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November 20, 2014 / 27 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘hostages’

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.

Israel on ‘Hostage Footing’ Most of Time Since Lebanon Pullout

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

The murders of St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul on the first day of Operation Protective Edge and of Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin Friday, and the subsequent theft of their bodies, brings the number of Arab kidnappings since the May 24, 2000 pullout from Lebanon to eight.

Since Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew IDF troops from the South Lebanon Security Zone – a move undertaken to satisfy political demands inside the Labor Party, but undertaken against the clear advice of IDF officials – terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas have moved towards abduction IDF soldiers as a key tactic to gain leverage over Israeli society and government.

A list of terrorist kidnappings since the pullout from Lebanon is as follows:

October 3, 2000 – Col. Elhanan Tannenbaum kidnapped in Lebanon by Hezbollah operatives.

Released August 3, 2004 in exchange for 435 Lebanese prisoners held by Israel, including Hezbollah officials Mustafa Dirani and Abdel Karim Obeid. (1034 days in captivity).

October 7, 2000  – Adi Avitan, Binyamin Avraham, Omar Souad killed in unprovoked cross-border raid by Hezbollah terrorists, bodies snatched and transported to Lebanon. Bodies returned to Israel January 29, 2004 in exchange for 430 live terrorists (1210 days in c29aptivity).

June 25, 2006 – Cpl. Gilad Shalit wounded in unprovoked cross-border attack by Hamas terrorists, dragged through infiltration tunnel to Gaza Strip. Released on October 18, 2001 in exchange for 1,025 terrorists (1942 days in captivity)

July 12, 2006 – Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev killed in unprovoked cross-border raid by Hezbollah terrorists, bodies snatched and transported to Lebanon. Bodies returned to Israel January 29, 2008 in exchange for four notorious Arab terrorists and the remains of 199 Lebanese and Palestinians killed in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. (1210 days in captivity)

Breakdown: 

In the 5184 days since Lebanon withdrawal, Israeli society has spent a grand total of 3342 days – nearly two-thirds of the time – in “hostage” mode.

Taken individually, Israelis have been held captive (dead or alive) by Arab terrorists for 8,135 days since the IDF pulled out of the South Lebanon Security Zone.

 

Bat-Galim Sha’ar: Families Won’t Accept ‘Irresponsible’ Gov’t Decisions

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Bat-Galim Sha’ar, mother of missing teenager Gil-Ad, Sha’ar, urged the Knesset Wednesday to reverse a decision announced Tuesday to scale back the search for her son, and for Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah.

Shaar said she was taken by the overwhelming outpouring of support and concern for the boys’ safety, and cited the Biblical Rachel, who is traditionally cited as the matriarch known to “cry for her children.”

Click here for full text of speech 

“I may be heartbroken, but I am not broken,” Sha’ar said, and continued to level withering charges against current developments in the investigation. She criticised the government’s agreement with hunger striking prisoners, and said her confidence in Israeli authorities depended on the notion that Israel is doing “everything” it can to bring the boys home.

“We need to look beyond our own pain,” Sha’ar said, “to let go of that which burns within us; we are required to see before our eyes the people of Israel, the IDF, the security forces, the government of Israel standing up against its enemies, and the hidden mission God has brought before us.

“(But) Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali are being held by Hamas terrorist kidnappers – and the Prime Minister seeks to appease them, to please them?… Why should the Palestinians enjoy Ramadan while we Israelis have to deal with a daily lack of security? How can we agree to a situation in which the Palestinians enjoy a normal life, but we continue to wonder about our children?,” she said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced the decision to scale back the manhunt Tuesday, saying the manhunt would continue but that efforts to destroy Hamas in Judea and Samaria would be curtailed. Observers said the move was timed to coincide with Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that will begin this weekend, and added that Israeli officials were concerned about creating “friction” with Palestinian civilians during the month of fasting.

Ya’alon: Operation Maxed Out

Today, Ya’alon denied that the move had been undertaken for fear of Ramadan riots, and stressed that after 12 days of intensive searching, the  army had maximized the operation in its current incarnation.

The scale back was not declared due to political considerations, but rather “because the operation against Hamas has been exhausted for the most part.

Ya’alon also said that the intelligence community would continue to work for the boys’ release, but pleaded for patience on the part of the families and the Israeli public.

“It is (only) a matter of time before we get the kidnappers and the kidnapped, but this requires patience. We are moving in the right direction. We will end up solving the mystery and I hope we can return the hostages safely,” Ya’alon said.

Religious Islamic sources relate to Ramadan as a month of charity, repentance and fasting, comparable to the Jewish Elul. But Palestinians traditionally “celebrate” the month with terror attacks, increased stone attacks from the Temple Mount to the Western Wall plaza and “days of rage” aimed to kill Israeli civilians.

Ultimately, Sha’ar said she had complete faith in the Nation of Israel, who have “unite(ed) in prayer for the safe return of our missing sons.” But she warned the families would not accept “irresponsible actions” of Israeli lawmakers.

“Making a deal with the hunger strikers at this time was irresponsible to the people of Israel,” Sha’ar said.

 

Hunt for Kidnapped Teens, Night 7: IDF Nabs 30 Hamas Men, 2 ‘Shalitniks’

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

It’s the seventh night of desperate searching after an Israeli teen whispered to a police dispatcher, “We’re being kidnapped,” before his cell phone was cut off.

Dual Israeli-American citizen Naftali Frenkel, age 16, and his two friends, Gilad Sha’ar, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were kidnapped by terrorists last Thursday night as they hitchhiked home for the Sabbath from Gush Etzion.

Thousands of IDF soldiers were fanned out across Judea and Samaria, hunting for them and the terrorists who abducted them. There’s still been no news of their location or condition, and no clear idea of who took them. Constant prayer vigils by millions of Jews around the world continue at all hours of the day and night.

On Wednesday night, IDF troops ‘visited’ some 100 private homes and public institutions linked to the Hamas terrorist organization, mostly in the Hevron area, Israel public radio reported.

While looking for the missing boys, they were also out hunting for the terrorists who kidnapped them – and the rest of the Hamas members who may have assisted in some way.

And while they’re at it, they’re also hauling in those who were released early from Israeli jails in exchange for the freedom of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The former hostage was kidnapped in a cross-border raid near the Gaza border by a consortium of Hamas and other allied terrorists in 2006. Shalit was held captive by Hamas for five years — until Israel agreed to swap more than a thousand terrorist prisoners for his freedom.

Those who were released signed pledges agreeing to certain conditions before they were freed. Under the circumstances, however, Israel is now determined to re-incarcerate the many who intelligence services know have violated their agreements.

Within the past seven days, 53 of the ‘Shalit terrorists’ have been picked up so far. They will appear before a military judge, unless their sentence was handed down by a civilian court. If the violation is found to be valid, the terrorist will return to jail to serve the remainder of the original sentence. In many cases, that is life in prison.

These cases are included in some 300 Palestinian Authority unity government terrorists that were rounded up by IDF troops, nearly all of whom are members of Hamas. A few were Islamic Jihad terrorists as well.

Accomplishing “Operation Brother’s Keeper” is not easy; Israeli soldiers encounter “resistance” at each location. Rocks, bottles… and last night even two firebombs (Molotov cocktails) were hurled straight at them in Jenin when they entered the area to search and make arrests. There were similar clashes in Bethlehem and Birzeit. In one case Arabs attempted to run over IDF soldiers with a car; other troops returned fire and hit the vehicle before it fled the scene.

But the soldiers are clear about their mission and they are firm in their resolve, as are the Israeli Air Force pilots who fly their missions in retaliation for the rocket attacks fired at Israeli civilian populations.

Last night (Wednesday) pilots carried out air strikes against five Hamas terror targets in Gaza, including a concealed rocket launcher and two terrorist bases. Direct hits were confirmed and all personnel returned safely to base.

The strikes came in response to a missile attack on Ashkelon by Gaza terrorists earlier in the evening. One of the rockets hit a house (no one was home at the time) and damaged it. The second exploded in an open area, causing no damage. No injuries were reported in either attack.

Progress in Tracking Terror Kidnappers, Slow But Sure

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Progress is being made in hunting down the terrorists responsible for kidnapping three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion last Thursday night.

Israeli authorities now know which Hamas wing was involved in the operation to abduct the boys, who were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath from the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, where they learn during the week.

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told an interviewer on Israeli public radio Wednesday morning that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) is aware of which Hamas cell is responsible for kidnapping the teens.

An Egyptian official also has told international media on condition of anonymity that Cairo officials are also helping Israel to gather information about the whereabouts of the abducted yeshiva students.

“There is a flow of information but we are still short, so there is no negotiation,” the official told Reuters. He added that Egyptian officials are in contact with Hamas and other Palestinian Authority unity government factions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/progress-in-tracking-terror-kidnappers-slow-but-sure/2014/06/18/

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