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September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘hostage’

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.

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.

Tony Blair Mediating with Hamas for Missing Israelis

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization has identified Tony Blair as the mediator in talks with Israel over two missing civilians possibly being held hostage by the group in Gaza.

One of the two, Avraham Mengisto, is a 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who is mentally ill. The second man is a Negev Bedouin from the town of Hura.

A senior Hamas official told the Rusian media outlet Sputnik on Saturday the former Middle East envoy to the Quartet had met officially with Hamas to discuss the missing Israelis.

Israel has refused to identify the mediator.

Blair has met at least twice recently with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal at the terror group’s international heaquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Hamas has also denied that Germany is serving as the mediator for the matter.

Surprise! White House Reveals Kayla Mueller Was NOT ‘Last American Hostage’

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

One wonders who was the more surprised Tuesday: the White House staff or the American people, upon being told there is at least one more U.S. national and possibly more being held hostage in Syria.

In either case, it makes no difference to humanitarian aide worker Kayla Mueller, who was being held captive by Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). She was officially confirmed dead by White House officials Tuesday night.

Daesh claimed last Friday that Mueller died in a Jordanian air strike targeting the group in Raqqa, Syria. Jordan has intensified its attacks on the terror group following its barbaric execution of a Jordanian pilot captured after his fighter jet crashed in December 2014 in northeastern Syria. The group released an execution video of the pilot being burned alive in a metal cage earlier this month, but said the victim had been killed on January 3, about 10 days after he was captured.

The terrorist group sent photos of Mueller’s dead body to her family to confirm her death, a detail not immediately released when her death was first confirmed to media. According to a New York Times report published Wednesday, the Mueller family contacted Daesh separately in order to obtain the proof of their daughter’s death. In return they received at least three photos: One showed her wrapped in a Muslim funeral shroud and in two others she was alive, wearing a hijab and with her face partly covered. In all three photos, her face was reportedly covered in bruises.

The circumstances of Mueller’s death have remained unclear; high-ranking sources within the U.S. government have told media she could have died in a building next to a weapons storage facility targeted in an air strike. Or not.

However, intelligence officials have said that Daesh treats its female hostages differently, often forcing them to convert to Islam and then “marrying” them off to male commanders of the terrorist group.

Three male Americans have also died in the hands of Daesh: two journalists and another humanitarian aide worker trying to help Syrians caught in the crossfire of the savage civil war ripping apart the country. All three were beheaded by the group.

According to a report by Haaretz, Mueller volunteered for the International Solidarity Movement, living and working with Arabs in the Palestinian Authority. In a blog post about her stay in Israel and the PA, she posted the following:

“Do not be fooled, resistance lives… Oppression wails from the soldiers radio and floats through tear gas clouds in the air … But resistance is nestled in the cracks in the wall, resistance flows from the minaret 5 times a day and resistance sits quietly in jail knowing its time will come again. Resistance lives in the grieving mother’s wails and resistance lives in the anger at the lies broadcasted across the globe. Though it is sometimes hard to see and even harder sometimes to harbor, resistance lives. Do not be fooled, resistance lives.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to identify the newly-revealed American captive being held in Syria. Nor would he say which group kidnapped the hostage, or when the victim was seized.

“We have avoided discussing the individual cases of Americans who have been held hostage, but we are aware of other American hostages being held in the region,” Earnest said, according to Reuters.

“I’m not going to get into the specific discussions of the cases of individuals who are being held hostage, principally because we don’t believe that it’s in their best interests for me to discuss them publicly,” Earnest told reporters, according to Reuters. “But there have been public reports of at least one other American hostage being held in Syria,” he said.

The family of Austin Tice, a journalist who disappeared in Damascus in August 2012, held a news conference in Washington last week about his case.

ISIS Claims US Female Hostage Killed in Jordanian Air Strike – But Shows No Proof

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed Friday that an American female hostage being held by the group is dead. The group said 26-year-old Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aide worker, was killed when a Jordanian air strike hit the building in Syria where she was being held hostage, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

ISIS said on Twitter that Mueller was buried under the rubble of a building near Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital. “The failed Jordanian aircraft killed an American female hostage,” the message said. “No mujahid was injured in the bombardment and all praise is due to Allah.”

A State Department spokeswoman said the U.S. was investigating the claim but could not confirm them.

“We are obviously deeply concerned by these reports,” National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan told Business Insider. “We have not at this time seen any evidence that corroborates ISIL’s claim.”

Mueller, a native of Prescott, Arizona, was captured in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria. She is the last known American hostage being held by ISIS.

If the reports turn out to be true, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) will likely step up its attacks against the group as they will no longer pose danger to any Americans. Some plans to strike at the group until this point were rejected on the grounds “these things would be too risky to Kayla” said a military official interviewed by Foreign Policy magazine, on condition of anonymity.

The terror group demanded a ransom of more than $6 million in exchange for her freedom, according to The Daily Beast.

Jordan stepped up its own attacks last week after the video announcement by ISIS that it had executed a Jordanian pilot being held hostage by burning him alive in a cage. Amman has since intensified its bombing raids daily in retaliation against the group.

Jordan Confirms Video Shows ISIS Burned Captive Pilot to Death

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The government of Jordan has issued a statement confirming that a video uploaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) shows the execution of captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, held hostage by the group since December 2014.

The 26-year-old pilot was burned to death in a metal cage by the group on January 3 — five weeks ago. He is seen in the video wearing the typical orange jumpsuit of the ISIS prisoners and a trail of gasoline is poured in a trail leading up to the cage, and then set alight. The video is entitled “Healing the Believers’ Chests.”

The date of the execution explains why the group was unable to provide the Jordanian government with any signs of life from the pilot in negotiations for a prisoner swap. It also explains why he was not seen in the execution videos involving the two Japanese captives, both of whom are now dead. A video of the second beheading was posted to the Internet just three days ago.

“This is just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement within the hour after news of the murder was announced, “should the authenticity be confirmed.”

Jordan had warned yesterday (Monday, Feb. 2) that if the ‘hero’ Kasaesbeh came to any harm, Amman would “quickly judge and sentence” all those being held on suspicion of membership in ISIS. Last week Jordan also vowed to “fast-track” the execution of the Iraqi Al Qaeda suicide bomber being held on death row that was to be swapped for the pilot, if he was killed.

Bedouin Wrath

King Abdullah’s father, the late King Hussein, declared military rule and slaughtered more than 7,000 Palestinians on September 16, 1970, in response to an attempt by Palestinian Arab fedayeen to seize his kingdom. Thousands of other Palestinians were expelled as well.

The Hashemite monarch is the oldest son of King Hussein, who was said to be a direct descendant of the founder of Islam, the 6th century prophet Muhammad. The family is Bedouin, as is the rest of the extended royal family and those who support the monarchy in Jordan.

In Bedouin culture, those who create an enemy in a blood feud, as has ISIS with Jordan, create an enemy “unto the seventh generation.” The concept of “an eye for an eye” applies, sometimes with added murders for good measure. Such feuds between individuals and extended families or other parties can continue for decades.

It is the practice of the local Council of Sheikhs to attempt to work out a “sulhah” — a peace deal — between the parties involved, in order to avoid excess and ongoing bloodshed between communities. In this case, however, such a tradition is not relevant.

It remains to be seen whether Abdullah II has the courage of his father and the fortitude to carry out the threat he has made.

Kasazbeh’s warplane was allegedly shot down over Raqqa, Syria. Photos of the pilot being dragged half-naked from a lake were flashed around the Internet by ISIS at the time. Other sources also later reported the pilot’s jet crashed in northeastern Syria during a U.S.-led coalition bombing mission against ISIS.

The terror group demanded that Jordan free female Iraqi Al Qaeda suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is imprisoned in Jordan on death row for her involvement in a suicide bombing attack that killed 60 people in 2005. Her own explosives vest failed to detonate, and she was captured.

Jordan last week agreed in negotiations with the terrorist group to swap Rishawi for Kasaesbeh, but insisted the group provide proof the pilot was still alive. When Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was murdered last Friday, the execution video did not show the Jordanian pilot as the customary “next victim,” leading the Jordanians to question whether Kasaesbeh was still alive.

Nevertheless, the Hashemite Kingdom said Sunday, “We are still ready to hand over the convict Sajida al-Rishawi in return for the return of our son and our hero,” Reuters reported, despite the beheadings of both Japanese hostages with whom the pilot had allegedly been held. There were also ongoing protests in Karak, the hometown of the pilot, who was from an important Jordanian tribe that forms the main pillar of support for the Hashemite monarch.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called King Abdullah II over the weekend to thank him for his efforts in trying to secure the release of the Japanese hostage, “who was killed in cold blood and without any justification,” a palace statement revealed.

 

Jordan Folds to ISIS Hostage Terror

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Jordan caved to the hostage threat by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Wednesday, agreeing to swap a convicted terrorist for its pilot, held captive by ISIS.

A second hostage being held with the Jordanian, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, is still in captivity. There is no word on his status.

The deal came just minutes before the deadline was reached to execute Muaz al-Kasazbeh. “Jordan confirms that it is completely prepared to release the prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi if Muaz al-Kasazbeh is released intact,” read a statement from Amman, The New York Times reported early Wednesday.

Rishawi helped murder 60 people in an attack on three hotels in Amman with three other suicide bombers. Her explosives vest failed to detonate, however, allowing her to be captured and sentenced to death for the slaughter.

The deal was arranged in response to a massive demonstration against the Jordanian government that began Tuesday evening and continued into Wednesday morning. The pilot’s father also pleaded with King Abdullah II of Jordan to swap the terrorist for his son. “Who is Sajida to us? Sajida is a burden on us, let them release her,” he said during the demonstration.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jordan-folds-to-isis-hostage-terror/2015/01/28/

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