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Top Hamas official assassinated in Beirut, reportedly by Israel

(JTA) — A top Hamas leader was killed in Beirut along with two other leaders of the terror group, as tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border have continued to escalate.

Saleh Al-Arouri, Hamas’ deputy leader, was killed Tuesday in an attack in the Lebanese capital. He was believed to be an architect of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, and was responsible for the group’s expansion in the West Bank, including its attacks there.

Multiple sources have attributed the blast to Israel, which has yet to officially comment on the incident. A senior American defense official told the Washington Post that Israel was responsible, and Danny Danon, an Israeli lawmaker from the governing Likud Party, wrote on X that Israel conducted the attack.

“I congratulate the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet [internal security service], the Mossad and the security services on the taking out of senior Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri in Beirut,” he said on the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Whoever was involved in the Oct. 7 massacre should know that we will get them and settle scores.

Bezalel Smotrich, Israel’s Finance minister, wrote a post saying “All your enemies will perish, Israel.”

Al-Arouri, the deputy chair of Hamas’ political bureau, was released from Israeli prison in 2010 and took up a role leading the group from abroad. In addition to his focus on the West Bank, he fostered ties between Hamas and Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group that has been fighting with Israel on its northern border following the Oct. 7 attack. Hezbollah is expected to fire missiles at Israel in retaliation for the assassination.

Tensions on Israel’s northern border have intensified in recent weeks, with increasing direct engagement between Israeli and Hezbollah forces. More than 100 people have been killed in the clashes on Israel’s northern border, and Israelis are bracing themselves for a broader war on that front as the Israeli military focuses its attention on Gaza. A poll this week by the Israel Democracy Institute found that about half of Israelis support escalating the campaign against Hezbollah.

Following the Oct. 7 attack, in which Hamas terrorists killed 1,200 people, largely civilians, Al-Arouri emerged as a top spokesman for the operation, telling Al Jazeera, “This is not a [hit-and-run] operation; we started an all-out battle. We expect fighting to continue and the fighting front to expand. We have one prime target: our freedom and the freedom of our holy sites,”

The subsequent war in Gaza has been all consuming, killing some 22,000 people, including thousands of children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. The number does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel says a third of those slain have been combatants.

The post Top Hamas official assassinated in Beirut, reportedly by Israel appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Tribute: Rabbi Dovid Schochet, 91, a pioneer in building Toronto’s observant community

The Jewish community in Toronto lost a towering leader when Rabbi Dovid Schochet, the president of the Toronto Rabbinical Council and the senior rabbi of the Chabad community in Toronto, passed away at the age of 91 on Jan. 28. He was born in 1932 in Basel, Switzerland, the second of 10 children, to Rabbi […]

The post Tribute: Rabbi Dovid Schochet, 91, a pioneer in building Toronto’s observant community appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Attacker in 2021 Antisemitic Assault in New York Sentenced to Three Years in State Prison

Joseph Borgen, victim of an antisemitic attack, addressing a rally in Long Island. Photo: courtesy

The final criminal proceeding for the case of Joseph “Joey” Borgen, a Jewish man whom a gang of antisemites mauled and pepper-sprayed in broad daylight during protests and counter-protests over Israel’s 2021 war with Hamas, resulted in another conviction Wednesday.

Mohammed Said Othman, 29, was sentenced to three years in state prison, according to a press release issued by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg.

Borgen, who is Jewish, was wearing a kippah while walking in Manhattan when Said Othman, along with several other men, ambushed him without being provoked. They shouted antisemitic slurs at the pro-Israel advocate, who suffered a concussion, wrist injury, black eye, and bruises all over his body.

Since then, three other sentences have been handed down in the Borgen case. Waseem Awawdeh, who continuously struck Borgen with a crutch while allegedly joining the others in shouting antisemitic epithets at him, pleaded guilty to attempted assault as a hate crime and received 18 months in jail, as part of a plea bargain negotiated with Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathon Junig.

In November, Mahmoud Musa received seven years in prison for his role in the attack. In December, Mohammed Othman was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in state prison and five additional years of post-release supervision.

As seen in footage of the incident, Othman kicked and repeatedly struck Borgen in the face while sitting on his chest to weigh him down. In court, he pleaded guilty to gang assault and third-degree hate crime assault.

“These defendants violently targeted and assaulted another individual simply because he is Jewish,” District Attorney Bragg said in a statement. “While this office always supports the right to peacefully protest and engage in open dialogue, these multi-year prison sentences makes clear that physically attacking someone because of their religion is never acceptable. I thank our hate crimes unit for its diligent work in this case.”

Throughout the criminal proceedings in his case, Joey Borgen called on New York City lawmakers to do more to eradicate antisemitic hatred in the five boroughs.

In December, he told The Algemeiner that while he is pleased with the outcome of the case he is worried that the group with which his attackers were allegedly affiliated, the extreme anti-Zionist organization Within Our Lifetime (WOL), is still engaging in antisemitic activity that could lead to more hate crimes.

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, WOL has posted (and deleted) a map, titled “Know Your Enemies,” showing the addresses of Jewish organizations in New York City, and staged numerous disruptive protests. The group is led by Nerdeen Kiswani, a former City University of New York (CUNY) student who once threatened to set on fire someone’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hoodie while he was wearing it.

“They’re still causing havoc; they’re forcing Jewish attendees of a fundraiser to speak at the backdoor of a police van, and they’re bombarding the mother of a hostage with horrible antisemitic chants,” Borgen said. “While I’m happy that I got a positive result in my case, I’m still disturbed that this same group is still going around causing issues for Jewish people, attacking restaurants, and putting people in danger.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Attacker in 2021 Antisemitic Assault in New York Sentenced to Three Years in State Prison first appeared on

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See Mark Breslin live in conversation with Ralph Benmergui

A special live taping of our podcast ‘Not That Kind of Rabbi’.

The post See Mark Breslin live in conversation with Ralph Benmergui appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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