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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘three yeshiva boys’

Benny Gantz, Natan Sharansky Named to Jerusalem Unity Prize Committee

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gants and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky have joined Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on this year’s committee to choose recipients for the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

Nominations are now being accepted for the prize, now in its second year of awards to those who are recognized for fostering Jewish unity. The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created by Mayor Nir Barkat to promote unity among the Jewish people. It was conceived with the Shaer, Frenkel and Yifrach families in memory of their sons Gil-ad, Naftali and Eyal, whose kidnappings and subsequent murders became a turning point in Jewish communal relations.

Jews from all walks of life came together in an unprecedented display of solidarity to pray for the safe return of the boys at that time.

In partnership with GESHER, the award was designed to harness that spirit of national unity and inspire continued work to bridge divides within the greater Jewish community. “Benny Gantz is a natural leader whose resolve carried the Israeli military through the tragic period following our boys’ abduction and the subsequent campaign in Gaza,” the Fraenkel, Shaer and Ifrach families said in a statement.

“Natan Sharansky serves as the ultimate symbol of Jewish heroism and courage whose personal story has inspired millions.

“Both of these figures therefore exhibit the traits which inspire pride and unity within the modern Jewish experience and we feel deeply honored to have them as part of this effort.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal home and capital of the Jewish people and the very symbol of the power of our unity. Historically, Jerusalem was not divided into tribes and the gates of our city have always been open to all. The Jerusalem Unity Prize is a modern celebration of that very power of the Jewish people coming together,” said Mayor Nir Barkat.

Gantz welcomed the appointment. “My position allowed me a unique perspective to appreciate the power of national unity,” he said. “I truly believe that the security of our future, as a People and as a country, relies on the strength we possess when united. I am excited to be able to encourage and support those who believe in the importance of working together, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of the Jerusalem Unity Prize committee.”

Sharansky added, “Jerusalem serves as a bridge between our People’s dream and our reality, and is the very realization of our national aspirations. The city unites us in times of victory as well as tragedy, reminding that when tragedy strikes it is incumbent upon us to rise and unite in action, in giving back and with mutual respect for all.

“I salute the Frenkel, Shaer and Yifrach families on this remarkable initiative and it is an honor to have been invited to be part of the program.”

Nominations for the Prize will be accepted via the Prize website until February 4, 2016. Prizes of up to 300,000 NIS total will be awarded in three separate categories of unity initiatives on the local, regional and global levels.

In 2015, awards were presented to Brigadier General Ram Shmueli, Harav Chacham David Menachem, Nifgashim B’Shvil Yisrael and the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand. The 2015 Unity Prize was awarded in June on Unity Day, where over 1 million people participated in educational and entertainment events worldwide.

Unity Day this year will take place in early June 2016 with programs already being scheduled across the Diaspora. “Unity Day proved itself as not just a welcomed program but indeed a necessary one whereby the Jewish world was reminded of just how much we can achieve when we put our differences aside and focus on our commonalities,” said Anat Schwarz Weil, director of the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

“There is no doubt that we as a people face many challenges- indeed to our very existence. So it is all that much more important that we rally behind this initiative so that we can be a stronger and more united Jewish people.”

Jewish Press Staff

High Court Maintains Ban on Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The High Court has rejected an attempt by Israeli Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party to block the parliament from banning her activity.

One after another, the five-member panel of justices scored Zoabi for her claims that she backs non-violence. Zoabi clearly identifed with the Hamas kidnap-murderers of three yeshiva students in Gush Etzion in a broadcast interview on Radio Tel Aviv last June, before it was known that the boys had been murdered.

Zoabi was barred for six months from all Knesset activity other than voting in response to a flurry of complaints from her colleagues — including Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein — about a statement she made regarding the abduction and particularly brutal murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar  were not guilty of terrorism.

“Is it strange that people living under occupation and living impossible lives, in a situation where Israel kidnaps new prisoners every day, is it strange that they act this way? They are not terrorists. Even if I do not agree with them, they are people who do not see any way open to change their reality, and they are compelled to use means like these until Israel wakes up and sees the suffering, feels the suffering of the other.”

The complaints charging Zoabi with incitement led the Knesset Ethics Committee to ban Zoabi at the end of July from making speeches, submitting legal questions or initiating debates from the plenum or in committee for half a year. It was the maximum punishment the committee was allowed to impose.

On October 7 Zoabi tried to appeal the ruling in committee, calling it a violation of freedom of speech. That effort failed, and the ban was confirmed by the full plenum at the end of October.

However, Zoabi has still won a victory: despite breaking the laws of the state by repeatedly visiting enemy nations and participating in events clearly as an advocate for an enemy entity (the Palestinian Authority), Zoabi has yet to be charged with treason.

Moreover, despite her verbal support for an enemy during wartime in July – when Israel was facing impending conflict with the Hamas terrorist organization, as she obviously knew, being a privileged lawmaker – Zoabi is free.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled in the current case that Zoabi’s statements in July did not constitute criminal incitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Knesset Upholds Suspension of Balad MK Zoabi

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Israeli lawmakers across the spectrum voted 68-16 Wednesday to uphold a six-month ban imposed in July against Balad MK Hanin Zoabi on all legislative activity except voting.

Zoabi tried to appeal the ban on Wednesday, three months after being suspended by the Knesset Ethics Committee for incitement.

Numerous lawmakers – including Speaker Yuli Edelstein – filed complaints with the Committee about Zoabi’s support for Hamas rocket attacks against the State of Israel during Operation Protective Edge, and her statement that the Hamas abduction and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens was not terrorism.

Zoabi has since traveled to Qatar – an enemy state which supports Hamas and its founding entity, the Muslim Brotherhood – and met with Balad party founder, former MK Azmi Bishara.

Bishara fled Israel as he was being investigated possible acts of espionage on behalf of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

In 2010, Zoabi also participated in the illegal flotilla attempt to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza, by joining terror activists from Turkey aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara vessel. The flotilla was stopped by the IDF in international waters.

The following year she was banned from the Knesset for two months after physically attacking an usher for trying to remove her from the hall when she refused to go when ordered to do so.

The Israeli Arab lawmaker, who has consistently maintained a position as a representative of the Palestinian Authority Arab population – rather than that of an Arab Israeli – insisted in her appeal that she had the right to free speech.

“I speak to you as someone proud of being a daughter of this land,” Zoabi began. “There was not, and there will not be a person who can turn me, or my nation, into guests or strangers here.”

Zoabi said she knew it is hard for some Mks to hear her express her views or even to see her walk through the halls of the Knesset. But, she said, it is equally hard for her to see Arabs treated as the enemy.

The real issue, she said, is the difference in perspective: “You are annoyed that I use the words ‘occupation and war crimes” but it is the actual occupation and war crimes that trouble me the most.”

She was interrupted by an agitated Labor MK, Itzik Shmueli, who shouted that she crossed the line in speaking in such a way about Israeli soldiers, freedom of speech notwithstanding.

Shmueli, who refused to quiet down, was removed from the Knesset hall by Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Further pushing the point, Zoabi added, “Yes, I crossed the lines of consensus – a warlike, aggressive, racist, populist, chauvinist, arrogant consensus.

“I must cross those lines. I am no Zionist, and that is within my legal right.

“I am a Palestinian, born in this land. Any person who supports the decision of the committee [against me] is against justice, equality and freedom of speech, and supports political persecution.

“Whoever stands silent joins the racists who do not want representation for the Arabs!”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Now the World Will Know Jewish Blood Isn’t Free’

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The families of the three Israeli teens who were abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists this past June 12 in Gush Etzion, have issued a statement in response to the news the suspects were killed today in a shootout with IDF soldiers.

The fugitive suspects were shot and killed early Tuesday morning (Sept. 23, 2014) by IDF troops during an attempt to arrest them in Hebron in a joint action with IDI and ISA units.

“Security forces notified us this morning that our sons’ murderers were killed in the framework of an military action by our forces,” the statement began.

“We take pride in our government and our security forces, for their steadfast persistence in bringing to justice the murderers of our sons.

“The world now knows Jewish blood is not free. We embrace the special operations soldiers who risked their lives to carry out the mission and respond to the challenge, to ensure that Israel maintains its deterrent edge.

“As we begin a new year, we hope now to end this cycle of evil and begin only one of good. We send wishes for a sweet new year to all the People of Israel and in the Diaspora, and offer our thanks to all those here and abroad who embraced and supported us in our time of need.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: Israel Fulfilled Pledge to Track Down Boys’ Killers

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted with grim satisfaction Tuesday morning upon hearing the news that the Hamas terrorists who murdered three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion were killed early Tuesday morning during an arrest attempt by IDF soldiers.

Marwan Kawasma and Amer Abu Aysha, both from Hebron, were tracked down in a joint operation with security forces led by ISA and IDI intelligence units. During the arrest the terrorists opened fire at the soldiers, who shot back and hit the attackers. In his first reaction to the news of the killing of the two fugitives, prior to the start of a government Cabinet meeting Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “Israel will continue to hit out at terrorists wherever they are.”

The two Hamas terrorists, abducted and murdered the three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel near Gush Etzion on June 12, 2014. At the end of an extensive search and rescue effort, the bodies of the three boys were discovered north-west of Hebron in a field off Highway 60 near Halhul, 18 days later. Netanyahu reiterated that when the bodies of the three teens were found in late June he had pledged Israel would not rest until “we will track down the last of the perpetrators, and it does not matter where they will hide.”

On Tuesday morning, he said, that pledge was fulfilled.

Hana Levi Julian

“Don’t Release Bodies of Hamas Terrorist Murderers!”

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Knesset Speaker Ze’ev Elkin declared Tuesday morning that Israel should not release the bodies of the Hamas terrorists who murdered three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion on June 12.

Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amar Abu Aisha, both residents of Hebron, were killed late Monday night (Sept. 22, 2014) in an exchange of gunfire.

IDF troops were attempting to arrest the pair when they opened fire at the soldiers. The two had been charged in absentia with the murder.

Elkin said the two bodies should not be released to Hamas or to their families until the bodies of the two IDF soldiers currently being held by Hamas in Gaza are returned to their families.

“The lethal abduction and murder attack prompted Operation Brother’s Keeper, during which security forces located the bodies of the victims and succeeded in striking and severely impairing the Hamas terrorist organization in the region, said IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

“We were determined in bringing the ruthless murderers of Gilad (Sha’ar), Eyal (Yifrach) and Naftali (Frenkel) to justice. The efforts have been continuous and extensive. Today’s successful mission brings the long-term search to an end, and the perpetrators of the crime no longer pose a threat to Israeli civilians.”

Hana Levi Julian

Another Qawasmeh Hamas Member Arrested in Murder of 3 Israeli Teens

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Another Hamas suspect has been arrested in connection with the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion. Hebron resident Fares Qawasmeh, a 31-year-old doctor, is accused of being involved in planning the murder.

Qawasmeh was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority security forces, according to a report broadcast Tuesday on Israel’s Channel 10 television news.

The report was later confirmed in a post on the Twitter social networking site by Qatar-based senior Hamas official Hussam Badran. “The only crime Qawasmeh committed was to speak for Hamas at the victory celebrations for Gaza after the fighting against Israel,” Badran tweeted.

A number of local Arab residents aided the Qawasmeh family in carrying out the plot by hiding and sheltering the fugitives. Among them was Wael Qarameh, indicted by Israeli authorities in late August on charges of harboring a fugitive – Hebron resident Hussam Qawasmeh, who was indicted last week on multiple charges for masterminding the abduction and murder.

Qawasmeh, a Hebron resident was arrested on July 11 in a joint Shin Bet – IDF sting operation in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. He had fled his home with the aid of friends and relatives in hopes of trying to make his way to Jordan on the strength of a false ID. Shuafat is the same Arab neighborhood where massive violence tore apart three Jerusalem Light Rail stations following the murder of a young Arab teen, the day after the bodies of the three Israeli teens were found.

Hussam Qawasmeh confessed under interrogation to having masterminded the plot to kidnap and murder the teens, and to having obtained financing for the operation from Hamas in Gaza. He admitted to having obtained false identity papers and fleeing as soon as the bodies of the three murder victims were unearthed from their hurriedly dug, shallow stony graves in the field he purchased in Halhul, along Highway 60 north of Hebron.

Marwan Qawasmeh – his kinsman – and Amar Abu Aisha, both also residents of Hebron, are suspected of being the ones to having joyfully carried out those plans. The actual gunshots that murdered the boys and the celebrations of their attackers after the murders in the getaway car were heard on a recording made on a police hotline via a call from one of the boys as he desperately sought rescue. The two murderers, meanwhile, remain at large.

Security sources revealed after last week’s indictment that Hussam Qawasmeh received a total of approximately NIS 200,000 ($61,500) from his brother in Gaza, Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Ali to pay for the operation. The costs included two vehicles – the abduction car and the getaway car – as well as four firearms and other expenses. Mahmoud was one of more than 1,000 Arab inmates freed in an October 2011 prisoner swap deal with Israel in exchange for the return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorists in 2006.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/another-qawasmeh-hamas-member-arrested-in-kidnap-murder-of-3-israeli-teens/2014/09/09/

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