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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

UN Calls on Gazans to Provide Info on Missing Israelis

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Gazans to provide information on two missing Israelis who voluntarily entered the enclave but disappeared shortly thereafter and have not been seen since.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told media that Ban also called for prompt action to facilitate their safe return to their families.

One of the two men, a 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who is a resident of Ashkelon, has been missing since early September 2014. The second, a Negev Bedouin resident of the town of Hura, has been missing since April 2015.

The Israeli government is holding Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization responsible for the welfare and fate of the two men. It is believed they are being held hostage in the enclave.

Hamas Negotiator on Israeli Detainees Was Released in 2011 Gilad Shalit Prisoner Exchange

Monday, July 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) Yahya Sinwar, one of the founders of the military wing of Hamas and an organizer of the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Waxman, was appointed Sunday to lead the Hamas negotiations team on returning the remains of two soldiers who were killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, and two Israeli civilians who entered Gaza in recent months, Ma’ariv reported.

Sinwar, who spent some twenty years in Israeli prison, and was released in the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011, was sentenced to five life sentences for murdering Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israel. While in prison, Sinwar was considered to be one of the senior leaders of the Hamas inmates, and led the hardliners who opposed any concession on the part of the Islamist terror movement in the Shalit deal.

At one point, according to Israeli media reports, Sinwar was placed in solitary confinement because he had gone wild in response to reports that Hamas was compromising on the release of prisoners with a lot of blood on their hands.

In the end, his insistence proved effective, as Israel released 1,027 prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier— Gilad Shalit. According to Israeli media sources, the released prisoners were collectively responsible for the murders of 569 Israelis.

Now, Sinwar has been appointed adviser to the Hamas bureau chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, was placed in charge of the “Israeli prisoners portfolio,” and all future negotiations on prisoner exchanges will be done through him.

Last Thursday, Israeli authorities revealed that Hamas is holding two Israeli civilians who voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza, one of them a member of the Israeli Ethiopian community in Ashkelon, the Other an Israeli Bedouin from the Negev region.

Both have been described as young men who grapple with mental issues.

The sources that revealed Sinwar’s appointment stressed that he will not be responsible only for negotiations over the release of the two Israelis whom Hamas has hinted are being detained in Gaza, but also over the return of the bodies of the two soldiers Hadar Goldin and

, who were killed in battle last summer.

Those same sources added that Sinwar was appointed, in part, because he is known as an aggressive negotiator, and for his stubbornness during the ceasefire talks last summer.

Hamas has informed Israel already that before any talks on releasing the soldiers’ remains can begin, the 80 or so security prisoners who had been freed in the Shalit deal and then re-arrested must be released.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is serving as the go-between in the contacts between Hamas and Israel on the release of the two Israeli civilians who are believed to be detained in Gaza.

Rivlin: All Relevant Authorities Working to Retrieve Missing Israeli

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin confirmed Thursday that “all relevant authorities are working on the case” of 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant to Israel, Avraham Mengisto.

The young man voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza 10 months ago and has not been seen since, according to his mother, who says she is holding Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group responsible for his well-being.

Rivlin told journalists at a news conference the release of Mengisto, who is believed to be possibly mentally ill, is a “humanitarian issue.”

The president said in a statement, “We expect those holding him to act accordingly and release him while his condition is stable.” He added that Israel’s security and other government personnel would “continue to make every effort to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.”

Mengisto walked south along the shoreline from his home in Ashkelon on September 8, 2014, and then simply kept going, crossing the border into Gaza along the way.

Hamas reportedly is claiming the Israeli was taken into custody for questioning but released when it was discovered that he was not a soldier. As it happens, Mengisto has never served in the IDF due to his health problems.

The terror group claims that he entered one of the smuggling tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah and exited the enclave to head into Egypt in order to proceed towards Ethiopia.

Israeli authorities say the terrorist officials are lying, either in order to preserve him as an “asset” for future negotiations with Israel over a possible prisoner swap, or because something happened to him along the way and the person responsible for him is hiding that information – even from Hamas officials.

‘Hamas is Responsible For My Son. They Cannot Shirk Responsibility’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The mother of a (possibly) mentally ill young man who crossed the southern border of Israel into Gaza is blaming Hamas for her son’s captivity.

A second civilian, also in his 20s, is being held captive in Gaza as well. All information about the second man, a Negev Bedouin resident of the town of Hura, has been censored, however.

Avraham Mengisto’s mother told media in a briefing today (Thursday, July 9) while meeting with Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni that she holds Gaza’s ruling terror organization responsible for the welfare of her 28-year-old son.

“Hamas is responsible for my son’s fate,” his mother said. “They cannot shirk their responsibility. I [also] hope the state will not cease to act for his return.”

The mayor visited her at the family home in Ashkelon on Thursday after the news of Avraham’s disappearance was cleared for publication. “The family is going through a very difficult time, after the double tragedy that they’ve endured,” Shimoni said. “Askelon Municipality’s social services department has been accompanying them since the first moment. We embrace the family and send them strength and hope that Avraham will be back with his family quickly,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Avraham’s brother Ilan subsequently said “[We] have decided to behave with restraint and give the government time to get our brother back home and we also ask the people of Israel to show restraint… The family considers this a humanitarian issue and we call on the international community to get involved and work to secure the release of my brother,” he said. “I ask that Hamas consider the condition of my brother and release him,” he added.

Information about Avraham’s disappearance 10 months ago only became public today due to the lifting of a gag order.

Mengisto left his home in Ashkelon early on September 8, 2014, and apparently kept walking along the shoreline until he crossed the border into Gaza. This is not the first time that Mengisto has gone missing; there have been three reports of similar incidents registered with the social services department, although none involved a border crossing.

Mengisto’s mother Agernesh lives in Ashkelon, and his father Ayele lives in central Israel. He is one of nine children in the family.

According to the Defense Ministry there is no concrete information as to his fate; IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai told media, however, that current information indicates Mengisto is being held by Hamas.

A military source said Mengisto had initially been arrested by Hamas after crossing the border in September, but the terror organization said it released him because he was not a soldier. The source said there have been several attempts since that time to negotiate for his release.

A Hamas source in Gaza told Ynet that Mengisto is no longer in the region; the source said the Israeli exited the enclave via the tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah, and headed into Egypt.

Mengisto’s grieving mother added that despite her efforts to remain strong, “It hurts me. Since he disappeared, my life has come to a stop.

“Every day I wait for him to come through the door and say ‘hello.’ I pray for his return, and ask anyone who can help us to do so.”

10 Buses for 10 Years: Remembering Gush Katif

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

JERUSALEM July 2, 2015 – The International Young Israel Movement – Israel Branch (IYIM), the Gush Katif Commemoration Center and Friends of Gush Katif are organizing a unique and powerful summer program entitled “10 Buses for 10 Years: Remembering Gush Katif.

This interactive trip, marking the ten year anniversary of the withdrawal from Gush Katif, stands strong with a mission to take ten busloads of visitors, both Israelis and tourists alike, to several of the new Gush Katif communities. The hope is to show solidarity to the former residents and that we are still here with them and for them.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet with former Gush Katif residents, hear their stories, and see what has been accomplished in the new communities. Visitors will additionally tour the powerful Gush Katif Commemoration Center – one of three National Heritage Centers recognized by the Israeli Government. The Center introduces the story of settling rural Gush Katif in all aspects: establishment, coping with terror, the struggle, displacement and renewal.

“Ten years is a long time in the collective memory,” commented Daniel Meyer, IYIM’s Executive Director. “These people who we hugged and cried with in the summer of 2005 have largely receded from public eye and public memory. IYIM is proud that we have continued to stand with them and assist them on their journey for the past decade. We are launching this program to expand our support from personal back to national and International. This very special group of people is a living example of King Solomon’s timeless words: ‘A time to destroy, a time to rebuild;’ we have so much to learn from them.”

The former residents are excited about the upcoming program and look forward to welcoming the visitors and speaking about their experiences and new lives.

“We’re delighted by the International Young Israel Movement’s initiative of bringing ten buses of visitors to tour the Katif Heritage Center in Nitzan and visit renewed Gush Katif communities. We’re convinced that this tour will strengthen their feelings of partnership with the people of Gush Katif and make clear that this… must never happen again,” remarked Dror Vanunu, International Coordinator of The Gush Katif Committee.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people coming to learn about Gush Katif,” stated Shifra Shomron, of the Friends of Gush Katif Public Relations Department. “Ten years later, we still have a long path ahead of us, but we’re rebuilding our homes and our lives and thank everyone helping us in keeping the heritage of Gush Katif alive.”

Registration is now open. Please contact 10buses@iyim.org.il or refer to the International Young Israel Movement website at http://www.iyim.org.il/10buses for details and sign-up information.

Bus Dates:

o Thursday, July 16
o Monday, July 20
o Wednesday, July 22
o Friday, July 24
o Monday, July 27
o Wednesday, July 29

o Monday, Aug 3
o Wednesday, Aug 5
o Monday, Aug 10
o Wednesday, Aug 12

IDF Designates Reserves Company to Provide Medical Care to PA Arabs

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserves company has recently been designated to exclusively provide humanitarian care and medical assistance to Palestinian Authority Arabs.  The particular company is comprised of medics, nurses and doctors who are trained to provide quality medical care and are able to function like a civilian hospital staff thanks to advanced and equipment and training.

Captain (Res.) Dr. Yishai Lev, the deputy commander of the company explained that the idea for the unit came from IDF soldiers themselves. “The idea of adapting the unit actually came from our soldiers who recognized the need for it in the field,” explained Captain Dr. Lev.

“This medical care stems from our commitment to the Jewish and modern value of human rights,” said Captain Dr. Lev according to a report in the official IDF blog about the unit. The IDF captain further emphasized that when people are injured, attention is not placed on whether or not the person is Israeli, but on the importance of people’s common humanity.

“We felt that medical care was needed for the entire population in times of need. Now, we provide first class care in a variety of situations: during and after riots, operations and even natural disasters,” elaborated Captain Dr. Lev in the IDF blog.

The reservists have been training to improve their ability to provide prompt treatment during high-stress emergencies and providing aid after natural disasters. The medical reservists have also been trained to provide both physical and psychological attention in such situations. Furthermore, Arab patients are also offered an interpreter and if additional care is required, patients can be sent for further medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

The IDF company also works with Palestinian Authority medical institutions in order to help setup and develop PA medical infrastructure. “When people are in need of care, we can’t afford to be indifferent,” commented Captain Dr. Lev.

“My soldiers leave their families, children and jobs behind not just because they are obligated to carry out their reserve duty, but because they deeply understand the importance of fulfilling their mission and are happy to do so,” he further pointed out.

It is not unusual that IDF paramedics, Magen David Adom team up with Palestinian Authority police and the Red Crescent to together save Arabs injured in traffic or work accidents or medical situations in Judea and Samaria.

An IDF doctor saved the life of a Palestinian Authority baby last April 2014, when a mother brought her choking one-month-old baby from the village of Beitin located northeast of Ramallah to a checkpoint. An IDF officer saw the situation and immediately called an IDF doctor who arrived on scene with his medical team and ambulance to save the baby’s life. “The division headquarters received many phone calls from the villagers of Beitin who expressed their gratitude,” said the IDF doctor at the time of the incident, Sec. Lt. Ben Tzanani.

New Terror Group Threatens Hamas in Gaza

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

A new terror group is rising to politely threaten the control of Hamas in Gaza, and it’s not the Da’esh-linked Salafi Muslims or any other global jihad group. Nor is it the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which has just lost its funding from Iran — in favor of the new organization.

The new group, called “Al-Sabirin” or “Hosn” – “The Patient for the Victory of Palestine” — was started by former PIJ official Hisham Salem, who has been careful to maintain good graces with Tehran. The group’s flag is also very similar to that of the Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah terrorist organization, also backed by Iran.

Last week the Middle East Monitor quoted an Al-Quds newspaper report that Iran had severed ties with PIJ due to its ambivalence over Tehran’s involvement in Yemen. PIJ has been looking for new sponsors, according to the report, but has failed to find them. As a result, it has closed the head office of its satellite TV channel Palestine Today, and “laid off” numerous other employees.

Al-Quds also reported that internal divisions within the group were also responsible for Iran’s decision to end its funding, along with the establishment of Al-Sabirin, which the newspaper claimed is in “full ideological and political agreement with Iran.” Moreover, according to the report, “its members, apparently, get paid full salaries every month.”

Salem has produced numerous YouTube videos in which he talks about historical events that are important to Shi’ite Muslims; this has also produced considerable confusion in Gaza among potential new followers.

Salem was allegedly expelled from the northern division of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in 2010, according to a source who spoke with Al Monitor, because he sparked “sectarian strife.” The source added that Salem’s ideas were bad for Sunni Palestinian society, which “rejects sectarian pluralism for fear of a sectarian war in Gaza.”

Salem spoke with Al Monitor in 2014, confirming his position as a “leader of the Hosn movement,” and explaining the organization was “inspired” by the founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He added that his group believes in “Islamic unity, and [sees] no reason to separate as Sunnis and Shi’ites.”

Salem’s charity organization, “Al-Baqiyat al-Salihat” is funded primarily by Iran. Hamas allegedly does not see Al-Sabirin as competition for Iranian dollars, however.

Hamas official Atef Adwan told Al Monitor last year it was likely that Salem’s group “will not be able to continue in the presence of giant organizations that fill the scene.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-terror-group-threatens-hamas-in-gaza/2015/07/09/

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