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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘three yeshiva boys’

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!”

‘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.”

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.

“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.”

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.

Gaza Terrorist Paid Hamas Brother $61,500 to Kill Teens

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Cleared for publication:  Hebron resident Hussam Qawasme was apparently paid NIS 220,000 – $61,500 – for the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion.

Qawasme was arrested July 11 in connection with the attack, which he is credited with helping to mastermind. He reportedly received the funds for the job from his brother, a convicted Hamas official in Gaza.

According to information released Thursday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) it was Qawasme who hid the bodies of 19 year old Eyal Yifrah, 16 year old Naftali Frenkel and 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar, kidnapped and murdered on June 12. He had purchased the field where the bodies were stashed in shallow graves along Highway 60 in the town of Halhul, halfway between Hebron and Gush Etzion.

“In an intelligence operation launched by the Shin Bet, Hussam Qawasme was tracked down and arrested in a hideout in the Shuafat refugee camp,” the Shin Bet stated.

Hussam Qawasme was given up by another arrested accomplice who had hidden him and was also recently indicted. Hussam himself was incarcerated in Israel from 1995 to 2002. He was convicted on charges of involvement in Hamas terrorist activities, including participating in a cell that carried out bombing attacks.

“He is the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas,” the Shin Bet added.

The Hamas operative planned to flee to Jordan after stashing the bodies of the three teens but instead was caught and arrested, according the a statement released Thursday by the Shin Bet following Qawasme’s indictment in the IDF military court.

Hussam Qawasme is described in court papers as a ‘command level Hamas operative.’

His brother in Gaza – who allegedly bankrolled the operation – was freed by Israel as part of the prisoner exchange deal that secured the Oct. 18, 2011 return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from five years of captivity by Hamas.

The money was transferred from Gaza to Qawasme in Hebron via cash-stuffed envelopes carried by Hussam’s mother and another, unnamed woman, the indictment alleged. Among the purchases were a vehicle with which to carry out the attack and four guns.

The two kidnapper-killers, relative Marwan Qawasme and Amer Abu Aisha are still at large.

But under interrogation, Hussam Qawasme, 40, named other Hebron family members who had planned to help him escape to Jordan with a fake ID after the attack. Hisham Qawasme, 35; Jamil Qawasme, 28; and Hamas member Hassan Qawasme, 45, are all in Israeli custody.

Missing Yeshiva Student’s Parents Plead for Public’s Help in Search

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

“I’m having a hard time now, but I will try to speak,” Chulda Sofer, Aharon’s mother, began in a trembling voice, in a heartbreaking video plea to the public for help in finding her son.

Aharon Sofer, 23, went missing on Friday, Aug. 22, while hiking with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest. A student who is learning in Jerusalem at Reb Tzvi Kaplan’s Yeshiva, he is one of 10 children, the son of a rabbi and a mother who works in a school office. He disappeared after taking a diverging path while heading down a steep incline in the forest while hiking with his friend last Friday. When he didn’t re-appear by 6 pm in time to prepare for Sabbath, Sofer’s friend knew something was wrong.

Few are willing to voice the fear that Sofer was kidnapped by Arab terrorists. Fewer dare to even think the unthinkable: as with three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12, the awful silence that has followed this yeshiva student’s disappearance may not mean good news. There have been terrorist murders in the Jerusalem Forest before. An Arab teen was kidnapped and killed there in a revenge attack for the Hamas murders of the three Israeli teens. A Christian woman, Kristine Luken, was attacked with her friend by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in 2010 in the same forest. Her friend managed to escape, but Luken was murdered.

Seen in the video clutching a poster bearing a photo of her son with the word MISSING printed in heavy black letters in Hebrew and English, Chulda Sofer is clearly beside herself. She tearfully beseeches, “Please, please, please, I beg of you, beg you, please, if anyone sees, anything about Aharon, please call the police immediately.”

The video at that point is apparently spliced, probably for brevity; Rabbi Moshe Sofer, the young man’s father, is then seen reading his own statement in a calm, firm voice.

“Our son Aharon was taking a walk in the Ya’ar Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Forest) on Friday, August 22, and was last seen at 12 pm in the area of Yad Vashem.

“The police are working tirelessly on all fronts and all options are being strongly investigated. We would like to thank the American Consulate, the Office of the Consul-General and the FBI and the Israeli Police and ZAKA for all their efforts in trying to find our dear son Aharon.

“There is a reward of NIS 100,000 for any finder of Aharon,” he concludes, faltering slightly on the final sentence.

One of Aharon’s cousins from the United States tried to organize a ‘group think’ effort to brainstorm ways to help via Facebook.

“Below is a list of phone numbers you can call in order to get updates on my cousin’s situation, provide ideas and different ways of helping, and also to get a list of tehillim (psalms) to say as we are all trying to finish the whole sefer tehillim (Book of Psalms) over and over and over again,” he wrote. “Please spread the word, pass this on and make those calls. thank you!!!!”

A yeshiva student who joined the thousands of searchers in the Jerusalem Forest, A*, said he has spent the past three days combing the hills for his friend. “I have been up since 5 am,” he said, “and we haven’t found anything. Not a single thing. Those earlier rumors of things that were found were false reports, I think. But in a way, that’s good, right? Because it means he might still be alive.” The student added that his friend has been in Jerusalem since early last autumn, and is no novice to the area.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/missing-yeshiva-students-parents-plead-for-publics-help-in-search/2014/08/26/

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