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July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Gilad Shalit’

Hamas Kidnappings: History of a Constant Threat

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Last week’s Hamas abduction followed dozens of attempts to kidnap innocent Israelis. Since the beginning of 2013, Israel has foiled 64 planned abductions, many of them at the hands of Hamas terrorists.

Hamas’ recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers hardly constitutes its first attempt to kidnap innocent Israelis. In the past two years alone, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have planned 64 abductions. IDF and Israeli security forces have foiled all of these attempts, but kidnapping remains a central element of the Hamas terrorist strategy.

The Hamas terrorists prey on unsuspecting hitchhikers, luring them into cars before forcing them into captivity. The purpose of their efforts is often clear: to use civilians or soldiers as bargaining chips for the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists. In other cases, the terrorists seek to murder innocent civilians and instill fear in Israeli communities.

Since Thursday, Israeli forces have been searching extensively for Hamas terrorists who kidnapped three teenagers near the community of Gush Etzion. The three teenagers  – Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16 –  were on their way home to their families when they were abducted. As part of their ongoing operation, IDF forces have arrested about 150 Palestinian suspects, many of them Hamas terrorists.

A history of Hamas abductions

Last week’s kidnapping is the latest in series of Hamas abductions. In 2006, Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel, killing two soldiers and kidnapping a third, SFC Gilad Shalit. The terrorists held Shalit in captivity until in 2011, when Israel agreed to exchange 1027 convicted terrorists for his release.

In 1994, Hamas terrorists abducted Sgt. Nachshon Wachsman with the intention of trading him for terrorists. The Hamas operatives murdered Sgt. Wachsman while Israeli forces attempted to free him from captivity.  Two years earlier, Hamas abducted Sgt. Maj. Nisim Toledano, a border policeman on his way to work. Sgt. Maj. Toleando’s captors eventually murdered him, and his body was found two days later.

Two Hamas terrorists dressed up as religious Jews and kidnapped Sgt. Avi Sasportas in September 1989. It is assumed that they brutally murdered him just moments after he entered their car. In a similar event later that year, Hamas terrorists abducted Cpl. Ilan Saadon. Although he struggled against his abductors, they promptly shot him and discarded his body at a scrap site.

Frequent kidnapping attempts

Israeli security forces prevent the vast majority of their kidnapping attempts, but terrorists invest considerable effort into abductions. In September 2013, a Palestinian terrorist lured Sgt. Tomer Hazan, an IDF soldier, to a village in central Judea and Samaria. After murdering Hazan, the terrorist confessed that he had planned to use the soldier’s body to bargain for the release of his brother, imprisoned for involvement in multiple terror attacks.

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The Israel Secruity Agency (ISA or Shin Bet Security Sevice) prevented a major kidnapping last year when it arrested an Islamic Jihad cell operating inside Israel. After detaining the terrorists, the security forces found ski masks, adhesive tape, a box cutter and a handgun in their possession. The squad, which received funding and training from activists from Jenin, had clearly been preparing to carry out a kidnapping.

Early last year, Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip were in the midst of preparations to kidnap an Israeli soldier. IDF forces arrested its members in February  2013, and discovered that its members planned to run over a soldier and then stow him away in a car.

Kidnapping is a constant threat to the safety of Israeli civilians. Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali are the three unfortunate victims of belligerent terrorism, but the IDF’s soldiers remain on alert to try and prevent these attacks.

Gov’t Approves Anti-Extortion Bill

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The cabinet has approved legislation that, if it becomes law, will prevent the political echelon from agreeing to Arab extortion during hostage crises.

The bill, promoted by the Likud and Jewish Home parties, would remove the possibility of mass prisoner swaps by annulling the president’s ability to grant pardons or clemency in pre-meditated murder cases. The bill would effectively remove the government’s ability to use convicted killers as bargaining chips for IDF soldiers.

The measure was sponsored by MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), Yariv Levin (Likud), David Tzur (Hatnua). The main opposition to the bill came from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has released more convicts than any other prime minister, on grounds that the new law would limit his ability to  grant concessions to the Palestinians. Opponents also say the bill is flawed because it grants additional power to the judiciary over government activities.

 

Palestinian Terrorists Smuggle Sperm Out of Israeli Jails

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Israel’s jails, especially its maximum security prisons, employ cutting-edge technology to prevent contraband – drugs, cell phones and weapons – from being smuggled in. Recent reports in the Palestinian and international media, however, point to a new challenge: Palestinian women who claim they were inseminated with the sperm of their husbands, who are security prisoners sentenced to long terms in Israeli jails.

Given the circumstances, it would seem like an impossible claim. Security prisoners are not allowed conjugal visits. However, if in the past Palestinians smuggled in cell phones and weapons, today they may be smuggling out frozen sperm.

Many Israeli jails provide a refrigerator with a freezer in every cell, and it would appear that they use them to freeze their sperm in plastic bags. The bags are smuggled out either by visiting relatives, or, according to certain reports, by their lawyers. One way or another, they are delivered into the hands of women who use the sperm for artificial insemination.

On visiting days, children up to the age of eight are openly allowed to hug their relatives, and hidden among the candy and other treats the terrorists bought for them in the prison canteen are the plastic bags of sperm. Knowingly or not, the children become couriers.

No one knows to what degree the prisoners are eager for fatherhood. Some of them have already fathered several children. It is also hard to imagine, given life in Palestinian village society, that the family of a prisoner’s wife who becomes pregnant through artificial insemination while her husband is still behind bars would not rouse suspicion. There would be many, perhaps too many questions: why was she so eager to have a child while her husband was in jail? Was it really artificial insemination, or was she already pregnant by another man? Had she lost faith that her husband would eventually be released? Who went with her to the doctor? Who was the doctor?

The prisoner himself might begin to wonder if perhaps the plastic bags might have been mixed up, perhaps the courier or even the doctor himself might have deliberately used different sperm. And in conventional, conservative, suspicious Palestinian Islamic society, what would the neighbors say?

Health professionals call it a medical miracle, because the bags of frozen sperm travel long distances in buses provided by the Red Cross and equipped with coolers. At the end of the journey, the bags are brought into the Palestinian Authority’s territory and delivered to women treated by fertility experts. It would not be surprising to learn that the treatments were carried out within Israel and paid for by the Israeli taxpayer. In Israel, which paid a salary to the family of a former Arab Knesset member who fled when his treason as a Hizballah agent was exposed, any absurdity is possible.

Sources within the Israeli prison system reported that one day a Palestinian woman with an infant in her arms came to the gates the jail and asked to meet with a security prisoner who, she claimed, was the father of her baby. She said she had run into problems because the child was not registered as his son, and so far no DNA testing had been done to determine paternity.

Sperm smuggling can be prevented by the prison authorities, but the issue is problematic and the smuggling is kept secret. If a prisoner has been found to have smuggled his sperm out of prison he will be denied the priceless privilege of receiving visitors.

Despite prison conditions, security prisoners in Israeli jails receive extensive benefits and do not suffer from the deprivations usually associated with prison life. They eat the same food as IDF soldiers, and their medical and dental treatment is more accessible than for IDF soldiers. Until recently, Palestinian security prisoners studied for Open University academic degrees – and two years ago, when that became impossible – they began participating in study groups and now receive “degrees” from pseudo-academic Palestinian institutions. In addition they have visits from their families, lawyers, and Red Cross representatives, privileges denied to Gilad Shalit, held prisoner by Hamas terrorists for more than five years.

PM Reflects on First Recording of Brother Yoni’s Voice

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his brother Iddo sat quietly in his office, together with Ronny Daniel of Channel 2 TV and a camera crew. They listened intently as a technician played for the first time a recording of their older brother Yoni being debriefed following a 1972 operation in which he participated with his elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Code named Argaz 3, the undercover unit had grabbed five senior Syrian officers in southern Lebanon. Younger Netanyahu brothers had also participated in the operation.

Save for one television interview, this is the only recording of Binyamin Netanyahu’s older brother’s voice. Channel 2′s report was timed for Israel’s Yom HaZikaron — Israel’s Memorial Day, the Remembrance for Fallen Soldiers.

After asking the Netanyahus about their emotional reactions to the recording, journalist Ronny Daniel had some tougher questions for the prime minister.

The issue of terrorist attacks and abductions and the price paid by Israeli society in return has been a delicate and very sore point in the Jewish State. Israel was known for decades as the one nation that would under no circumstances ever negotiate with terrorists, regardless of cost. Over the past decade, negotiations with terrorists have resulted in freedom for thousands of murderers with Jewish blood on their hands. Some of those were freed by Binyamin Netanyahu himself.

His older brother Yoni Netanyahu died in the 1976 counter terrorist raid on Uganda’s Entebbe Airport in a rescue mission to free hostages being held by terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and German Revolutionary Cells. The terrorists who hijacked an Air France plane on board had separated Israeli and Jews from the rest of the 248 passengers on board the aircraft, placing them in another room. Ultimately all non-Jewish passengers were let go, with the exception of the pilot, Captain Bacos, who together with the Jews being held hostage was threatened with death.

The IDF, acting on intelligence from Israel’s international Mossad agency, carried out a long distance 90 minute rescue operation involving 100 commandos and support from Kenya. Five soldiers were wounded and the unit commander – Lt.-Col. Yonatan Netanyahu – was killed during the operation. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were also killed.

“We used to behave differently, in order to bring back pilots who fell captive,” Daniel commented after hearing the recording. “We abducted, we acted, we blew things up… today it is different. So what has changed? Is it them? Us? Reality?”

Netanyahu’s reply was that of the political leader who dances simultaneously at ten weddings, with more than a few in hidden venues.

“In those places where we can act, we do act. Believe me, we also take action in many things that are not known, and may not become known in another 42 years, either.”

“Yes, but we still release all sorts of murderers from the jails, in order to set a soldier free, and we do not do all sorts of aggressive things in order to make them set him free – taking [former kidnapped IDF soldier] Gilad Shalit as an example.”

Gilad Shalit was held hostage in Gaza by Hamas terrorists for more than five years after being abducted by operatives from three Hamas-affiliated terrorist organizations in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel. He was freed in a prisoner swap deal in October 2011 that required Israel to free more than 1,000 Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists being held in Israeli prisons.

“If you knew, you’d take action,” retorted Netanyahu. “Our main problem is that we did not know,” he said, confirming the reports of various sources throughout the Shalit captive years who told journalists operatives were having a problem fixing a location on the kidnapped soldier. Military sources kept saying quietly that terrorists were moving him around in order to elude Israeli soldiers. “We can send someone in, but by the time we get there, he’s gone. And then what? We’ve endangered our people for nothing. We need better information. We’re having trouble tracking him,” sources kept saying.

Pollard Pardon? Not Now

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence for the crimes he committed nearly 30 years ago is, without a doubt, both a travesty of justice and completely disproportionate.

Indeed, I offered Pollard advice and help when he called me from prison for some years in the mid-1990s. For example, I published an original document about his trial in 1997 and evinced new information about him from Caspar Weinberger in a 1999 interview. I have maintained a weblog entry exposing the rank hypocrisy of U.S. leaders who come down so hard on Pollard even as American intelligence services spy no less, and probably much more, on Israel.

I mention these bona fides because I do not want Barack Obama to pardon Pollard.

While delighted by this prospect for the prisoner and his family, after so many years and so much emotional freighting, his pardon will certainly carry a high strategic cost (just as did the release of Gilad Shalit). I expect an exorbitant price in the currency of Israeli concessions toward the Palestinians or even toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. Cool U.S.-Israel relations have their benefit when Obama, Kerry, Hagel, Brennan, and Rice are running the foreign policy show.

Accordingly, and with a heavy heart, I call on the free-Pollard advocates to cease their efforts until a president with an understanding of American interests comes to office.

Israel Foiled 40 Attempted Attacks by Terrorists Freed for Shalit

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Israeli security forces in 2013 foiled 40 attempted or planned attacks by terrorists who were freed by Israel in November 2011 for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) reported Monday in its annual summary of terror.

In addition, several attacks were carried out by other terrorists freed in the 1,000 for 1 deal.

The report also noted that Palestinian Authority terrorists killed six Israelis last year, compared with zero in 2012. Shortly before the first murder, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boasted how the Palestinian Authority had stopped terror to the point that no one was killed in 2012.

For the record, there 1,271 terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria  2012, more than twice as many as in 2012, and that does not include more than 150 attacks that were prevented by the IDF.

The Palestinian Authority not only did not prevent terror, its security services personnel were involved in at least two serious attacks.

Gilad Shalit Calling for Jonathan Pollard’s Release

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit wrote in an open letter that all Israelis should demand that the United States free jailed spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard.

Israeli officials have said that the revelation over the weekend that the United States spied on at least two sitting Israeli prime ministers opens the door for Israel to demand the release of Pollard, who has served 29 years of a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

“After Israel has released terrorists with blood on their hands as a gesture to the Palestinians, a return gesture is all that is being requested,” Shalit said in his open letter. “I believe, and I think that like myself all of the People of Israel believe that the Prime Minister’s request for such a simple gesture, the release of Jonathan Pollard, is owed to us by right, and is not a favor,” he wrote.

“Please, everyone, join me, in a clear demand to our friends, the Americans: we have already freed scores of murderous terrorists with blood on their hands at your request – now it is your turn to make a gesture to us! It may even save Pollard’s life,” he wrote.

Shalit appeared to be reacting to reports, including one by Israel’s Channel 2, that Israel is linking a Pollard release to the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and will ask that Pollard’s release be linked to Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners. The third group of prisoners is scheduled to take place at the end of the week. Channel 10 quoted White House officials as saying that freeing Pollard is not on up for discussion

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gilad-shalit-calls-for-jonathan-pollards-release/2013/12/25/

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