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Why Israel's response to the kidnappings feels awfully familiar

If the past is any gauge of what’s to come, things are not looking good in the West Bank – neither for the Palestinians who remain under occupation there, nor for the three missing teenagers.

From a Haaretz report:

The Israel Defense Forces plans to arrest additional senior Hamas officials. Yesterday security forces arrested 65 key members of Hamas’ political wing in an early-morning operation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Among those arrested were eight ministers of the Hamas government who reside in the West Bank, and 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The mayor of the town of Qalqilyah was also taken into custody.

The arrests are expected to continue.

That was from 2006, days after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s abduction along the Gaza border. In the same article, Haaretz cited Israeli sources denying that the 65 detainees were meant as “bargaining chips’ for securing the release of… Shalit.”

Hebron, West Bank, 17.6.2014

IDF soldiers patrol Hebron in the aftermath of the kidnapping of three Israelis in the West Bank. (photo: Activestills)

“Instead,” Haaretz reported, “the operation is viewed in Israel as part of a broader policy of intensifying measures against the Hamas.”

Israeli commander Nitzan Alon echoed that very sentiment on Tuesday:

Hamas will come out of this confrontation weakened both strategically and operationally. We’ll continue weakening them for as long as it takes.

This before the Israeli government has offered even a shred of evidence that Hamas was behind the disappearance of three students missing in the West Bank since Friday. In a move bizarrely ill-timed to coincide with the final refutation of America’s hunch-driven escapade in Iraq, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already dammed the Rubicon at his back (he crossed it long ago), naming Hamas the only suspect in the students’ disappearance.

So far, the only military “gain” he can claim is a steadily accumulating list of names, each of them a Palestinian whose life, let us be frank, was never free in the first place. It took more than a thousand Palestinian souls to barter the release of Gilad Shalit. If that’s any gauge of what’s to come, things are not looking good in the West Bank – neither for the Palestinians who remain under occupation there, nor for the three missing teenagers.

More on the kidnappings:
Badawi: After indicting Hamas, Bibi declares war on all Palestinians
Omer-Man: Rights groups say response to kidnapping is collective punishment
Matar: Israel’s crackdown moves beyond Hamas militants

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    1. Kolumn9

      It isn’t looking good for the teenagers because the animals that kidnapped them probably killed them and buried their bodies.

      “In a move bizarrely ill-timed to coincide with the final refutation of America’s hunch-driven escapade in Iraq”

      The final refutation is that of a haphazard American withdrawal from Iraq while leaving security in the hands of American trained and armed soldiers. This is also a refutation of the security plan that was presented by the Americans during the latest round of talks which would have left security in the West Bank in the hands of the American trained and armed thugs of the Palestinian Authority. Thugs who in this case, and in all future cases, would rather see the kidnapped teenagers never found rather than face down the more determined terrorists of Hamas.

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Animals? Would you consider Begin and Shamir to have been animals back when they were sending their henchmen to kidnap British soldiers and, in some cases, execute them in reprisal?

        The Palestinians didn’t invent the kidnapping technique, they merely built upon an already robust model they inherited from mandate-era Jewish terror groups.

        Stop being a hypocrite.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oh Danny Boy. Learn some history. Long before the Irgun or the LHI came on the scene with Begin and Shamir to defend Jews in Mandate Palestine, the Arabs had been attacking Jewish persons and communities. Moshe Dyan was named after a farmer who had been shot in the back while tending his field in the middle of the day. Jewish communities needed guards to fend off Arab attacks. The Haganah was formed as an umbrella self defense group to coordinate self defense of Jews. Some of the members formed splinter groups which did not limit themselves to military targets solely. Just as the Arabs targeted Jewish civilians, the Irgun and LHI did target Arabs and Arab towns in retaliation. They traded in terror for terror.

          During the war of independence Ben Gurion brought both groups under control and eliminated them from operating as independent militias. Both Shamir and Begin became politicians, statesmen and leaders.

          The Palestinians never graduated from their use of terrorism targeting Jewish civilians and institutions of the state of Israel. As a result the Palestinians have missed every opportunity from 1947 to the present for a state of their own.

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Yes, of course Arabs have been attacking Jews for no reason since time immemorial, cause everyone knows Arabs are blood-thirsty monsters (just ask that famous Arabist and revisionist historian Bibi Netanyahu).

            Of course, people who have actually read a book or two in their lives know that the truth is much more complex than that, and that Jews and Arabs were trading atrocities from the very beginning of the Jewish presence in Palestine, which began in earnest around 1880. It’s no secret that the early zionists saw themselves as a people without a land retuning to a land without a people, to quote Chaim Weizmann. To say that the native Palestinians saw this worldview as a direct threat goes without saying.

            Not many modern-day Israelis realize it, but it turns out that the early zionists were every bit as racist as modern-day ones. It was their great stroke of luck that the holocaust served as a convenient distraction to cover up their own misdeeds.

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            I think you have an uncontrollable urge to bring up Shamir and Begin whenever something bad is said of any Shuhada-Zubi-Brigade.

            I think you have a believer’s complete conviction that organizations that do not exist for more than 60 years must be the sole teachers of Islamic fundamentalists just because the organizations were Jewish.

            Last of all, the conviction that ALL Zionists, then and now, are racists which consider the holocaust a “stroke of luck” is disgusting.

            Having urges and beliefs is not bad in itself, but your opinions are also wrong to the core. Moreover, they are disgusting.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            If you want to see something disgusting, look in the mirror.

            Reply to Comment
    2. There is a saying:

      “One should never miss the opportunity a crisis provides.”

      Israel has every right to exploit the kidnapping of three Israeli children to weaken Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization sworn to the destruction of Israel. Its leaders repeat over and over that Hamas intends to liberate all of Palestine from the river to the sea by jihad and only by jihad. Hamas aims at taking over the West Bank as a means of carrying on its conflict with Israel. It is in Israel’s interest in weakening Hamas as much as it can in the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        It doesn’t say much about the center left when “CenterLeft” advocates cynicism and opportunism, rather than honesty, in the name of “fighting terrorism.”

        Reply to Comment
        • It is not a matter of cynicism but of realism. A country facing continuing acts of terrorism is not going to defeat or contain terrorism by flower power. Hamas has not compromised its commitment to destroy Israel. Every minute, every hour and every day Hamas is working to achieve its goals. Just today 5 Hamas members died in an explosion in a terror tunnel in a work accident. No doubt those explosives were meant for an attack on Southern Israel.

          The hard left might want to stick its head in the sand, but the Center Left knows one has to fight terror day in and day out by military and diplomatic means.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Only in Israel, a corporal in uniform of an occupying army can be “abducted” at the border.

      In 1954 a Syrian civilian aeroplane was hijacked by Israeli war planes and forced to land in Israel.
      That was one day after five Israeli soldiers were captured inside Syrian territory, when they were caught wiretapping installations on the Syrian telephone network.

      It doesn’t matter if it’s about soldiers, spies, or old or young colonizers; it doesn’t matter if these people themselves are guilty of a crime or not; Zionists will always use any incident to advance their programme set out in the late 19th century.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Tzutzik

      “Zionists will always use any incident to advance their programme set out in the late 19th century.”

      Yea Reza we advance our own programme. What a crime. Would you like us to advance the programme of the Arabs instead?

      As for the late 19th century, that was a long time ago. Are you going to talk about your myths associated with it 500 years from now too?

      I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we talk about the Arab colonisation of the Middle East and North Africa, in the 7th century instead?

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Oops I meant Engel 🙂

        Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we talk about the Arab colonisation of the Middle East and North Africa, in the 7th century instead?”

        We should. It tells us a lot about how backward Zionist conquest and colonialism is and why it can’t abide to the laws which civilized people have established after 1945.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Harry

      Tzuzik, Thank you for your suggestion.. let’s not forget the other 500 year old Arab tradition: SLAVERY. Yes, it was Arabs who mainly were the slave captors and profiteers of Black Africans and that Holocaust of so many people…without them the slave trade wouldn’t have been much of a business.

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        Whitebreads and Jews came to bring slaves to their colonies and kill them trough work, but all you can spit is your retarted islamophobic hate? Grew up, Harald…

        Reply to Comment
    6. Tzutzik

      “islamophobic hate? Grew up, Harald…”

      Grew up? Islamophobic hate? Where did you see that, retard?

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Whitebreads and Jews came to bring slaves to their colonies and kill them”

        … and this piece of shit who calls himself JG has the hide to complain about Islamophobia.

        Easy stomach …

        Reply to Comment