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ISRAEL - ONE KIDNAPPING TOO MANY

(photo credit: IDF)

 Hamas will likely rue the day it kidnapped three Israeli teens on the West Bank. Israeli leaders have declared war on Hamas military and social infrastructure in the West Bank while angry Palestinian President Abbas declares: 'Hamas is trying to destroy us'. IsraCast Assessment: Israel has taken off the gloves - top Hamas leaders should offer to immediately release three youths, if Israel calls off its systematic campaign to arrest Hamas members and close down its social assets on West Bank. Otherwise, Israeli campaign will continue and Hamas leadership could wind up on a new Israeli hit list. One of the most massive manhunts in Israeli history continues around the clock. For over seven days, Israeli troops and policemen backed up by the Shabak Security Service have been scouring the West Bank searching for the Hamas terrorists who are believed to have kidnapped three Israeli hitch-hikers. 

Brother's Keeper Operation in Judea and Samaria (photo credit: IDF)

  It is both a rescue mission to save the teenagers as well as a dragnet to smash the Hamas infrastructure on the West Bank. This time Hamas miscalculated - although they carried out their kidnapping operation successfully, Israel is making them pay a heavy price. And if any harm should come to the young Israelis, Hamas leaders, Khalad Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh, would be well advised to seek shelter in the bunker of Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. I'm not exaggerating. Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is incensed over the kidnapping and called on the kidnappers to release the youths.

 

According to the deal, Hamas would purportedly fall in line with the Abbas diplomatic approach...It now turns out that Hamas played Abbas for a patsy while it planned and executed the kidnapping.

 Just a few weeks ago, Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas that obligated the terrorists to desist from conducting terror attacks on Abbas’s turf, that is, the West Bank. According to the deal, Hamas would purportedly fall in line with the Abbas diplomatic approach, and this was accepted by the U.S. and most of the international community. It now turns out that Hamas played Abbas for a patsy while it planned and executed the kidnapping. In return, Abbas has ordered his own security forces to cooperate with the Israeli manhunt, and paved the way by calling on West Bankers not to resist the Israeli operation. But Abbas has his own PR limits. As the tension mounts, Abbas has also accused Israel of inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians and creating what he called a 'negative atmosphere'. In a statement by his office in Ramallah, Abbas declared: 'I oppose violence by every side'.

 

Abbas will not be able to keep the lid on indefinitely while the Israeli manhunt continues. Maybe this is what Hamas is banking on.

 His comments came as the Palestinian economy on the West Bank was brought to standstill and Palestinian workers were barred from going to their jobs inside Israel. Moreover, there is Palestinian concern that the month long Muslim fast of Ramadan to begin shortly, will be disrupted if the crisis is not resolved before then. Abbas will not be able to keep the lid on indefinitely while the Israeli manhunt continues. Maybe this is what Hamas is banking on.

 

IDF Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon

 On the other hand, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his government, as well as public opinion, are determined to bring Hamas to account and rescue the youths. Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, the IDF commander in Judea & Samaria, has disclosed that 250 terror suspects, mostly from Hamas, have been arrested. 50 of them were recently released from an Israeli prison as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange; that agreement included a clause they could be re-arrested to serve out their sentences if they reverted to terrorism.

 

 

 

 

 David Essing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Editor Rivki Matan

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