Palestinian sources said Sunday that all the main entrances to Hebron had already been blockaded by the IDF, which is preventing Arabs from entering or leaving the city. The IDF has also reportedly set up a large number of roadblocks around the city and has been seen moving huge concrete barricades and bulldozers to the area. The West Bank city of Bethlehem has also reportedly been closed by the IDF.
Above from left: Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and the American Naftali Frenkel
IDF Preparing To “Lay Seige” To Hebron In Effort To Find Kidnapped Yeshiva Boys
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The IDF preparing to lay siege to the West Bank town of Hebron in an attempt to find three missing teen boys kidnapped in the West Bank Thursday night, Ynet reported.
Two of the boys, both 16-years-old and one of whom is an American citizen, were hitchhiking home from Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in the West Bank when they were apparently kidnapped by Arab terrorists.
The third teen, 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah, studies in Yeshivat Shavei Chevron and presumably met the two younger boys, Gil-Ad Shayer and the American Naftali Frenkel, as they waited for a ride at a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank.
Palestinian sources said Sunday that all the main entrances to Hebron had already been blockaded by the IDF, which is preventing Arabs from entering or leaving the city. The IDF has also reportedly set up a large number of roadblocks around the city and has been seen moving huge concrete barricades and bulldozers to the area.
The West Bank city of Bethlehem has also reportedly been closed by the IDF.
A senior source on the IDF’s General Staff told Ynet that the kidnapping was carried out with the highest level of skill and professionalism, indicating involvement of highly skilled trained terrorists.
That source said the IDF believes the kidnapped boys were not moved to the Gaza Strip or to the Sinai Peninsula. Nevertheless, the senior IDF source said,”we are prepared for that option" anyway and noted that the IDF is “employing all the special units and means to locate them. We practiced scenarios of such kidnapping attacks in recent months, including six weeks ago in Ariel, together with the police. We also drew conclusions from the murder of IDF soldier Tomer Hazan.”
The senior IDF source did not openly citicize police who waited almost five hours after first being told of the possible kidnapping to begin investigating and to notify the IDF and Israel’s internal security service known as the Shin Bet. But the senior IDF source did point out that once the IDF was notified the three boys were missing, it immediately acted and did not wait.
"We in the IDF became aware of the missing boys in the early hours of Friday, and as soon as we receive information like this we treat it seriously and work quickly to rule out the possibility of an innocent absence. We immediately realized that it was serious and hurried to activate the relevant systems. Whoever needs to investigate his moves [i.e., the police] should do so. It should be understood that the area in which these [boys] are missing is Judea and Samaria [i.e., the West Bank], and accordingly [the police] should not use the [normal] 12-hour-wait procedure" [before launching a search that is in place when people are reported missing in Israel proper], the senior IDF source told Ynet.
The senior source also noted that Palestinians widely support kidnappings of Israelis.
“The legitimacy within the Palestinian public and the motivation of terrorist organizations to conduct kidnapping attacks is high. Hamas is in a difficult position in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and is struggling to launch attacks [there to increase its popularity]. Were it able to, it would have launched dozens of suicide attacks, kidnappings, and shooting attacks in Israel. It is in rough condition and under pressure from intelligence,” the senior IDF source reportedly said, noting that the Palestinian Authority has largely been supportive of Israel’s efforts to control Hamas.
“We haven't seen foot dragging of the Palestinian Authority towards Hamas ahead of this [kidnapping] incident. They [the PA] don't work for us, but we identify common interests. I don't see any connection between the comprehensive processes of terror and the Fatah-Hamas unity government, and I don't identify any attempts by extremist Jewish activists to act now. Concrete appeals have been made to the communities about the threat of abductions, in recent months as well, and this attack has the potential of creating an escalation,” the senior IDF source added.
Israel has also reportedly asked Egypt to help find the missing boys.
Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu identified “Hamas people” as the terrorists who carried out the kidnapping.
"Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas – the same Hamas that Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] formed a unity government with – this has severe repercussions,” Netanyahu said in what many have criticized as a blatantly political statement that appears to contradict facts on the ground regarding Palestinian Authority security cooperation with Israel as described by the IDF.
For its part, Hamas claims it did not kidnap the boys.
So far, the IDF has reportedly arrested 80 Palestinians in the West Bank, including senior Hamas members and some Palestinian Authority lawmakers.