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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’

IDF Pursues Operation Brother’s Keeper

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

IDF soldiers continued Tuesday night and into Wednesday to pursue the murderers of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Sha’ar, 16 and Naftali Frenkel, 16, and to cut down the infrastructure of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea and Samaria.

Soldiers arrested 13 Palestinian Authority Arab fugitives overnight throughout Judea and Samaria.

Hamas social organizations – the ‘Dawa’ used to distribute goods and raise funds from the population – also continued to be shut down by IDF troops in Hevron and nearby Beit Kahil.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) also continues to gather intelligence on the whereabouts of the perpetrators, and the mastermind of the operation that took the lives of the three Israeli teens.

Netanyahu: ‘God Will Avenge Their Blood’

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed at a briefing prior to a security cabinet meeting Tuesday night that God will “avenge the blood” of the three teens murdered by Arab terrorists on June 12.

The security cabinet is meeting to formulate its response to the escalation in terror, from Gaza as well as the attack that took the lives of the three teens in Gush Etzion.

Despite prompt and fierce retaliation to each rocket attack by the Israel Air Force, Gaza terrorists appear to be undeterred, launching increased rocket and mortar attacks aimed at southern Israel daily.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a brief statement in Tel Aviv prior to the start of the meeting.

“God will avenge their blood, the blood of the [three teens murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12," he said.

“Our first objective is ... to reach the murderers – which we will do -- and anyone who participated in this. Anyone who had a hand in this despicable murder, their blood is on his head,” Netanyahu said grimly.

“We will track down each and every one.

“Second, we will destroy the infrastructure and the strength of Hamas in Judea and Samaria, in every corner of the region,” he vowed. “We have already done a great deal. We will continue until it is destroyed.

“Third, [our goal is] to destroy the strength of Hamas in Gaza.

“Hamas is responsible for the terror that took the lives of our three boys, and for the rocket fire directed against Israeli families. Hamas is now paying the price, and Hamas will continue to pay.

“Above all, our priority is to secure the safety of Israel’s citizens,” the prime minister said.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz joined Netanyahu at the briefing, adding a statement of his own and telling reporters that soldiers and officers were grieving together with the rest of Israel over the murders of the teens.

“Every officer, every soldier did every thing possible to successfully complete this search – to our sorrow, it ended in this way.

“We will continue [Operation Brother's Keeper] against Hamas and against our enemies with the same motivation and the same energy.

“We will not allow the communities of the south to continue to be threatened with attacks as they are today,” Gantz promised.

One of the Murdered Boys Put Up a Fight, Source Says

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

One of the three boys kidnapped by Arab terrorists on June 12 gave a good accounting of himself and put up a fight before he was murdered, a source said.

The source is involved in the forensic identification process of three bodies found in a field near Halhul Monday evening and said one of the boys fought back against his attackers.

The source told the Walla! news site that forensic evidence being gathered at the Abu Kabir Institute shows that one of the teens put up “meaningful resistance” against the kidnappers.

The boys were abducted by terrorists while hitchhiking home from their yeshiva for the Sabbath, at a routine hitching stop in Gush Etzion. An IDF source told the news site that after the Arab terrorists grabbed the boys near the Jewish community of Alon Shevut, the vehicle they were traveling in headed west and then made a U-turn to go south towards Hevron.

Within minutes, at about 10:25 p.m., one of the boys called the “100″ police hotline, whispering into the cell phone, “I’ve been kidnapped. We’ve been kidnapped!” He then went silent, perhaps fearing his captors would discover he was using the phone. Shortly after the call was made, shots were fired and the phone went dead, a little more than two minutes later.

It is likely the terrorists decided to cut their losses and run. They had no way of knowing that police had bumbled the call, leaving open a window of more than five hours before anyone in supervision or above would even take the call seriously, let alone bother to follow it up. (At least four senior police officers have been dismissed as a result of that decision.)

Instead, the kidnappers likely believed that police would soon be on their tail – and decided to end all doubts, murdering the boys and escaping with their own lives intact.

Within hours of starting their search, security forces found a burned-out vehicle, a rifle and bullet casings near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Dura, slightly south of Hevron – a hotbed of Hamas terrorists, among others. It’s been searched repeatedly by IDF soldiers in the past 19 days.

But no kidnapped boys were found; no bodies and no perpetrators. The terrorists took just enough time to hurriedly transport and bury their victims’ bodies in a shallow cave that is barely visible in a farmer’s stony field, alongside the PA Arab village of Halhul — another classic ‘terrorist central’ stronghold.

Thanks to the determination and unending energy of tens of thousands of IDF soldiers, and the intensive efforts of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents, searchers were led in the direction of that field Monday afternoon.

Despite fierce resistance from surrounding villagers who clearly knew what was concealed there, at last the searchers reached their first objective in Operation Brother’s Keeper, and found the sad evidence they were looking for.

Let the memory of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar not fade, let their blood not have flowed in vain.

May their memories be for a blessing and may God avenge their blood.

May the soldiers of the IDF and the agents of the Shin Bet find success in the next phase of Operation Brother’s Keeper as they continue their hunt for the murders of our boys.

EU Condemns Boys’ Murders But Urges ‘Restraint of All Parties’

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who dragged her heels interminably on issuing a condemnation when three Israeli teens were kidnapped by Arab terrorists 19 days ago in Gush Etzion, hurried to condemn their murders after their bodies were found together in a field located in Halhul, an Arab village smack in the middle of the Palestinian Authority.

The connection was inescapable – this crime was committed by Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists, with the cooperation and collaboration of PA Arab villagers.

“We learned with profound sorrow that the bodies of the three Israeli youths who were kidnapped on 12 June in the West Bank were found on 30 June near Hebron,” read the statement released by Ashton’s representative on Tuesday. “We condemn in the strongest terms their killing. We express our sincere condolences to their families and friends and share their grief. We trust the perpetrators of this barbaric act will swiftly be brought to justice.”

Nevertheless, Ashton could not stop herself from reminding Israel to exercise caution when dealing with the PA.

“We call for restraint of all parties concerned in order not to further aggravate the fragile situation on the ground,” the statement concluded.

Angela Merkel Adds Germany’s Voice to Condemnations

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has added her voice to the chorus of world leaders who have weighed in with condemnations following the discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, 16, who were murdered by their terrorist captors.

Merkel said she was “shocked” by the murders, calling it a “detestable act for which there is no excuse,” according to her spokesperson Steffen Seibert. He added the chancellor’s thoughts were with the families and friends of the teens.

The boys were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home for the Sabbath from their studies at yeshiva in Gush Etzion.

Initial forensic examination of their bodies indicates they were murdered shortly after they were kidnapped.

Their bodies were found in a cave located in a field near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Halhul, just north of Hevron, in Judea.

Local Arab residents spent the day in fierce clashes with IDF soldiers and other security forces searching for the teens – clearly aware of what they would eventually find in their midst.

The Arabs hurled rocks and white paint at the windshield and windows of the IDF humvee ambulance that came to carry the boys’ bodies out of the area.

The clashes were similar to lethal road terror attacks visited upon drivers who travel on Highway 60, the main artery running from southern Judea north through Jerusalem and into Samaria.

The attackers did not succeed in distracting the IDF soldier driving the ambulance from successfully transporting his precious passengers out of the area and straight to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.

Ya’alon, Lapid Vow Operation Brother’s Keeper to Continue

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Government leaders are promising the nation that Operation Brother’s Keeper will not end until the killers of three innocent Israeli teens are tracked down and brought to justice.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon promised to track down the killers of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, 16 – and to punish Hamas for the crime.

“We view Hamas as being responsible for the murders,” Ya’alon told reporters Tuesday morning, “and we know how to settle accounts with them.” The defense minister made it clear that Operation Brother’s Keeper will continue until the boys’ killers were found.

“We will continue to hunt down the boys’ murderers and we will not rest nor remain silent until we get our hands on them,” he promised.

Ya’alon said in a message to the boys’ families that “the heavy sorrow which envelops you envelops the entire nation” but praised their strength during the two and a half week ordeal that preceded the discovery of their sons’ bodies. It was that, he said, that allowed the IDF, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police “the strength to continue to search to its bitter end.”

The defense minister likewise praised the security forces who didn’t rest until they found the boys, noting their “impressive demonstration of cooperation and sense of mission.”

Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid also vowed Tuesday morning that Operation Brother’s Keeper will continue until the terrorists who murdered the teens are caught — and he was similarly supportive of the families and the security forces.

Lapid said openly that it broke his heart when he heard the teens’ bodies were found Monday evening.

“I want to send a warm embrace to their families and promise them that we will continue to hunt down those responsible for this crime,” he said.

“Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay a heavy price,” he vowed – like Ya’alon, echoing the statement made Monday night by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at an emergency meeting of the security cabinet.

“We will continue to act with determination until we find these murderers. This is our responsibility, to act against anyone who tries to harm the safety of our children.”

Early Tuesday, IDF soldiers raided the homes of the two Hamas terrorists identified as the prime suspects in the kidnapping and murders of the boys – Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha – both of whom remain at large and are ‘veterans’ of the Israeli prison system.

Both also have a history of praying together at the same mosque, and since they are residents of Hevron in the Beit Khalil region it has now been sealed off for an intensified search effort around the area.

Our Boys Are Back, to Rest

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Jews the world over sang, prayed, sought to comfort the families, turned to Heaven; perhaps our unity would be noticed on High.

It is the way of the People of Israel, to gather the troops in whichever manner one possibly can, to beseech the One Above to shower his Creations with mercy, and answer the pleas of His children.

Jews flocked to the Western Wall to pray. To local synagogues. Prayed in their homes. Lit Sabbath candles early, and added a light each Friday, ‘for the boys.’

Thousands upon thousands rallied in public squares. Prepubescent Israelis, teenagers, young adults and oldsters alike gathered at all hours of the day and night to show their support for three Israeli families in pain.

Jewish singers contributed their hearts and their skills and their vocal chords to the effort, hoping and praying that perhaps somehow Heaven would hear them…

Three families bewildered, in agony, waiting each day and night for their teenage sons to come home.

They wait no longer.

Who can measure a parent’s pain, the cry of a brother or a sister in the night?

Eyal Yifrach, 19, in the flower of his manhood, was just on the verge of starting his military service. Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, learned together with his fellow yeshiva student, Gilad Sha’ar at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion.

The three were kidnapped by Arab terrorists on June 12 as they hitchhiked home from Gush Etzion for the Sabbath on a Thursday night.

One had the presence of mind to dial the police hotline at “100″ and whisper carefully into his cell phone, “I’m being kidnapped! We’re being kidnapped!” and then he fell silent – perhaps fearful his captors would detect his action.

It took police nearly five hours to figure out that a real crisis was in process; when first received by a routine dispatcher, the call was forwarded to a supervisor, who tried to dial back to the same number. After eight failed attempts, the supervisor simply gave up and assumed it was a prank call – and ignored it.

Precious hours later, when the boys’ frantic parents had searched for their missing children and already realized a serious problem was likely in process, one of the parents finally turned to police and forced senior officials to take the matter to the next level.

But by then, though few realized it, probably it was already too late.

Within minutes after the story hit the media, hundreds of thousands of Jews offered their support.

There were rallies around the country, rallies around the world, an outpouring of love and caring and affection for the families. Rage at the Arab terrorists who would dare to kidnap children – children! – from inside an area deemed under Israeli control in accordance with the internationally recognized Oslo Accords – “Area C” – that Israel has always been enjoined to observe so scrupulously regardless of how it was violated by the Palestinian Authority.

What kind of human being could kidnap and murder a mother’s child? Or three?

The three mothers of the boys appealed to the United Nations Human Relations Council just a few days ago — “Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?” they asked. There was no reply.

The Hamas terrorists who have been identified as being connected with this horrendous crime are allegedly observant Muslims; one is even married with three children of his own.

In the Jewish communities of Elad, Talmon and Nof Ayalon, where the families of the boys live, the sounds of muffled cries could be heard in the background as Israeli radio broadcasters did what they must to report the news of the discovery of their bodies, as sensitively as possible.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/our-boys-are-back-to-rest/2014/06/30/

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