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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Halhul’

Netanyahu: ‘I Expect World to Condemn Desecration of a Synagogue’

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Saturday night that Israel will hunt down and prosecute the arsonists who set fire a few hours earlier to Torah scrolls and holy books in a Judean synagogue next to the Jewish community of Karmei Tzur.

“Last night a synagogue in Givat Sorek, in Gush Etzion, was set on fire by Palestinians,” Netanyahu said in a post on his Facebook page, written in Hebrew and in English. “We will prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.

“I expect the international community to condemn the desecration of a synagogue, an act that is the result of incessant Palestinian incitement,” the prime minister stated.

The small prayer tent is located in a scenic spot overlooking the area where the bodies of three Israeli teens were found, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists after being abducted near their yeshiva in June 2014.

The flames badly damaged the sacred texts. They had been piled up outside the prayer tent before the arsonists set them afire.

Judea and Samaria district police said the footprints of the suspects were found leading to a Palestinian Authority village near the town of Halhul, according to Ynet.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, said in a statement that “a red line has been crossed… we will not allow this to go unpunished.”

Hana Levi Julian

Teen Terrorist Killed After Firebombing Israeli Vehicles on Highway 60 in Judea

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

One of two teen terrorists was killed Saturday night by an IDF unit while attacking Israeli drivers on Highway 60 in Judea.

The soldiers opened fire while the young terrorists were throwing firebombs (Molotov cocktails) Saturday night at passing Israeli vehicles.

The attacks took place near the Judean town of Halhul, north of Hebron and Kiryat Arba.

One of the two teen terrorists, a 14-year-old, was hit by the gunfire, according to a report broadcast by Israel Radio, and the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

“During routine activity to secure route 60, the IDF spotted two suspects attempting to throw Molotov cocktails at vehicles” on the highway,” an IDF spokesperson told Ma’an.

The second suspect was arrested and taken into custody, according to the report.

Hana Levi Julian

Arab Terrorist Wannabe Dies in Attack Attempt at Halhul Junction

Friday, December 11th, 2015

An Arab wannabe terrorist attempted to carry out a vehicle ramming attack Friday at the Halhul Junction — but he didn’t quite make it.

The failed terrorist aimed his vehicle at IDF soldiers who were conducting security checks at the junction, and tried to run them over.

The alert troops shot and killed him instead, then searched his body to make sure there were no other “surprises” in store.

Among other items, the soldiers found a knife during their search of the terrorist’s body, making it clear that many would have been hurt in the ram-and-stab attack he obviously planned, had his efforts succeeded.

No Israelis were reported wounded in the attempted attack, which took place about 10 minutes’ drive north of Kiryat Arba-Hebron.

Hana Levi Julian

Ready to Roll

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Soldiers of the Etzion Regional Brigade during an operation in the Arab-occupied towns of Beit Omar and Halhul, on October 7, 2015.

Photo of the Day

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama White House Condemns Designation of Gush Etzion Lot as ‘State Land’

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has sharply condemned the Israeli government’s decision Sunday to designate a lot in Gush Etzion as state land.

The decision came as a direct result of the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of three teenage yeshiva students on the site in early June.

The U.S. claimed the move would damage future final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a Statement Department spokesman said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians. We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.”

In general, the U.S. has opposed Israeli development in Judea and Samaria, although most past administrations have ameliorated their concerns, depending on circumstance.

The 4,000-dunam lot is located adjacent to the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut, not far from bus stop and hitchhiking post where Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were abducted by Hamas terrorists and then murdered on June 12. Their bodies were found three weeks later in Judea after a massive manhunt by thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel, in a field owned by the Hebron-based Qawasme clan along Highway 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the PA town of Halhul.

Prior to the designation, the Judea and Samaria civil administration had designated the status of the area — known as Geva’ot — as ‘survey land’ as ordered by the political establishment after the bodies of the three teens were recovered. The move froze the status of the area and prevented construction plans from moving through the system until a determination could be made about its future, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Geva’ot is not new. In 1982, an Israeli cabinet decision laid the groundwork for development of the area as an IDF Nahal community, which started in 1984 and then closed two years later. For the next 10 years the site became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva, with small pre-fab homes. In 1998, The Gush Etzion Regional Council reached out to the government, requesting construction of a full-scale city on the site similar to Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’il Illite and Beitar Illit. Plans began but two years later were dropped due to international diplomatic pressure. In 2008, once again the plans were picked up and moved forward in 2009, especially after the Annapolis Summit came to naught. By 2012, initial authorization for 523 homes was secured from the Defense Ministry — and there the project was frozen.

Gush Etzion is well within the area Israel is likely to retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

The PA immediately responded that the site belongs to districts of two separate PA-controlled cities: Bethlehem and Hebron. Bethlehem is located across the road and is more than five and a half miles north. Hebron is the same distance, to the south.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared Sunday evening, “The settlement enterprise is illegal,” in a sweeping condemnation of every Jewish city, town and village built in Judea and Samaria, including any that might be built on the newly-designated state land. Nearly 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria.

He, too, said the move would “bring about a further deterioration” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which at this point includes Hamas in its unity government.

The PA has had to be repeatedly dragged to the negotiations table over the years, each time with ‘enticements’ and ‘good will gestures’ forced on Israel by the United States.

Rachel Levy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-white-house-condemns-designation-of-gush-etzion-lot-as-state-land/2014/09/01/

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