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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘hostages’

Iranian Government Humiliates U.S. After Freeing Sailors

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Iran kept its promise and released the U.S. Navy sailors with their two small boats back into the Persian Gulf late Wednesday, but not before snapping a wealth of images and probably scrutinizing the vessels right down to the last bolt.

Tehran made certain to get as much mileage as possible from the unexpected windfall of the boats that drifted Tuesday a scant mile (two kilometers, 1.2 miles) into its territorial waters.

Seizing both, Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the crews of a lone female and nine male sailors would be released “promptly.”

But they were held for 24 hours on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf – home to a base of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps — for as long as could reasonably be managed without an international public relations disaster. Although Iran does not usually concern itself with public relations, this time it was important.

After all, Iran is on track for “implementation day” shortly — the day when the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic are to be lifted. On that day billions of dollars are to start flowing again into its coffers, and oil can once again begin flowing in the other direction, towards its still-loyal European customers.

Meanwhile, the IRGC technicians had plenty of time to examine previously inaccessible American technology and equipment, photograph it from every angle and probably sample it as well. Perhaps some tinkering? Anything taken? These are questions that will only be answered once the sailors are safely back to base and debriefed, and engineers can go over the equipment.

The sailors were also filmed in humiliating circumstances, on their knees with hands behind their heads — good footage for reminding folks on the home front and abroad who’s the boss on the high seas, and at home, when it counts.

That footage and those snaps are now being released to the Iranian and global public. The images will also jog the memories of anyone old enough to remember the days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, those who watched the coverage of the American Embassy hostages in Tehran.

The message is crystal clear:  If you choose to sail into Persian Gulf waters, beware. We await you, and at any opportunity we will pounce. This is an area under our complete control. Enter at your own risk.

The lack of response by Washington when a Middle East nation violates UN Security Council resolutions – like the test of a ballistic missile by Iran last October – is an invitation to an escalation at some point down the line.

More to the point, the message to Tehran when its Navy fires a rocket almost directly at an American military vessel — as it did last month — and life continues with “business as usual” is one that is dangerous and very unwise.

In the Middle East, a non-response is perceived as weakness, vulnerability and availability for more of the same. For those who look to the U.S. as an ally, this is a very bad message indeed.

Hamas Negotiator on Israeli Detainees Was Released in 2011 Gilad Shalit Prisoner Exchange

Monday, July 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) Yahya Sinwar, one of the founders of the military wing of Hamas and an organizer of the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Waxman, was appointed Sunday to lead the Hamas negotiations team on returning the remains of two soldiers who were killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, and two Israeli civilians who entered Gaza in recent months, Ma’ariv reported.

Sinwar, who spent some twenty years in Israeli prison, and was released in the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011, was sentenced to five life sentences for murdering Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israel. While in prison, Sinwar was considered to be one of the senior leaders of the Hamas inmates, and led the hardliners who opposed any concession on the part of the Islamist terror movement in the Shalit deal.

At one point, according to Israeli media reports, Sinwar was placed in solitary confinement because he had gone wild in response to reports that Hamas was compromising on the release of prisoners with a lot of blood on their hands.

In the end, his insistence proved effective, as Israel released 1,027 prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier— Gilad Shalit. According to Israeli media sources, the released prisoners were collectively responsible for the murders of 569 Israelis.

Now, Sinwar has been appointed adviser to the Hamas bureau chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, was placed in charge of the “Israeli prisoners portfolio,” and all future negotiations on prisoner exchanges will be done through him.

Last Thursday, Israeli authorities revealed that Hamas is holding two Israeli civilians who voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza, one of them a member of the Israeli Ethiopian community in Ashkelon, the Other an Israeli Bedouin from the Negev region.

Both have been described as young men who grapple with mental issues.

The sources that revealed Sinwar’s appointment stressed that he will not be responsible only for negotiations over the release of the two Israelis whom Hamas has hinted are being detained in Gaza, but also over the return of the bodies of the two soldiers Hadar Goldin and

, who were killed in battle last summer.

Those same sources added that Sinwar was appointed, in part, because he is known as an aggressive negotiator, and for his stubbornness during the ceasefire talks last summer.

Hamas has informed Israel already that before any talks on releasing the soldiers’ remains can begin, the 80 or so security prisoners who had been freed in the Shalit deal and then re-arrested must be released.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is serving as the go-between in the contacts between Hamas and Israel on the release of the two Israeli civilians who are believed to be detained in Gaza.

IDF Allows Rare Look into Training to Kill Terrorist Kidnappers [Video]

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

The IDF has released a video that gives a rare look into training of elite soldiers in the Counter Terrorism Unit who have to deal terrorists who take hostages.

One of the most important and difficult tasks is to approach the terrorists in absolute quiet.

Turkey Retrieves 49 Citizen Hostages from ISIS

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Turkey has managed to retrieve 49 of its own citizens who were being held hostage by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, the Anadolu Agency reported, allegedly without paying any ransom.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the group, which included diplomats, soldiers, officers and their families, returned at 5 am. They were brought to a complex in the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa where they were found to be in good health.

On his official Twitter account, Davutoglu thanked the families of the former hostages “from the bottom of my heart” and praised the rescuers, “in particular [the] great effort of MIT Under-secretary Hakan Fidan” and the rest of the MIT Intelligence organization.

The hostages were abducted from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul in mid-June and were held in Iraq for 101 days before being freed Saturday morning. They were moved eight times, intelligence sources said, before they were transferred first to Syria in a special arrangement made with the Iraqis and then finally crossed the border into Turkey.

According to NTV news, there were no clashes and the operation was carried out via “native” intelligence operatives, not military. No ransom was paid, NTV reported, and no foreign intelligence operatives were involved.

ISIS (Daash) Releases Another Beheading Video

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

ISIS (Daash) has released a new video, claiming to have beheaded British citizen David Haines. Haines was captured in 2013, while working for an international aid organization.

The video closes with a threat to behead next, British aid worker, Alan Henning.

UN Commander Says ‘Raise the White Flag’ as Syrian Rebels Take UN Peacekeepers Hostage, Attack Others

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The chief of Philippine armed forces says it will ask for an investigation of the commander of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights who asked his troops to lay down their arms and ‘raise the white flag’ under fire. Two groups of United Nations peacekeepers — both of them Filipino — managed to elude capture by Syrian rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during the past 24 hours.

The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, told journalists in Manila that a group of 32 kidnapped Philippine peacekeepers trapped by the rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights had been rescued.

“We may call it the greatest escape,” he said.

“Everyone is in a safe position,” UNDOF Philippine commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, said, according to the BBC. “We left our [former] position but we brought all our arms.” In addition, a second group of 40 UNDOF peacekeepers – apparently also from Philippines – managed to escape a seven-hour siege by the rebels after returning fire in self-defense.

The Philippine government has announced it will recall its force of 331 troops in October due to the deterioration of security in the Golan Heights.

A third group of 44 Fijian UN peacekeepers was kidnapped last Wednesday near Quneitra by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra terror group (Al Nusra Front). The terror organization said in a statement posted on the internet that the captives were “in a safe place, and they are in good health, and that we have given them what they need of food and treatment.”

Jabhat al Nusra seized control of the Quneitra crossing with Israel — the only border crossing with Syria — last week. The group claimed it had carried out the abductions because the UN ignored “the daily shedding of the Muslims’ blood in Syria.”

The Philippine military is planning to demand a probe of the commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on allegations of endangering the safety of Filipino peacekeepers on active duty. (UNDOF was established May 31 1974, the day Syria and Israel signed a disengagement agreement to end the 1973 Yom Kippur War.)

Gen. Catapang told the BBC that Lt. Gen. Iqbal Singh Singha, of India, ordered Philippine UN peacekeepers to lay down their arms to ensure the safety of the Fijian peacekeepers abducted by the Syrian rebels. In addition to laying down their firearms, the general said the Filipino troops were also ordered by Singha to ‘raise the white flag,’ according to the BBC.

“He (Singha) said that if we were attacked we should raise the white flag. I said no way. That means our soldiers will also be held hostage,” said Catapang. The troops defied Singha and informed AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center chief Col. Roberto Ancan instead.

UNDOF is comprised of 1,223 peacekeeper troops from six nations — but it is not clear who will replace the Philippine troops in October.

ISIS Kidnaps Four European Hostages

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Islamic State terrorists have seized four more foreign journalists and aid workers, two of them Italian women, bring to more than 24 the number of hostages they are holding, presumably alive for the time being.

The terrorists, still described as “militants” by wire services, abducted their victims in Aleppo or Idlib in western Syria and have moved them to the ISIS stronghold in the north.

ISIS terrorists this year have freed at least 10 kidnap victims after receiving a ransom.

One of the abductors of a British citizen who later was freed was the same terrorist who appeared as the executioner of James Foley in the video posted by ISIS, showing the masked killer beheading Foley, a journalist.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-kidnaps-four-european-hostages/2014/08/21/

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