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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Mengisto ‘Did Not Know What He Was Doing,’ Says Brother

Monday, August 17th, 2015

The family of Avraham Mengisto held a rally outside Hadarim Prison on Monday to express their humanitarian demand that their son be released by Hamas from captivity in Gaza.

It was a small gathering – just 20 people, including all of the relatives – held at the time Palestinian Authority Arabs came to visit their own family members incarcerated at the prison.

Avraham’s brother Ilan addressed the visitors, and those gathered, saying, “White you are visiting your loved ones in Israel, Avera Mengisto, an innocenet 29 year old civilian, is being held in Gaza.

“Despite the fact that he is not well and was never a soldier, Hamas continues to hold him hostage and refuses to release him or to give any information about his whereabouts.”

Ilan Mengisto also accused those visiting their prisoner relatives of being “accomplices in the captivity of a helpless man who crossed into Gaza, because he did not know what he was doing.”

Following the rally, organizers told media, “We have chosen to take responsibility without any help from the state, in order to secure the release of Mengisto.”

The family has maintained its silence on the case since the 29-year-old man climbed over the security fence near the seashore and crossed into Gaza on September 7, 2014.

He was spotted at the time by IDF soldiers guarding the border, who called to him to stop – but he kept going and by the time they got to him, he had disappeared into Gaza.

Due to a gag order on the case and advice from the government the family was silent, trusting authorities to continue negotiating with Hamas for their son’s release. Since talks have produced no result, however, the family has now decided to begin publicizing its own demands on humanitarian grounds – with Monday’s small rally a first step in the process.

A second individual – a Bedouin man from southern Israel – likewise crossed into Gaza a number of months ago and has since been held hostage. His identity remains protected under gag order and the request of the family.

 

Arab Bank Settles NY Fed Court Case over Hamas Terror Attacks

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Jordan’s Arab Bank Plc has agreed to an out-of-court settlement with 500 U.S. citizens in a lawsuit charging the bank with fiscal liability for Hamas terrorist attacks during the second intifada.

The bank was set to face the start of a trial on Monday with 17 plaintiffs that was to determine the potential amount of total financial damages to be paid, an amount that could have reached millions of dollars.

Michael Eisner, attorney for the plaintiffs, confirmed the settlement on Friday, as did a spokesperson for the Arab Bank. Neither disclosed the terms of the agreement, which are to be finalized over the next few months.

The Arab Bank was accused of knowingly maintaining accounts for Hamas operatives and facilitating payments to families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the second intifada, beginning in 2000.

Arab Bank argued it had properly screened account holders and transactions against lists of designated terrorist organizations.

In September 2014 a jury in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York found the bank liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act for 24 terror attacks carried out by Hamas terrorists more than a decade ago in and around Israel.

The Bank of China, Credit Lyonnais SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, among others, are all facing similar claims.

Mengisto Family Protest Monday Seeks Son’s Release From Gaza

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

The family of Avraham Mengisto says it will speak out publicly and demonstrate Monday for the first time in an effort to free their son after 11 months of captivity in Gaza.

They have held their silence for nearly a year in order to allow talks with Hamas for their son’s release to proceed.

But the Ethiopian immigrant is not free, and there has been no progress despite the Israeli government’s ongoing request for the family to ‘stay quiet’ while negotiations continue.

On Monday, the family says it will hold a demonstration outside the Hadarim Detention Center to finally raise the national awareness on what has happened to their son.

The choice of venue is strategic, and poignant.

The family has scheduled its demonstration during visitation hours, when the families of Palestinian Authority Arab security prisoners are allowed to visit their own imprisoned sons.

Accompanying the Mengisto family will be Kibbutz Movement leader Yoel Marshak, who headed the campaign to free former kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage in Gaza for over five years.

The family is aware that this case is very different from that of Shalit.

For one thing, Mengisto was not kidnapped; he crossed directly into Gaza on his own two feet, of his own accord.

But more to the point, the 29-year-old Ashkelon man is known to be mentally ill. He did not serve in the IDF because of his condition, in fact.

Mengisto has still been held hostage in Gaza by Hamas anyway since crossing the border fence on September 8, 2014.

This is a strictly humanitarian case.

“We want to put pressure on Hamas using the families of the prisoners,” said a spokesperson for the family.

Turkey’s Leaders Meet With Hamas in Ankara

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed international Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal to Ankara on Wednesday.

Senior Turkish officials joined the meeting, which reportedly focused on Turkey’s role in providing support to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Al Resalah website.

Also discussed at the meeting were “the changes in the region and Erdogan’s concerns in the Palestinian cause,” according to the report.

Meshaal also met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as well.

No statement was made to the media following the talks.

A statement released in Gaza by a Hamas official said Wednesday that a delegation led by Meshaal briefed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Qatar at a recent meeting between the two men during which Lavrov reportedly invited Meshaal to Moscow.

Meshaal told Lavrov about conditions in Gaza, according to the statement.

Obama Asks NYC’s US District Court Judge to Waive Bond for PA, PLO

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

The Obama administration asked a United States judge on Monday (Aug. 10) to “carefully consider” the size of the bond he sets for the Palestinian Authority while it appeals an award for damages in the deaths and injuries of Americans in six terror attacks in Israel.

Both the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were determined to be financial liable for the attacks in the civil trial that ended in a New York court in February.

Under U.S. anti-terrorism law, the jury’s award of $218.5 million was automatically tripled to a total of $655.5 million.

Attorneys for the defense argued the PA could not afford to post the bond for the appeal, typically 111 percent of the judgement. They asked the judge to waive the bond requirement altogether instead.

The Obama administration concurred, and took the highly unusual step late Monday night of filing a formal “Statement of Interest of the United States of America” with Justice George B. Daniels of the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The plaintiffs, who were opposed to the request, included ten families of victims of terror, comprising some three dozen members, eight of whom were physically injured in the attacks and others who were related to those who were murdered in the attacks that took place between 2002 to 2004.

The attacks left a total of 33 dead and more than 450 injured, including a number of U.S. citizens. They were carried out by terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas.

“The United States strongly supports the rights of victims of terrorism to vindicate their interests in federal court and to receive just compensation for their injuries,” the Department of Justice wrote in the brief.

However, requiring the Palestinian Authority to pay “a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,” wrote deputy secretary of state Antony J. Blinken.

“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In court last month, Judge Daniels made it clear he intended to set the bond as a “significant demonstration” that the Palestinian Authority and PLO were both “willing and able to pay a judgment, if a judgment is entered and affirmed on appeal.” The families have taken the position that the defendants should deposit at least $30 million per month with the court as a show of good faith.

Blinken added in the DOJ’s brief Monday that the government was not taking a position on the merits of the case; only the impact of the bond itself.

There has been some friction over the case – and over the issue of intervening on behalf of the PLO and PA for the bond – between the State Department and the DOJ.

Hamas Fighter Confesses Details on Tunnels, Attack Plans

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A Hamas fighter captured by Israel early in July has revealed a wealth of information about the terror group’s plans to attack civilians and soldiers in the Jewish State.

The arrest of Ibrahim Adel Shehadeh Sha’er, 21 was only cleared for release early Tuesday afternoon, however, after weeks of questioning.

Sha’er was captured in a joint operation by Israel Police and operatives from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), according to a release sent to Hebrew-language media.

A resident of Rafah, Sha’er revealed a great deal of information to his investigators, including details about Hamas emergency procedures.

Hamas has rebuilt much of its terrorist infrastructure since the end of last year’s Operation Protective Edge war in the region, he said, including its tunnel network.

Sha’er provided specific locations and routes of the tunnels, as well as digging sites in Rafah where tunnels start – including one that he said led to the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Israel.

He also shared details about the purpose of the new road built by Hamas along the security fence. Shin Bet was able to confirm, for instance, that the road was intended for use in a surprise attack on Israel that was to involve vehicles that were to have crossed the border.

A Hamas operative, Sha’er personally was involved in many different aspects of terrorist training that included combat, command, use of advanced weapons and explosives.

During the war he served in a logistics and support company that transported military equipment and explosives to fighters in the field. Sha’er was also directly involved in combat zones, planting anti-tank mines and carrying out observation in the field.

According to the report, Sha’er was also privy to information discussed by many Hamas senior officials. He revealed many details about the relationship between Hamas and Iran, who he said sent generous military aid to Gaza to strengthen the terror organization.

Iran has been sending money, advanced weaponry and electronic equipment to Gaza, including devices used to disrupt radio frequencies and help bring down Israeli reconnaissance drones flying above the enclave. Sha’er also claimed that Iran had trained Hamas operatives in how to fly para-gliders, with the hopes of using the novel equipment to infiltrate across Israel’s border.

The Hamas prisoner also provided information about the formation of elite units in the terrorist group, and their anti-tank, anti-aircraft and observation capabilities.

At present, he said, Hamas can view and film Israeli territory at a distance of three kilometers (approximately two miles) in from the border.

Sha’er provided more details about the changes in military strategy, logistics and unit formations since last summer’s war as well.

He told his interrogators that Hamas has indeed been confiscating materials for manufacture of weapons that are being permitted by Israel into the enclave – due to international pressure – for reconstruction of civilian homes and other infrastructure.

Civilians are once again being endangered, Sha’er said, as Hamas routinely stores explosives in residential structures – as it did prior to last summer’s war – in anticipation of air strikes by Israel on separate weapons storage sites.

An indictment against Sha’er was filed with the Be’er Sheva District Court on July 31, accusing the Hamas operative of membership and activity in an outlawed association, attempted murder, contact with a foreign agent, forbidden military training and additional various weapons offenses.

Hamas Proudly Presents Gaza Summer Camp ‘Graduates’

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization proudly held a Graduation Day ceremony a few days ago for the older division of its “summer camp” program.

The youths demonstrated their skills during a graduation ceremony of the military-style camp organized by Hamas, whose armed wing organizes Liberation Youth Camps for Gaza teens ages between 15 and 21.

 A Gaza teen exhibits his sniper skills at Hamas military summer camp.

This is the incubator in which children and youths are programmed to become the next generation of guerrilla fighters for the terrorist organization.

Palestinian youth demonstrate their skills during a graduation ceremony of a military-style camp organized by the Hamas terror organization. Hamas' armed wing organizes Liberation Youths Camps for young Palestinian Arabs aged between 15 and 21.

The “campers” were put through their paces to exhibit skills that ranged from learning hand-to-hand combat to how to aim and fire guns, jump through fiery hoops, climb ropes and walls, and camouflage themselves well enough to avoid detection.

Hamas also runs a similar military “summer camp” for children of younger ages as well — children as young as five years old.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-proudly-presents-gaza-summer-camp-graduates/2015/08/11/

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