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Breaking News: ISRAELI OFFICIAL NAMES HAMAS LEADER ABROAD AS SUSPECT BEHIND KIDNAPPINGS (Jerusalem) —Hamas leader currently living in Turkey is believed to be behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week, an Israeli security official said Thursday. The official spoke as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the attempts to bring home the three Israelis were making progress — “We today know more than we knew a few days ago,” he said. According to the unnamed official, Saleh al-Arouri — a former West Bank resident deported from the region after serving a prison sentence in Israel for several years, who is now a leading figure in Hamas overseas operations — is thought to have been a key figure for years in attempts to initiate terror attacks in the West Bank, funding and arranging the training of terror cells. (Times of Israel, June 19, 2014)
Update on Mohammed Zoabi: ZOABI’S FAMILY ARRESTED FOR JENIN KIDNAP THREAT (Jenin) —Mohammed Zoabi, the young Israeli-Arab from Nazareth who posted a pro-Israel video in English, Hebrew and Arabic condemning the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel has gone to a safe location, following a kidnapping attempt against him. Zoabi had reported previously on his Facebook page that he received death threats, but now it goes much farther than that. Last night it was disclosed that police arrested Zoabi’s father, uncle and grandmother, for threatening to kidnap him and take him to Palestinian Authority controlled Jenin. Mohammed’s cousin is none other than the anti-Zionist MK Hanin Zoabi, who has stated that the Hamas kidnappers are not terrorists. (Jewish Press, June 18, 2014)
Zoabi’s video condemning the kidnapping, photos of young Palestinians celebrating the kidnapping, as well as a new anthem supporting the three abducted Israeli teens, can be viewed in the On Topic Links—Ed.
West Bank Kidnapping Triggers Massive Crackdown on Hamas: Yaakov Lappin, Algemeiner, June 18, 2013— The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week has triggered an enormous and ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas, causing the organization to suffer a setback to its presence in the Palestinian territories.
Our Islamic Fundamentalist Adversaries are Inhuman Barbarians: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 19, 2014— Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families.
Ignoring the Elephant: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014— Three Jewish boys were abducted by Palestinian terrorists while trying to catch a ride home from school Thursday night. And as far as the foreign press is concerned, it’s their own damned fault.
How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014 — The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election.
A New, Soulful Anthem: 'Bring Back Our Boys' (Video): Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014
Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014
Arab MK Upset By Relative’s Public Call For Return of Teens: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014
Les Palestiniens Utilisent Leurs Enfants Pour Exprimer Leur Joie Concernant L’enlèvement Des Adolescents Israéliens: Europe Israel, June 17, 2014
Hamas Kidnappings: A Constant Threat in Israel: IDF Blog, June 16, 2014
Hamas and ISIS: Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014
Yaakov Lappin Algemeiner, June 18, 2014
The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week has triggered an enormous and ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas, causing the organization to suffer a setback to its presence in the Palestinian territories. Eyal Yifrach, 19, and 16-year-olds Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel had been hitchhiking in the Gush Etzion area near Hebron before suddenly vanishing Thursday. Israeli officials say their assessments leave no doubt that Hamas snatched the teenagers.
In the ensuing days, the Israeli defense establishment launched a two-pronged campaign called Operation Brother’s Keeper. The first pillar of the response revolves around a classified search for the abductees, led by the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency]. The domestic intelligence agency maintains a tight grip on the West Bank, and has been able to thwart 44 previous kidnapping attempts since the beginning of 2013. It is now at the center of an intensive large-scale effort, and is directing infantry forces to areas where the missing boys might be held. Additionally, the IDF has imposed a partial closure on the greater Hebron area, enabling civilian life to continue, but placing Hamas under real pressure.
The second pillar of the response has seen a series of raids across the West Bank by IDF units, resulting in the arrest of more than 200 security suspects so far, most of them Hamas members. To carry out the raids, the IDF sent reinforcement battalions to the West Bank, and a total of 10 divisions, backed by special forces and intelligence units, are currently launching wave after wave of arrests of Hamas members. According to senior IDF sources, the raids are not only targeting armed Hamas cells, but also the organization’s political networks, religious centers aimed at the spreading of Hamas ideology, and financial nerve centers.
The aim of this effort is to roll back Hamas’ ambitions to become a dominant force in the West Bank, thereby creating long-term security. Nearly all of Hamas’s leadership in the West Bank is in custody, including figures like Hassan Yousef, and the chairman of the Palestinian legislative council, Aziz Dwik.
Some raids, such as Monday night’s wave of arrests launched by 1,000 infantry soldiers in Nablus, turned up a sizeable cache of automatic weapons, grenades, and explosives, while others resulted in the IDF seizing terrorist funds and documents that have intelligence value.
The development has placed the tenability of the Fatah-Hamas reunification process in jeopardy. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority is under heavy pressure to distance itself from Hamas’ kidnapping. One PA official indicated the reunification deal would be null and void if Hamas is found responsible. As a result, say senior Israeli security officials, the attack has strategically harmed Hamas, to the extent that the terror organization will end up regretting it.
The officials have indicated that the campaign of raids will continue for an extended period. It remains unclear whether Hamas’ military wing in Gaza, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, had a hand in organizing the kidnapping. If Israeli intelligence determines that it did, that could place the Hamas regime in Gaza and Israel on a speedy collision course. Alternatively, should violent clashes erupt in the West Bank in the course of future raids, terrorist factions in Gaza could begin firing rockets into southern Israel. The IDF says it is acutely aware of the possibility of a security escalation in Gaza, and has deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket defense systems across southern Israel in anticipation.
For now, however, Hamas in Gaza appears to be deterred, and Hamas in the West Bank is at the receiving end of an Israeli clampdown not seen in many years. The coming days will reveal whether the situation will escalate further, and, perhaps, the fate of the three kidnapped youths.
ARE INHUMAN BARBARIANS
Isi Leibler Candidly Speaking, June 19, 2014
Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families. And the nation as a whole is displaying the unity that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish people when confronted with such situations. However there are a few demented Israelis, exemplified by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Raanan Shaked who blames the tragedy on “these nut jobs [who] take the kids with them to live in the territories.” The Alice in Wonderland nature of our democracy also enables Balad MK Hanin Zoabi to deny that the abductors were terrorists and shamelessly justify the kidnapping as an act of resistance to “Palestinian suffering”. She was supported by Avram Burg who, in Haaretz, attributed the abduction to “the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us”. But the overwhelming majority of our politicians, whose despicable behavior reached an all-time low during the course of the presidential elections, are united and compassionate in their handling of this ongoing crisis.
Since the creation of the state, we have endured endless terrorist acts targeting innocent Israelis of all ages.
The global media has portrayed the kidnapping as an attack on “settlers.” This is especially ironic given the history of Gush Etzion – from where the teenagers were abducted – a settlement bloc founded by the children and survivors of a community destroyed and razed to the ground during the 1948 War of Independence. In this context, we must come to terms with the reality that the world is indifferent to what happens to Israel, as exemplified yet again by the EU failing to make a formal statement for five days. When it did, the statement was not signed by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who never misses an opportunity to release immediate statements in her own name condemning Israel for construction in east Jerusalem Jewish suburbs. Ironically, as this kidnapping saga is unfolding in Israel, in New York there has been furious debate surrounding the Metropolitan Opera production of “Death of Klinghoffer,” a vile drama based on the callous murder of a crippled Jew on a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists which seeks to rationalize and humanize the terrorists and rationalize their motivations.
The major problem today is that the international community denies the barbaric nature of Islamic fundamentalism. Surely the carnage taking place in Syria and now Iraq, which matches the worst examples of medieval butchery, should have served as a wakeup call. The behavior of the Sunni jihadists in the capture of Mosul, in which hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and policemen were decapitated and their heads placed on display, explains why over half a million of the city’s inhabitants fled. Likewise the 185,000 butchered by both sides in the Syrian civil war and the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped and apparently sold as slaves. The jihadists — Sunnis and Shiites alike — are barbaric monsters.
But in relation to Israel and its neighbors, the international community finds it far more convenient to portray the conflict in terms of Palestinians seeking national independence from their Israeli “occupiers.” The fact that the Palestinians were offered 95% of the territories over the Green Line and spurned statehood on numerous occasions, underlines their true aspiration — which is not real estate but the elimination of Jewish sovereignty.
The whole region is a scorpions’ den of barbaric activity. Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the military wing of Fatah, a component of the PA — are birds of a feather, akin to their cruel and murderous Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. The Shiites, whom they seek to exterminate, are equally brutal toward the Sunnis when they are in control. Thus it is impossible to differentiate between the cruel brutality of the Hezbollah Shiites and the Hamas Sunnis. If these barbarians have the capacity to behave so cruelly toward their own kinsmen, one can only shudder at what they would do to Jews if they had the opportunity.
Israel represents an oasis of relative tranquility in this tumultuous region. It is ironic that in recent months Israel has even been treating casualties from the civil war in Syria. We unhesitatingly provide medical services to Palestinians, including two years ago, the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, the Gaza-based head of Hamas who continues calling for the slaughter of Jews. Incredibly, during the same week as the abduction, Mahmoud Abbas had no inhibitions about having his wife treated at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Yet when Israeli civilians are targeted by missiles from Gaza, all that the U.S. and the international community requires of Abbas is his statement that it is not in the interests of the Palestinians at that time to launch rockets against Israel. Only after four days did Abbas respond and condemn the abduction — but it was subsumed with a protest against the Israelis for disrupting of Palestinian life as they searched for the perpetrators.
In the meantime, the Palestinians publicly rejoiced, both in PA areas and in Gaza. Revolting cartoons were published in the official Palestinian Authority daily and Fatah publications celebrating the abduction. This is consistent with the statement made on PA TV earlier this year by leading PA official Jibril Rajoub, stating that “if Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers … we encourage them. When they kidnapped [Gilad] Schalit, we congratulated them.” It is worth noting that there is no distinction between the incitement to hatred by the PA and that promoted by the openly genocidal Hamas. Yet last month, the Obama administration effectively sanctioned the union of the PA with Hamas, which subsequently publicly reaffirmed its genocidal objectives and calls on its followers to contribute to the destruction of Israel. And our “peace partner” merely shrugs his shoulders when members of his coalition call for our annihilation.
U.S. President Barack Obama may boast that he oversaw the targeted killing of bin Laden, but the reality is that today, Islamic fundamentalism is stronger than ever. In fact, unless firmly repulsed in the coming weeks, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and a number of other potential regional hotspots could well establish caliphates which will emerge as launching pads for exporting terror to all parts of the world. They will of course also be able to utilize as terrorists those returning citizens from Europe and North America who fought with them against Shiites. These will be in addition to Iranian Shiite terrorists like Hezbollah who are already engaged in global terror and who will be enormously empowered if Iran becomes a nuclear power.
If global leaders continue burying heads in the sand and refuse to urgently confront the nightmarish reality of Islamic fundamentalism with its messianic global overtones, it will be far more costly to oppose these forces when they have become further entrenched. Israel is at the frontlines of this battle against global jihad. It must react harshly if those abducted are not released. Failure to do so will further embolden the barbarians and incentivize them to kidnap more Israelis and perpetrate further acts of terror.
Past mistakes must not be repeated. The mass release of 1,027 prisoners in return for the release of Schalit in 2011 was compounded with the government’s abysmal decision last year – under US pressure – to release over 100 murderers in order to induce the PA to come to the negotiating table. The army has already been forced to arrest a number of those released. It is imperative that we review all procedures relating to the incarceration of terrorists and ensure that imprisonment will no longer be regarded by them as a paid vacation with an optional university education — to be employed after release in a hostage exchange.
Finally, despite our fears, we can only continue praying for the safe rescue of the teenagers with whom the entire nation identifies. But we should brace ourselves for tough times ahead and seek to retain the current sense of unity in which the nation and its leaders display compassion and tolerance and avoid reverting to the hostility and extremism that polarizes us.
Caroline B. Glick
Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014
Three Jewish boys were abducted by Palestinian terrorists while trying to catch a ride home from school Thursday night. And as far as the foreign press is concerned, it’s their own damned fault. As Honest Reporting documented, everyone from The Guardian to CNN, to Sky News to the Christian Science Monitor blamed Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frankel for their victimization. The boys deserve whatever they get, according to the media, because they are Jews and Jews have no right to be located anywhere that the Palestinians demand be cleansed of Jewish presence. And the Palestinians demand that Gush Etzion be emptied of Jews. So the boys, who dared to be located in Gush Etzion, had it coming.
And the blame doesn’t end with the victims. In trying to rescue them, the Israeli government is also committing an unpardonable crime – against Palestinian unity, no less. According to The New York Times’ Israel bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, by searching for the boys, Israel has “further destabilized Israeli-Palestinian relations, and challenged the new Palestinian government’s ability to hold together disparate political factions and reunite the West Bank and Gaza after a seven-year split.” As Seth Mandel wrote in Commentary, “If the unity government can survive only by being permitted to carry out terrorism against Israel without response or consequences, it is not so much a government as a sadistic terrorist gang.” Mandel understated the problem. There is no conditionality. The Palestinian government is “a sadistic terrorist gang.” “The disparate political factions,” Rudoren was referring to are Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, kidnapped the teenagers. Hamas is a jihadist movement recognized by the US State Department and the EU as a foreign terrorist organization. Its declared goal is the genocide of world Jewry. And to advance its aim, it has murdered Jews, and incited, trained and indoctrinated Palestinians to murder Jews every single day since it was founded in 1988. As for Fatah, since Frankel, Shaer and Yifrach were taken on Thursday night, Fatah has glorified and celebrated their capture on its official Facebook page and its official newspaper. Fatah’s Facebook page depicted the boys as rats, reeled in by a fishing pole. The Palestinian Authority’s daily newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida published a mock World Cup logo in which three hands held three people who held their hands up in surrender. And Fatah activists posted a revealing directive on Facebook after the boys were abducted.
No, Abbas’s “moderate” faction of the Palestinian unity government, so energetically supported by the US, the EU and the western media, did not call for the public to quit celebrating the abduction. Nor did it condemn the brutal assault. The Fatah activists called for shopkeepers in the vicinity of the kidnapping to destroy any footage their security cameras filmed in the 24 hours following the operation to prevent the IDF from seizing the footage and using it in its efforts to locate the boys. That makes Fatah an accessory after the fact to the attack. And yes, that means that the PA – which is comprised of Fatah and Hamas – is in fact one great big terrorist organization. When Rudoren and her colleagues in the media look in the mirror, they don’t see themselves as enablers of murderers and champions of terrorists. They see themselves as right-minded people who seek peace. The same of course goes for the EU, which celebrated the formation of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, and has so far refused to condemn the kidnapping. It also goes for the Obama administration which raced the EU to recognize the Fatah-Hamas government and promised that the US would continue funding the PA in breach of the letter of US law. They all say they just want peace, for the betterment of all. Taking them at their word, it is mystifying why they are so unconcerned with the behavior of Palestinian leaders…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014
The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election. But the kidnapping of three Israeli youths in the West Bank last week has shown that the gap between Fatah and the Islamist movement Hamas remains as wide as ever, and that the two parties continue to treat each other with suspicion.
The unity government, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, is supposed to represent both Fatah and Hamas, although none of the ministers in an official member of the two parties. Since the abduction of the three youths, however, the two Palestinian partners have been speaking in different voices. While Fatah has condemned the kidnapping, Hamas has hailed it as a "heroic operation." Five days after the kidnapping, Mahmoud Abbas's office issued a statement condemning the incident and calling for an end to violence "by any party." Abbas has even instructed the Fatah-dominated security forces in the West Bank to assist Israel in the manhunt for the missing teenagers — much to the satisfaction of some Israeli security officials.
In contrast, Hamas, whose men are believed to be responsible for the abduction of the three youths, has condemned Abbas's stance. Several Hamas leaders and spokesmen in the Gaza Strip have even urged Abbas and the new government immediately to halt security coordination with Israel; they have dubbed it a "stab in the back of Palestinian resistance and prisoners" held by Israel. Before the formation of the Hamas-Fatah unity government, Abbas did everything he could to reassure the Americans, Europeans and Israelis that the unity government would "renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist." Abbas even assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the unity government would commit itself to all agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel. On the basis of Abbas's assurances, the Obama Administration and several EU governments rushed to announce that they would work with the new Palestinian government, even as Hamas continued to deny the Palestinian Authority president's claims. As former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said, "Hamas will continue to hold onto its strategy, whether it is inside the government or outside." When Haniyeh talks about Hamas's strategy, he is referring to the movement's declared intention to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.
The Obama Administration and those EU governments that rushed to welcome the alliance between Fatah and Hamas did not want to pay attention to the Islamist movement's announcements that it would take advantage of the unity government to move terrorism to the West Bank. If it turns out that Hamas was indeed behind the kidnapping of the Israeli youths, it shows that the movement has kept its word to use the reconciliation pact with Fatah as a means to move its terror activities to the West Bank. Hamas's ultimate goal is to extend its control to the West Bank, and not merely get new jobs and salaries from Abbas. The honeymoon between Fatah and Hamas now seems to be nearing its end as the two parties resume their rhetorical attacks on each other in the aftermath of the kidnapping. Abbas may now finally have realized that Hamas's real intention is to get rid of him and turn the West Bank into a battlefield against Israel. It is obvious that all those who were quick to welcome the partnership between Fatah and Hamas — the U.S. and Europe — have emboldened and legitimized the Islamist movement, thus facilitating its mission to carry out terror attacks against Israelis as well as to take over the West Bank.
A New, Soulful Anthem: 'Bring Back Our Boys' (Video): Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014 —Two days after Israeli singers Gad Elbaz and Naftali Kalfa released a prayerful song calling for the return of the three teens kidnapped last Thursday by Hamas terrorists, a new, soulful anthem for the release of the three has been released by Shmueli.
Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014 —In response to the recent kidnapping of 3 Jewish Israeli teens by a terrorist group, Mohammad Zoabi gives his strong message to the terrorists and to Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel…his message is in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
Arab MK Upset By Relative’s Public Call For Return of Teens: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014—17-year-old Mohammad Zoabi, a cousin of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi, made a video calling on “terrorists” to return the three yeshiva students missing in the West Bank since Thursday night and presumed to have been kidnapped.
Les Palestiniens Utilisent Leurs Enfants Pour Exprimer Leur Joie Concernant L’enlèvement Des Adolescents Israéliens: Europe Israel, June 17, 2014—Dans les rues et partout sur le net, les Palestiniens crient haut et fort leur soutien aux terroristes qui ont kidnappé les trois jeunes Israéliens
Hamas Kidnappings: A Constant Threat in Israel: IDF Blog, June 16, 2014—Last week’s Hamas abduction followed dozens of attempts to kidnap innocent Israelis.
Hamas and ISIS: Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014—As Israelis unite in collective concern for the fate of the three kidnapped teenagers, it seems the rest of Middle East is deteriorating from day to day.
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