web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Etzion’

Cabinet to Vote Sunday on Cutting Gush Etzion Off from Jerusalem

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

PM Netanyahu’s Cabinet is set to vote on Sunday on part of the path of the Gush Etzion security barrier, according to an IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) report on Thursday night.

For years, Arab and Jewish residents of Gush Etzion have strongly protested against this security fence, as both sides are against its construction. They managed to get the construction of the fence frozen until now.

In 2006, radical leftwing groups filed petitions to have the path of the fence moved onto the pre-67 side of the 1949 armistice line, rather than including Gush Etzion.

The entire fence, besides being an eyesore on some of the most pristine and beautiful landscapes in Israel, would cut off Gush Etzion from Jerusalem, and part of the fence would split Gush Etzion in two.

It would also potentially cut off the planned road from Gush Etzion directly to the Dead Sea, which is only 20 minutes by car.

Gush Etzion Mayor David Perl told Galei Tzahal that Netanyahu previously promised him that the fence was frozen and would not advance further.

Perl promised to continue to fight the fence construction.

Efrat activist Nadia Matar spoke with JewishPress.com and said, “We are very shocked. It is not logical that after the past war this summer, when it was proved that in no way should we ever create a PA state in our heartland, nor should we have fences – that now they are going to vote on this. It’s insanity! We call upon all the cabinet ministers to vote against it.”

It is not clear why the vote is being brought up in the cabinet at this time.

Where Do Shofars Come From?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

A guide at the Gush Etzion Zoo (bet you didn’t there was one of those in Gush Etzion) explains to Junior High School students how to extract the ram horn shell after it dried, and eventually make it into a shofar, on September 15, 2014.

Another Qawasmeh Hamas Member Arrested in Murder of 3 Israeli Teens

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Another Hamas suspect has been arrested in connection with the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion. Hebron resident Fares Qawasmeh, a 31-year-old doctor, is accused of being involved in planning the murder.

Qawasmeh was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority security forces, according to a report broadcast Tuesday on Israel’s Channel 10 television news.

The report was later confirmed in a post on the Twitter social networking site by Qatar-based senior Hamas official Hussam Badran. “The only crime Qawasmeh committed was to speak for Hamas at the victory celebrations for Gaza after the fighting against Israel,” Badran tweeted.

A number of local Arab residents aided the Qawasmeh family in carrying out the plot by hiding and sheltering the fugitives. Among them was Wael Qarameh, indicted by Israeli authorities in late August on charges of harboring a fugitive – Hebron resident Hussam Qawasmeh, who was indicted last week on multiple charges for masterminding the abduction and murder.

Qawasmeh, a Hebron resident was arrested on July 11 in a joint Shin Bet – IDF sting operation in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. He had fled his home with the aid of friends and relatives in hopes of trying to make his way to Jordan on the strength of a false ID. Shuafat is the same Arab neighborhood where massive violence tore apart three Jerusalem Light Rail stations following the murder of a young Arab teen, the day after the bodies of the three Israeli teens were found.

Hussam Qawasmeh confessed under interrogation to having masterminded the plot to kidnap and murder the teens, and to having obtained financing for the operation from Hamas in Gaza. He admitted to having obtained false identity papers and fleeing as soon as the bodies of the three murder victims were unearthed from their hurriedly dug, shallow stony graves in the field he purchased in Halhul, along Highway 60 north of Hebron.

Marwan Qawasmeh – his kinsman – and Amar Abu Aisha, both also residents of Hebron, are suspected of being the ones to having joyfully carried out those plans. The actual gunshots that murdered the boys and the celebrations of their attackers after the murders in the getaway car were heard on a recording made on a police hotline via a call from one of the boys as he desperately sought rescue. The two murderers, meanwhile, remain at large.

Security sources revealed after last week’s indictment that Hussam Qawasmeh received a total of approximately NIS 200,000 ($61,500) from his brother in Gaza, Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Ali to pay for the operation. The costs included two vehicles – the abduction car and the getaway car – as well as four firearms and other expenses. Mahmoud was one of more than 1,000 Arab inmates freed in an October 2011 prisoner swap deal with Israel in exchange for the return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorists in 2006.

Mastermind of Kidnapping, Murder of 3 Teens Indicted; Attack was a Family-Run Affair

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hussam Hassan Qawasme, the Hamas mastermind behind the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, has been indicted, according to a statement released today by Israel’s Shin Bet security forces. The IDF military court announced the indictment Thursday morning, nearly two months after Qawasme was arrested for his suspected role in the terror attack. A number of family members have also been implicated for assisting him in the crime.

On June 12, Hamas terrorists from Hebron kidnapped Gil-Ad Sha’er, 16, Naftali Frenkel 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, while the three were hitchhiking at Gush Etzion Junction, and shot them dead shortly thereafter when they realized that one of the teens had called the police.

According to the indictment Qawasme, a senior Hamas operative, received funding for the operation from his brother Mahmoud, a Hamas terrorist who was released to Gaza in the Gilad Schalit deal. Hussam Qawasme obtained total of at least 150,000 shekels to use for the attack, at least some of which is believed to have been transmitted by his mother and another woman who was not named.

The investigation revealed that the money was used to purchase the vehicles used in the kidnapping, as well as two M-16 assault rifles and two handguns, the latter of which were used to kill the teens. The vehicle used in the kidnapping itself was burned near the town of Dura, while the getaway vehicle was abandoned in Hebron.

The two main suspects in the actual kidnap and murder, Marwan Qawasme, a relative of Hussam, and Amar Abu Aisha, remain at large. In his confession, Hassam Qawasme named others who helped hide the two suspects.

Following the murders, Hussam and Marwan Qawasme took the bodies of the victims and transported them to a field purchased by Hussam several months prior to the attack, where they buried them.

When the bodies of the missing teens were found on June 30, Qawasme went into hiding, and planned to enlist the help of family members to flee to Jordan. The Shin Bet named these as Hisham Qawasme, 35, Jamil Qawasme, 28, and Hassan Qawasme, 45, who all currently in Israeli custody.

The ringleader was found and arrested on July 11 while hiding in the Shuafat refugee camp.

The Shin Bet said that Hussam is “the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas.” His brother Hassin was involved in the bombing near the International Convention Center in Jerusalem in March 2011 and is currently serving a life sentence. Mahmoud Qawasme, another brother of Hussam, served 20 years in prison for assisting in the 2004 suicide attack in Be’er Sheva that killed 16 Israelis.

Two other brothers were also implicated for helping Hussam organize the kidnap and murder of the three teens.

Gaza Terrorist Paid Hamas Brother $61,500 to Kill Teens

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Cleared for publication:  Hebron resident Hussam Qawasme was apparently paid NIS 220,000 – $61,500 – for the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion.

Qawasme was arrested July 11 in connection with the attack, which he is credited with helping to mastermind. He reportedly received the funds for the job from his brother, a convicted Hamas official in Gaza.

According to information released Thursday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) it was Qawasme who hid the bodies of 19 year old Eyal Yifrah, 16 year old Naftali Frenkel and 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar, kidnapped and murdered on June 12. He had purchased the field where the bodies were stashed in shallow graves along Highway 60 in the town of Halhul, halfway between Hebron and Gush Etzion.

“In an intelligence operation launched by the Shin Bet, Hussam Qawasme was tracked down and arrested in a hideout in the Shuafat refugee camp,” the Shin Bet stated.

Hussam Qawasme was given up by another arrested accomplice who had hidden him and was also recently indicted. Hussam himself was incarcerated in Israel from 1995 to 2002. He was convicted on charges of involvement in Hamas terrorist activities, including participating in a cell that carried out bombing attacks.

“He is the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas,” the Shin Bet added.

The Hamas operative planned to flee to Jordan after stashing the bodies of the three teens but instead was caught and arrested, according the a statement released Thursday by the Shin Bet following Qawasme’s indictment in the IDF military court.

Hussam Qawasme is described in court papers as a ‘command level Hamas operative.’

His brother in Gaza – who allegedly bankrolled the operation – was freed by Israel as part of the prisoner exchange deal that secured the Oct. 18, 2011 return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from five years of captivity by Hamas.

The money was transferred from Gaza to Qawasme in Hebron via cash-stuffed envelopes carried by Hussam’s mother and another, unnamed woman, the indictment alleged. Among the purchases were a vehicle with which to carry out the attack and four guns.

The two kidnapper-killers, relative Marwan Qawasme and Amer Abu Aisha are still at large.

But under interrogation, Hussam Qawasme, 40, named other Hebron family members who had planned to help him escape to Jordan with a fake ID after the attack. Hisham Qawasme, 35; Jamil Qawasme, 28; and Hamas member Hassan Qawasme, 45, are all in Israeli custody.

Turkey Condemns Israel Decision to Change Gush Etzion Land Status

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Turkey this week condemned a decision by the Israeli government to change the status of 400 hectares (988 acres) of land in Judea near the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut from “survey land” to “state land.”

The status change legally allows further development of the area, which originally was authorized for development as an IDF Nahal community by an Israeli cabinet decision in 1982. At that time, the community was called Geva’ot and began in 1984 but closed two years later. Nahal was followed by a host of small pre-fab houses which from 1986 to 1996 became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva.

The land is located well within the area that is to remain under Israeli control no matter which which “two state” agreement is worked out with the Palestinian Authority, if by some miracle one ever is. For nearly half a century, the land has been under Jewish sovereignty and largely unoccupied.

The decision by Israel’s government on Sunday could potentially also unfreeze plans that were laid aside in 2012 for construction of 523 housing units on the site. It is located close to the bus stop where three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12.

“We denounce Israel’s seizing land, which is aimed at building illegal settlements, in villages in the West Bank, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement this week. “Israel’s decision to dispossess the largest scale of land in the West Bank for the last 30 years displays this country’s practices that violate international law on occupied Palestinian lands.”

Ankara added that it expected the decision to be reversed and warned Israel against taking steps that could harm the cease-fire with Gaza, which it said could “destroy grounds for lasting peace and the two state resolution,” according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. told Israel Tuesday “to reverse” the decision announced earlier this week to clear the way for a new Jewish town on 400 acres of land near Bethlehem.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki also castigated the Netanyahu government even planning an announcement for new homes for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, accusing it of acting “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

The American statement totally undermine any pretense that the Obama administration is willing to allow the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to negotiate and instead is talking for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has demanded that Israel cease all activity for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem that it intends to be part of an independent PA state.

Today was not the first time this week that the United States has objected to the declaration of Givaot, an area in Gush Etzion, as state land, but Psaki’s strong language was virtually an order to the Israeli government.

After having expressed “concern” on Sunday, the absence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s shuttering in fear, kissing Psaki’s foot and repenting for the ghastly act of laying claim to land that belongs to no one, apparently prompted her to use the sledgehammer Tuesday.

After calling on Israel to change its mind on Gush Etzion, which Abbas and President Barack Obama know very well remain under Israeli sovereignty no matter what, Psaki turned her fury on the audacity of Israel to even consider tampering with Jerusalem.

“We are also very concerned by reports that new settlement and East Jerusalem construction or planning announcements may be issued at any time, including for the sensitive area of (Givat HaMatos) in East Jerusalem,” Psaki added. By stating that ”these steps” are contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians,” she took the issue off the negotiating table.

Her boss, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has stated several times, as has President Obama, that the United States cannot decide the final status for the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry has made suggestions but never has so boldly told Prime Minister Netanyahu to play by American rules, which change with the wind.

Psaki called the Israel announcements “unilateral steps that undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.” By the same logic, every time the Palestinian Authority builds a home in Judea and Samaria or in areas of Jerusalem it claims, it is a “unilateral action.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-pushes-pa-agenda-and-tells-israel-to-cancel-new-gush-etzion-community/2014/09/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: