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AJN News

Stabbing attack at the Old City



Ataque a puñaladas en la Ciudad Vieja de Jerusalem

Terrorist neutralized after stabbing and injuring three victims at the Lions’ Gate, a flashpoint of terror attacks during Israel’s wave of terror; attack interrupts a relatively prolonged period of calm in the capital.

A terrorist carried out a stabbing attack at Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wedenesday afternoon, leaving three lightly wounded before being neutralized.

A policeman was among those injured in the stabbing. Magen David Adom paramedics were called to the scene and provided medical treatment to the victims.

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AJN News

Hadassah, an exemplary interfaith and coexistence environment in the Middle East

AJN Agency – (By Daniel Berliner) Walking the halls of Hadassah Medical Center is a unique experience. In view of the recent internment of Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian Authority official, some astonishment appeared in some sectors.





Cover photo: from left to right: Daniel Berliner (Director of AJN), Malena Cohen-Cymberknoh ( Head of Pediatric Pneumonology Service) and Jorge Diener

AJN Agency.- (By Daniel Berliner) Walking around Hadassah Medical Center is a unique experience. In the light of the recent hospitalization of Saeb Erekat, top official of the Palestinian Authority, the situation generated astonishment in some sectors.

However, many Palestinians are doctors, assistants and nurses at Hadassah, and even Palestinian patients are normally treated like any Israeli citizen and with the same rights.


Abed Khalaileh, Palestinian, director of the Kidney Transplant Service of General Surgery Department of Hadassah

An example of this is the Palestinian-born doctor Abed Khalaileh, director of the Kidney Transplant Service of General Surgery Department at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. “Hadassah hospital is like Noah’s Ark, because here you see Arabs, Jews and Christians. We have people who come from the Palestinian territories like Tulkarem, Ramallah, Hebron, Kalkilia who we teach and if they have any trouble in their area we go and help them,” he said during an interview with the AJN Agency in Jerusalem.

“I see how my colleagues fight for every patient, no matter where they come from, what they did, who their family is. And not for political reasons, but because all human beings deserve the best possible medical care,” he said.


Victor Kukali, operating room litterer, Palestinian.

Another example was meeting Victor Kukali, a Palestinian stretcher-bearer who has been working there for 20 years. “I was the first Palestinian to work at Hadassah Hospital,” he told the AJN Agency. “I come every day from Beit Lejem and I have a special permit, which I renew every six months, and once a year I have to renew my work permit from the Israeli Ministry of Health. I believe that Hadassah is the place where you can send a message of peace. It is the place where we can say to the whole world ‘we can work, live and be together’. At first I was afraid, mostly about how they would treat me, and so the months went by and then years and now I realized I’ve been here for 20 years,” he said.

This shows that the call for peace is not recent, but many years ago this coexistence was constantly seen in Hadassah.

You only have to approach the waiting room of the operating room to see how simultaneously Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Palestinians and Catholics share the floor. Each one prays to their own God, some with their carpets on the floor, others with their kippah, others with their rosaries… and all this happens without interruption 24 hours a day, in ten square meters at the exit of the operating room. It is very common and moving to see Palestinian mothers talking with Israeli surgeons after a surgery, they have the headscarf (kippas) on their heads, and women with scarves and some even with their veils and face covered.


Other of the most moving images can be seen in Hadassah’s pediatric sector, in the hall or multipurpose room. As soon as you arrive and look up, you can see a locomotive and its miniature iron carriages speeding through the room on a track just above the door frames. The children live an imaginary journey with their stations in the middle of the walls painted with balloons and colors. But the most wonderful thing happens when you look down and see a big low table, the ones that children use with small chairs. There they are all together, mothers, fathers and their children, some Arab parents, others Orthodox Jews, Palestinians, Muslims: all together in a rewarding coexistence and atmosphere of peace and harmony around the table.

That and many other achievements – such as Hadassah’s efforts to maintain equality in the provision of medical treatment, its exemplary model of cooperation and coexistence, and its perseverance in building bridges for peace – earned it a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 and continue to make the institution an example of coexistence in the Middle East.


That’s why on each trip I take a moment to visit that oasis in the Middle East and say a prayer in front of Marc Chagall’s vitroux in the hospital synagogue.

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AJN News

For Israel, accords with UAE and Bahrain are “a huge opportunity” to bring Palestinians back to negotiation table

AJN Agency – In an exclusive interview with the AJN News Agency, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat stressed that “the Palestinians have to make a decision as to which side of history they are on: the side of peace or the side of the enemies of peace. He also pointed out that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a ” central ” figure for the achievement of peace deals.




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AJN Agency.- Israel said that the agreements for the normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain represent “an enormous opportunity” for the Palestinians to decide to “return to the negotiating table and advance on the peace process” in the Middle East conflict. This was transmitted by Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lior Haiat, who in an exclusive interview hours before the signing of the historic agreement in Washington, stressed that “the Palestinians have to make a decision on which side they are on in history: on the side of peace or on the side of the enemies of peace”. “Netanyahu is the central player in the agreement as is the US President Trump’s administration,” Haiat added in dialogue with the AJN Agency.

In addition, Haiat said these U.S.-sponsored agreements “created two groups in the Middle East: those who support peace, which are most moderate countries, and those who are against peace, which are led by Iran and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.

The following are the most important parts of the interview with Lior Haiat:

-AJN: Why is this agreement that Israel signs with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain important?
-LH: This peace agreement totally changes the current reality of the Middle East and brings a new era, a new level for Israel and Arab countries. These are two agreements that are going to create not only relations between governments but also between people, it is going to create bridges to favor tourism and commercial exchange.

-AJN: From a commercial point of view, what effect will these agreements have?
-LH: There are no details yet. We have seen in the past few years that Israel has worked under the radar that there is already a very large interest from these countries to cooperate with Israel financially. One of the first steps we have taken with the UAE is to sign an agreement that allows Israeli investments in local companies as well as UAE investments in Israeli technology companies. There is a huge potential in finding clients but also partners and investors.

-AJN: There has been a lot of talking about cooperation between the two nations, but what would it be like and what is Israel’s goal in this cooperation?
-LH: First of all, what Israel has sought since the day the state was created is peace with our neighbors. That peace process began 41 years ago with peace with Egypt and 15 years later with peace with Jordan, and it took sixteen more years for peace with the United Arab Emirates and 29 more days to announce peace with Bahrain. It is part of the same process that Israel’s relations with Arab countries are improving and we hope that other countries will embrace this process and hopefully the Palestinians will join in, because it is a huge opportunity for the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table and advance on the way to peace.

-AJN: When and how did the talks that will end with the signing tomorrow in Washington begin?
-LH: For more than 20 years we have had some kind of contact with the Gulf countries. These contacts had their ups and downs depending on the situation in the Middle East, the world situation and many other factors. In the last few years we have seen a very clear process that is improving more and more and has been going on much faster in the last few months and much faster in the last few days.

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Lior Haiat with the Director of Strategic Communications of UAE’S MFA, Hend Al Otaiba.

-AJN.- Can Netanyahu be credited with the success of the agreement?
-LH: Netanyahu is the central player in the agreement as well as the United States and Trump Administration. We are very grateful for the effort that our American ally is making to improve relations with our neighbors. Without U.S. support and pressure, we could not have reached this point.

-AJN: What other Arab countries could join this process?
-LH: I think there are a few more countries, each with its own pace. In the coming days or weeks we are going to hear more good news and that the leadership shown by the UAE government and Bahrain is going to be a model for other regional leaders. Those leaders understand very well that having relations with Israel gives a lot of value to themselves, not just to Israel. In these peace agreements, it is the two peoples and the two countries who gain.

-AJN: Can it change the scenario for negotiations with the Palestinians?
-LH: Hopefully, yes. These agreements created two groups in the Middle East, those who support peace, which are most of the moderate countries, and those who are against peace, which are led by Iran and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The Palestinians have to make a choice of which side they are on in history: the side of peace or the side of the enemies of peace.

-AJN: Within the negotiations, there was a point linked to the annexation plan, with Israel finally resigning its intention to incorporate these territories.
-LH: Israel’s plan for sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is on hold. For now, there is no agenda.

– AJN: What is the situation regarding the possible sale of US planes to the United Arab Emirates?
– LH: Obviously I am not going to talk about national security issues in the media. Our allies in the United States understand very well Israel’s security needs in the Middle East and will respect that and that has nothing to do with US relations with the Emirates.

-AJN: What is the security benefit of normalizing relations with these Arab countries?
-LH: As I said, this agreement creates a new era in the Middle East and gives more security and stability to the region. The fact that Bahrain joined it also contributes to this new stage. The Middle East needs to take over the peace process because it will benefit all countries and peoples.

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