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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘hostage’

Father of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, z’l, Dies Waiting for Son’s Body

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Herzl Shaul, the father of IDF Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, z’l, has passed away 10 months after a hard-fought battle of his own with a difficult illness.

The elder Shaul has spent the past two years fighting for the return of his son’s remains from captivity by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, but earlier this year he was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine.

The soldier’s father was treated for the disease at Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias and at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, a global leader in the treatment of cancer, but the disease metastisized. Within the year Herzl Shaul lost 25 kilograms, more than 50 pounds.

This past week he gave up his fight for his son’s remains, as his own fight for life intensified. He was moved to Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv, with the Defense Minister providing accommodations for his wife near the hospital in order for her to remain close to her husband.

Shaul was initially believed to be missing. The six other soldiers inside his armored personnel carrier (APC) were killed. But the evidence gathered from the scene led investigators to the conclusion that the 20-year-old soldier had died in the July 20, 2014 battle during Operation Protection Edge. The terrorists who attacked his Givati Brigades unit stole his body to hold him hostage as a bargaining chip with Israel.

The younger Shaul was subsequently declared by the IDF Chief Rabbi to be a soldier who died but whose burial place is unknown. His family sat shiva, but later requested the IDF designate him as a soldier “missing in action,” which it did.

Herzl and Zehava Shaul for months led a daily vigil outside the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, pressuring the government to bring back the body of their son.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara expressed their condolences to the family on Friday. “In our meetings with Herzl we saw a strong man who devoted all his time and energy toward his health and efforts to return the body of his late son,” the prime minister said, adding a vow that Israel would not fail to retrieve Oron’s remains.

“The Defense Ministry and the people of Israel bow their heads in sorrow at the death of Herzl, of blessed memory,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in his statement. I met with Herzl about a month ago. [He] did everything in his power to return his late son Oron and I am saddened he did not achieve this before he died. The Israeli government is committed to returning the bodies of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of blessed memory and bringing them to Israel for burial.”

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot paid tribute to the elder Shaul as well, saying he had pledged to keep fighting to return the bodies of both his son and Goldin. “Herzl was the head of an exemplary family,” he said in a statement.

“I send a strong embrace to [his wife] Zehava and the family at this difficult time. I met Herzl for the last time a week ago, and I promised him that we will continue to do everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar home, to be laid to rest in Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Oron Shaul’s Family Blocking Visitation Buses to Hamas Prisoners

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The family of Oron Shaul continues to fight to get their son’s body back from Hamas in Gaza. Oron Shaul was killed in the Gaza war, and his body was stolen by Hamas.

In their previous attempt to put pressure on Hamas to free their son, the family blocked humanitarian aid trucks from passing through the crossing into Gaza, demanding their son’s body be returned from Gaza in exchange for the aid.

They tried to get the prisons to not allow Hamas prisoners to watch the Euro game, but their legal attempts were rejected.

Today, the Oron family and their friends and supporters are blocking buses from Gaza and Hebron that are headed to the Nifcha prison for family visitations with the jailed Hamas terrorists.

The family is calling on the visiting relatives of the Hamas terrorists to tell Gaza chieftain Ismail Heniya to release Oron Shaul’s body from Gaza.

As of 10 AM, the family has blocked 3 buses.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hundreds Rally to Rescue American Robert Levinson from Iran

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Some 400 people rallied in Coral Springs, Florida on Saturday for the release of former FBI agent Bob Levinson, who was taken into custody by Iranian police in 2007.

Levinson was captured while on an unauthorized CIA mission on Kish Island, while allegedly trying to determine the status of the country’s race towards nuclear weaponry.

This is the ninth year that Levinson is missing – the longest of any hostage.

If he is still alive, Levinson turns 68 this coming Thursday.

Levinson’s family told reporters they were “devasted” that he was the only hostage not included in the U.S.-Iran prisoner swap back in January.

The family has met with top Obama administration officials but received little information other than reassurances the government would redouble its efforts to pressure Iran to “find” the former FBI agent.

Seven Iranian prisoners were traded in exchange for the five Americans who were freed in January, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and a Christian pastor. But Iranian government officials who originally discussed his release with American 67-year-old Levinson’s whereabouts. However, he was seen in Iranian custody several years ago by an eyewitness, according to media reports.

Hana Levi Julian

Japanese Journalist Held Captive in Syria by Unnamed Terror Group

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A Japanese journalist is being held captive by in Syria, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who did not name the group holding Yasuda Jumpei. Nor did he confirm the report of the abduction, which allegedly occurred in July.

“We are doing our best… and making full use of various intelligence networks,” he said, but gave no details.

Information about the capture of the journalist was received from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, Reuters reported. RSF urged Japan to do all it can to save Yasuda, who was a friend and colleague of Japanese war correspondent Kenjo Goto, another journalist who was captured and executed late last year by the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group.

Yasuda himself had been previously abducted and held hostage by an armed group in 2004 while traveling near a combat zone in Iraq. He disappeared in July shortly after crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.

The organization said “an armed group” has been holding Yasuda hostage after kidnapping him shortly after entered Syria in an area controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front).

The terrorist organization is demanding a ransom and has begun a countdown for payment. The group is threatening to execute the journalist or to sell him to another group if no ransom is paid.

Earlier this year, the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization released a video documenting the beheading by the group of journalist Kenji Goto and his friend, a Japanese contractor.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

 

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Hostages Freed in Paris Primark Mall

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Eighteen hostages held hostage in Paris early Monday for nearly five hours have been freed, according to Infos140. The armed men who took them captive have — for the moment — disappeared, the news service reported.

The employees were held hostage by two or three gunmen inside a store at the Primark mall in Villeneuve-la-Garenne in northern Paris.

“Around 6:30 am two or three armed criminals went into the Primark mall for what we think was initially an attempt at armed robbery,” a police source told the Australian Herald Sun.

A store employee sent a text to her boyfriend at around 7 am, telling him she and others were taken hostage by two armed men, according to Le Figaro, a French newspaper. All of the hostages were store employees, according to the AFP news agency.

Police blocked off access to the area and an elite special forces unit was deployed to the scene. The gunmen made no demands and no injuries were reported.

Numerous members on the Twitter social media site posted a flurry of scornful tweets, as one pointed out: “People still talking about robbery in #paris #primark in the morning?!! what the heck?!! something to hide?”

The motivation behind the entire incident is still not clear. Police are searching for the gunmen and an investigation has been launched.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/breaking-hostage-situation-in-paris/2015/07/13/

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