Posts Tagged ‘Paratroopers’
IDF paratroopers foiled an ambush in Gaza on Thursday when they surprised terrorists who had prepared an explosive device to kill them.
Operation Protective Edge entered its 18th day Friday with a significant decline in the number of rocket and missile attacks on Israel and what is perceived as clear signs of a decline in the morale of Hamas.
No IDF casualties were reported overnight, but four soldiers, including two paratroopers were seriously injured. It is not known if the paratroopers were wounded in the same incident in which the combat units foiled the ambush, as explained n the video below.
A Golani battalion commander suffered serious injuries when a terror tunnel collapsed one him.
The IDF carried out more than 130 attacks on Hamas terror targets Thursday, bringing to more than 3,00 the number of actions taken against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.
Government unity for continuing the counter-terrorist campaign is weakening in the face of new proposals from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for a ceasefire. Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog said Friday morning he is in favor of a ceasefire if Hamas accepts it, while most Likud, Jewish Hem and Yisrael Beitenu Knesset Members want the IDF to finish the job and disarm Hamas.
It has been 13 days since Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach were abducted by Arab terrorists as they hitchhiked home from yeshiva in Gush Etzion to be with their families for the Sabbath, but motivation remains high among the IDF soldiers who search every night for the teens.
There is no word on their whereabouts or condition, but tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are combing the hills of Judea and Samaria, hunting for the boys and those who abducted them, while trying to make the area safer from now on for those who live there.
The other goal is to neutralize the creeping presence of the Hamas terrorist organization — which publicly states its whole-hearted commitment to Israel’s annihilation and that of its citizens — and which has managed to infilitrate the region over the past several years.
Palestinian Authority lawmaker Khaled Ibrahim was among the 17 PA fugitives who were arrested by IDF soldiers overnight Tuesday in the continuing search.
Ibrahim, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was among those taken into custody during Operation Brother’s Keeper.
The IDF has meanwhile uploaded to YouTube a video from a Skylark drone, showing a paratroopers unit raiding the home of a Hamas terrorist in Beit Awwa, a suburb northwest of Hevron.
Thanks to the operators of the Skylark, the IDF soldiers were able to track down the fugitive as he tried to escape. The drone showed him running to a nearby house where he apparently thought he could hide, and the paratroopers used the data to make the arrest, without resistance.
IDF troops also discovered a cache of weapons in Jenin late Tuesday night, but were forced into clashes there with PA Arabs before confiscating the arms. No injuries were reported.
After an operation in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Israeli forces have arrested about 280 Palestinian Arab suspects in connection with the recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers.
IDF soldiers arrested 30 terror suspects Wednesday night in connection with Operation Brother’s Keeper, the mission to find Hamas operatives who abducted three Israeli teenagers last week.
Since the beginning of the operation, IDF forces have detained approximately 280 suspects, including 200 Hamas operatives. Fifty five of the arrested were released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011.
Forces detained the suspects in the Judea and Samaria region, where Hamas terrorists abducted the three teens last Thursday. Soldiers also searched about 900 locations and carried out operations against Dawa institutions, the civilian mechanism used by Hamas to recruit operatives, disseminate information and raise funds.
During an operation in Nablus earlier this week, the IDF uncovered hundreds of weapons and explosives hidden in Palestinian weapons caches. As forces left the city Wednesday night, Palestinians hurled rocks and an improvised explosive device at the soldiers, leading to several arrests in the area.
A violent riot also erupted Wednesday night in Jenin, where soldiers were operating as part of their mission to find the teens. Like in Jenin, Palestinians hurled explosives and opened fire at the forces. The soldiers responded with live fire, identifying hits.
On Sunday morning, the IDF confirmed that Hamas terrorists were responsible for last week’s abduction. The IDF’s soldiers are working around the clock, on all fronts, to find Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel – the three Israeli teenagers abducted last Thursday.
Soldiers controlling drones on the ground are enhancing Israel’s operation. Their technology provides crucial intelligence to forces trying to find the kidnappers. “As soon as we identify [a target], we’ll be able to notify forces in the area,” said Captain Yochai Varso, an IDF company commander. “When they ask to see a house, we’ll be able to show them the structure and movement nearby.”
During an overnight operation Saturday, IDF forces arrested about 80 Palestinian suspects connected to the terrorist kidnapping. “Palestinian terrorists will not feel safe,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stressed after the operation. “They will not be able to hide and will feel the heavy arm of Israel’s military capabilities.”
During a press conference on Saturday evening, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz discussed the IDF’s broad search effort. “We are operating wherever needed and our efforts are growing,” Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed. “We remain determined to achieve our operational objectives, and will act with responsibility, poise and determination to accomplish whatever is required of us.”
Israeli forces searched throughout Hebron for signs of the young Israelis. Their operation took them between alleys, on top of houses and through the city’s markets. Israeli forces performed similar operations across the Judea and Samaria region.
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.
Israeli paratroopers – 1,000 of them – trained in southern Israel this week and topped the exercise with a jump that in seconds overcomes fear and leaves behind the noisy engines of the plane for the quiet of the long drop to earth.
“Every paratrooper preparing to leap from a plane must overcome fear. It’s natural to feel fear, but paratroopers leave fear behind them. We are the only ones who are tested in the face of fear — even during training, said Brigade Commander Col. Eliezer Toledano said that
“The Paratroopers don’t need lengthy preparations to strike a very large array of forces behind enemy lines,” he added.
Col. Toledano stressed that the importance of the exercise is that “we proved that at any given moment the IDF can take a large amount of soldiers and drop them deep in enemy territory in a matter of moments… we have the ability go anywhere we say we will go.”
Jumping out of the plane is only the first part – more important is what happens when you land.
“There’s a risk that you will you will be cut off from the Brigade and won’t find your friends on the ground,” said Deputy Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Itamar Ben-Chaim. “It’s possible that you will end up fighting with soldiers who are not from your platoon, so we educate commanders in spatial understanding and in taking initiative.”
The Brigade applied lessons they had learned from last year’s exercise, reaching a new safety standard and making sure that their soldiers can fight effectively after landing. The severity of injuries decreased in this year’s exercise in relation to last year’s.
After the Paratroopers land, they have all the equipment they need to operate in the battlefield, including heavy vehicles that allow for continuous and sustained operations in enemy territory after landing.
“The best part of an exercise like this,” said First Sgt. Hadar Ben Simon of the Reconnaissance Battalion, “is the contrast between the noise of the aircraft before you jump, and the quiet after the parachute opens.”
Among the 10 Women of the Wall detained by police on Monday in Israel for praying in the open air women’s section at the Western Wall while wearing prayer shawls was Susan Silverman—sister of the controversial comic Sarah Silverman. Susan is a Reform rabbi in Jerusalem, and she was arrested along with her teenage daughter.
Sarah Silverman tweeted: “SO proud of my amazing sister @rabbisusan & niece@purplelettuce95 for their [genital reference] civil disobedience. Ur the [mamary reference]!#womenofthewall”
According to Ha’aretz, the comic’s niece, Hallel, twitted back: “@SarahKSilverman hey auntie, want a copy of my mugshot?”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AP the women were detained due to regulations that ban women from wearing prayer shawls while worshiping at the Western Wall, which could offend Orthodox Jewish visitors. Several hours later, they were released.
Shira Pruce, WOW’s Director of Public Relations, emailed The Jewish Press:
“At 7 AM hundreds of men and women flocked to the Western Wall to pray with Women of the Wall, including several Israeli paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem and the Western Wall in 1967 at the end of the Six Day War.
“The women prayed, 200 strong, with at least fifty men in attendance for support. The prayer lasted over an hour and the women were allowed to dance, sing and wear prayer shawls (tallitot), despite the police surrounding them on all sides.”
According to Pruce, a few Haredi women made insulting comments, but were instructed by police to move on.
One of the paratroopers told the passing women that, after they had liberated the Kotel, everyone was welcome to pray there.
Michah Eshet, past Battalion Commander of the paratroopers’ Battalion 66, said he became involved with Women of the Wall because they are “the brave paratroopers in the hope that they will succeed in their struggle to liberate the Kotel from grip of the ultra-Orthodox, for all of the Jewish nation.”
Well, that’s harsh, even for a big, brave paratrooper. For one thing, according to Pruce, when she spoke to The Jewish Press, on Monday there was no reaction from the Haredi men by the Kotel, who let the hour plus prayer service proceed with no interruption whatsoever. The only entity doing the gripping at this point is the High Court, which took on itself to decide whose prayer leads up to the heavens and whose ends up in the Russian Compound, Jerusalem’s detention center.
Pruce said the cops were “sneaky,” waiting for paratroopers and most of the media to disappear, and only then, as the group of women was filing out of the Western Wall plaza at the conclusion of the prayer service, did the cops “descend upon the women, in what seemed like a planned blitz arrest of as many women wearing tallitot as possible.”
Personally, I’m proud of my fellow Orthodox guys at the Kotel, who just turned their back on the tumult and the raucous on the other side of the mechitza and just did their thing. After all, it’d just once a month (thank God nobody told them Adar had two Roshei Chodashim, or maybe they only keep one because it makes sense—it’s beyond my rabbinic sensibilities).
Here’s another observation: in my own shul in Netanya we barely had a minyan for shacharit this morning, and when it came time for Hallel we mostly mumbled along with one eye on the wall clock. We only sang the part from “Pitchu li shaarey tzedek” on, and since there were barely a dozen of us – you get the picture. So I can’t resist admiring a bunch of ladies who make Rosh Chodesh special in the extreme and even bring paratroopers.
This is a great idea, come to think of it – there are so many shuls who suffer from low attendance, especially in these frosty winter mornings – why not invite a couple of paratroopers?
Just tell them they must come help release you from the grip of the Ultra Orthodox. It seems to work.