Operations Brothers Return – Day Eight

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knIDF soldiers continue operating throughout PA (Palestinian Authority) areas of Yehuda and Shomron in search of the kidnapped talmidei yeshiva. Close to 40 battalions are currently involved in the operation. Troops are routinely attacked with blocks and bottles in addition to sporadic attacks with deadly weapons and explosives.

The ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) continues to interrogate suspects in the hope of gathering information that will lead to the whereabouts of the captives, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach. Senior government officials, among them Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon seem to be preparing the families for a long haul. While there is the occasional statement that there are some leads, the official word is that the operation is open-ended and it may “take some time”.

Immeasurable Achdus
The terrorist kidnapping of the three youths has sent shockwaves though the country which have resulted in achdus which is manifest in tefilos, acts of chessed and an outpouring of concern. Countless numbers of concerned residents have been visiting the families or simply maintaining a vigil outside their home in a showing of solidarity, in the hope of hearing a tidbit of information regarding the boys’ plight.

One can only attempt to imagine the feeling of the parents who continue to give a chizuk to the nation and Jews around the world, calling upon us to continue being mispallel for their beloved children. Mr. Yehuda Wachsman, whose son Nachshon HY”D was abducted and eventually murdered by terrorists YS”VZ in 1994 told the media this week that one who has not been through such an ordeal cannot begin to understand the emotions that run through a parent’s head.

Rabbonim from all walks of religious life are calling on Jews worldwide to accept Shabbos early in the merit of the boys as well as continuing to be mispallel, increase limud Torah and bitachon in HKBH.

Hamas Terrorist in Turkey Responsible for Kidnapping the Boys
According to a Walla News report, senior Hamas commander in Turkey Salah el-Aruri has been using his position to encourage and push terrorists operating in Yehuda and Shomron to carry out a kidnapping terror attack. A senior defense official is quoted anonymously stating that Salah is responsible for this attack as he remains a dominant figure in the terrorist command. El-Aruri used to leave north of Ramallah.

Walla added the source admits at present Israel does not have a smoking gun to prove his involvement in the kidnapping, but the experts are certain he played a major role in ordering the kidnapping. The source adds that in the past two years dozens of messengers were sent by el-Aruri to PA areas in Yehuda and Shomron, some arrested en route from Jordan. Regarding the others, security officials only learned of their activities after they left the country. They were instructed to carry out an attack like the one in which the three boys were kidnapped.

The source feels that terrorists released in the Shalit deal are less likely to carry out such an attack because their abilities are limited.

Terror Attacks Continue Throughout Yehuda, Shomron & Yerushalayim
Israel may be giving the impression that it is dismantling the Hamas infrastructure throughout Yehuda and Shomron, but unfortunately it appears there are still a sufficient number of terrorists working to carry out attacks in those areas.

Since the boys were taken captive on Thursday night the eve of 15 Sivan 5774, there were over 100 attacks by Arabs against Jews throughout Yehuda and Shomron. Most are ignored by the media with the exception of shooting incidents against IDF soldiers, which occurred near Bituniya, the Tunnel Rd. Checkpoint, Jalazoun and Jenin.

Southern residents were targeted with no less than 14 rockets or mortar shells and at least one building sustained damage in Ashkelon. B’chasdei Hashem there was no loss of life or injuries. In five attacks, explosives were detonated near IDF soldiers in a number of attacks while in others, burning tires were used. Once again, there were no injuries. In one rock-throwing attack in Yerushalayim, in Issawiya a policeman was moderately injured after being struck in his face with a rock.

Kol Yehudi reports a total of 61 rock-throwing attacks and 9 firebomb attacks. A total of nine Jews were injured and there was extensive damage to some of the vehicles targeted.

Rocket Attacks from Gaza Continue
A rocket was fired towards Ashkelon at close to 22:00 on Thursday night. B’chasdei Hashem the Iron Dome system intercepted the rocket and destroyed it. The rocket fire has once again become a nightly occurrence as are the IAF retaliatory sorties in which buildings are targeted.

In the most recent case, last night, the air force during the night targeted five different terrorist objectives in Gaza.

Bogus Alerts Continue on Social Networks
The abduction of the three youths has launched a new phenomenon, the abuse of social media including WhatsApp to spread misinformation. The IDF Spokesman’s Office continues to warn the tzibur that it is the only authorized agency to release official information. One of the problems is the spokesman may go as much as a day without saying a word, leaving a large void of information and setting the stage for bogus reports. The IDF’s information apparatus lags painfully behind today’s yearning for instant information and this reality facilities those who wish to spread false reports.

The latest bogus report that began going viral on Thursday stated IDF ground forces entered Hamas occupied Gaza, calling on the tzibur to recite Tehillim.

As Am Yisrael begins to prepare for a second Shabbos with the boys in captivity, the tzibur is urged to continue acts of chessed and being mispallel for them and the soldiers who working round-the-clock to locate them and bring them home to their families.

Names for Tehillim:
1. Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah
2. Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim
3. Eyal ben Iris Tesurah

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)