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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’

Families of 3 Martyred Yeshiva Teens Meet With Netanyahu, Barkat for Unity Day Preparations

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The families of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014 by Hamas terrorists two years ago, met Monday (May 30) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The gathering came in advance of the Day of Unity organized by the families to commemorate the lives of their sons and their unity that coalesced around the families during the days of the desperate search to find them.

Although the search ended in tragedy, the families decided to mark the day with an everlasting memorial to the unity of Jews coming together for good, in a Day of Unity.

Each year the families present an award to those whose lives and actions best demonstrate these characteristics in Israel and around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

For the Shloshim of Our Boys: The Blood of Our Brothers

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

I remember the night of June 30th like it was yesterday, and yet already it seems like an eternity ago. The torrential rains wouldn’t seem to stop, nor would the intense, mournful beats of my heart. It was just hours since the three kidnapped yeshiva boys’ bodies had been found in an open field, strewn heartlessly with a few rocks for cover. The rains here in Chicago began shortly after I got the news, and the thunder was enough to catch someone dead in their tracks. Perhaps it was apropos, reflective of the three little ones that were literally caught dead in their tracks, without cause, and whose stories of their final minutes only seemed to finally come together as the pieces clicked in place with the discovery their bodies. The rain that night wouldn’t stop, and neither would my heartache. I lived in Allon Shvut-the last place the three boys were seen alive- when my husband was a Rabbinical student in Israel a few years ago. I walked the street where these three boys were last seen. I have hitchhiked myself on that same road where they were picked up by heartless terrorists masquerading as Israelis.
The sky that night after the discovery of their bodies was alive with G-d’s wrath, there was no other explanation. I don’t think I’d ever quite seen so much lightening in Chicago, such a torrent of endless rain. The whole world seemed to have stopped, people hiding inside their houses, waiting out the storm. But the news day after day since that day has brought a storm that we as a nation cannot just ‘wait out’. Yes, we have endured so much tragedy, but none of it has made us stop. When will the world realize,  by the grace of Gd, we are here to stay? When will our enemies stop chasing us, stop putting us into ghettos, igniting pogroms and libel against us, stop gassing us, stop bombing us, stop stealing our boys- shooting them in cold blood- and leaving them in fields of desolation? When will we have the right to defend ourselves against rockets and international rage as we attempt to push back an enemy dead set on our destruction who will stop at nothing to spill our blood? Missile launching sites in hospitals, U.N. funded schools, places of worship? How can this evil not be wholeheartedly decried and denounced by the world, a world that has itself suffered terrorist attacks from similar Muslim extremists on almost every continent?
I believe the answer, the paradox of why the world can hate us despite all the good we try to do, comes from our own Torah-from the story of the prophet Bilaam- a man at the dawn of history, part of a long line of people who tried to curse us, but whose curses ultimately turned into Jewish blessing. He was a prophet of the nations, hired by the King of the mighty kingdom of Moab who sought to destroy our peace, sought to drive us from the world. Bilaam opened his mouth to curse us, but the curse turned into blessing, and not only that, but a fascinating foreshadowing of history as well. You see, part of the blessing is somewhat curious: The text in Numbers 23:9 reads: For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Could this be a blessing- To be a lonely nation not accepted by the world around us? How can dwelling alone be a blessing? These questions bring up heady issues, but difficult as they may be to answer, the verse sure does explain a lot. It feels lonely to be a Jew in our modern times, just as it has throughout the millennia. It feels isolating and upsetting to have contributed so much to world knowledge, arts, technology, medicine, history and philosophy only to have the tide turned against us time and time again. The only reason that it makes sense for the world to shun us in such a way is that it must be part of the Divine Plan, mentioned explicitly by Bilaam so long ago. And while that knowledge might seem difficult to swallow at first glance, when I ruminate about it more deeply it means to me that there is hope. If this is what Hashem wants for us, we must know that being a nation that dwells alone will lead us ultimately to our destiny, no matter how difficult it feels along the dusty and often blood-stained gravel of the meantime. Despite the storm of world fury that is going on around us as we attend rally’s around the world and speak up for Israel, we must keep our eyes on the prize.
Operation Protective Edge was born from the mission known as Operation Brother’s Keeper. The painful lessons of the past tell us that we must not stand idly by. The famous question of whether we are our brother’s keeper comes from the story of Kayin, a man who ironically struck his brother down in a field. The Torah tells us right after this famous question is posed, that G-d informed Kayin that the blood of his brother cried out from the ground. It is now, millenniums later that the blood of our brothers cries out to us from the ground of the field once again…
The tears are warm and painful on this hot summer night, but at least I have good company. As I watch the news-so brutal and biased- and read the count of the dead Israeli soldier rise, as I watch the Jewish people coming together in solidarity as a result of being pushed together alone on our own side of defending ourselves once more, from somewhere deep down, a sixth sense of mine hears the footsteps of the Lord in the garden that is our homeland. I look outside at the torrential storms punctuating a Chicago night weeks later and endless raindrops battering my rooftop and know deep down that G-d is crying with me, his daughter, a link of His nation that dwells alone.

Beth Perkel

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/angela-merkel-adds-germanys-voice-to-condemnations/2014/07/01/

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