Follow on Twitter @joelcrosenberg

After six months, some good news: Israel seeing “significant decline” in terror attacks. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2016 at 11:51 am

Israelisoldiers-cityUPDATE ON MONDAY, APRIL 18:

(Central Israel) — After a six-month spate of stabbings, fire-bombing, shootings and other attacks by Palestinian terrorists, there is finally some good news to report.

The latest data from Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent of the American FBI, show a “significant decline in the scope of terrorist attacks,” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu noted this week.

So far in April, there have been “only” three significant terror attacks. In March, there were 20. Last October, there were 78, reported the Times of Israel.

The downward trend is the result of a combination of more effective work by Israeli security services in arresting terror plotters before they strike, fast reaction operations to track down and capture terrorists after they strike, and efforts to convince Palestinian young people that there is no benefit to them by engaging in such violence.

It should also be noted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces — to their credit — have been working hard to prevent terror attacks, as well.

“The Shin Bet said it had foiled a number of attacks, including 25 kidnapping attacks and 15 suicide attacks,” the Times reported. “It noted Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups has been trying to carry out such attacks. Alongside activities to stop Palestinian attacks the Shin Bet also focused on countering Jewish terror threats, it said. Over the weekend PA security forces said they foiled a major terror attack by arresting three Palestinians who were heading to Israel carrying grenades and a gun.”

Here’s the latest data on Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces:

  • March — 123
  • February — 155
  • January — 169
  • December 2015 — 246

“Most of the attacks in the tally were fire-bombings, but the data also covered stabbings, car-ramming attacks, gunfire, improvised bombs and grenades as well as projectile fire from the Gaza Strip,” AFP reported.

The Times of Israel reported this week that over the past six months, “29 Israelis, two Americans, and two others” have been killed. “Over the same time, at least 188 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire. Israel says most were attackers, and the rest died in clashes with security forces.”

Please continue to pray for the restoration of calm in Israel, and throughout the Palestinian-controlled territories. Pray for leaders on both sides to have wisdom in how best to restore — and maintain — calm. Please also continue praying for the victims and their families, as they continue to grieve and heal from their traumas.

————————–

——————-

“The Third Target,” first thriller about threat of the Islamic State, has been nominated for an industry book award.

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm

TheThirdTarget

This week, Lynn and I learned that The Third Target has been nominated for the 2016 Christian Book Award. It is one of 35 finalists for the honor bestowed annually by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

The Third Target, published in January 2015, was the first in a new series of political thrillers I’ve written about a horrific terror plot by the Islamic State, whose leaders are driven by an Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology to build the Caliphate and bring about the End of Days. The novel centers on J.B. Collins, a fictional New York Times foreign correspondent. Collins is pursuing rumors that ISIS has seized chemical weapons in Syria and is preparing to launch devastating attacks against the U.S., Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians; assassinate their leaders; and overthrow Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

The novel last year hit the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today best-sellers lists, and hit #1 on the ECPA list of best-selling Christian novels.

I am deeply honored to learn the book is a finalist for the Christian Book Award and thrilled to be in the company of such excellent authors. I can still remember how exciting it was a decade ago when my political thriller, The Ezekiel Option, won first place in what was then known as ECPA’s “Gold Medallion Award” in 2006.

“Our member publishers submitted more than 250 books in seven categories in this year’s Christian Book Award® program,” said Stan Jantz, ECPA executive director, in a press release. “These outstanding finalists, selected by 72 independent judges, showcase the variety and power of the books Christian publishers are producing.”

“Winners will be announced at the Industry’s Awards Celebration in Nashville, held the evening of May 3rd during the ECPA Leadership Summit,” noted the ECPA press release. “The announcement that night will coincide with a ‘social media blitz’ through Thunderclap that announces the winners, and launches a social media campaign to #ReadGoodBooks and share #MyFavoriteGoodBook.  Last year’s campaign reached over half a million (520,909) with the news.”

————————–

——————-

Darkness falling over Turkey. Israel tells its citizens to leave Turkey immediately as ISIS threat to Jews & Christians grows.

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Joel-Istanbul

I’ve been to Turkey at least a half dozen times over the years and have always loved it there. Just last October, I traveled to Istanbul for a series of meetings. I visited the Blue Mosque and various locations that I’d written about in The Third Target, including the area of restaurants and cafes where I’d set a fictional terrorist attack that nearly kills my main character, J.B. Collins, the New York Times foreign correspondent.

I’m so glad I went, but it’s going to be awhile before I go back. Turkey is fast turning from a moderate, peaceful democracy — indeed, long model of tolerance in the Islamic world since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s — into a dangerous dictatorship under President Erdogan, an increasingly tyrannical Islamist. What’s more, Turkey is becoming both a transit point for ISIS and al Qaeda and other jihadists, and even a target of Radical Islamic terrorism.

On March 20th, for example, a suicide bomber with links to ISIS blew himself up in the heart of Istanbul, killing four and wounded 36 people. Among the dead were three Israelis, including two with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. Eleven more Israelis were among the wounded. It was just one of many recent attacks.

Intelligence agencies are warning that Jews and Christians could be targeted with more terror attacks soon. Now the Israeli government is warning its citizens to leave Turkey immediately.

Soon, I plan to write more about the darkness falling over Turkey, a country I love dearly and one where I’ve taken my wife and children repeatedly over the years.

For now, here’s more on the warning issued to Israeli citizens:

“The Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday issued a travel warning calling on the public to avoid visiting Turkey and urging Israelis currently there to leave as soon as they can,” reports the Times of Israel.

The warning, which raised the terror risk in Turkey from level 3 (basic concrete threat) to level 2 (high concrete threat), came in the wake of a terror attack in central Istanbul on March 19, in which three Israelis were killed and several others wounded,” the Times noted. “That attack, the PMO said in a statement, underscored the threat emanating from Islamic State cells that seek to attack tourism sites and proved that IS has ‘high capabilities of carrying out further attacks.'”

“Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets – including Israeli tourists – throughout the country,” the statement added. Israelis in Turkey should “leave as soon as possible.””

On Saturday, Turkish police warned of possible Islamic State attacks against Christians and Jews. “IS has been blamed for four of six bombings that have rocked Turkey in the past eight months, including a double suicide attack at a peace rally in the capital, Ankara, in October that left 103 people dead,” noted the Times.

“The police have warned that IS group members may have scouted out places of worship as well as consulates and embassies, saying that churches and synagogues especially in Ankara, as well as foundations belonging to non-Muslims, should be on their guard,” the article noted. “Israel has not stated definitively whether last Saturday’s blast had deliberately targeted Israelis. It has praised Turkey for its handling of the aftermath of the bombing. The Israeli victims of the attack were Yonathan Suher, 40, Simha Dimri, 59, and Avraham Goldman, 69. Suher and Goldman were also United States citizens.”

————————–

——————-

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,034 other followers