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July 2, 2016 / 26 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sayeret Matkal’

Does Ya’alon Forget He Also Personally Confirmed A Terrorist Kill?

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Thursday’s shooting of a disabled but not yet dead terrorist – and the defense establishment’s condemnation of the soldier who killed him – may have been a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black.’

Particularly by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who, it turns out, has been down this road himself before.

Nearly 30 years ago, then-Lt.Col. Moshe Ya’alon commanded the elite Sayeret Matkal unit tasked with eliminating arch terrorist Abu Jihad in a special operation in Tunisia.

Abu Jihad had masterminded the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, the most deadly terror attack in the history of the state. In that attack 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were murdered in cold blood by a terror cell led by Dalal Mughrabi.

The Palestinian Authority celebrates the anniversary of the event every year to this day.

Abu Jihad also was behind the attack on the Tel Aviv Savoy Hotel in 1975, in which three IDF soldiers and eight other hostages were murdered.

Both attacks were carried out by the PLO’s central Fatah faction, led by Abu Jihad.

On the day that Abu Jihad was assassinated at his home in Tunis, foreign media reported the IDF soldier who carried out the attack, special ops commander Nahum Lev, was in his 20s. Lev was the first religious officer in the elite commando unit, considered a “daredevil,” according to investigative reporter Ronen Bergman. He was a deputy under Ya’alon in leading the Abu Jihad operation, code-named “Show of Force,” which involved both the special forces units and the Mossad.

Several minutes later, however, a different man confirmed Abu Jihad’s death by shooting him again, just to make sure he really was neutralized. The man firing the weapon was the operation commander, Ya’alon himself.

Moments later, Ya’alon was heard on the comm device telling command, “The director and his three workers are on their way to a world that is wholly good.”

The man who told this story to Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity said he related the incident for a reason: “Before everyone pounces on a combat soldier in a complex situation and hands down a verdict, they should show some sensitivity. Ya’alon rushes to condemn like other politicians but if they judge the soldier, then why not [also] judge Boogie (Ya’alon)?”

What is the difference between those decades ago, and last week – other than the fact that in the current situation, an Arab filmed this incident and posted it on social media?

The soldier who now sits in Prison 4, has said he considered the terrorist still to be a threat.

Whether or not he was actively a threat at that moment, it is certainly true that at some point in the future he would absolutely return to being a threat had he lived, as others have. About that there is no doubt whatsoever. One has only to examine the recidivist rate among those who were swapped in the exchange for former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit to see that truth.

Moreover, the terrorist was wearing a bulky, zipped-up jacket on an unseasonably hot day – standard wear for suicide bombers. It was reasonable to consider that he might be wearing a suicide belt, and could still detonate it, injuries notwithstanding. That discussion is also heard on the video footage.

Whether he followed IDF protocol or not is a separate issue. Many people forget rules when under pressure – the army has guidelines on how to deal with that – but, imprisonment? For shooting a terrorist considered a mortal threat?

Almost 30 years ago, a man who later became this country’s IDF chief of staff and then its minister of defense didn’t think it at all unreasonable.

How odd that today he believes the exact same action to now be “extreme.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Third Terror Suspect Nabbed in Sat. Nite Attack on Jewish Teens

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

A third suspect has been arrested in connection with Saturday night’s stabbing of a Jewish teen outside the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The suspect was tracked down in a joint operation by Israel Police and Shin Bet intelligence operatives. He is a minor, age 15, and a resident of the northern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Shuafat.

One of the first two suspects, age 16, “understood that the police were after him and handed himself in to investigators,” according to police. The second, age 15, was tracked down within the hour after the attack.

The victim, a 17-year-old American who just made aliyah from Brooklyn, NY a month ago, was stabbed as he and a friend were leaving the Old City after prayers at the Western Wall.

His friend managed to evade the two Arab attackers – teens who were even younger than their intended victims – and race back to the Old City to alert police.

The two assailants were captured within an hour after the attack, while the injured victim was taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center for emergency treatment. He still maintains he is determined to join the elite Sayeret Matkal combat unit when he turns age 18 and enters the IDF.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Tells Security Forces ‘You Are Doing Blessed Work’

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked security forces in Jerusalem on Wednesday (14 October 2015) at a Border Guard Police base in Jerusalem and told them they are doing “blessed work.”

The prime minister’s remarks came in a brief address to the officers after he was updated on the deployment of forces in the capital, and after a night in which there were two terror attacks within the space of little more than an hour.

Netanyahu met with units from the national Israel Police and Border Guard Police, including some who had foiled attacks in recent days. He thanked and praised the officers and fighters for their composure, fighting spirit and courage, urging them to ‘watch out for themselves’ as he expressed thanks on behalf of the security cabinet.

“I came, first of all, to express my appreciation and that of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Acting Commissioner Bentzi Sau for the extraordinary lifesaving work you are doing, bravely, with a lot of ingenuity, professionalism, but mostly courage,” Netanyahu said. “I want to thank each and every one of you, and there are men and women who acted in real time.

“Anyone who was a combat soldier knows what it means and can appreciate it,” he commented in a nod towards his own past as a fighter in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. “And there is a medic here who saved lives with extraordinary resourcefulness,” he noted. “You are doing blessed work.

“There is no substitute for very dense deployments with mobility, with the ability to arrive at the scene of the attack or to be present at the scene to prevent it in real time and to prevent deterioration into even worse situations. I know it demands discretion on your part, but have no doubt: You have full backing, from me, the Government and from the people of Israel in order to act more decisively, firstly to save lives and to protect yourselves. Guidelines have always existed, but I think they have been sharpened, and I see that you are implementing them with common sense and great determination. It matters.

“I cannot tell you how long this will continue,” he said. “There are people here who are willing to die. Every time that there is a new phenomenon, it always shaves off even a tiny population, willing to commit suicide. We do not know how many will commit suicide, but the number is not infinite, far from it. Therefore, in the past, we could also deal with these phenomena, even more difficult ones.

“At the moment, it is not so organized, as you know, so there is no substitute for your presence, essentially as human shields. However, you need to protect the shield, yourselves, as well. We will not forget it.

“I think that we are making progress as we move, organizing, in my opinion, in new ways… It is very important to have mobility, and how we organize communications in such a manner to able to arrive immediately so that we can maximize the capabilities; our defense capabilities.

“We consider that even in national terms, not just urban – how to join our technology, which is much more advanced than what we see on the other side, to your real-time operational capabilities – police, Border Police, IDF soldiers – that are reinforcing you.

“I have no doubt that we can handle this wave. This involves not only action by you, but also your common sense, and the proposals that you bring from below rise up with tremendous speed. Each one of you, for me, is a source of innovation and a big start-up. But it will succeed, like all the things we did.

“We have stood before other waves of terrorism. We will overcome this wave as well. I have no doubt; but I would just like to thank you truly from the heart, from the hearts of the citizens of Israel, for the defense you are giving Israeli citizens.”

Hana Levi Julian

IDF to Install Security Cameras at Judea, Samaria Intersections

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Israel says it will install security cameras at all intersections throughout Judea and Samaria — “on the ground and in the air” — as part of its upgraded counter-terror measures.

“We decided today to enact a major plan to employ cameras at all junctions in the West Bank, both on the ground and in the air, with connections to operations room,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This is an important element of restoring security and foiling terror attacks.

The prime minister made the remarks after he visited the site where Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Na’ama were murdered in a drive-by terror attack last Thursday. Henkin, a U.S. citizen, was also a veteran of the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit and the son of two well-known Yeshiva University alumni. His mother is the director of a women’s program at the institution.

“There is no question here regarding our support for the military, and everyone knows the truth, in contrast to those who claim otherwise,” Netanyahu said in a reference to lawmakers who have criticized his handling of the recent violence. “There is a certain level of responsibility required from the settlers, and they should be accurate in their claims.”

Netanyahu also said he had plans for vendors in the Old City souk (market) in Jerusalem who laughed at and mocked Adele Lavi as she cried for their help after she was stabbed Saturday night, and ultimately turned their backs on her. “I asked that their stores be shuttered and that they be brought to justice,” the prime minister said. The vendors sneered at Mrs. Lavi, as she begged for help with a knife wound in her shoulder as her husband, baby and a second rabbi were being stabbed and shot.

“The greatest center of incitement in recent years is the [northern] Islamic Movement, and we will take care of them, too,” Netanyahu continued.

“We will break this wave of terror like we broke previous waves of terror. We are in ongoing contact with all our neighbors and are trying to make the facts clear despite the wave of falsehoods that have been disseminated.

“We have no intention of changing the status quo at the Temple Mount, and we have no intention of destroying mosques or building a Third Temple there.

“We have ongoing contact with the Egyptians, the Jordanians and many others,” he added.

“I am not willing to tolerate Israeli citizens joining in the incitement. I cannot tolerate spitting on police or waving PLO and Hamas flags at stadiums – not by Jews and not by Muslims, and I have directed the attorney general to act against the agitators among us.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon added advice that “local council heads need to stop hyperventilating. There’s a difference between the situation during Operation Defensive Shield (which took place during the 2002 second intifada) and that of today. Since then, the IDF has been on the offensive in [Judea and Samaria]; these statements just cause citizens to take the law into their own hands.

“This is an unacceptable phenomenon, which sabotages our struggle against Jewish terror and adds fuel to the fire.

“Ministers must remember that the government has collective responsibility,” Ya’alon said.

Hana Levi Julian

Tough Guys

Monday, September 21st, 2015

They could make a movie about these guys… A former Russian KGB agent and a former Israeli Special Forces commando team up to fight bad guys in the Middle East, only one of them may be (not so) secretly helping the bad guys…

I’d go see it.

Photo of the Day

Time-Honored White House Diplomatic Traditions on Israel

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

For those readers who have become avid fans of the soap opera unfolding in the White House around the drama between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a tidbit just for you.

On Friday, as the White House press corps was engaged in its usual back-and-forth with spokesperson Josh Earnest, they finally managed to force a truth from his lips: The President and the Prime Minister, he said, have a “fundamental disagreement” about diplomatic talks with Iran.

Netanyahu “doesn’t share [Obama’s] view,” Earnest admitted. But still, he claimed, those “differences of opinion” don’t undermine the “unshakable” American commitment to Israel’s security.

On America’s terms, of course. And if it happens to prove mistaken and an existential threat to the Jewish State, which is about the size of New Jersey, well. . .

<menacing music>

As it happens, most members of Congress also have a “fundamental disagreement” with the President about the diplomatic talks with Iran, it seems. Not just the Republicans, who comprise the majority in both houses, but there are a fair number of Democrats who also believe Iran is using the talks simply to gain more time for its covert nuclear development activities.

And Iranians have long made it clear both in the street and in their mosques that their targets will not be limited to Israel; America is in the cross-hairs as well. Members of the intelligence community are well aware of it, as are members of Congress and the Israeli government.

So as early as last October, U.S. Rep. John Boehner was talking to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. The formal invitation was made public last week – and accepted as well – to the apparent “surprise” of the White House.

It’s a bit hard to believe that any of The President’s Men – or Women – could be caught off guard. But let’s leave that bit for quiet contemplation.

It turns out the annual AIPAC conference is being held in March this year – a “must” for every Israeli head of state, and Netanyahu is no exception. The address to Congress made much more sense scheduled around AIPAC, and was penciled in for the same week.

Utter fury at the White House. Sarcastic remarks from press secretary Josh Earnest, with a reference to the Speaker of the House making a “departure from protocol.” On the Prime Minister’s visit, Earnest was altogether tight-lipped, saying his boss was “reserving judgment.”

Later reporters were told that neither Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Israel’s head of state while he is in Washington for both events.

Imagine. One of America’s “closest allies” comes to the capital and neither the President nor the Secretary of State makes time to meet with him, when the United States shares military, intelligence, economy, academic and who knows how many other priorities with Israel.

Not to mention their “differences of opinion” that are so important to work out – something that one would believe an administration so committed to the process of “diplomacy” would consider a priority.

The White House spokesperson tried to put a good face on it.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” he explained Thursday.

Rachel Levy

When Lt. Bibi Netanyahu, Special Forces, Met the President

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

On November 1, 1972, Lieutenant Benjamin Netanyahu, a member of Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s Special Forces, had the privilege to meet the President of Israeli Zalman Shazar.

Netanyahu was one of the elite soldiers who participated in the successful Sabena Airlines Flight 751 hostage rescue operation on May 9, 1972.

The future Prime Minister of Israel was wounded in the operation.

Photo of the Day

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