City Notes: EU rights activists tour coexistence projects

European Union rights activists tour KKL-JNF sites promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence.

City notes (photo credit: Wikicommons)
City notes
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
NORTH Two human rights activists from the European Union last week visited several Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund projects that promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Willy Fautré, the director of Human Rights Without Frontiers, and Amanda Paul, a policy analyst at the European Policy Center, began their tour at the Yad Hanna Reservoir and Purification Plant, where plant director Yaakov Umberto showed them around. The installation is located next to the West Bank security barrier. Umberto told Fautré and Paul that before the fence was built, residents of Kibbutz Yad Hanna were regularly shot at and suicide bombers used the area to infiltrate into Netanya.
The reservoir and plant were built in 2001 to treat sewage running from Nablus and Tulkarm into the Alexander River. According to Umberto, the plant should have been a model of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, but he said that since the second intifada the Palestinian Authority has refused to speak with Israel.
He added that the waste had exceeded the capacity of the plant and it was in need of renovation, or it would collapse and the Alexander River would become polluted.
The EU duo next visited Lotem Farm in Ramat Menashe Park, recognized by UNESCO two years ago as Israel’s first biosphere reserve. The farm is in the Valley of Peace and provides a place for Jewish, Muslim, Druse and Christian children with special needs to learn about and experience ancient agriculture. The site is fully wheelchair accessible and includes a winery, an olive press, a water wheel, terraces and a bakery. The JNF US Sapphire Women’s Society helps run activities there and recently launched a project that brings battered Arab and Jewish women there for a “healing and bonding experience.”
The group also visited the Towns Association for Environmental Quality building in the Arab city of Sakhnin, which promotes sustainable development, environmental awareness and community action in Arab towns and villages. Within this framework, Arab and Jewish Israelis cooperate on a range of environmentally friendly initiatives.
“I am very impressed by what I’ve seen, particularly by where we’ve been today. The KKL-JNF projects that I’ve visited give me reason for hope,” said Fautré. “I see a certain parallel between the Jewish and Arab sectors of Israel and the French and Flemish speaking communities in my country, Belgium.”
For her part, Paul said she was “very interested to see and feel the country and to meet people who could give me ideas about how they see the complex situation here. I believe that peace and coexistence are created from bottom-up, from the grassroots level. If coexistence initiatives don’t come from everyday people, they’re not going to work.”
Police arrest 2 for murder in suspected blood feud Police last weekend arrested an 18-year-old suspect and a man in his 50s following the murder of an 18- year-old in Haifa.
An initial investigation revealed that the suspects carried out the attack as part of a blood feud between them and a rival family.
The young man was stabbed and later succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.
Teacher arrested over attack on 14-year-old student Misgav police on Sunday arrested a teacher in his 60s after a complaint was filed stating the teacher had beaten a 14-year-old student at a school in a village in the Galilee. The incident allegedly occurred a month ago but the family decided not to file a complaint and instead demanded financial compensation from the teacher. After he refused their demand, they filed the complaint and police arrested the teacher.
Police uncover illegal substances in 17 Haifa kiosks Police reported they had found some 80 packages of “suspicious materials,” including drugs and illegal chemicals, in 17 kiosks after they conducted a surprise inspection on Saturday night.
The packages were found hidden in crates containing snack foods such as Bamba, and in boxes of toys containing SpongeBob SquarePants products.
The kiosks were mostly located along the northern coast in areas surrounding Haifa and Acre. Police said the investigation would continue over the following days.
CENTER Ramat Gan RoboWaiter wins silver in int’l contest After taking the gold in the national competition of robot waiters, students from Ramat Gan’s Ohel Shem high school came in second at a global competition held at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, the Local website reported The contest was part of the Rovner competitions and is considered highly prestigious. Thirty groups participated in the contest, from universities and schools around the world including China, Indonesia, Canada and Japan. Ohel Shem students Kinneret Musicant and Asaf Levi came in second overall, and first among the high school contestants.
Man injured after falling off horse in Nirit A 40-year-old man fell from a horse while riding near Moshav Nirit in the Sharon last weekend.
Paramedics treated the man on the scene before evacuating him to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva with moderate injuries.
3-year-old among 4 hurt in Modi’in road accident A three-year-old was seriously injured in a road accident between two vehicles underneath the Modi’in railway station bridge.
Magen David Adom paramedics treated the boy and three other injured people at the scene, two of whom were lightly injured and one moderately.
Woman suffers head injuries in motorcycle accident MDA paramedics treated a female motorcyclist suffering head injuries after her motorcycle slipped and skidded across a road in Netanya on Sunday afternoon.
The 25-year-old woman was evacuated to Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Campus in critical condition for further treatment.Police shoot and kill suspect, 20, in Tira Police shot and killed a 20-year-old man in Tira on Sunday morning during a chase after two masked suspects.
Police attempted to detain the two, one of whom was carrying an Uzi-type gun. Police succeeded in catching one suspect, but the other, armed suspect turned on them and threatened to shoot. One of the officers shot at the suspect, severely wounding him.
The suspect died on the way to hospital. Police were investigating the incident.
Boy, 10, hit by shuttle bus in Rosh Ha’ayin A 10-year-old boy was hit by a shuttle bus after he slipped off the curb of a sidewalk in Rosh Ha’ayin on Sunday.
The boy suffered moderate-to-severe injuries and was taken to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus for treatment.
SOUTH Annual Chamber Music Festival to kick off in Eilat The annual Eilat Chamber Music Festival is set to begin next week, featuring Hollywood star John Malkovich in a performance of the musical drama The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer. The festival will be held at the Dan Eilat hotel and a slew of artists appear on the program, including soloist and orchestral performances.
During the week-long festival – which runs from April 28 to May 4 – 12 different concerts will be put on.
Other highlights of the festival include a concert starring Japanese cellist Hidemi Suzuki playing pieces by C.P.E. Bach and Mozart. The line-up of soloists includes the renowned Ukrainian violinist Valiery Sokolov; leading pianists Alexander Melnikov, Oxana Yablonskaya and Igor Tchetuev; the prestigious Doric String Quartet; Italian oboe player Gianfranco Bortolato; percussion masters Tomer Yariv and Gilad Dobrecky; cellist Leonid Gorokhov; violinist Mikhail Gantvarg; and many other international musicians.
Eilat residents can benefit from a range of discounts on the various performances as well as free entrance to the festival’s opening concert.
2 suspected in chain burglaries of Thai workers in Beersheba The authorities filed indictments against two suspects last week in connection with a chain of violent incidents against Thai workers in Beersheba. The two suspects, aged 24 and 27, are both members of a Beduin tribe.
Police suspect that over 2012 and 2013 they burgled the residences of Thai people living in several moshavim in the area. The suspects are believed to have stolen televisions, computers, jewelry and cash.
According to the indictment, in one incident, a resident caught them in the act, after which they allegedly beat him and fled.
During their arrests, property was found in their vehicle that was suspected to have been stolen from an apartment belonging to Thai residents, in an incident that occurred an hour earlier.
Eilat youth nabbed over suspected assault of tourist, 68 Eilat police arrested a youth last week on suspicion of beating up a 68-year-old tourist in the city. The 21-year-old suspect is a resident of Eilat. According to the police, a dispute over a sunbed on Eilat’s northern coast was the trigger to the assault.