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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Israeli Arab MK Basel Ghattas Indicted on Abuse of Diplomatic Immunity, Use of Property for Terror

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Balad Party Knesset Member Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List faction) has been indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust, use of property for terrorism, bringing in documents without clearance through prison administration, and abuse of his diplomatic credentials.

The indictment comes in response to the lawmaker’s ties to a terrorist at the Ketziot Prison who is serving a life sentence for the murder of an IDF soldier. It also underlines the lawmaker’s ties with a second terrorist in the prison, this one a member of the ruling Fatah faction in the Palestinian Authority.

The indictment said the Knesset member conspired with the two terrorist prisoners, and with the brother of one of them, to bring cell phones into the prison and to deliver them to one of the terrorists who then would distribute them to other security prisoners.

The package that he delivered on the day of his visit to the prison contained 12 cell phones, 16 SIM cards, two chargers and an ear piece. He also delivered documents — coded messages — as well on the same day.

Prison guards searched the two inmates after they received the equipment and the papers, and seized both packages of contraband which later was handed over to the Lahav 433 Fraud and Serious Crimes Unit of Israel Police. Investigators confronted Ghattas with the security video footage of the incident, and with the items that were confiscated, after he denied any connection with wrongdoing during initial questioning.

Although the Knesset member has been indicted, and may be returned to house arrest, for the time being Ghattas is still getting paid, and is able to vote on laws being considered in the Knesset plenum.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu Eulogizes IDF Major Hagai Ben Ari, z’l

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

IDF Major Hagai Ben Ari, z’l, was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon in the cemetery of the Jewish community of Nov, in the Golan Heights, where he lived with his wife and children.

The officer had suffered mortal wounds at age 31 during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 while fighting the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza, and was hospitalized in a coma — a state in which he remained until late Tuesday night, when he passed away at his home in Nov.

Prior to his injury, Ben Ari was set to be promoted to commander of the Elite Paratroopers Reconnaissance Unit – a position he was awarded after his injury, albeit symbolically.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized the elite commander Wednesday in a statement on social media:

“I received tonight with deep sadness the news about the death of Major Hagai Ben Ari. Hagai was the salt of the earth, a courageous fighter, and an esteemed commander. His last position was in the elite Maglan unit, where he was a commander. He was critically wounded during Operation Protective Edge while he was fighting with the Paratroopers Brigade.

“From the time of his injury, we hoped and prayed that Hagai would recover and return to his loving family, to his wife Moriah and his three children. To our great misfortune, this hope vanished yesterday. My wife and I would like to send our condolences to Hagai’s family in the name of all the people of Israel. May his memory be a blessing, and may his name be rooted in our hearts forever.”

Hana Levi Julian

Mengistu Family, MKs Call on Govt to Rescue Captive From Hamas

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The family of a 28-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli man being held in Gaza by Hamas terrorists held a demonstration with supporters on Sunday at their home in Ashkelon to protest what they insist has been the government’s lack of action in rescuing their loved one.

Abera (Avram) Mengistu, a resident of Ashkelon, simply walked across the border into Gaza at the Zikim beach in September 2014, for unknown reasons. He has been missing ever since. Mengistu is known to have had mental health issues; for this reason, he was excused from military service in earlier years.

Hamas has refuted family statements underlining the fact that Avram is mentally unstable. The terror group instead claims the Israeli civilian was captured as a “prisoner of war.”

About 40 people came to the rally, including Knesset members Oren Hazan (Likud), and Ksenia Svetlova and Yehiel ‘Hilik’ Bar, both of the Zionist Union faction. MK Avraham Neguise (Likud), the only current lawmaker from the Ethiopian community, had been scheduled to attend but cancelled at the last minute.

On Sunday, an Israeli government cabinet meeting was held focusing on this issue and on strategies to pressure Hamas into returning Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin civilian with similar mental health issues, who also walked across the border into Gaza and is likewise being held hostage. Also being held captive are the bodies of two IDF officers who fell in battle during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

The protest was held after the regular Sunday government cabinet meeting, which this week focused on various strategies to pressure Hamas into returning the two young officers’ bodies and the two live captives.

In a statement to the Tazpit Press Service (TPS), Ilan Mengistu, Abera’s brother complained about what he said was inadequate coverage of his brother’s plight. “Media coverage of the Cabinet meeting only dealt with getting the bodies [of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin] back, while the humanitarian concern of my brother was only mentioned in the sidelines, if at all,” he said.

“My brother, Abera, has been held by the organization Hamas for more than 840 days, far from his country and his family and only on Sunday did the cabinet decided to convene to talk about it. It reveals much about their real intention, as part of their roles and moral responsibility, to return an innocent man home,” Mengistu said.

“We must spread the word with our head held high that Israel has a humanitarian duty to bring back Abera. Hamas prisoners should not be allowed family visits and demanding from the world humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip while they are still holding my brother, an innocent citizen who has never borne arms and who is utterly unrelated to the conflict surrounding us,” he said.

The Security Cabinet also met Sunday to discuss possible ways to pressure Hamas into returning all the captives. One of the decisions made in that forum was that the bodies of Hamas operatives killed during terror attacks on Israelis will not be returned to their families. Instead, they’ll be interred in a cemetery for enemy dead. Other decisions made by the security cabinet were not revealed.

Like Mengistu, the Goldin and Shaul families both criticized the decision. The Goldin family, related to former Defense Minister Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon, said that “they would not reward people who decided to act too little and too late.” The Shaul family said they were tired of talking and were waiting for the prime minister to implement the decision with practical actions that demonstrate leadership.

All three families called on the government to raise restrictions on Hamas inmates in Israeli prisons until Hamas frees their children. They also slammed the normalization of ties with Turkey without having included specific agreements on returning their children to Israel. Turkey is strongly tied to the Hamas government in Gaza.

The decision by the cabinet to bury Hamas bodies — a serious act of hostility on the part of Israel in this region from a cultural perspective — followed the release of a vicious video by Hamas, mocking Israel and the parents of Hadar Goldin, with the music of a lullaby.

Goldin’s face was Photoshopped by the terror group onto a terrorist portraying a prisoner. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face was Photoshopped on to the image of a second terrorist dressed as a clown; he was depicted as a visitor to the prisoner who then blew out candles on a birthday cake, throwing the entire screen into darkness.

Ilana Messika and TPS contributed content to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israel Preparing Preemptive Action against Hezbollah

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The IDF is “cautiously optimistic” in its assessment of the security challenges of 2017, expecting to get to the other side “without having to wage major combat operations,” writes DefenseNews‘ Barbara Opall-Rome, after an interview with a senior defense official in Tel Aviv. However, she quotes the same official, “Today, the most probable war is one in which both sides didn’t want it, but due to the dynamic of escalation, we might find ourselves in it.”

The senior official told Opall-Rome that Israel is cautious and mindful of “unintended consequences” resulting from its actions regarding Hezbollah up north, Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority, and even faraway countries such as Iran.

In his opinion, the hierarchy of threats against Israel in 2017 will be: 1. The PA; 2. Hamas; and 3. Iran-backed Hezbollah, which, despite the fact that it is the strongest of the three “the probability [for confrontation] is low, as long as we don’t get into a dynamic of escalation.”

Israel is anxious about the possibility that Iran and Hezbollah stay put in a ruined Syria after the Russians have reduced their presence there. The senior official is not concerned about Israel’s ability to deal with Bashar al-Assad, rather “our concern is that Iran and Hezbollah will grow ever more confident in Syria when the superpowers leave or reduce their presence… and that will not be a good end to this story.”

Hezbollah worries this security official because “they haven’t stopped for one day their buildup against Israel… and we don’t want to wait for the first day of the war,” meaning, obviously, that Israel would continue to use preemptive operations, such as the “unconfirmed” attacks on Syrian armories and on truck convoys hauling advanced weapons across the Lebanese border, to be handed to Hezbollah.

“When you let so many weapons systems get into Lebanon, you push a higher probability of a war,” the official said, noting that “[Hizbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah speaks almost every week about the day they will conquer Israel. And if he speaks like that every week, why wait? Why give him a feeling of being strong enough?”

He also suggested that Hezbollah forces in Syria could turn on the Russians, using their advanced arms, including their anti-aircraft weapons. “If I had opportunity to give advice to President Putin,” he told Opall-Rome, “I’d say you should keep an eye on Hezbollah if you want a stable Middle East and if you want to protect your gains in Syria.”

David Israel

Hamas: 21 Died in Tunnels in 2016

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Hamas announced officially on Sunday that 21 of its men had died “in the bowls of the earth,” most likely in the terror tunnels which continue to be dug relentlessly by Hamas as part of its ongoing war effort against Israel, Kol Israel’s Gal Berger tweeted.

David Israel

Israeli Security Cabinet Decrees Hamas Bodies Will Not Be Returned

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Israel’s security cabinet has decided that the bodies of Hamas terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis won’t be returned to their families. Instead, they’ll be buried in a cemetery for enemy dead.

The cabinet made the decision during a special meeting Sunday in which officials discussed efforts to retrieve the bodies of IDF officers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, the two soldiers who fell in Gaza while fighting during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. The bodies of both soldiers have been held by the Hamas terrorist organization ever since.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office later in the day said the cabinet worked on strategies to win release of the bodies of the two soldiers, as well as to win release of two other Israelis – Avraham (Abera) Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – with mental health issues who crossed the border into Gaza more than a year ago and are being held in the enclave.

The decision by the cabinet followed the release of a vicious video by Hamas this weekend, mocking Israel and the parents of one of the soldiers, with the music of a lullaby playing in the background.

The face of Hadar Goldin was Photoshopped by the terror group onto a terrorist portraying a prisoner.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face was Photoshopped on to the image of a second terrorist dressed as a clown, depicted as a visitor to the prisoner who then blew out the candles on a birthday cake, throwing the entire screen into darkness.

Hadar Goldin was the nephew of former Defense Minister Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon, who was serving as Defense Minister during Operation Protective Edge and who personally was tasked with informing Goldin’s family of the loss of their son. Ya’alon had also served in the past as IDF Chief of Staff.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Videos Taunt Israelis with Fake ‘Birthday’ of Fallen IDF Soldier [video]

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Hamas’ terror group Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades on Saturday published two videos mocking the memory of IDF soldier Oron Shaul with a “celebration” of his 23rd birthday. Oron Shaul was killed in a clash with Hamas during the 2014 Israel–Gaza war, and Hamas announced that he had been taken prisoner, demanding massive prisoner releases in return for his body.

According to The Independent, the claim that an Israeli soldier had been captured “touched off celebrations among Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.” The same publication ran images of an Arab mob cheering in the streets of Ramallah.

The first Hamas video shows a cake sitting on a table that reads in Hebrew: “Oron, three years in Hamas captivity.” Then, the phrase “A new year comes while Shaul is away from home” appears on the screen in both Arabic and Hebrew.

The second video shows the face of Shaul digitally imposed over an actor bound to a chair with a birthday cake set on a table in front of him, adorned with three candles symbolizing the soldier’s “time in captivity.”

As the soldier tries free himself from the ropes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dressed as a clown, steps into the room through a darkened door and blows out the candles.

The video ends with the phrase: “The decision is in the hands of the Israeli government.”

Good to know the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades have something to keep them busy in their tunnels during the cold winter nights.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-videos-taunt-israelis-with-fake-birthday-of-fallen-idf-soldier-video/2017/01/01/

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