union mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mujira Subašić, president of a group representing the mothers of the man killed at Srebrenica, also participated.

The post Holocaust and Srebrenica survivors launch Jewish-Muslim effort to prevent genocides appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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After a Fredericton synagogue is vandalized, the community turns out for a solidarity vigil

On Sunday, Jan. 28, one day after its front windows were broken on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton was at capacity for a solidarity vigil organized by friends of the Jewish community. The event began with participants standing with linked arms outside the synagogue, where the glass panes […]

The post After a Fredericton synagogue is vandalized, the community turns out for a solidarity vigil appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Lyft lets go of driver who allegedly assaulted a DC rabbi and Chabad scion

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Lyft has let go of a driver who allegedly assaulted the scion of a prominent Chabad rabbinical family who had used the rideshare app.

“Lyft unequivocally condemns this behavior,” a spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Monday. “Upon learning of this incident, we deactivated the driver and we’ve been in touch with the rider. We encourage riders and drivers to report harassment, discrimination, or safety concerns in the Lyft app.”

The police are investigating the incident but have not classified it as a hate crime.

Rabbi Menachem Shemtov, the director of Chabad at Georgetown University, ordered a Lyft Sunday midmorning on Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C.’s northwest quarter.

In an interview, Shemtov said he entered and asked the driver to turn down the music, which was very loud. The driver complied but also said that Shemtov could have asked in the app for no music, which Shemtov acknowledged.

Less than a minute later, the driver stopped and told Shemtov to get out of the car, saying he didn’t like his “energy,” Shemtov said.

“I told him, you know, I wish him well, I hope he finds peace and happiness and this is the most aggressive thing that’s happened to me and I get out of the car,” Shemtov said. “And then he gets out of the car and chases me up the block and starts swearing at me like with the F-word and you know, I said, like, ‘Don’t touch me, I’ll call the cops if you hit me,’ or something like that. And he then he punched me in my face.”

Shemtov said the driver punched him again after he tried to stop the driver from leaving.

Shemtov, who was treated at a clinic for a gash to his face, showed JTA video of the driver punching him in the face with with his car key sticking out of his hand. He was treated at a clinic for a gash to his face. According to the police report, which quoted Shemtov and a witness, the alleged assailant shouted “Why’d you slam my door?” as he pursued Shemtov.

In an entry on the charging document marked “suspected hate crime,” the investigating officer checked “No.”

The police report did not name the assailant. Shemtov said he was not the driver whose name appeared on his app. He shared a screenshot of the driver’s cancellation notice, and the driver photo did not resemble the man in the video he shared.

Shemtov’s father is Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who heads American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad). He was leaving the movement’s Washington headquarters after attending services with his father when the alleged assault occurred.

His grandfather is Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, who was close to the movement’s best-known rebbe, the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Abraham Shemtov founded the Washington office and instituted the lighting of a massive Hanukkah menorah on the Ellipse, an event that now draws prominent figures of the administration in power.

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