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August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Rivlin: All Relevant Authorities Working to Retrieve Missing Israeli

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin confirmed Thursday that “all relevant authorities are working on the case” of 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant to Israel, Avraham Mengisto.

The young man voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza 10 months ago and has not been seen since, according to his mother, who says she is holding Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group responsible for his well-being.

Rivlin told journalists at a news conference the release of Mengisto, who is believed to be possibly mentally ill, is a “humanitarian issue.”

The president said in a statement, “We expect those holding him to act accordingly and release him while his condition is stable.” He added that Israel’s security and other government personnel would “continue to make every effort to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.”

Mengisto walked south along the shoreline from his home in Ashkelon on September 8, 2014, and then simply kept going, crossing the border into Gaza along the way.

Hamas reportedly is claiming the Israeli was taken into custody for questioning but released when it was discovered that he was not a soldier. As it happens, Mengisto has never served in the IDF due to his health problems.

The terror group claims that he entered one of the smuggling tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah and exited the enclave to head into Egypt in order to proceed towards Ethiopia.

Israeli authorities say the terrorist officials are lying, either in order to preserve him as an “asset” for future negotiations with Israel over a possible prisoner swap, or because something happened to him along the way and the person responsible for him is hiding that information – even from Hamas officials.

‘Hamas is Responsible For My Son. They Cannot Shirk Responsibility’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The mother of a (possibly) mentally ill young man who crossed the southern border of Israel into Gaza is blaming Hamas for her son’s captivity.

A second civilian, also in his 20s, is being held captive in Gaza as well. All information about the second man, a Negev Bedouin resident of the town of Hura, has been censored, however.

Avraham Mengisto’s mother told media in a briefing today (Thursday, July 9) while meeting with Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni that she holds Gaza’s ruling terror organization responsible for the welfare of her 28-year-old son.

“Hamas is responsible for my son’s fate,” his mother said. “They cannot shirk their responsibility. I [also] hope the state will not cease to act for his return.”

The mayor visited her at the family home in Ashkelon on Thursday after the news of Avraham’s disappearance was cleared for publication. “The family is going through a very difficult time, after the double tragedy that they’ve endured,” Shimoni said. “Askelon Municipality’s social services department has been accompanying them since the first moment. We embrace the family and send them strength and hope that Avraham will be back with his family quickly,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Avraham’s brother Ilan subsequently said “[We] have decided to behave with restraint and give the government time to get our brother back home and we also ask the people of Israel to show restraint… The family considers this a humanitarian issue and we call on the international community to get involved and work to secure the release of my brother,” he said. “I ask that Hamas consider the condition of my brother and release him,” he added.

Information about Avraham’s disappearance 10 months ago only became public today due to the lifting of a gag order.

Mengisto left his home in Ashkelon early on September 8, 2014, and apparently kept walking along the shoreline until he crossed the border into Gaza. This is not the first time that Mengisto has gone missing; there have been three reports of similar incidents registered with the social services department, although none involved a border crossing.

Mengisto’s mother Agernesh lives in Ashkelon, and his father Ayele lives in central Israel. He is one of nine children in the family.

According to the Defense Ministry there is no concrete information as to his fate; IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai told media, however, that current information indicates Mengisto is being held by Hamas.

A military source said Mengisto had initially been arrested by Hamas after crossing the border in September, but the terror organization said it released him because he was not a soldier. The source said there have been several attempts since that time to negotiate for his release.

A Hamas source in Gaza told Ynet that Mengisto is no longer in the region; the source said the Israeli exited the enclave via the tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah, and headed into Egypt.

Mengisto’s grieving mother added that despite her efforts to remain strong, “It hurts me. Since he disappeared, my life has come to a stop.

“Every day I wait for him to come through the door and say ‘hello.’ I pray for his return, and ask anyone who can help us to do so.”

New Terror Group Threatens Hamas in Gaza

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

A new terror group is rising to politely threaten the control of Hamas in Gaza, and it’s not the Da’esh-linked Salafi Muslims or any other global jihad group. Nor is it the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which has just lost its funding from Iran — in favor of the new organization.

The new group, called “Al-Sabirin” or “Hosn” – “The Patient for the Victory of Palestine” — was started by former PIJ official Hisham Salem, who has been careful to maintain good graces with Tehran. The group’s flag is also very similar to that of the Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah terrorist organization, also backed by Iran.

Last week the Middle East Monitor quoted an Al-Quds newspaper report that Iran had severed ties with PIJ due to its ambivalence over Tehran’s involvement in Yemen. PIJ has been looking for new sponsors, according to the report, but has failed to find them. As a result, it has closed the head office of its satellite TV channel Palestine Today, and “laid off” numerous other employees.

Al-Quds also reported that internal divisions within the group were also responsible for Iran’s decision to end its funding, along with the establishment of Al-Sabirin, which the newspaper claimed is in “full ideological and political agreement with Iran.” Moreover, according to the report, “its members, apparently, get paid full salaries every month.”

Salem has produced numerous YouTube videos in which he talks about historical events that are important to Shi’ite Muslims; this has also produced considerable confusion in Gaza among potential new followers.

Salem was allegedly expelled from the northern division of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in 2010, according to a source who spoke with Al Monitor, because he sparked “sectarian strife.” The source added that Salem’s ideas were bad for Sunni Palestinian society, which “rejects sectarian pluralism for fear of a sectarian war in Gaza.”

Salem spoke with Al Monitor in 2014, confirming his position as a “leader of the Hosn movement,” and explaining the organization was “inspired” by the founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He added that his group believes in “Islamic unity, and [sees] no reason to separate as Sunnis and Shi’ites.”

Salem’s charity organization, “Al-Baqiyat al-Salihat” is funded primarily by Iran. Hamas allegedly does not see Al-Sabirin as competition for Iranian dollars, however.

Hamas official Atef Adwan told Al Monitor last year it was likely that Salem’s group “will not be able to continue in the presence of giant organizations that fill the scene.”

Hamas Rallies in Gaza to Protest PA Arrests in Judea, Samaria

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Hamas has accused the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority of caving to Israel after PA security personnel arrested hundreds of terrorists in Judea and Samaria.

“Power and occupation are two sides of the same coin. Stop betrayal,” read banners waved by protesters at a rally organized Tuesday by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist group. “Political arrests and power are a stigma on the forehead of its president.”

The rally was organized to protest the security sweep conducted by Palestinian Authority security officials throughout Judea and Samaria over the past several weeks.

Mushir al-Masri, an organizer of the rally, said the arrests were a failed attempt by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to “eliminate the resistance.”

He warned the campaign of political arrests and security coordination “with the occupation” signaled a “blow to reconciliation efforts” in the ongoing but largely fruitless move to create a so-called “unity government” between the two factions.

Since the beginning of June, more than 200 members of Hamas have been arrested in Judea and Samaria, according to the Gaza-based terror group.

In addition, at least 40 Hamas operatives were arrested by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) earlier this month in a separate sting that foiled an attempt to set up a parallel shadow government aimed at toppling the Ramallah-based PA government led by Abbas’s Fatah faction.

IDF Tunnel Warning System to be Fully Operational in Days

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

A senior IDF official revealed today during a press briefing commemorating a year since Operation Protective Edge (“Tzuk Eitan”) that the IDF’s tunnel warning system will be fully operational in the coming days. The officer noted that system was recently activated and installed surrounding the Gaza Strip. The officer stressed that not one of the 32 terror tunnels destroyed by the IDF during last year’s operation has been renovated, yet Hamas is digging new tunnels towards Israel.

During the press briefing, it was revealed that Hamas is searching for new weapon smuggling pipelines since Egypt effectively shut down the smuggling tunnels from Sinai to Gaza. As a result. Hamas has built new ties with radical Islamic elements in Sinai to train weapon smugglers in Sinai and even encourage attacks against the Egyptian army.

In parallel, ISIS forces in Sinai are trying to bring Israel into a conflict with Egypt, and it is expected that ISIS rockets will continue to be shot at Israel from Sinai, as was demonstrated last week. The IDF Southern command is preparing to defend attempts of terror attacks alongside the border with Egypt.

The IDF’s present analysis is that Hamas prefers quiet at this time and the cease fire continues between the sides. Despite Israel’s efforts to allow hundreds of the aid trucks daily into Gaza and the ongoing restoration of Gaza, the difficult economic situation in Gaza can easily create the catalyst for the next conflict with Israel.

Operation Protective Edge Remembrance Day

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Adi Kaplan, widow of Captain Zvi (Zvika) Kaplan lit a torch during a ceremony marking one year since Operation Protective Edge at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on July 6, 2015.

Protective Edge Remembrance 2015 2

Prime Minister Netanyahu laid a wreath of flowers at the ceremony honoring our heroes killed in battle against Israel’s enemies in Gaza

Gaza ‘Reconstruction’ Taking Place Underground

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Contrary to the propanganda by the Hamas PR machine, Gaza reconstruction is moving along nicely – at least in the underground terror tunnel network.

IDF Colonel Nachi Mandel, deputy commander of the army’s Gaza Division said in an interview on Galei Tzahal Army Radio Tuesday that Hamas is working hard to rebuild its capacity.

The terror organization took a severe beating – as did the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza region itself – during the 2014 counter terror war, Operation Protective Edge.

Nevertheless, “Hamas is building up its forces again,” Mandel warned. “It is training its forces and boosting the number of mortars it is manufacturing. It is continuing to add to its arsenal, and dig more terror tunnels.

“We need to view this in realistic terms,” he continued. “Hamas is doing whatever it can to improve its readiness in case of renewed hostilities.”

In an interview Tuesday on state-run Israel Radio, Hamas de factor “foreign minister” Razi Hamed claimed that materials intended for use in reconstruction are not “falling into the hands of the military wing.”

However, Israeli intelligence has said otherwise, and photos of new tunnels that have been built in the underground terror network prove the point.

Hamas has no desire to start another round of fighting with Israel, Hamed told the interviewer. In fact, he said, Hamas wants to preserve the “quiet” in Gaza.

That could well be, at least for now. Hamas finds itself locked in an existential struggle with a growing number of terror groups comprised of Salafi Muslims aligned with Da’esh (ISIS).

Although Hamas has been providing support to these groups in their battle against the Egyptian government, inside Gaza it is fighting them to retain control over the enclave.

Hamed added that the new road being paved near the security fence in Gaza is intended for defense and internal law enforcement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-reconstruction-taking-place-underground/2015/07/07/

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