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

Posts Tagged ‘police’

Probe to be Launched Against MK Hanin Zoabi?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Will the State of Israel at last investigate the actions of MK Hanin Zoabi? The decision is up to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.

But if they give a green light, police have recommended the government take a look into whether MK Hanin Zoabi has crossed the line into criminal incitement with her constant barbs against the State of Israel.

The straw that may have broken the camel’s back, finally, was an interview Zoabi gave – and a follow-up – in the wake of the terrorist kidnapping of three yeshiva boys who were hitchhiking home from Gush Etzion on June 12. Zoabi declared on TLV1 Radio that the kidnappers – discovered by Israeli intelligence to irrefutably to have been members of the Hamas terrorist organization – were “not terrorists.”

Instead, Zoabi declared, “They are not terrorists. I do not agree with you. They see no other way to change their reality and have to restort to these measures until Israel sobers up and feels the suffering of the others.”

In fact, she later added that perhaps it was Israel’s Defense Forces who were the terrorists, and maybe the boys weren’t kidnapped at all. She then accused the Palestinian Authority security forces of “treason” for cooperating with Israel to search for the kidnapped boys.

Knesset members from one end of the political spectrum to the other condemned her remarks with many calling for her dismissal – but Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein pointed out that he has no recourse to do so under Israeli law.

Zoabi has often made remarks — and acted — in ways that are more in line with representing the interests of the Palestinian Authority than those of the State of Israel, in whose parliament she participates.

In 2010 she supported and even participated in an illegal flotilla intended to violate Israel’s legal boundaries and break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza. That blockade is a defense against terrorist imports of weapons and ammunition that are used in attacks on civilians and IDF soldiers.

She has also been photographed in past years at unauthorized meetings with Hamas officials from Gaza.

The participation of an Israeli parliamentarian whose loyalty is questionable is deeply troubling because as a member of the government, she automatically has access to highly sensitive security information.

Several years ago, her predecessor in the Balad party, former MK Azmi Bishara, fled the country just prior to being charged with treason. Bishara was suspected of receiving large sums of money in exchange for handing over information on sensitive military sites and other security information to the enemy during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. He has since traveled from one enemy Arab nation to the next, broadcasting poisonous lectures against the State of Israel and recruiting terrorists for attacks against the country. For a long time he also managed to also draw a Knesset member’s pension for his time served as a legislator, since he succeeded in fleeing abroad before ever being charged with a crime.

No Hostages Yet, but At Least Cops Nab Teenage Jews

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Israel Police may have yet to find Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel, the two 16-year-old yeshiva students who kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists a week-and-a-half ago (not to mention Eyal Yifrah,19, abducted at the same time). But at least the police can take “pride” that they’ve nabbed another 16 year old: This one, a resident of Beitar Illit, is suspected of throwing Molotov Cocktails at Arab cars near the entrance to the city in reaction to the abduction. In addition, police apprehended two children accused of throwing stones at the same demonstration.

The three were arrested last Monday evening and have admitted their guilt. The were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court  and released to house arrest.

During the court session, Itamar Ben-Gvir, representing the suspects on behalf of the Honenu legal aid organization, stressed the “high tensions” in Israel following the kidnappping of Frenkel, Shayer, Frenkel and Yifrah, but also noted that the teenagers studied with the two of the children that were abducted.

Friday, indictments were filed in the district juvenile court.

“It’s great that the court freed these minors, but I am very critical of the police and the state prosecutor who should have exercised better judgement in this case,” said Ben-Gvir. “These are very, very circumstances. The entire Jewish people is following, with great concern, the fate of the missing boys, and I don’t want to presume to ‘get into the heads’ of their friends. One of the boys I represent knows one of the kidnapped boys personally. I would have expected a bit more considerate and empathy from the prosecutor’s office and from the police.

Three Notes on the Abduction Crisis

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Three Notes on the Abduction

I. In 1996, a taxi driver tried to kill me following a fare dispute. I stood in front of the car until he returned the money I felt he owed me, and he hit the gas and tried to run me over. I wrote down the taxi licence and licence plate numbers and pledged to file a criminal report the following day.

Wasn’t quite that easy. My day started out at the police station at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, where I was told I had to go to another precinct near the Mahane Yehuda open market. There, I was shuttled around to three or four individuals, the last of whom sent me back to the Russian Compound. Eventually, an officer finally told me I could not file a report because… I can’t remember his convoluted reasoning that the individual who had tried to kill me had not actually committed a crime. But I remember distinctly the feeling of frustration and helplessness that a useless, uninterested police force had no interest, and no competence, to serve my needs.

Police Chief Yohanan Danino in Talmon: Too many foul-ups

Police Chief Yohanan Danino in Talmon: Too many foul-ups

The story is relevant today in light of the multiple indications that police incompetence – from ignoring an SOS call from Eyal Yiftach to waiting nearly five hours to report the abduction to the IDF – defined the initial hours of the current crisis last Thursday night. Similar stories are commonplace in the Hebrew-language media.

Having passed the lion’s share of the search for Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel to the Shin Bet and IDF, the current should serve as a catalyst to deal with Israel’s essential lack of an effective police force. The Knesset must act, first by firing both Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Police Comissioner Yohanan Danino, then by commissioning a parliamentary committee to reform the police from the top down.

Zoabi attacks PM Netanyahu on Knesset floor in 2011

Zoabi attacks PM Netanyahu on Knesset floor in 2011

II. No adjective could adequately describe the depths of MK Hanin Zoabi’s moral depravity. Zoabi’s remarks about the abduction speak for themselves. They are an awful comment about her, and about the Arab society that spawned her.

Zoabi may well be, in the words of Likud MK Miri Regev, a traitor. There may well be justification to disqualify her from future Knesset elections (such as her participation in the 2010 Mavi Marmarra flotilla).

But her moral support for the kidnappers is not illegal or seditious. It is important to recall that there is no need for the state to protect agreeable, non-controversial speech. Freedom of speech is meant to protect objectionable comments from legal censure, based on the notion that ultimately truth will conquer untruth

This is particularly relevant in light of calls from right-wing individuals such as Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud), who has asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate Zoabi for “incitement to terror,” and Regev again, who said Zoabi should “be expelled to Gaza and her immunity stripped from her.” But right-wing and religious politicians would be wise to consider that the slope to censor objectionable views is a slippery one, one that could easily end in criminal charges for individuals who oppose prisoner releases or territorial withdrawals.

III. Five days after the abduction, one is left with a sinking feeling that Israelis officials’ repeated assertion that Hamas is behind the attack is little more than the automated response of an individual who was caught off guard and who has been provided with no concrete intelligence about the incident.

There are many reasons to question Hamas’ involvement with the current crisis. Primarily, the theft of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel bears none of the telltale signs of a Hamas operation: Hamas normally exploits its victories over Israel. This time, however, the organization has denied involvement. Hamas kidnappings are typically followed with a video of the hostage, who is then forced to read a list of demands. Five-and-a-half days after the current incident, there has been no sign of life from the victims, no credible claim of responsibility, no demands issued.

All of which leaves a stark question: If not Hamas, then who? Security agencies have warned for years that global jihad groups have quietly set their sights on the Palestinian issue, while maintaining a low, non-violent profile in Judea and Samaria. In a background conversation earlier this week, one security official said jihadi groups “that will make Hamas look moderate” have been putting down roots amongst Palestinians both in Judea and Samaria and Israeli Arab communities, biding their time for the right moment to draw the Israel-Palestinian issue into the global jihad.

The consequences of that possibility are far from clear. To the left, the emergence of al-Qaeda or other radical Sunni groups in Judea and Samaria (or in Arab Israeli cities) could well mean the end of the land-for-peace illusion, for the simple reason that there will truly be no one on the other side to even contemplate the notion of negotiating with Jews.

For the rest of Israel, the current situation could also have far-reaching consequences: Israel’s largest military incursion into Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria in years has put Hamas well-and-truly on the run. As of yet, the kidnapping story has yet to have made major headlines outside Israel. Same for the retaliatory smash of Hamas infrastructure in Hebron, Jenin and elsewhere.

With Gods help, the current manhunt will lead Israeli troops to the hostages quickly, and they will return to their families healthy and sound. But the current crisis affords Israel another opportunity to decimate Hamas once-and-for-all, regardless of whether or not that organization was involved with the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel. That is an essential, and possible, secondary goal for the current mission.

Police Detain Stone Throwers, Back Out of Search

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Instead of searching for the kidnappers of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel, police spent Saturday night arresting Jewish teenagers suspected of throwing stones at Arab cars near the Haredi town of Beitar Ilit..

Police asked for the court to extend their remand, but the underage suspects were released by the court.

The incident stemmed from a spontaneous demonstration by Beitar Ilit residents near the entrance to the town. According to police reports, several teenagers threw rocks at Arab cars to protest the abduction.

During the demonstration, police arrested two youths, aged 14 and 16. David Halevi, an attorney appointed by the Honenu legal aid organization to represent the suspects, said the police had little evidence that the detainees threw the stones because so many people had been at the demonstration.

“We believe the police moved quickly to arrest somebody despite the fact that the evidence against the kids is weak, if there was any evidence at all,” Halevi said.

Instead of Responding to Abduction Calls, Police Arrested Jews

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Despite a phone call from one of the teenage boys and an official notification at 10:45 that three boys had been kidnapped Thursday night, Israel police waited more than three-and-a-half hours Thursday night before alerting IDF officials that three teenagers had been abducted.

According to Honenu, an Israeli legal aid organization, police and security forces spent the interim period rounding up Jews from Yitzhar.

At around 3 am Friday, a large contingent of police, Yasam paramilitary troops, spies and members of the Jewish section of the Shin Bet internal security service attacked the community and arrested three teenagers, two 16-year-old brothers and an 18-year-old. The brothers are suspected of involvement in several anti-Arab security incidents near Yitzhar and were interrogated at the police station in Ariel. Sunday, too, security forces took time off of the search for the teenage hostages in order to re-stain the two teens. They also detained the boys’ father, in an apparent attempt to pressure the boys.

According to a statement by Honenu, the suspects said they would refuse to cooperate with security forces “as long as Jewish teenagers are being held hostage by Arabs.”

The security establishment has lost its moral compass and forgotten who is friend and who is foe,” the organization said. “There is a direct relationship between the security forces’ lost of proportionality, having devoted enormous sums to create special units to deal with Jews and police’s failure to respond immediately to reports of abducted Jews, and the re-emergence of Arab terror. When our leaders declare that any scrawl of graffiti is ‘terrorism’, we get a painful reminder of what terrorism really is.”

Police Investigating Reporting Mess-up in Kidnapping

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

The police announced they will form an investigation as to how and why the initial report of the kidnapping was ignored for 4 hours.

The first report of the kidnapping of the boys from Gush Etzion came in at 10:25 PM on Thursday, to the police’s 100 (like 911) emergency line.

The message wasn’t passed on to the police or the Shabak until 3:00 AM Friday morning, when one of the parents went to a police station to report his son missing.

Minister of the Internal Security Yitzchak Aharonovitz said the failure will be investigated.

Police Entrapment in Yitzhar Fails, Yeshiva Seizure Extended (Video)

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Police, disguised as soldiers, tried to entrap residents of Yitzhar while secretly video taping them. Additional police were waiting outside the town for mass arrests. Residents, recognizing the ambush for what it was, made fun of the latest failed attempt to entrap them.

The town’s yeshiva, Od Yosef Chai, has been under occupation by the Israeli Border Police since April, and a constant and large police presence is always active in the town. The occupation of the yeshiva began after the IDF destroyed five homes and buildings in Yitzhar in April, and some angry residents retaliated and damaged an IDF outpost and slashed army jeep tires in response.

Police suspect, but for the most part, have been unable to find any evidence, that residents of Yitzhar, or Yeshiva students from the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva have been involved in violence against Arabs and the IDF, as well as “price tag” graffiti around the country.

Police have been escalating “catch and release” frivolous arrests of Yitzhar residents, including minors, in what the citizens claim is an attempt to harass them following the police’s ongoing failure to prove the town is the hotbed of “price tag” attacks that the government claim it is.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Ya’alon extended the occupation of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva by another 3 months, and residents believe the attempted video ambush was connected to that. They believe the government wanted to make a video to show off to the media of “violence from Yitzhar” to justify extending the seizure.

Residents claim that the IDF is trying to provoke them into responding, and the only one committing price tag attacks is the government with their home demolitions, harassment of citizens and frivolous arrests.

Meanwhile, the only videos of law-breaking coming out of Yitzhar lately are of police and soldiers ignoring traffic signs, the ongoing damage done to the Yeshiva by the military, and yesterday’s video of the police ambush being exposed.

There might very well be law-breakers who live in Yitzhar, but the way the government and the police are treating innocent citizens and trampling on democracy and the rule of law is far worse. But it’s no wonder they do that, when so many senior police, army and government officials are under investigation for one crime or another.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-entrapment-in-yitzhar-fails-yeshiva-seizure-extended-video/2014/06/13/

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