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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘IDF’

Rioting Arab Mob Attacks IDF Soldiers Near Ramallah

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A mob of rioting Arabs attacked Israeli soldiers Wednesday near Ramallah following the funeral of a Hamas terrorist killed overnight in Samaria.

Hundreds of Arabs hurled rocks at the soldiers following the funeral of 22-year-old Issa al-Qitri; he was one of about 50 Arabs who attacked Israeli soldiers the night before in an attempt to prevent IDF troops from arresting a Hamas operative.

The Arabs hurled rocks and firebombs (Molotov cocktails), and rolled burning tires at the soldiers, according to the IDF Spokesperson. Soldiers opened fire and hit a rioter who hurled an explosive device at the troops, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. Al-Qitri later died of the gunshot wounds. Seven others were arrested.

The IDF soldiers continued with their task following the exchange late Tuesday night and proceeded to the home of the Hamas terrorist and arrested him. While searching the home they found and confiscated a significant amount of ammunition and several firearms.

During the day on Wednesday six Arab fugitives were arrested, including four suspects who were wanted for participating in previous riots and attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel, the IDF said. Two were members of the Hamas terrorist organization. Arrests were made in Ramallah, Kalandia, Sair and Shukba.

IDF, Independent UN Commission to Probe Events at UNRWA Schools

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The IDF and the United Nations are both investigating the events that took place in Gaza this summer during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, particularly at United Nations-run facilities.

The Chief Military Prosecutor of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj.-Gen. Dani Efroni has opened two criminal investigations: one into the July 16 air strike on a Gaza beach that left four Arab boys dead, and another into an attack at a United Nations school on July 24 in which 14 Gaza residents were killed.

Six teams of military experts who underwent specialized legal training and who are reserve officers have been assigned the task of investigating the incidents. A senior IDF officer was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying the teams would be able to render detailed decisions in a reasonable amount of time, inasmuch as they are not part of the chain of command due to their reserve status.

All told, the IDF MAG (Military Advocate General) Corps has opened reviews into 44 events that took place during this summer’s 50-day counter terror Operation Protective Edge. In addition, another 55 cases are to be investigated in the coming weeks, military sources told journalists on Wednesday. Two cases have already been referred for criminal investigation. Seven were closed, three are pending but may go to criminal investigations, and 12 others are being scrutinized.

One of the three pending cases involves a claim by a 17-year-old Gaza youth who said he was detained and held for five days by IDF soldiers. The youth said the soldiers beat him while moving him from place to place. The second incident involves alleged looting by an IDF soldier in Gaza City. The third investigation revolves around the death of a Gaza woman who coordinated an exit from her home, but ended up shot and killed.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also setting up a separate, independent commission of inquiry to look into the events that took place at UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) facilities in Gaza during the war. The separate commission, said Ban, will investigate attacks on UNWRA schools, and destruction of UNRWA facilities, the injuries and deaths of UNRWA employees in Gaza, as well as the use of UNRWA facilities as weapons storage areas by Hamas and allied terrorist organizations, “no matter what.”

The IDF has amassed a myriad of satellite photos and other concrete evidence documenting the exploitation of UNRWA facilities by Hamas and other terrorists.

Ban told the Arabic-language Al Hayat newspaper on Wednesday the special commission would operate independently from that established by the UN Human Rights Council, headed by anti-Israel Canadian law professor William Schabas. The UNHRC investigating committee was set up solely to investigate alleged human rights violations and suspected war crimes committed by the IDF during the operation.

The IDF still has a list of incidents to be checked out, military sources said. A few were closed after it was ascertained no criminal wrongdoing had occurred — for example, a strike on a journalist in Gaza who was later discovered to have actually been a terrorist. He was suspected of transporting a missile in his car.

In another incident, on July 8, eight members of the Kaware family were killed in an IDF air strike on a home in Gaza. Israeli fighter pilots had first fired a small ‘knock on roof’ dud missile to warn the family of an impending attack and the family members did indeed leave the home. But then, inexplicably, they ran back into the house after a second, armed missile had already been fired at the target. All were killed.

How Do You Win a War?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Winning Wars

Another Qawasmeh Hamas Member Arrested in Murder of 3 Israeli Teens

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Another Hamas suspect has been arrested in connection with the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion. Hebron resident Fares Qawasmeh, a 31-year-old doctor, is accused of being involved in planning the murder.

Qawasmeh was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority security forces, according to a report broadcast Tuesday on Israel’s Channel 10 television news.

The report was later confirmed in a post on the Twitter social networking site by Qatar-based senior Hamas official Hussam Badran. “The only crime Qawasmeh committed was to speak for Hamas at the victory celebrations for Gaza after the fighting against Israel,” Badran tweeted.

A number of local Arab residents aided the Qawasmeh family in carrying out the plot by hiding and sheltering the fugitives. Among them was Wael Qarameh, indicted by Israeli authorities in late August on charges of harboring a fugitive – Hebron resident Hussam Qawasmeh, who was indicted last week on multiple charges for masterminding the abduction and murder.

Qawasmeh, a Hebron resident was arrested on July 11 in a joint Shin Bet – IDF sting operation in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. He had fled his home with the aid of friends and relatives in hopes of trying to make his way to Jordan on the strength of a false ID. Shuafat is the same Arab neighborhood where massive violence tore apart three Jerusalem Light Rail stations following the murder of a young Arab teen, the day after the bodies of the three Israeli teens were found.

Hussam Qawasmeh confessed under interrogation to having masterminded the plot to kidnap and murder the teens, and to having obtained financing for the operation from Hamas in Gaza. He admitted to having obtained false identity papers and fleeing as soon as the bodies of the three murder victims were unearthed from their hurriedly dug, shallow stony graves in the field he purchased in Halhul, along Highway 60 north of Hebron.

Marwan Qawasmeh – his kinsman – and Amar Abu Aisha, both also residents of Hebron, are suspected of being the ones to having joyfully carried out those plans. The actual gunshots that murdered the boys and the celebrations of their attackers after the murders in the getaway car were heard on a recording made on a police hotline via a call from one of the boys as he desperately sought rescue. The two murderers, meanwhile, remain at large.

Security sources revealed after last week’s indictment that Hussam Qawasmeh received a total of approximately NIS 200,000 ($61,500) from his brother in Gaza, Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Ali to pay for the operation. The costs included two vehicles – the abduction car and the getaway car – as well as four firearms and other expenses. Mahmoud was one of more than 1,000 Arab inmates freed in an October 2011 prisoner swap deal with Israel in exchange for the return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorists in 2006.

Upgraded Arrow-2 Anti-Ballistic Missile System Tests ‘Go Green’

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The improved Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile system performed as planned Tuesday morning at an intercept test over the Mediterranean Sea, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said.

The test was conducted by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of DDR&D and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at an Israeli test range.

During the test, “an Arrow 2 missile was launched and performed its flight sequence as planned,” the spokesperson said. “The results are being analyzed by program engineers.”

The test results, however, have no effect on Israeli operational systems’ capability to cope with the existing threats in the region, the spokesperson emphasized. “This test was an improved version of the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System, intended to counter future threats.”

The five-tier defense system is being developed and integrated by Israel Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Boeing, Elta and Elbit/Elisra.

The mobile Arrow defense system is comprised of the hypersonic Arrow anti-missile interceptor, the Elta “Green Pine” early warning AESA radar, the Elisra “Golden Citron” center and the Israel Aerospace Industries “Brown Hazelnut” launch control center.

The first operational missile defense system specifically designed and built to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, the Arrow system is considered to be one of the most advanced missile defense programs currently in existence.

Jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States, development of the Arrow began in 1986, with improvements and adjustments continuing ever since. The Israeli Air Defense Command of the IDF remains — at least for now — the sole user of the complete Arrow system.

IDF Soldier Lightly Injured from Syrian Fighting Spillover

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

An IDF soldier was lightly injured on the Golan Heights late Tuesday afternoon, after he was hit with a bullet from spillover fighting on the Syrian side of the border.

The soldier was hit in the leg, and transported by helicopter to a hospital for treatment.

Our Righteous IDF Soldiers‏

Monday, September 8th, 2014

This past war, the poorly named “Operation Protective Edge,” there were many contradictory stories about how chareidim* were reacting/relating to IDF soldiers, those from their own “ranks,” and others.

While the very anti-Chareidi Jerusalem Post’s “In Jerusalem” had a piece about an injured chareidi soldier being shunned by his family, there were many more stories about how chareidim were filling the hospital wards trying to support and aid IDF wounded and their families. Those were the stories I heard from neighbors whose son was wounded.

Older stories about how very distinguished rabbis, accepted and respected as chareidi had reacted in the past honoring IDF soldiers and the uniform were also back “in print.”

You have to be blind not to notice how many of the families of dead and injured soldiers and also the recent war heroes are religious. Kippot and hair-covering were seen in such numbers on the media. You’d think that the IDF was made up almost only of what’s known as the dati le’umi, national religious.

What surprised me the most was the amount of religious staff in the media. I had never seen so many men in kippot or women with various hair-coverings holding the microphone interviewing people and reporting on the situation.

For the past couple of decades, our dati le’umi youth have been encouraged to enter the media as their profession. My own children didn’t, but it’s clear that many others did take that advice. And during the weeks of the war the veteran news-media stars couldn’t be everyplace, so the lower tiers of workers had their chance in front of the camera. And they proved themselves very competent.

Back to the IDF and the point of this article… This war was a very modern media in your face war. Everything seemed to be on camera or just a shout away. Everyone affected had their 15 minutes of fame, and we heard horrendous, though brave, stories of attempts to rescue body parts of dead soldiers. Wounded soldiers in hospital beds, bandaged and connected by tubes could only say that they waited to recover and join their comrades to defeat the enemy.

This level of pikuach nefesh, risking one’s life to save another Jew is the highest mitzvah, Torah commandment one can do. It doesn’t matter what hechshar, rabbinic supervision you have on your milk or meat if you won’t risk your life for your fellow Jew. The IDF soldiers, the IDF medics, the hospital staff, not only the doctors, worked so hard to preserve Jewish Life and to also preserve the State of Israel.

More and more chareidim are seeing this. That’s why it was a chareidi Jew who established Zaka, and that’s why you see so many chareidim as medics in the various first aide NPs here in Israel. And that’s one of the reasons there has been in increase in the amount of chareidim joining the IDF as soldiers. It’s getting harder for the anti-Israel element in the chareidi world to declare the IDF as evil sinners. Not only Israel, but World Jewry owes everything to the holy bravery of the IDF and its soldiers.

*Following is the story that inspired me to write this post. I received it in the email bulletin send out by Chabad of Arizona:

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During the month of Elul, a maggid (traveling preacher) came to Beshenkovitz, where Reb Shmuel Munkes’ lived. Reb Shmuel was a beloved chasid of Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism. Though known for his sharp wit and “chasidic pranks,” Reb Shmuel was no empty joker. He was a deep personality, one who could abide no falsehood, and whose own ego was completely nullified to perform the will of his Creator.
The townspeople saw the maggid’s letter of introduction which referred to him as a great tzadik (righteous person), who traveled from town to town only to arouse and inspire Jews. Being G-d-fearing people, they immediately invited him to speak and inspire them to serve G-d better.
The maggid began his speech. Over and over again, he accused his audience of committing terrible sins. His entire speech was filled with accusations and descriptions of the terrible punishments awaiting them because their evil behavior had aroused G-d’s anger. Only if they would wholeheartedly repent would they possibly have a chance to be spared. The townspeople were utterly broken by the maggid’s harsh words, and they cried bitterly, fearing the awesome punishment.
After his speech, the maggid, satisfied with himself, retired to the room that the community had arranged for him.
A short while later, Reb Shmuel entered the maggid’s room. He carried with him a long knife and a stone with which to sharpen it. Reb Shmuel closed the door behind him and then bolted it. Without saying a word, Reb Shmuel began to sharpen his knife.
A few tense moments passed. Finally the maggid broke the silence and asked in astonishment, “Sir, could you please tell me what you are doing?”
Without glancing up from the knife he was sharpening, Reb Shmuel answered, “As the honorable, great maggid knows, we are very simple people in this town. Perhaps, it is because of our unintentional sins that we have never merited to have a great, righteous, G-d-fearing scholar in our midst.”
Not knowing what to make of this answer, the maggid replied, “Yes, that is true. Nevertheless, what does that have to do with sharpening the knife?”
Reb Shmuel answered simply, “We were taught by our parents that before Rosh Hashana, one is supposed to pray at the graves of the righteous.”
Still unsure of what Reb Shmuel’s point was, the maggid asked, “That is correct. But why are you sharpening that knife?”
“Oh, that is very simple,” explained Reb Shmuel. “The nearest grave site of a righteous person is very far from our town. For some of us it is extremely troublesome and difficult to make such a long journey.”
With these additional words, the maggid began to feel uneasy. He started sweating and ventured, “But you still have not explained why you are sharpening your knife in this room!”
Reb Shmuel answered, “Quite simply, I am sharpening my knife here because the townspeople want a very righteous person buried in this town.”
Now the maggid had not even a shadow of a doubt as to what Reb Shmuel’s intentions seemed to be. The maggid stammered, “But I am not completely righteous. I have also done some small sins, such as …”
Reb Shmuel dismissed the maggid’s revelation, saying, “Honored maggid, you are still a very righteous and learned person. As for the sins that you mentioned, I did not even know that they were transgressions.”
The maggid trembled and stuttered, “But I did some transgressions that were much more serious, such as …”
Concerning this revelation, as well, Reb Shmuel shrugged, insisting, “But to us you are still a tzadik; for us, you are quite good enough.”
This strange dialogue continued for some time with the maggid, mentioning more and more severe transgressions and Reb Shmuel telling him, “But you are still acceptable to us, since you are far better than we are.”
Finally, the maggid admitted to some extremely serious transgressions and that he was not really the great righteous man that his letter of introduction and credentials claimed him to be. In essence, he was saying, “I am an impostor.”
Now, Reb Shmuel no longer played the simpleton. After putting away the knife, he began chastising the maggid for causing the Jews of the town so much pain and sorrow. After making sure the maggid fully understood how one is to talk to and treat another Jew, Reb Shmuel unbolted the door and let the maggid go on his way, much wiser and more sensitive than before.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Source: Supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles from //lchaimweekly.org (#986).
Biographical note: Rabbi Shmuel Munkes (1834-1882)], an elder disciple of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad, was known for his fervent and creative Chasidic service. Stories abound of his sharp wit and “chasidic pranks”. He lived in Beshenkovitz and then in Kalisk (or the reverse?) in (or near?) the district of Polotz.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/our-righteous-idf-soldiers%e2%80%8f/2014/09/08/

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