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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Etzion’

Beitar Man May Have Seen Kidnap Vehicles

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A Hareidi man, Elijah David Berliner from Beitar Ilit in Gush Etzion, reported to the police on the night of the kidnapping that he saw suspicious vehicles stopped near the Tzomet HaGush junction, which is in the area where the boys were kidnapped from, according to a report on NRG and Mishpacha (Hebrew/Israel edition).

Berliner, a teacher, told investigators that he was returning from a wedding, and while waiting at the junction he saw two cars, a white van and a gray car stopped in an unusual manner near the junction. He then saw a black car with no license plates drive up to them, stop for a bit, and then continue on.

It is believed that the gray car was the one found burnt out near Hebron.

No further information can be reported due the gag order on the kidnapping investigation.

Israeli Security Cabinet: ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’ Continues ‘Full Throttle’

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Israel’s Security Cabinet decided Wednesday night to continue Operation Brother’s Keeper at “full throttle” until three kidnapped Israeli teens are found and returned home.

The holy Islamic month of Ramadan begins this coming Saturday; during this period, observant Muslims traditionally fast during the daylight hours, abstaining from food and drink each day until after sundown. It is also time in which tensions usually rise between Arabs and Jews and often there is a corresponding increase in the number of terrorist and other attacks.

Earlier this week there was some discussion over whether Israel had reached the lion’s share of its secondary goals in the operation, in neutralizing the presence of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea and Samaria. More than 360 arrests have been made thus far, with at least 250 of those taken into custody claiming membership in Hamas.

But with the primary goal of finding the kidnap victims still ‘up front and center,’ the security cabinet decided to move forward with the operation, albeit with due consideration for the local PA Arab population, given the holiday circumstances.

IDF soldiers are still searching daily and overnight throughout the hills of Judea and Samaria Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, 16. The three boys were abducted from Gush Etzion by Arab terrorists on June 12 as they were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath from yeshiva.

In numerous homes and buildings, they have come across illegal weapons caches, hidden tunnels, previously undiscovered secret chambers, caves and cisterns whose presence was cleverly concealed by brush, rocks and in some cases even what appeared to be “ancient” agricultural terraces.

Overnight Wednesday IDF troops arrested a total of 10 Palestinian Authority fugitives during operations, including a terrorist who was tracked down near the southern Hevron Hills village of Samu’a but who fled to evade arrest. When warning shots did not stop him, IDF troops shot him instead, seriously wounding the fugitive. He was taken to an Israeli medical center for treatment, and will later be questioned by security personnel. A terrorist wounded while rioting against IDF soldiers during arrest operations several days ago in Ramallah also died last night.

Times Square billboard calls to #bringbackourboys

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

(JTA) — An advertisement calling for the return of three kidnapped Israeli teens is running on a digital billboard in Times Square.

“On June 12th, 2014, three teenage boys were kidnapped in Israel, one of them an American citizen,” reads the 40-foot-by-40-foot ad purchased by the Young Israel of the West Side, an Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan. “These boys are not soldiers. They are not fighters. They are not violent. These boys are our sons. Our brothers. Our grandchildren. Our nephews. Our friends. Please help create global awareness.”

The ad airs for 15 seconds twice every hour, which usually costs $15,000, the New York Post reported. The synagogue was mum on the cost of its ad, which appeared for the first time on Tuesday.

The ad displays photos of the abducted teens — Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach — and the hashtag #bringbackourboys.

Israel said it has proof that the three teens were abducted by the Hamas terrorist group from a junction in Gush Etzion, located south of Jerusalem.

Update from Mothers Unite: #Bring Back Our Boys

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Friends, the day (10th!) began with the first civilian search teams sent out to look in every well, pit, cave and underground tunnel within a large radius. It is tough to imagine how the kidnapped boys can be holding out, but there is still hope they are alive and well.

First, something general on the Middle East, where Syria is falling apart, Iran is in a state of flux and there’s more – from a friend in the know:

The Middle East, with the singular exception of a stable, prosperous, democratic Israel, is in a state of turmoil and transition – with enormous violence and instability the norm. We are seeing Sunni-Shia tensions, increasing radicalism, and the break down of borders. And the situation is only growing more severe and more convoluted. One of the most serious aspects of the current scenario is that it is devoid of good guys. It’s simply a question of who is less problematic, less dangerous for Israeli and Western interests, and sometimes that’s a hard if not impossible call.

We’ve seen this in Syria for some time: Assad is a vile dictator, with no concern whatsoever for the lives of his own people and a solid alliance with Iran. While many of the rebels arrayed against him are jihadists who are seeking a cross-border caliphate that is a lethal proposition.

Today we see it as well in Iraq with the brutal onslaught of ISIS there. A ruthless Sunni, jihadist, al-Qaeda off-shoot (now a rival of al-Qaeda) that began in Iraq, ISIS established itself in Syria after the civil war began, becoming a significant rebel force there. Now it is moving against the regime of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shia-dominated government – traveling across swaths of Iraq with lightening speed, taking territory and towns in the north and west of Iraq, and approaching ever closer to Baghdad.

Yesterday, the post of Turaibil, at the Iraqi border with Jordan was taken by ISIS, presenting a threat to the stability of Jordan.

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While on the ground, here in Gush Etzion most public buildings have been taken over by soldiers, moving in temporarily with mattresses and food supplies. They move from here down south and to Hebron, to search for the kidnapped boys. My ten-year-old daughter helped by making hot cocoa and delivering it just now to the soldiers standing in our busstops, protecting the youth and passersby as they get on buses and walk towards home. This is crazy.

Finally, for mothers, please ‘Like’ the Facebook page, Mothers Unite:#Bring Back Our Boys, share it, and send in a photo with : #MothersUnite and #Bringbackourboys:

https://www.facebook.com/MothersUniteBringBackOurBoys?ref_type=bookmark

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Eyal-Gilad-Naftali – we await your safe return to your mothers’ arms right away.
Praying for a miracle and for the IDF to work their magic.

Kidnapping Saga: Wells Empty of Water but Full of Snakes and Scorpions

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Tens of thousands of pits, wells and caves, some of them dating back to Biblical times, dot the Hebron area where forces have been searching for a clue that might shed light on the fate of the three teenagers kidnapped by Palestinian Authority terrorists 10 days ago.

The search is practically endless. Some of the wells, like the one a few hundred feet from our house in the southern Hebron Hills, still have water in them. Many are empty, except for the possibility of one that was defiled by the snakes of the Palestinian Authority terrorists, and it makes no difference if they are from Hamas or not. They snatched Gilad, Naftali and Eyal and have cruelly not demanded ransom nor have they left a clue concerning their fate.

Rainfall in Hebron averages approximately 20 inches a year and half that amount in the southern Hebron Hills. Local residents began digging wells thousands of years ago, enabling them to have access water all year because the wells tapped into underground flows of water. Thousands of the wells are dry this time of year.

Without local experts, mostly Arabs who know the lay of the land, the army cannot locate all of the wells. One of the Jews very familiar with the area is Yaron Rosenthal, a tour guide and director of the Kfar Etzion Field School. He volunteered on Shabbat to help the IDF because he knows every rock and thorn in the area where Eyal, Naftali and Gilad were abducted.

The police, whose management and operations need to be torn to pieces and rebuilt professionally from the ground up, compounded their incompetency in the terrorist kidnap. Last week, police ignored for several hours an urgent and desperate call from one of the kidnap victims that he and two others were being kidnapped. By the time frantic appeals by one of the abducted boys’ fathers convinced the police to inform the IDF, several hours of valuable time had been lost.

This Saturday, police arrived at the area after Rosenthal pounced on a gang of Jews, who he said were from the community of Bat Ayin and were attacking a Bedouin youth.

The police immediately arrested Rosenthal, whom they saw hitting the Jewish gang, as they ignored Rosenthal’s report of the gang’s attack.

The incident is another aside in the torturous wait for news of the fate of the three youth. Rosenthal’s search eliminated several possibly locations of the bodies of the boys, if they have been killed.

The crude truth is that the terrorists could have murdered the boys, weighed down their bodies with rocks, threw them into a well of water and then covered them with more rocks to avoid discovery. One big hole in that theory is that the wells are used for drawing water, so covering one of them up would not remain a secret very long.

Even if the army could search all of the dry holes and caves in the Hebron region, there is a possibility that the terrorists planned the kidnapping so carefully that they dug a deep hole in some olive grove months ago to use it to bury bodies of victims. If that is the case, the search could go on forever unless there is a tipoff to intelligence personnel.

If the boys are alive, they likely are being kept in a deep underground tunnel, completely equipped with electricity and where they could be held for months or even for years. If that is the case, the tunnel, like hundreds in Gaza, exists under one of tens of thousands of homes in the Hebron area.

Hamas Calls Special Press Conference, Says Nothing Important

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

At just after 6 PM on Thursday, Hamas called a special press conference where they said very little.

The Hamas senior official, Salah Bardawil, said that Israel is trying to destroy the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

He threatened Israel saying, “all options are open to Hamas,” if Israel escalates and continues the attacks against them. Hamas can start a third intifada.

He claimed that Israel’s rearresting the terrorists released in the Shalit deal is a breach of the Shalit agreement.

Hamas claims they didn’t kidnap the boys, but they praise whoever did.

Simultaneously, Israel ran their own press conference, where they also said very little.

The participants in that conference included Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yaalon and the Chief of Staff.

They said they are making progress, and the primary goal is to bring back the kidnapped boys. They know more about the kidnapping than earlier, and Hamas is responsible.

A secondary goal is neutralizing Hamas, and they again called on Abbas to kick Hamas out of his government.

A lot of TV time on both sides, with nothing new said.

State Dept. Calls for Restraint, But Doesn’t Know Name of Kidnapped American Boy

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

In Wednesday’s press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki called for restraint on all side, during the search for the three kidnapped boys.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, we’ve been in touch with both the Israelis and the Palestinians throughout the course of the last several days since these teenagers were kidnapped. We know this is a difficult time obviously on the ground. We’ve urged continued security cooperation between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the search for the kidnapped teenagers. We were encouraged by President Abbas’s strong statement to the Arab and Islamic foreign ministers today in Saudi Arabia. But – and certainly as the search continues and in our conversations, we urge both sides to exercise restraint and avoid the types of steps that could destabilize the situation. And that’s a message that we are conveying in all of our conversations as well.

After 6 days, she also finally admitted that one of the kidnapped boys is an American citizen.

MS. PSAKI: We do, yes. So we can confirm that one of the kidnapped was an American citizen.

But after 6 days, Psaki doesn’t actually know his name.

QUESTION: Which one? MS. PSAKI: I believe his name has been reported. I don’t have it in front of me right now.

The State Department still believes that paying the PA, which then pays Hamas had no influence in Hamas’s decisions (such as pulling their financial chestnuts out of the fire).

QUESTION: But there’s – numerous Israeli officials have said that the U.S. decision to work with and continue to fund the Palestinian government, the new unity government, is – contributes – contributed to this incident with the three – is it – am I correct in thinking that you still would reject such an allegation?

MS. PSAKI: Yes, that is correct.

Keep that certainty of hers in mind, while recalling that Ms. Psaki couldn’t even bother to learn the name of the kidnapped American boy.

It’s Naftali Frenkel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-calls-for-restraint-but-doesnt-know-name-of-kidnapped-american-boy/2014/06/19/

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