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Friday, May. 06 '16, Nissan 28, 5776



HEADLINES:
1. REVEALED: STATE DEPARTMENT DELAYED SPECIAL BENGHAZI UNIT
2. IAF RETALIATES IN GAZA AFTER MORTAR ATTACK
3. HAMAS: WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR WAR
4. 'THERE'S NO NEED TO BE DRAGGED INTO THE HEADLINES'
5. EXPOSED: TERRORIST'S BODY RETURN BREACHED NETANYAHU'S CONDITIONS
6. SHELDON ADELSON: TRUMP WILL BE GOOD FOR ISRAEL
7. NEW START-UP MEASURES THE VALUE OF 'LIKES'
8. INTERVIEW: ARE CHILDREN READY FOR HOLOCAUST BOOKS?


1. REVEALED: STATE DEPARTMENT DELAYED SPECIAL BENGHAZI UNIT
by Arutz Sheva Staff

Newly revealed documents show that the US State Department missed the date in June 2015 it set for itself to establish a special unit to review documents regarding the Benghazi scandal.

The documents, exposed by Fox News on Friday, were created by the House committee currently investigating the 2012 terror attacks on US facilities in Benghazi.

They reveal that early in 2015 Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the committee, started working behind the scenes to get over $4 million in "reprogrammed" funds Congress had allocated for such a unit transferred over to the State Department, in an attempt to speed up the investigation.

Republican staff on the committee reached agreements with Secretary of State John Kerry's top aides, including chief of staff Jonathan Finer, according to which the special Benghazi document review unit was to be "operational" in June 2015.

However, Fox News contacted the State Department and got it to acknowledge that it missed that date.

"The Congressional Document Production unit began staffing up in mid-2015 and is now fully operational," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told the news site in an email on late Thursday.

The Benghazi committee, which is co-chaired by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), for the last two years has investigated the September 11, 2012 attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, in which US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered.

Significantly, the committee has found that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who currently is leading the Democratic presidential race, used an illegal private email server for her work in a serious breach of security and secrecy.

One email from her server that was later made public revealed that Clinton gave her daughter a different version of the Benghazi attacks than the false version that she and other top administration officials were spreading publicly. The Benghazi probe also found Clinton wiped a number of emails regarding the incident from her server.

Aside from missing its deadline for the Benghazi unit, the State Department also was unwilling to reveal what happened to the funds set aside for the unit, according to the documents.

Kerry's aides, including Finer, back in mid-2015 refused to answer repeated inquiries by Gowdy's staff about the fate of the funds.

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner on Wednesday was asked at a press briefing if he could state that the funds for the unit were actually used for that purpose, and he said he was "fairly certain" they "would have been."

The Benghazi committee is anticipated to complete its final report next month.


2. IAF RETALIATES IN GAZA AFTER MORTAR ATTACK
by Tova Dvorin

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) targeted terrorists in Gaza on Friday, hours after an attack on IDF soldiers on the other side of the border fence. 

Mortar shells were fired at Engineering Corps soldiers in the Gaza Belt area early Friday, as they were in the middle of an operation unearthing Hamas's terror tunnels under the security border.

No injuries or damage were reported. 

The morning barrage comes after three separate Hamas mortar attacks were launched at roughly two hour intervals by Gazan terrorists on IDF soldiers near the security border in southern Gaza on Thursday.  

At least six mortar attacks were launched in the two days before that, but the terrorists were unable to prevent Israel from unearthing a new Hamas terror tunnel on Thursday morning.

The mortar attacks have been frequent enough to prompt Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to call an emergency Cabinet meeting late Thursday night to discuss the situation.  The meeting was postponed to Friday morning.


3. HAMAS: WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR WAR
by Arutz Sheva staff

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that his Islamist terror movement is not seeking war with Israel, but will not tolerate its troops entering Gaza. 

"We are not calling for a new war, but we will not under any circumstance accept these incursions," he said in a prayer sermon in Gaza, which has repeatedly fired mortar shells on Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border this week as the troops work to thwart Hamas's terror tunnels.

Haniyeh said that Israeli forces had entered Gaza to a depth of "150 to 199 meters (yards) on the pretext of searching for tunnels."

"We sent multiple messages that the resistance will not allow the Israeli occupation army to impose new rules within the borders of the Gaza Strip," continued the senior terrorist.

He said Hamas would not accept the "so-called buffer zone," referring to a 100-meter wide strip along the border but inside Gazan territory where the IDF retains the right to operate so as to prevent terrorist breaches. Ironically, Haniyeh has remained largely quiet on the massive Egyptian buffer zone in southern Gaza since late 2014, which likewise is a counter-terror tool.

Arab sources in Gaza told Walla on Friday afternoon that the IDF had pulled back its forced from the Gazan side of the security barrier, and was continuing to search for tunnels on the Israeli side.

Gazan terrorists lobbed mortar shells at Engineering Corps troops Friday, one day after three separate Hamas mortar attacks were launched at roughly two hour intervals by Gazan terrorists on IDF soldiers near the security border in southern Gaza. The IAF responded in kind Friday, shelling terror targets in northern Gaza.  

At least six mortar attacks were launched in the two days before that, but the terrorists were unable to prevent Israel from unearthing a new Hamas terror tunnel on Thursday morning.

Hamas has radically changed its tune since then, after it warned Israel on Wednesday not to "test its patience" after the first mortar shells were fired.

AFP contributed to this report. 


4. 'THERE'S NO NEED TO BE DRAGGED INTO THE HEADLINES'
by Ido Ben-Porat

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Friday attempted to bring calm over a scathing State Comptroller's report concerning the 2014 Gaza war, in which he is said to be blasted for a lack of leadership. 

"We need to do this calmly and responsibly - there's no need to be dragged into the headlines," Gantz stated. "I regret that a draft of the report reached the media before [it reached] the relevant officials." 

Among other things, the report describes an incident on the first day of the operation, when a Hamas terrorist tunnel was detected near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and Gantz assured the Cabinet that Hamas does not intend to carry out attacks using tunnels. Shortly after those comments, the report alleges, four different attacks from four different Hamas tunnels were carried out.

It also details several lapses of leadership by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, including their omitting the existence of terror tunnels until fighting actually begin. 

Former ministers have lashed out at both the premier and Ya'alon after news leaked of the report, and have said that the document proves the government is incapable of handling Hamas terror. 


5. EXPOSED: TERRORIST'S BODY RETURN BREACHED NETANYAHU'S CONDITIONS
by Ari Yashar

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ordered that the body of an Arab terrorist who earlier in the day ran down three IDF soldiers be returned, but Palestinian media reveals that his conditions for the return were summarily breached.

The return of the body of the terrorist, who wounded three soldiers including one seriously in a car ramming attack near Dolev in Samaria, broke with the policy announced by Netanyahu before the Passover holiday. According to that policy, Israel would stop handing over bodies of terrorists for burial by their families as a deterrent step.

But an official tried to defend the controversial return ordered by the political echelon, telling Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that Netanyahu had authorized the Defense and Internal Security Ministers to return terrorists' bodies if conditions such as no massive funeral were met.

However, Palestinian media coverage of the ensuing funeral reveals that the terrorist was given a massive rally of honor in a huge funeral procession attended by thousands of Palestinian Arabs, which paraded his body through Samaria and in northern Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported that thousands attended the funeral, and published photos showing numerous Hamas terror flags as well as a sprinkling of yellow Fatah flags being waved in the course of the procession. The report can be viewed here.

The terrorist's body was wrapped in a green Hamas flag at certain parts of the procession according to the Ma'an photographic evidence, and was wrapped with a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag at other parts.

Riyad Shehada, a 36-year-old from Kalandiya in northeastern Jerusalem, was identified as the terrorist. His funeral on Wednesday began from the Ramallah governmental hospital and proceeded to his family's house in nearby Bitunia, reports Ma'an.

But the massive public honoring of the terrorist did not end there. His body was then taken to a mosque in Kalandiya for funeral prayers.

Huge numbers of Kalandiya residents then marched his body "to the al-Shuhada (Martyrs) Cemetery to put him to rest," reports the Palestinian news site, adding that his brother Abu Malek accused Israel of "executing" the terrorist.

Abu Malek noted that Shehad worked in aluminum manufacturing, and left behind a wife and five children.

The decision to return the body of the terrorist raised outrage in Israel. The father of one of the three soldiers wounded in the attack, Meir Mizrahi, said he was bitterly "disappointed" in Netanyahu over the move on Wednesday.

"Netanyahu promised that in every terror attack we won't return the bodies, and here the Defense Minister (Moshe Ya'alon) did the opposite of what the Prime Minister promised, and I'm really upset by that," said Mizrahi.

"One says one thing and the other says and does the opposite," he added. "I voted for Netanyahu and I am very disappointed by him. It makes no sense."

Earlier on Wednesday, Yisrael Beytenu chairperson Avigdor Liberman criticized Netanyahu for returning the terrorist's body, and demanded that he resign.


6. SHELDON ADELSON: TRUMP WILL BE GOOD FOR ISRAEL
by Ari Yashar

Jewish American billionaire Sheldon Adelson on Thursday night revealed he will be supporting Donald Trump in his presidential campaign, and stated that the real estate mogul will be a good president in strengthening ties with Israel.

Speaking to the New York Times at a gala dinner in Manhattan for the Jewish organization World Values Network, the casino magnate said he will back Trump now that he's the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

"Yes, I'm a Republican, he's a Republican. He's our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 - he was one of the 17. He won fair and square," said Adelson.

He added that Trump "will be good for Israel."

The statement by Adelson, who is also known as a backer of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, comes after a Trump adviser on Wednesday said he will not pressure Israel into concessions as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton would likely do.

Earlier this week Trump supported Israel's right to build in Judea and Samaria, and on Wednesday he told a haredi magazine that "violence towards Israel is also violence towards us."

Adelson's support for Trump comes after the billionaire did not officially endorse any candidate during the Republican presidential primaries, even though he expressed willingness to back Trump in March.

That willingness came despite an initial altercation between the two in October, when Trump took aim at Adelson and wrote on Twitter that the billionaire wanted to make Senator Mark Rubio (R-FL) "his perfect little puppet" in the Republican race.

However, the two met in December and apparently sorted out their differences. Adelson later said they discussed Israel, and said he found Trump to be "very charming."


7. NEW START-UP MEASURES THE VALUE OF 'LIKES'
by Tova Dvorin

Social media marketing is a tricky business - and one American immigrant to Israel has innovated a solution. 

Boston-area native Zach Kessin first thought of the concept for his new start-up, SquareTarget, several weeks ago.

"Instagram is very seductive when it comes to 'likes'," Kessin stated, in an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva Friday.

"I can get 50-70 likes on a picture almost every day, but what I was unsure about was: what value did those likes have? How many of them were from people who were really interested in what I was doing and how many of them were just randomly liking pictures?"

Kessin, a tech genius who has specialized in code-language Erlang and has launched start-ups before, used his computational skills to look at the problem. 

"I decided that I could solve these problems with math," he said. "By looking at issues like what else the people who liked my image 'liked,' or what hashtags they themselves used, I could start to zoom in on some real numbers."

The Ariel-based start-up creates a customized report to show users what kind of attention they're attracting - and if the engagement they receive is real or generated by any number of "social media bots" designed to spam users. 

It could be a boon for public relations workers and business owners alike, he explained, as the tool helps hone marketing strategies so the photos reach the right audience.  

"I think that people who are using Instagram for real marketing and brand building efforts would find this useful," Kessin said. 



8. INTERVIEW: ARE CHILDREN READY FOR HOLOCAUST BOOKS?
by Yoni Kempinski

Tzipi Cohen, a Holocaust survivor who was a young girl in Budapest, Hungary at the time of World War II, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Thursday for Holocaust Remembrance Day about the unique children's book recounting her experiences during the war.

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The book, which is entitled "The Doll's Tzipi" and is an initiative of the Shem Olam Institute, deals with heavy material, but when asked about those who might question whether children are ready for stories from the Holocaust, Cohen has no doubts.

"It's healthier for them if they start young. It's part of us, it's part of our history," she explained.

For her grandchildren, she noted that having her story in a book format makes it theirs, something they can tangibly own.

During her time in America where she lived after the Holocaust, Cohen recalls that it was a source of embarrassment to be a Holocaust survivor and different, and for many years she didn't want to share her story. As a result some of her friends didn't even know she was a survivor, even after 70 years of friendship.

Stressing that Jews have to remember what the nation of Israel went through, Cohen warned about the current global situation.

"It should never happened again. We're not in a good place today, and it's frightening. And the kids have to be strong and they cannot think that they're like every other country because they're not."

Tzipi Cohen Yoni Kempinski





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