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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sayeret Matkal’

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Labor MK Accused of Leaking Classified Info

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

A Labor party lawmaker has been suspended from membership in subcommittees of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for leaking classified information.

MK Omer Bar-Lev, who at one time commanded the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was accused of handing a copy of a letter he sent to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to one of the media outlets.

In his letter Bar-Lev allegedly claimed to have found a discrepancy between an IDF training budget report filed by a senior IDF officer last February and figures presented recently by Ya’alon describing the army’s fiscal needs.

In a statement to journalists Monday evening, Bar-Lev denied the suspension due to his leaking classified information and instead focused on the discrepancy he said he found among the defense establishment’s budget figures.

“As far as we are concerned, the main issue is that the conflicting reports of senior IDF officers to the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee must be looked into and not a minor offense over some procedure that does breach security,” the statement said.

Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) told Bar-Lev the budget reports would be examined closely, according to the statement. It was Elkin who had informed Bar-Lev of the suspension, which extends throughout the summer session.

PM Reflects on First Recording of Brother Yoni’s Voice

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his brother Iddo sat quietly in his office, together with Ronny Daniel of Channel 2 TV and a camera crew. They listened intently as a technician played for the first time a recording of their older brother Yoni being debriefed following a 1972 operation in which he participated with his elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Code named Argaz 3, the undercover unit had grabbed five senior Syrian officers in southern Lebanon. Younger Netanyahu brothers had also participated in the operation.

Save for one television interview, this is the only recording of Binyamin Netanyahu’s older brother’s voice. Channel 2’s report was timed for Israel’s Yom HaZikaron — Israel’s Memorial Day, the Remembrance for Fallen Soldiers.

After asking the Netanyahus about their emotional reactions to the recording, journalist Ronny Daniel had some tougher questions for the prime minister.

The issue of terrorist attacks and abductions and the price paid by Israeli society in return has been a delicate and very sore point in the Jewish State. Israel was known for decades as the one nation that would under no circumstances ever negotiate with terrorists, regardless of cost. Over the past decade, negotiations with terrorists have resulted in freedom for thousands of murderers with Jewish blood on their hands. Some of those were freed by Binyamin Netanyahu himself.

His older brother Yoni Netanyahu died in the 1976 counter terrorist raid on Uganda’s Entebbe Airport in a rescue mission to free hostages being held by terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and German Revolutionary Cells. The terrorists who hijacked an Air France plane on board had separated Israeli and Jews from the rest of the 248 passengers on board the aircraft, placing them in another room. Ultimately all non-Jewish passengers were let go, with the exception of the pilot, Captain Bacos, who together with the Jews being held hostage was threatened with death.

The IDF, acting on intelligence from Israel’s international Mossad agency, carried out a long distance 90 minute rescue operation involving 100 commandos and support from Kenya. Five soldiers were wounded and the unit commander – Lt.-Col. Yonatan Netanyahu – was killed during the operation. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were also killed.

“We used to behave differently, in order to bring back pilots who fell captive,” Daniel commented after hearing the recording. “We abducted, we acted, we blew things up… today it is different. So what has changed? Is it them? Us? Reality?”

Netanyahu’s reply was that of the political leader who dances simultaneously at ten weddings, with more than a few in hidden venues.

“In those places where we can act, we do act. Believe me, we also take action in many things that are not known, and may not become known in another 42 years, either.”

“Yes, but we still release all sorts of murderers from the jails, in order to set a soldier free, and we do not do all sorts of aggressive things in order to make them set him free – taking [former kidnapped IDF soldier] Gilad Shalit as an example.”

Gilad Shalit was held hostage in Gaza by Hamas terrorists for more than five years after being abducted by operatives from three Hamas-affiliated terrorist organizations in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel. He was freed in a prisoner swap deal in October 2011 that required Israel to free more than 1,000 Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists being held in Israeli prisons.

“If you knew, you’d take action,” retorted Netanyahu. “Our main problem is that we did not know,” he said, confirming the reports of various sources throughout the Shalit captive years who told journalists operatives were having a problem fixing a location on the kidnapped soldier. Military sources kept saying quietly that terrorists were moving him around in order to elude Israeli soldiers. “We can send someone in, but by the time we get there, he’s gone. And then what? We’ve endangered our people for nothing. We need better information. We’re having trouble tracking him,” sources kept saying.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-reflects-on-first-recording-of-brother-yonis-voice/2014/05/05/

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