Israeli security likely to know 3 Israeli boys are dead: Palestinian-busting goes on regardless
Last comments this week on Operation Brother’s Keeper
1) Tikun Olam: Source: Israeli Teenage Kidnap Victims Likely Dead, IDF Shoots Two Palestinian Youths Dead in West Bank Riots, Richard Silverstein is told the 3 Israeli boys are dead but the media are under a gagging order, June 21st;
2) +972: ‘Parts of West Bank operation were planned ahead of time’, Yael Marom learns part of the operation was planned before the Israeli boys disappeared June 19th;
3) Tikun Olam: The Kidnapping and the Executions to Come, Richard Silverstein no-holds will be barred in eliciting information from Palestinians, June 19th;
4) B’Tselem: Hebron District and its 680,000 residents under third day of closure: increasing reports of property damage in arrest raids the Israeli human rights’ group issues its first record of the damage that is being done, June 17th;
Funeral of Mohammed Dodeen who was killed by a bullet in the chest during a raid in Dura by the Israeli army. Over the past week, thousands of soldiers have searched locations in the West Bank and arrested more than 300 Palestinians, many from Hamas. The total number of Palestinians killed by the soldiers during the raids now stands at three. Caption from Daily Mail, photo by EPA
Source: Israeli Teenage Kidnap Victims Likely Dead, IDF Shoots Two Palestinian Youths Dead in West Bank Riots
By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
June 21, 2014
UPDATE: Two Palestinian youths, one a teenager, were shot dead by the IDF during massive rioting in the West Bank today. Over 400 Palestinians have been arrested.
My Israeli source tells me that based on what he’s heard from intelligence sources, the three boys kidnapped last week are likely dead. He rated the possibility at 90%. He tells me that though the Hamas detainees have not revealed any involvement of the movement with the crime, they have told interrogators that militants, since the kidnapping of Nachshon Wachsman, have learned you cannot remain undetected in the West Bank (as opposed to Gaza) with two security services hunting for you. In the Wachsman case, they kept him alive as a bargaining chip, only to have the IDF assault his hiding place in an attempt to free him, and kill him instead in the process. That is why most kidnap victims are killed.
There is a rumor, which Israeli journalists have publicly circulated on social media, that the intelligence services in fact know that they are dead. Amos Harel alluded in a recent Haaretz article (Hebrew) that there is a security gag order prohibiting the media from reporting a major aspect of the case. Namely, that the boys are dead. Those reporting the rumor add that the government has placed this information under gag because it wishes to maximize the pressure on the PA to renounce Hamas as its partner in a unity government. Israel also wishes to deal Hamas a body blow in the West Bank. It also wants to distract world attention from its role in sabotaging the Kerry peace process. With a possibility the Israeli victims might be found, this is still possible. If they are found dead (or alive for that matter), Israel’s leverage disappears.
Yet another example of the cynical manipulation of tragic events by Bibi Netanyahu.
Today’s massive resistance to the ongoing IDF invasion of the West Bank can’t have caught Bibi off-guard. In fact, I believe this mayhem is Bibi’s answer to the peace process. He gets to say (without any justification): you see what your peace process leads to? These are the animals you want me to negotiate with?
Note who’s remained virtually silent during this mayhem? Pres. Obama and John Kerry have left the Israel-Palestine to benign neglect, to use Daniel Moynihan’s remarkable phrase. They don’t care about Palestine, despite their professions to the contrary. If they don’t want a third Intifada, they better do something fast.
On a slightly different subject: Haaretz plans to host the Israel Conference on Peace on July 8th. In the current climate, the very notion of such an event is a tasteless joke, but one that is typical for the clueless ones still clinging desperately to their liberal Zionist illusions.
IDF officer admits Operation Brother’s Keeper has little to do with returning the kidnapped teenagers.
By Yael Marom, +972
June 19, 2014
Parts of Operation Brother’s Keeper were planned in advance and are being implemented with no connection to their stated purpose – the return of the three kidnapped Israelis teenagers – according to an IDF officer in Jenin. The officer, who spoke to the ultra-Orthodox news outlet “Hadrei Hadarim,” (Hebrew) said that the army has been preparing for an operation in the city due to the arming of residents there.
Hebron, West Bank, 17.6.2014
According to Hadrei Hadarim, the officer stated that the army is intentionally trying to agitate the population in order to provoke stone throwers, which will allow Israeli snipers to kill them. “There was a group of snipers on the roof – an entire unit that moves on the outskirts of Jenin in order to make noise and raise tensions,” he said. “This was actually the true goal: to provoke them into causing disorder, and then put down those causing the disorder.”
+972 has not learned of any instances in which the army used live fire in Jenin since the start of the current operation.
A top source in the IDF denied the accusations, stating that although Palestinians did throw stones, the soldiers did not respond with live fire. The IDF Spokesperson also responded to the claims, saying that they were “baseless” and that there “haven’t been any changes in orders regarding live fire.”
In response to an inquiry by +972, the IDF Spokesperson added that Operation Brother’s Keeper has two objectives: returning the kidnapped teens, and dealing a serious blow to Hamas in the West Bank. The Spokesperson also stated that the operation will last as long as is necessary.
By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
June 19, 2014
Israelis are beginning to speak of what will or should happen during the process of investigating and solving the kidnapping of three West Bank teenagers. Israeli security services use the concept of “ticking bomb” to conceal an array of abuses. There is talk that the security services have been given carte blanche to torture suspects and even worse.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel is so concerned about both the interrogations of suspects and collaborators in the crime, and apprehensions of those who actually currently hold them, that it’s released a pre-emptive public statement warning Shabak against use of torture.
How to make a soldier happy: give him a Palestinian boy to take away. Operation Brother’s Keeper. Photo by Active Stills.
Bibi Netanyahu is reported to have pre-approved use of torture to elicit any useful information in solving the crime. My own Israeli source claims that each use of torture must be approved by the Shabak’s legal advisor. This source assures me that the advisor will not serve as a rubber stamp and will review every request carefully. Frankly, I like trusting my source whenever I can. But in this case I think he’s being entirely too credulous.
Pres. Peres has also unleashed the dogs, saying (Hebrew, and in English) there are ‘no restraints’ on security forces in solving this case. Here is a perfect example of the gobbledy-gook that passes for security policy in Israel. It is quoted from a Shabak public statement:
“The Shin Bet does not receive approvals to undertake interrogations from any authority. The Shin Bet carries out its interrogation policy according to its own authority, legally and according to law and the decisions of the High Court. Every interrogation by the Shin Bet receives oversight from the attorney-general.”
Got that? Shin Bet acts unilaterally in such matters and needs no one’s approval. But it does in fact need the attorney general’s approval. Crystal clear, right? This is secret police-speak for: “Tell that friggin’ NGO to mind its own damn business and let us get on with it.” Shabak needs no one’s approval and will get whatever approval it does need in rubber stamp form from the attorney general. Ask how many times the AG has denied a security service request to use torture? I’ll bet the number hovers around “0.”
My concern is that Israeli forces, when they crack the case and identify where the boys are being held, will go in with guns blazing. There is an unwritten code in Israel that Palestinian terrorists are dead meat. The number of suspects apprehended alive during or after a terror attack is extremely small. Even after such an attacker is apprehended and disarmed, they are often executed at point blank range.
This tradition began in earnest in 1984 after the Bus 300 Line attack. Two hijackers were captured alive. Later they were escorted by the Shabak to a secluded area where an officer bashed their heads in with a rock. The agency chief at the scene who ordered the murder, Avraham Shalom, died today. Neither he nor anyone else was ever punished for the killings. He resigned in return for a promise of a presidential pardon, which he received.
The only reason this crime became a scandal was that a photographer captured a picture of the two very much alive and in custody. Today, there would be no such picture and no such scandal. The nation today views such Israelis as avengers and heroes.
My greatest fear is that anyone associated with the kidnapping will end up dead: either executed in cold blood on sight at the scene; or stalked by Israeli security forces and killed one by one wherever they may be found afterward. This could turn into another Munich, in which the Mossad tracked down every perpetrator of the Olympic massacre and liquidated them. This led, I remind you, to a mistaken execution of an entirely innocent waiter in Lillehammer who was mistaken by Israeli assassins for one of the terrorists. Netanyahu would be honored to receive such a national obligation in the case of the kidnapping. He would consider it a sacred duty to avenge the victims whether they are found alive or not.
Discrediting Palestinians is Bibi’s raison d’etre. He has no other, because if Palestine is diminished Israel is elevated. Its a peculiar equation, but has worked for him over decades of political life.
Israel is not just trying to solve a terrorist crime. It is also trying to destroy the Palestinian unity government. If it can drive a wedge between Hamas and Fatah–this is what gives Bibi reason to live. Reports today that Mahmoud Abbas has abjectly promised Israel that it would root out the perpetrators of the crime have caused his political stock to plummet among Palestinians and Hamas’ to rise. This again, is music to Israel’s ears. Because if a Palestinian moderate is cut down to size and the the stock of radicals rises, pressure will be lifted from Israel to do anything but sit tight, sittin’ pretty.
Tonight, a second Palestinian was murdered by the IDF during escalating civil resistance to the Israeli siege of Hebron. Over 280 have been arrested, including virtually all of Hamas’ leadership in the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers from a special army unit take part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers on June 17, 2014 in Hebron. Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)
Hebron District and its 680,000 residents under third day of closure: increasing reports of property damage in arrest raids
Statement from B’Tselem
June 17, 2014
Hebron District and its 750,000 residents under third day of closure: increasing reports of property damage in arrest raids
Israeli security forces must do all in their power to locate the abducted teens, but must uphold human rights and act lawfully.
Preventing Palestinian workers from entering Israel and freezing visits to prisoners = Collective punishment As part of the efforts to locate the three abducted yeshiva students, stringent travel restrictions were imposed on the Palestinian residents of Hebron District. The restrictions went into effect on Saturday (June 14) and were stepped up the next day:
The military blocked all main entrances to the city of Hebron and stationed troops at other entrances. Any Palestinian who wants to go through the entrance must undergo an inspection.
Since Sunday (June 15), Tarqumya and Meitar Crossings have been closed to Hebron District Palestinians. Moreover, security forces do not allow Hebron District Palestinians with Israeli entry permits to go through any other checkpoints linking the West Bank and Israel. This amounts to collective punishment of many thousands of workers, each of whom has already undergone an individual security background check and who, regardless, may only enter Israel after going through security inspection.
Security forces have imposed blanket travel restriction on male Hebron residents between the ages of 16 and 50, prohibiting them to cross over to Jordan via Allenby Bridge.
Israeli security forces are extensively combing the region around Hebron. Last night, soldiers blew up the front doors of several houses which they then entered as part of arrest raids.
Nablus and its environs are also the target of arrest raids and searches. Several residents have reported that soldiers blew up doors to their homes and seriously damaged the property inside. The vast majority of reports are from Balata Refugee Camp where roughly 40 houses whose contents were damaged last night have been documented. We are currently examining reports of destruction in the village of Huwarah. Residents of Kafr Tel reported that on the night of 16 June soldiers searched homes and brought about 30 residents to the village school. The residents then underwent questioning in one of the classrooms. The soldiers handcuffed one of the residents they detained and took him over to the settlement of Havat Gilad. He was released only five hours later. As of Sunday, the Israeli security authorities have barred family visits to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. This measure imposed on all prisoners and their families is unlawful collective punishment.
Security forces have extensive operational powers to achieve the rightful and essential objective of finding the abducted teens. Yet these powers are not unlimited, and not all measures are lawful. For instance, the authorities cannot impose blanket, open-ended travel restrictions on the hundreds of thousands residents of Hebron District. The media has reported that approximately 200 Palestinian have been taken into custody to date. B’Tselem calls on security forces to uphold the rights of the detainees throughout, from the very moment of detention. B’Tselem also calls on them to refrain from abuse and torture – which are absolutely prohibited under international law – in the course of interrogation, irrespective of the circumstances.
There is growing concern that security forces will adopt further measures whose object is to harm and pressure the Palestinian population. This grave concern is increasing in view of certain statements made by politicians as well as in view of further measures proposed by security establishment officials. B’Tselem calls on the Israeli authorities to refrain from adopting measures which violate human rights and breach international law, and to take only lawful action in the search for the abductees.