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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘hostages’

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.

Netanyahu Praises Soldiers for Rounding Up Terrorists He Released

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

IDF soldiers spent the dark hours of Tuesday night tramping around the hills of Judea and Samaria and bashing in reinforced metal doors to homes in Arab villages, rounding up some 50 terrorists who had been released from Israeli prisons in exchange for kidnapped former Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit. Another 15 Hamas members were arrested as well and taken for interrogation.

They also shut down the Fatah-controlled Al-Aqsa radio station in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah, as well as its transmitter in Hevron. In addition, the IDF raided a number of charity organization centers operated by the ‘Dawa’ social services division of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

By the wee hours of Wednesday morning, soldiers from the Kefir and Nachal Brigades had stormed selected homes in a host of PUG towns across the region, backed up by a paratroopers combat unit. Among the locations targeted were Jenin, Kabatiya, Tzufrir and Beit Awa, and others.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the troops for their tenacity in tracking down the recidivists in what undoubtedly was a frustrating and difficult mission — a fact he acknowledged.

“I wish to extend my congratulations to the troops and commanders of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for the complex operations they carried out overnight,” the prime minister wrote in a tweet posted on the Twitter social networking site.

“The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit, is an element that carries with it an important message,” he tweeted on his Twitter account. “This is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria.”

All of those who were arrested were members of Hamas and were selected by the Shin Bet as targets for capture by the IDF. As part of their early release from prison in the swap deal that brought Shalit home to his parents after five years of captivity in Gaza, the fugitives had signed a pledge – which they violated – not to return to terrorist lifestyles.

Also on Tuesday night, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, noted that although PA unity government leader Mahmoud Abbas had signed a document for membership in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, clearly his people hadn’t read it.

Prosor pointed out than in less than 10 days since the new PA unity government officially was formed, the international community raced to offer congratulations on the new ‘marriage.’ He recommended that those who offered the congratulations likewise now race to look into the eyes of the parents of the kidnapped teens.

Israel Not Likely to Negotiate with Kidnappers

Monday, June 16th, 2014

It is not likely that Israel will negotiate with the terrorists who kidnapped the three yeshiva boys last Thursday, according to a report broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told the interviewer on Sunday that such a scenario would be unlikely, “from all indications” thus far. A prisoner swap would not be negotiated at this time, Hanegbi said.

Likewise, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has said that negotiating a prisoner swap to free terrorists in an early release scenario would not be under consideration at this point, especially in light of the recent legislation approved in a first reading in the Knesset that bars such a move.

Judea, Samaria Hamas Leadership in IDF Custody, 1 PUG Arab Dead

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Nearly all of the Hamas leadership in Judea and Samaria is now in the hands of the IDF. In the process, a Palestinian Authority unity government Arab died at dawn in clashes at Jelazoun, north of Ramallah, but it is not clear whose bullet ended his life.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported the 20-year-old man was taken to hospital with “a bullet in his chest” but failed to mention whether the bullet was from a terrorist’s gun or that of the IDF. Two other rioters were also wounded, according to the report. The man had been one of the rioters trying to prevent IDF soldiers from their house to house search for three teenage yeshiva boys kidnapped by the terrorist group last Thursday night. The soldiers were also arresting Hamas members during the operation, which took place overnight throughout Judea and Samaria.

Nearly all of the Hamas leadership in Judea and Samaria is now in Israel’s custody, with some 150 arrests having been made over the past 48 hours. The IDF allegedly used explosives to blow open the door at one house in Hevron; two arrests were made in that incident.

Arabs also attacked Jews as they were walking back from a mass prayer rally at the Western Wall Sunday evening, singing songs of faith as they passed through the alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem. The mob of Arabs hurled rocks and chairs at the Jews, screaming and cursing at them, attempting to block them from moving forward until police arrived to break up the confrontation. A video of the attack can be seen on the Arutz Sheva website.

Arab attacks on Jews in and around the Old City and on routes to and from the Western Wall are becoming increasingly more common: an American tourist who asked not to be identified told The Jewish Press that her visit to the sacred site on Friday night was marred by a what she called a similar “unpleasant incident.”

The woman, accompanied by an Israeli friend, was on her way to the Western Wall when a group of Arab teenage boys “bumped into us, deliberately getting between us, smoking cigarettes and looking very insolent. They went out of their way to get into our way,” she said, “and then looking to see what we would do about it, if anything. I am a New Yorker so I just kept walking. But it was not pleasant and it’s never happened before. I thought it was very odd.”

On Sunday night, PUG Arabs also opened fire in a drive-by shooting at an IDF checkpoint protecting the entrance to Jerusalem on the Gush Etzion tunnel road. No one was injured in the shooting, which took place on Highway 60 near the Arab village of Walleja. Five bullet casings were later found near the site of the incident.

Two of the kidnapped yeshiva boys — Gilad Sha’ar and U.S.-born Naftali Frenkel are age 16, and Eyal Yifrach is 19 years old. All three learn at the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in the Judean community of Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion. They were traveling to their homes for the Sabbath when they were kidnapped. One managed to call police at 10:25 p.m. to let them know they had been grabbed by terrorists before their cell phones were cut off, police said Sunday night.

By early Sunday, some 80 Hamas members and more than a dozen Islamic Jihad terror suspects had been rounded up for questioning in the search for the missing teens. Overnight Sunday night, another 50 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members were taken into custody.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/judea-samaria-hamas-leadership-in-idf-custody-one-pug-arab-dead/2014/06/16/

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