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What evidence is there that teens were abducted?

Israel/Palestine
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A great deal of misinformation has been spread about the missing Israeli teens in the West Bank. I did it myself in denying there was a campaign in support of kidnapping settlers– when there is. Jeffrey Goldberg did it, in exaggerating that campaign, and smearing French Muslims.

Still, the public does not know very much at all about the fate of the missing teens, even as Israel insists that they were abducted and is using the alleged abduction as a political football and a pretext to send soldiers all over the West Bank, today killing a Palestinian teen.

And there is growing pressure on Israel to provide evidence for its claims. Here is some of the back and forth over these issues:

Last night, Sec’y General Ban Ki-Moon’s spokesperson said that the U.N. has “no concrete evidence” that the teens were abducted. But last week Ban seemed to accept the Israeli allegations, referring to the disappearance as a “kidnaping.”

Today the New York Times is more careful, mentioning the teens’ “disappearance” before stating that they were captured, and saying Israel has offered “no proof” of its claim that Hamas abducted the teens.

Three other groups have made dubious claims of credit. Hamas officials have generally cheered the capture without saying who carried it out. 

But on Monday Isabel Kershner flatly stated in the Times that the teens had been kidnapped by “militants” and are now their “hostages.”

NOF AYALON, Israel — The three Israeli teenagers kidnapped byPalestinian militants while hitching a ride in the West Bank last week have provoked an outpouring of sympathy in Israel’s ordinarily fractious society, with nonstop news coverage and gatherings of thousands who have recited psalms for the safe return of the hostages, all students at yeshivas in West Bank settlements.

Scott Roth advised Kershner: “You should use the word *allegedly* in certain instances.”

Avi Mayer, a spokesperson for the Jewish Agency, which supports the Israeli government, tweets this report today:

Uncle of kidnapped Israel teen Naftali Frenkel: “The families know more than what’s being made public.” (Arutz 7)

But he also tweets this:

Israel general Yoav Mordechai: “The target is not the Palestinian populace, but rather Hamas and its institutions.” (Army Radio)

That’s completely consistent with Allison Deger’s reporting from Bir Zeit University– the Israeli army was going after the Hamas group there. Ynet acknowledges the agenda:

The teens’ kidnapping allowed the leadership in Jerusalem do what they were thinking of doing anyway.

….It should be clear to both the citizens of Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank that the operation against Hamas, which spread overnight to Nablus, the nearby refugee camps and the Bethlehem area, was not meant to bring the kidnapped teens’ release, but to thwart a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly sought to justify that opportunism with the blunt assertion, below on June 17, that Hamas is behind the “brutal abduction;” and that therefore the Palestinian government is now composed of kidnapers. Pathetically, Tony Blair goes along with Netanyahu’s claim by expressing “horror” only at Palestinian violence– “the terrorism, the kidnapings, the killings” — and putting the onus on Hamas. What’s his evidence?

But the only killings in the matter right now have been committed by Israel. On Monday Israel killed a 20-year-old in a refugee camp in occupied territory. Today Israeli soldiers killed a 13-year-old boy during a Palestinian protest of sweeping arrests.

The US also went along with the Israeli claim of Hamas responsibility. On Sunday John Kerry said signs point to Hamas as being behind an abduction. Jen Psaki of State then referred to “the kidnapping of these three teenagers.” The State Department hasn’t offered any evidence though. On Wednesday at the State Department:

Question: In the Secretary’s statement from Sunday he talked about how there are many signs that point to Hamas involvement in this.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is that – are you now confident that Hamas is responsible for this, as confident as the Israelis say they are?

MS. PSAKI: No conclusion has been made on our end since the statement on Sunday, so we remain in the same place we were in the Secretary’s statement.

Ali Abunimah emphasizes the opportunism of the search, and links to a piece at EI.

Israel seizes political, military opportunity in teens’ disappearance -photos

Abunimah writes that the Israelis have an obligation to satisfy the public mind before making such accusations:

Reminder that the occupiers vandalizing Palestinian communities have still produced no evidence Palestinians “kidnapped” the settlers.

Abunimah also asked a very logical question: Why aren’t Israeli soldiers raiding the Israeli colonies on the West Bank? Are Jews really immune from suspicion of foul play in connection with missing teenagers?

Allison Deger tweets last night:

Arab American University being raided right NOW in

Scott Roth has expressed outrage over the widespread military raids of occupied communities–

Israel has no clothes–

and pointed out

The IDF calls this thing Operation Brother’s Keeper. Let’s put that into biblical context for a second. Who said that in the bible? & why?

and objected to the sacralization of victimization in this photo Avi Mayer tweeted of a prayer rally at the Western Wall for the teens. Mayer wrote last Sunday: “As night falls in Jerusalem, tens of thousands are praying for the abducted Israeli teens at the Western Wall.”

Western Wall prayers for missing Israeli teens

Western Wall prayers for missing Israeli teens

And what about the rampaging of Israeli soldiers across the West Bank? Again from the State Department, a reporter asks about collective punishment? 

As the search for the three teenagers goes into its sixth day, the Israelis are arresting hundreds of Palestinians, rounding up some or re-arresting in some cases many of the ones that were released. They’re having a clampdown, a lockdown. It’s really causing a very difficult humanitarian condition. Are you talking with the Israelis to sort of lighten – but I asked you this yesterday. Are you asking them to lighten up their heavy hand in their search?

State says it has called on both sides for “restraint.”

To be continued. Thanks to Annie Robbins.

 

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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123 Responses

  1. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    June 20, 2014, 1:28 pm

    OT: There’s a new English-language article on the SPIEGEL website.
    Gaza in Crisis: The Strong Female Voice of Hamas
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/isra-al-mudallal-is-the-spokesperson-for-hamas-in-gaza-a-976150.html
    It was written by the same author who complained about Netanyahu’s propaganda.

    • just
      just
      June 20, 2014, 1:47 pm

      Thanks GL. A very interesting article. This struck me, from your link:

      “Her father, Walid al-Mudallal, a 50-year-old history professor, is sitting on the veranda. A calm, level-headed man in a tweed jacket, he has always kept Palestinian politics at arm’s length, he says. What good is politics, he asks, if it has no room to enforce change? In Gaza, he adds, even the dreams are fenced in.”

      So very sad for a young professor of history.

      I am heartened to see his daughter daring to break all kinds of barriers and fences.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 20, 2014, 2:01 pm

        Here’s what I find strange:

        Palestinian women have it better than women in other Arab countries; they can drive, move about freely and work. The problem isn’t the government or the law, she says, but tradition. Even if girls could ride bicycles, parents wouldn’t allow it, she says.
        Will Mariam be allowed to ride a bike when she gets older?
        “No, I don’t want people to say bad things about her.”

        What on earth could possibly be wrong with riding a bicycle? If driving is okay, then why is bicycling not okay?

      • just
        just
        June 20, 2014, 2:42 pm

        iirc, it’s not considered “modest”….

        (you can’t see someone’s butt while they are driving.)

        I just found the article that you might be interested in!

        http://observers.france24.com/content/20100831-gaza-woman-rides-bicycle-despite-ban-asmaa-alghoul

      • Walid
        Walid
        June 20, 2014, 3:08 pm

        Bikes are also notorious for injuring young damsels.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 21, 2014, 11:48 am

        Thanks for linking this interesting article, just.

        you can’t see someone’s butt while they are driving.
        Right, but you can see someone’s butt when they are walking. And walking is legal, too.

      • Walid
        Walid
        June 20, 2014, 3:00 pm

        “Palestinian women have it better than women in other Arab countries; they can drive, move about freely and work. ”

        Hope she doesn’t actually believe it. Of the over 20 Arab countries, only in Saudi Arabia it’s forbidden for women to drive cars or to work in some other job other than a nurse in a hospital or a schoolteacher.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 20, 2014, 3:17 pm

        There’s no law forbidding Saudi women from working in jobs other than the ones you mention. Saudi women work as administrators, bank tellers and managers, usually in women-only institutions. However, because there are laws and social taboos against men and women working alongside one another, women’s job opportunities are severely restricted.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        June 20, 2014, 5:13 pm

        @ Walid,

        MDM is referring to Jewish women can’t volunteer at night – to avoid ‘contact with Arabs’, you know, that’s what’s the Apartheid State’s ‘open society project’ is all about… It’s always ‘the others’ who’re at fault… The ‘others…’ Always outward, never inward…

      • LuLu
        LuLu
        June 21, 2014, 12:37 am

        Walid, it depends on the mentality of the family and what cultural and beliefs they were brought up in. Saudi Arabia is really not a Islamic county, they completely do almost 95% Islamic regimes then what is in the Qur’an. It is more like a dictatorship, the dictators Pray, say Allahu Akbar but are liars and hypocrites as stated in the Quran on people who are exactly like the monarchy we see know in Saudi Arabia.

      • piotr
        piotr
        June 20, 2014, 10:14 pm

        I am not sure how universal that can be. There was a famous incident of Palestinians and international supporters organizing a joint bike tour in West Bank that was forcibly stopped by IDF, with the commanding officer manhandling some participants manu propria, I am not 100% sure but I guess a girl could bike in Ramallah without a problem. Rural areas and Gaza would be different.

        I live in an area with a number of Amish settlements, it is an anabaptist sect with various restrictions to prevent “worldliness”. Thus Amish do not drive, may take rides, may ride horses and horse carriages, and here it is interesting: bicycles are forbidden and line skates are OK. So you can drive on a rural road, pass a horse carriage and little later, a girl with a full-length dress and a bonnet, skating. http://jbaber.sdf.org/misc/amish.jpg
        On edit: this is also allowed:
        http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=76795&d=1332299517

      • LuLu
        LuLu
        June 21, 2014, 12:25 am

        I will tell you, It is not ANYTHING to do with ISLAM, so I want to point that out.. It is a dysfunctional culture that was picked up, and deep mis information on how one looses their virginity… They do not allow it because they think a girl who is a virgin will loose her virginity if she was injured riding the bike, because the seat, well you know.. lol

        My parents who are both Palestinians, well my dad, would not allow the girls to ride a bike, and I was born and raised in the US. My mom was all about freedom, she told my dad to stay out of it and she went and bought all the girls bikes. It was very hurtful, sad and I hated it, watching my brothers on bikes while I brewed inside.. My mom over ruled my dad and said to stay out of it and it was stupid what people do not allow and allow in the name of virginity.. lol
        I guess more education on body functions and anatomy should be a given course for many on that subject. My Body, My life, I am Muslim and proud, but I live for My Lord and not to subject nor allow myself to be suppressed living my life so I can be a virgin for a man… I think no bike riding for girls is still practiced overseas, I see MANY girls in US riding bikes, all my nieces always had bikes since 5 years old. Of course I do not follow any cultural nor religion people preach, I follow what I read and study in the Qur’an and the entire book speaks of females and males are equal, one is not better than the other nor above the other. I have never ever read God say…Do not ride bikes so you do not loose your virginity.

    • joecatron
      joecatron
      June 20, 2014, 6:00 pm

      Parts of that article seemed strange to me. I’ve known Isra since before she took her current job, have always liked her, and have never found her remotely arrogant. Nor can I think offhand of others having these impressions. But perhaps that’s because a lot of us share the same aversion to “another blah-blah conference”?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 21, 2014, 11:09 am

        I’ve known Isra since before she took her current job, have always liked her, and have never found her remotely arrogant.
        I agree. I didn’t get the impression that she is arrogant either. It’s just that she has to radiate a certain degree of self-confidence in order to prevail in a patriarchal society.

        But perhaps that’s because a lot of us share the same aversion to “another blah-blah conference”?
        She is right to reject “another blah-blah conference”.

  2. just
    just
    June 20, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Thanks Phil and Annie.

    While we don’t know anything about the 3 ‘disappeared’ teens, we do know that Israel has kidnapped hundreds of Palestinians and killed at least 2 in the last week– an escalation of their long-standing practices.

    • just
      just
      June 20, 2014, 1:51 pm

      “DPA – Five Hamas militants have been killed in a tunnel collapse east of Gaza City, a Gaza security official confirmed Thursday.

      The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that they had embarked on a “military mission” near the border with Israel. He gave no more details.

      The official said that the tunnel had been bombarded on Monday night by Israeli jets and badly damaged. It caved in when the five members of the Qassam Brigades – Hamas’ armed wing – went inside, he said. ”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.599950

      • Walid
        Walid
        June 20, 2014, 3:03 pm

        Just, in the same way Israel takes care of Palestinian football players by crippling them, they are now crippling Hamas for the coming elections. The 3 boys are the last thing on Netanyahu’s mind at this point.

      • just
        just
        June 20, 2014, 3:12 pm

        I believe that you hit that out of the park, Walid.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 20, 2014, 5:51 pm

        @ Walid
        Yes, Here’s a lot more on how Bibi’s using the disappeared 3 teens to weaken HAMAS in WB in every way possible: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/israelis-close-their-ears-reasons-kidnap/2088343438

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        June 20, 2014, 7:37 pm

        @Walid (& just & co)
        Here’s perhaps the only bit of *good* news this week – Adam and Johar are FREE – they were released on June 17!

        http://rcir.org.uk/?p=838

        “Adam and Johar released
        Posted on June 18, 2014 by admin-redcard in Uncategorized // 0 Comments

        Jubilant crowds welcomed Adam and Johar home in Abu Dis after their release from prison on 17 June 2014 after almost three months of incarceration (reference posts 30 April and 15 February). When it’s available further information will be put on the website of the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association: http://www.camdenabudis.net/. “

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        June 20, 2014, 6:48 pm

        Q: “It caved in when the five members of the Qassam Brigades – Hamas’ armed wing – went inside, he said. ”

        R: I’m glad you point out that it’s the ‘armed wing’ otherwise I might have mistaken it for ‘five men.’

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    June 20, 2014, 1:40 pm

    Assuming that the Israeli kids were actually kidnapped by some fringe group, given that Israel has killed three (so far) Palestinian kids looking for them, they’re dead now. Either that or the Palestinian people (including their radicals) are the most saintly and spiritually refreshed people ever.

    The Israeli response to what they call a kidnapping makes absolutely no sense. None of it. They’re not expecting to, nor do they seem to want to, get them back alive.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 20, 2014, 3:22 pm

      I said the same thing yesterday.

      If you think you know that someone was kidnapped by a particular group, the very LAST thing you would do is announce it to the world and go on a rampage against that group. What a competent police force would do in such a situation would be to keep a low profile, say that you are ‘keeping all options open’, ‘persuing a number of leads’ etc. It would be pretty daft to let the kidnappers know you were on to them, particularly when, as in this case, you really don’t know where the captives are. You would play your cards close to your chest, hoping to surpise the kidnappers and hence have a decent chance of rescuing the captives alive.

      If the boys were taken by Hamas – or by any Palestinian group – Bibi has effectively signed their death warrant. Even by Israeli standards, this is a stunningly cynical exercise.

      • joecatron
        joecatron
        June 20, 2014, 6:10 pm

        Hamas wouldn’t kill captives in response to Israel’s current military offensive. They took good care of Gilad Shalit despite Operation Cast Lead, which was much worse.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 20, 2014, 6:18 pm

        But like I said below, the Shalit case is very different. Hamas were on their own turf in Gaza and there was no way the IDF were going to find them unless they sent in ground troops, which was a non-starter.

        I’m not saying the would kill the captives – assuming they have them, which of course we can’t assume – as revenge for the military operation. I’m saying that if a Palestinian group had taken the students, and, given the scale of the IDF onslaught, knew that it was only a matter of time before they were caught, the most sensible thing for them to do would be to ‘get rid of the evidence’ so to speak.

        And again, there’s the absence of any claim of responsibility. This might indicate that either the ”kidnapped by Palestinian militants” story is a crock, that the captives have already been killed, or that whoever took them doesn’t really have a clue what to do with them – which would argue against an established group like Hamas being the culprits. It’s all a mystery.

      • joecatron
        joecatron
        June 21, 2014, 5:10 am

        But the IDF did send in ground troops, in a big way, in 2008-2009. Wherever in the Strip Shalit was held, he couldn’t have been that far from the infantry at some point.

        Anyway, for the time being, I’m sticking by my own baseless speculation, as valid as any other: that they made like settlers and attacked some Palestinians (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/israeli-settlers-violence-palestinians.html), then encountered a level of self-defense they hadn’t expected.

    • Blownaway
      Blownaway
      June 20, 2014, 4:05 pm

      The reply makes lost of sense if you listen to the Israelis…”Finance minister outlines government’s goals in Operation Brother’s Keeper: free the boys, ‘break’ Hamas, end Fatah-Hamas unity deal

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 21, 2014, 9:21 am

        @Joe Catron,

        I also think the theory of a price-tag attack gone wrong is persuasive.

        And I’d like to know more about the ‘school’ the boys were attending. Did it have a reputation for extremism? As I said before, if this was 3 Arab boys of military age or close to it, going home from a ‘madrasa’ late at night, in an area where young men of their demographic are known to participate in violent attacks on the locals, nobody would be blightly assuming this was a case of 3 innocents who were the victim of a random kidnapping.

        Which isn’t neccessarily to say that the above did not happen, just that other possibilities ought to be pursued.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    June 20, 2014, 1:41 pm

    There is absolutely no proof of any kind that these kids are kidnapped. Unlike the poor kids killed by ruthless armed forces, there were no videos, no eye witnesses, nor media around. So whose words should we take? Certainly not Israel’s. Israeli officials lie like common thieves, especially when it comes to covering their rear ends, or justifying the brutality against the Palestinians. As I mentioned before, when it comes to their crimes, they insist they “investigate” themselves, but jump the gun, when it comes to the Palestinians.
    So sad to see a little kid brutally killed like this, but all that outrage about kids who may or may not have been kidnapped, sounds overdone, when you realize Palestinian kids are being killed for reasons no one will ever know. How many young lives are lost because this ruthless occupier keeps venting it’s anger on these poor people?

    Another poor kid (14 years old) brutally killed by cursed zionists.
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=706295

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      June 20, 2014, 1:55 pm

      If this was an Israeli kid, the occupiers would have precision bombed Gaza by now, and as Gilad Sharon suggested, flattened Gaza and sent it back to the stone age.

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    June 20, 2014, 2:51 pm

    A couple of points.

    – I had assumed the boys were hitching together, but now it seems that they were hitching seperately. Can anyone confirm this?

    – I mentioned before that the lack of a credible claim o f responsibility, or a ransom demand, is odd, and would seem to point away from the abduction theory.

    – If they were together, and even if they weren’t, kidnapping three presumably fit, healthy, young men would be no easy task. It would mean that either the kidnappers were armed, or that there were several of them – at least 5 – who could overpower the students. How likely is either scenario in Area C, under complete Israeli control?

    – IF they were taken by Palestinians, my guess is that it was by a small fringe group who ‘got lucky’. Or perhaps it was some kind of set-up? I really don’t see what Hamas would have gained by taking them, and they would have had an awful lot to lose by doing so. That said, it’s notable that they did not explicitly deny the kidnapping, merely saying that it was a ‘stupid’ accusation. This might be a ‘non denial denial’ or it could be Israeli style ‘constructive ambiguity’. Or it might mean that they did in fact take the boys, odd though that sounds. Again, more questions than answers.

    – IF Hamas did take the boys, then, given that Bibi told the world they were to blame right away, and has since declared war on Hamas, then the boys are almost certainly dead by now. There would be no incentive for the kidnappers to hold on to them in that situation.

    What does anyone think?

    • annie
      annie
      June 20, 2014, 3:20 pm

      IF Hamas did take the boys, then, given that Bibi told the world they were to blame right away, and has since declared war on Hamas, then the boys are almost certainly dead by now…What does anyone think?

      i think shalit survived thru the almost month long cast lead massacre just fine. if hamas did take the “boys” (as you call them), they’d be worth a LOT more to them alive than dead. killing them would make little strategic sense.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 20, 2014, 3:28 pm

        Yes, but in the Shalit case, if I recall correctly, Hamas made a claim of responsibility pretty quickly, and let it be known what their demands were for his return. Also, they knew that they were safely hidden away in some underground bunker, as there was no way the IDF were going to go into Gaza for the sake of a tank gunner. So killing him would have been senseless. I think if the ‘boys’ were taken by Hamas, and if they were still alive, we’d have got a claim of responsibility by now.

        There’s also the fact that capturing an on-duty soldier is different from kidnapping 3 students, even if they were settlers. The former is fair game, the latter not so much – even though of course Israel does far worse all the time. Hamas are trying to become ‘respectable’ so would have nothing to gain from this. Which isn’t to rule out their possible involvement – as I said, they haven’t actually denied it – but it does seem unlikely.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        June 20, 2014, 6:10 pm

        shalit was not kidnapped by the Hamas per se but an independent group who either turned him over or had Hamas take over immediately. If you know the area around Hebron you would know that it is the family clans that hold much of the power. the fate of the three may come down to what the clan gets in return for turning them over to Hamas

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 20, 2014, 6:23 pm

        That’s a possibility. That the hikers were taken by some ‘amateurs’ who don’t know what to do with them, hence the absence of claim or responsibility etc.

        Still, the logistics puzzle me. It’s easy enough to understand how a single soldier could be captured in Hamas controlled Gaza. But in Hebron? And 3 young men? How could a ‘clan’ pull that off, under the eyes of the IDF?

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        June 20, 2014, 6:28 pm

        Shalit was not kidnapped, he was taken as a prisoner of war to trade for other prisoners. He was captured while serving as a soldier for an army that was making war on Gaza.

        It seems that some Palestinians do not understand the rules of engagement, which are that only Israeli Jews are allowed to defend themselves.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        June 20, 2014, 7:10 pm

        @mdm below.

        Read up on history of the larger clans of the Hebron area. There is very little that goes on without their knowledge. You over-estimate the powers of the IDF if you think they have ultimate power over those who have been living in the area for that long. I made a comment on another thread a week back about a girl who ‘apologized’ for her ‘Jewishness’ that was misunderstood to be about a ‘Jewish’ family. I was referring to these family clans that have been operating as power brokers in their territory for many many years. And I wouldn;t say they are ‘amateurs’ either. They certainly would know that 3 Israeli teens would be a huge bounty and that they-the family, or clan would be the only group able to keep them hidden from the IDF onslaught. This is why I don;t think the Hamas was directly responsible but is negotiating right now for information on their whereabouts. Its speculation but I’ll stand by it. If this turns out to be some kind of hoax-there will be hell to pay.

      • talknic
        talknic
        June 20, 2014, 10:30 pm

        DaBakr
        “shalit was not kidnapped”

        That much is true. Soldiers are captured!

        ” the fate of the three may come down to what the clan gets in return for turning them over to Hamas”

        or how the Israeli govt can make it appear as if they’d been kidnapped by Palestinians, when they might be hidden away in some illegal settlement.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 20, 2014, 3:36 pm

        On the other hand, killing Palestinian kids is a worth a LOT more to the zionist government, they have to get rid of the Arabs to take over all that land. It is an inconvenience to have them living.

      • piotr
        piotr
        June 20, 2014, 6:07 pm

        Actually, why the geographic spread of IDF operation is wide, by their standards they are quite restrained, I guess that Israel got some Euro-American warnings not to overdo it. As long as the actions resemble police operations and “self-defense”, IDF will get away with it, but atrocities in the style of 2nd Intifada would quickly backfire. And given pretty crazy talk in the Cabinet and Knesset, even Israeli commentators caution to keep the operation within certain bounds.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        June 21, 2014, 2:44 pm

        @kay
        you really should re-read your statements and ask yourself if you could be taken seriously? “inconvenience to have them living”? your thinking has been twisted into a witches brew of inanity.

        If the whole thing was an Israeli ‘plot’ then why not just shoot them in the heads and dump their bodies outside any Arab villiage. Though I am certain you will have some ‘logical’ explanation.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 20, 2014, 3:57 pm

      If these guys were hitchhiking separately then it makes their disappearance all the more spectacular. The operation to capture three people either together or individually would have required a great of timing, planning and surveillance. This would take days if not weeks and if they were Palestinians it would mean doing all that while under the noses of the Israeli authorities. Why not take victims closer to areas A or B? Wouldn’t that have made the getaway a lot safer?

      Now that phone call fascinates me. The police said it was two minutes which may or may not be true. And how did the kidnappers miss a cell phone? Did Mohammed the trainee forget to search them proper? What exactly was heard? What tower did it ping off? Was the tower near where the missing boy was last seen? Suppose that ping was off a tower in Israel?

      Finally, it would be the height of irresponsibility for the police not to entrain the possibility that the assailant (assuming there was one) was an Israeli, maybe even a settler. If that were my relative I would want them searching EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE. No exceptions.

      Picture this scenario: Eyal, the friendly janitor/fellow student/relative, encountering his victims as they hitchhike: “Want a ride? Sure, I’m going that way. Just hop into the back of my van and help yourself to the thermos. Sorry about the bloodstains, I bought some meat earlier and the bag leaked.”

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 20, 2014, 5:50 pm

        I don’t know if they were hitching separately – I just saw a map which seemed to indicate that, but I may be wrong, which is why I asked if anyone could confirm. The idea of them being picked up separately would indeed indicate a plan involving a lot of coordination and planning, rather than just a random ‘stroke of luck’. Hard to imagine how Hamas could get away with that anywhere in the WB, let alone Area C.

        ”And how did the kidnappers miss a cell phone? Did Mohammed the trainee forget to search them proper”

        I’ve been saying the same thing all along – on the one hand we’re expected to believe they carried off a very sophisticated crime right under IDF noses…. except that they were too amateurish to search for a mobile phone AND to allow the captives to make a two minute call!

        I dunno. Maybe they were too busy enjoying the World Cup?

        ”Finally, it would be the height of irresponsibility for the police not to entrain the possibility that the assailant (assuming there was one) was an Israeli, maybe even a settler.”

        Particularly so when we remember that most abductions are committed by someone known by the victim.

        I wonder how this is going down in Israel. No doubt many/most Israelis will be seduced by the ‘bring back our boys’ mantra, but surely there are a few smart enough to see through it? Surely some of the police force must have advised them against a ‘response’ which is almost guaranteed to put the supposed captives at further risk?

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        June 20, 2014, 6:47 pm

        Most of Jewish Israel is still in “let’s hold hands and pray” mode. But that’s going to get old fast as time wears on with no resolution. If I were Mr Sara I would hope for a “rescue” sooner rather than later. If this drags on any longer people are going to wonder why IDF and their high falutin’ security forces couldn’t find 3 guys in territory they control.

  6. bryan
    bryan
    June 20, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Every single abduction or death occuring within Palestine is outrageous, but perhaps the overwhelming statistical probability is that these three guys have been run over by a stray tank (or Caterpillar bulldozer) whose drivers’ view was obstructed, are sitting in a cell in Ofer prison, awaiting a lawyer, or have been accidentally struck with a stray tear gas cannister or fusilade of rubber bullets, or even live fire. Perhaps its time to assemble a high-ranking UN investigative panel so that we can find out exactly what happened?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 20, 2014, 3:44 pm

      ”Perhaps its time to assemble a high-ranking UN investigative panel so that we can find out exactly what happened?”

      I agree – provided such a panel also investigates the killing, ransacking and kidnapping done on the pretext of the students’ ‘abduction’.

      People go missing every day. It doesn’t normally demand the attention of the UN. Except where precious Israelis are involved, I suppose.

  7. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    June 20, 2014, 3:19 pm

    What is the next thing Israel going to use to kill some palestinians?
    I got it:

    Plot.
    sarah netanyahu’s dress is gone.

    Culprit:
    taken by palestinians

    Execution:
    Bomb, bomb and bomb palestinians

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 20, 2014, 4:35 pm

      I think they’d be better off stealing her purse, I’ve seen her dress sense, no one would want those clothes.

  8. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    June 20, 2014, 4:04 pm

    The best scenario right now is that they are found alive in a basement of a settler. This would return them alive to their families and make Israel look bad, a twofer.

  9. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 20, 2014, 4:08 pm

    Question to the speculators: Are the mothers of the missing teens in on the hoax?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 20, 2014, 4:14 pm

      What ‘hoax’? Who is claiming that there has been a ‘hoax’?

      What people are saying is that despite Bibi using this disapearance as an excuse to murder, main and kidnap, there is no evidence of a ‘kidnapping’. Which isn’t to say that it did not happen, just that it is but one of several possibilities. If you have any such evidence, by all means let us know, and while you’re at it, maybe let the UN know as well.

      The only sensible thing to do in a situation where evidence is lacking is to speculate. Not all of us allow Bibi to do our thinking for us.

      • amigo
        amigo
        June 21, 2014, 4:30 am

        “The only sensible thing to do in a situation where evidence is lacking is to speculate. ” MDM

        Elementary , dear Watson.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 20, 2014, 4:27 pm

      How is that question in any way relevant? If Israel is behind it, they would have no doubt gotten some of their secret police experts to impersonate “Arabs” (as they are known to do) and are now holding the three males now, keeping them quite scared but not physically harmed, waiting for the signal from Netanyahu that his persecution and pogrom against the Palestinians is over, at which point they will either “escape” or be “rescued.” The mothers no doubt believe it is real.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 20, 2014, 4:34 pm

      No more than the mothers of those teens outside Ofer prison.

    • joer
      joer
      June 20, 2014, 4:36 pm

      Well we know this much about their mothers, Yonah: They allowed their children to be brainwashed and sent them into hostile territory for their brainwashing by some of the most obnoxious religious fanatics on the planet. And they allowed their kids to hitchhike through this hostile territory.

      I’m glad you mentioned their mothers, Yonah, because whenever I hear about Israeli kids, either in uniform or out, who are captured or killed, I can’t help thinking what horrible parents they had to involve their kids in this nationalistic/religious cult that constantly antagonizes its neighbors.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      June 20, 2014, 4:47 pm

      yonah fredman

      You mean a hoax like Israel never kill any civilians in their attacks?
      You tell me.

    • talknic
      talknic
      June 20, 2014, 9:06 pm

      yonah fredman “Question to the speculators: Are the mothers of the missing teens in on the hoax?”

      Why would they be? The Israeli Government, IDF and illegal settlers lie to everyone!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 20, 2014, 9:56 pm

      Yonah, why do you allow yourself to be treated like this? As you and I both now, a lot of the commenters, and some of the writers here, are Jewish. Why don’t you just excommunicate them, declare them non-Jews! That’ll fix them, and it’ll serve as a warning to all those Presbyterians.
      Go ahead, Yonah, don’t take any guff from these mosers! Kick ’em the hell out.
      Or better still, tell them you will stop commenting. That’ll freeze them to the marrow.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        June 21, 2014, 2:33 am

        Mooser.

        Does your wife know you’re blogging again?

      • piotr
        piotr
        June 21, 2014, 9:21 am

        Excommunication does not have the bite it used to have.

        Being a member of community once meant that oath made to you are valid, so once out, you cannot collect any debt (ouch if you were a merchant or tradesman), your vassals can ignore you (big ouch if you were a feudal lord), and so on. Now you can use the community facilities, attend the conference of “Leaders of Major Organizations” and so on, but I am not aware of any writer here (or commenter) who uses such perks of belonging to “Organized Jewish Community”.

        Of course, there is also aggravated excommunication that includes heckling of bar mitzvahs. But Yonah is too nice to go that far.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 21, 2014, 10:48 am

        hello mooser, long time no see.

  10. Paldi5
    Paldi5
    June 20, 2014, 5:13 pm

    I’m starting to wonder if some IDF special forces took them to a safe house until the operation is concluded. Also wonder who owned that burned out car with Israeli plates. Why hasn’t there been anything in print about them?

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 20, 2014, 6:03 pm

      Interesting that you should say that. The Jerusalem Post had an article where the uncle of one of them said that the families were assured by the Israeli government that the boys are still alive. Also the uncle and the government keep saying that there are “things they can’t reveal,” and that they know more now than they did yesterday.

      Now, if you are the kidnapper what are you going to do to your still living hostages when you hear reports that the government might have spotted your hideout?

      Then there is the possibility of a Munich style “rescue” which leaves captors and captives dead, followed by state funerals with Mr Sara in attendance and looking all tough and manly.

    • annie
      annie
      June 20, 2014, 6:05 pm

      burner out cars are a dime a dozen. that’s not evidence unless they find something that ties it to the crime.

  11. piotr
    piotr
    June 20, 2014, 5:54 pm

    yonah, let us examine what was reported:

    a. the boys left their homes, said that they will hitchhike, I never read at what time

    b. at 10:30 pm one of them made a phone call, conversation took 2 minutes, he whispered “we are kidnapped”, not clear what took the rest of the time, on hold? he did not say by whom or in what kind of place they are

    c. the uncle of one of the boys claimed that IDF is briefing them daily and has “indications” that the boys are alive

    d. the searches conducted by Israeli forces seem totally out of focus, starting from Hebron area all across West Bank

    e. Israeli authorities claim to thwart 30 (or 60, according to Kerchner) kidnapping plots

    f. Israel did not make any trials of thwarted kidnappers

    g. Compared with other states, Israel is unusually paranoid about kidnapping (a comparison below)

    My impression is that Israeli command of military and police was absolutely convinced that Hamas will “once again” perpetrate a kidnapping. Thus they classified assorted behaviors as preparation for kidnapping, which explains the stats, but those behaviors were sufficiently non-specific to prevent prosecution, even in Israeli military justice system where you can use secret proofs (which do not have to be as solid as proofs required in more adversarial systems). In the same time, military wing of Hamas is a rather secretive organization and you cannot determine their intentions by following chats on their web sites. I am inclined to think that Israeli command and government really believes that some radical Palestinian cell committed the kidnapping here, but I do not see that as any indicator that this is really the case. Thus I disregard info based on suppositions of Israeli intelligence, whether passed to the distraught families or foreign governments (the families seem to trust it, foreign governments, not so much).

    On the basis of the phone call etc. it seems to me that it the kidnapping would be easiest for an Israeli settler, then for other Israeli Jews, and so on, and most difficult for a Palestinian. If they boys were forced to enter a vehicle on gunpoint, then probably they would be immediately restrained and would not use phones, so probably they were offered a ride and initially were not restrained. This implies a vehicle with Israeli license plates and the driver/passengers speaking decent Hebrew.

    The most cardinal aspects of the case are mysterious. Who was the last person who have seen the boys? At what hour did they come to the popular hitchhiking junction, and did anyone see them coming and/or leaving? Where did they make the famous call?

    The kidnapper could be a person motivated by sadism or other sexual urge, petty revenge (an Israeli estranged father killed two children as a revenge on his ex-wife, weird stuff like that happens), necrophilia and so on. It could even be one-person “black flag operation”, mentally disturbed people pick the memes circulating around them, like “ultra-leftist government is coddling the Palestinians who should be expelled from the land”. Of course, it is hard to list all possibilities.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 20, 2014, 6:12 pm

      You make some good points. Here in the States we have had murders where the killer tried to make it look a random crime. There were the famous cases of Charles Stewart and Susan Smith, both of whom murdered family and then blamed anonymous black criminals. And how many times have we seen a tearful spouse begging for the return of a partner only to have them implicated in their disappearence?

    • Denis
      Denis
      June 20, 2014, 7:19 pm

      piotr: at 10:30 pm one of them made a phone call, conversation took 2 minutes, he whispered “we are kidnapped”, not clear what took the rest of the time, on hold? he did not say by whom or in what kind of place they are

      This point has been noted in other threads and it’s a durn good one and raises some interesting questions in my mind, which is where most of my questions arise.

      First, note that nobody has said that the ONLY thing the kid said was “we are kidnapped.” Obviously, if the call was 120 seconds long there would have been time to communicate a considerable amount information. The fact that all of that information has not been published means absolutely nothing. Authorities never, ever reveal publicly all of the information they have on abductions — to do so would be insanity. Unlike a murder where the damage is already done, in a kidnapping the worst is potential. Only an idiot would release any information of this type.

      For instance, by letting the kidnappers know about the call they would know that they missed the phone. The phone should be sufficient to lead the rescuers directly to the kids. Every freaking cell phone in the world now has GPS capability, and, apparently, can be tracked by NSA or GCHQ, or GoI spy services. So why would GoI tell they kidnappers that they know one of the kids has a phone that is live?

      And so I find it curious that the fact of the phone call was leaked at all, never mind its content. There would be absolutely no value in the investigation of letting the world know the call was made, and yet releasing that information could put the victims in a very bad situation. So why would GoI drop that info-bomb and jeopardize the lives of the boys? No legitimate authority would ever release the fact that a call was made. So my bogus-sniffing radar is on high alert here.

      Seems to me that if you want to legitimize a false-flag kidnapping, you would want to give the world a juicy morsel of verifying “information.” Having “leaked” that the boy made a call and said “my butt is kidnapped,” or words to that effect, how could anyone then deny that there was, in fact, a kidnapping??

      And the post-unity timing is just waaay too perfect. Hamas??? C’mon, how big a presence does Hamas have in the WB? GoI wouldn’t even let the Hamas members of the new gov’t into the WB. The place was not suddenly flooded by Hamas kidnappers as a result of the unity government. The only thing that changed was the need for GoI to de-legitimize Hamas, and, hence, the unity govt.

      But if not Hamas, why does Abbas get into his step’n-fetch-it with Bibi over this and suggest the PA has evidence of Hamas involvement? Afraid he’ll end up in a terminal lock-down like Arafat?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 21, 2014, 9:16 am

        I was sceptical of the existence of the ’emergency phone call’ too. After all, it’s the only ‘evidence’ of kidnapping that exists thus far, and the idea that a gang of terrorist masterminds would allow their victim to make a phone call – let alone a 2 minute one to the police – seems absurd.

        However, afaik the call was played back for the parents of the victims, so presumably it is legit. And yet the same parents pose and smile with Perez? Shouldn’t they a) be furious that the call was ignored, b) be resentful at their sons being made into political fodder and c) be angry that the police are focussing on only one line of enquiry – thus far with no results – rather than pursuing all possibilities, as any competent police force would do?

      • piotr
        piotr
        June 21, 2014, 9:30 am

        It is a bit hard to see what kidnappers could learn from disclosed details that they do not know. Like if there is only one person, he or she knows that he or she is alone. More importantly, the information could be passed to officials in friendly governments that have top security clearances, say the French and the Americans, and there were no indication that convincing information was relayed.

        I am convinced that a lot of information that Israeli intelligence have are like maps of Martian canals. If you stare very hard, you see patterns, but sometimes there is no reality in those patterns.

      • Denis
        Denis
        June 21, 2014, 2:46 pm

        pitor: It is a bit hard to see what kidnappers could learn from disclosed details that they do not know.

        Assuming the kidnapping was authentic, the phone call means at least two things:
        A. the kid had a live phone w/in reach of a tower.
        B. the kidnappers didn’t know the kid had the phone.

        But the international press publishing the fact that the call was made eliminates “B” — b/c the kidnappers then learn that of their victims has a phone. That in turn eliminates “A” b/c the kidnappers would obviously find the phone and either run the battery down playing Angry Birds or destroy it — either way there is no hope of tracking the phone.

        Mind you, this is not a guess as to what actually happened. It is part of the reason for thinking the kidnapping is a fake. If it were real, no authorities with the collective intelligence of a kumquat would ever advertise to the world that the call was made.

  12. alfa
    alfa
    June 20, 2014, 7:33 pm

    I believe the Nutzi gang was looking for an excuse to damage Hamas, so imagine the settlers were in some way killed before the tale was hatched. They stole a car, the owner opened fire and killed them, whatever, so build a scenario which allows day and weeks of drama, culminating in discovery of the bodies, etc. I still say it’s a cover story.

  13. Refaat
    Refaat
    June 20, 2014, 7:39 pm

    1) you should have seen the pics of the three parents all smiles with Peres yesterday
    https://twitter.com/ThisIsGaZa/status/479989489373171712/photo/1

    2) An israeli source said, PA was releasing the Hamas member they are arresting so that israel can arrest them
    3) israeli sources say they will continue and not stop even if they find the 3 settlers or find them dead.

    • just
      just
      June 21, 2014, 7:46 am

      Refaat– that picture is spooky! As was the video of Mrs. Frenkel smiling and praising Israel.

      Just saying, if it were my son who was missing– I would not be smiling at all, nor would I be in front of any cameras unless it was to beg for his release.

      I know that faith can make one strong, but…more power to them. Hope the missing are home soon.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        June 21, 2014, 9:29 am

        I heard that there is a government official? handler? who has been with the families 24/7. Got to keep everyone on the same page, can’t have anyone going rogue.

      • Denis
        Denis
        June 21, 2014, 3:02 pm

        just, I find that photo creepy, too.

        I was even more creeped-out by the CNN interview w/ Siam Narawa and the way he was smirking while talking about how the bullet passed through his son’s body and ended up in the back-pack.

      • Elisabeth
        Elisabeth
        June 21, 2014, 6:01 pm

        Both seeing the interview with the father of one of the boys shot down recently, and the interview with the mother of one of the abductees, I had to think of my aunt.
        She lost one of her two children, my cousin, to cancer a couple of years ago, when he was only 37. I saw her at his funeral talking interestedly and animatedly to people. She is not a person who chats out of nervousness, and her grief is enormous. She told me that right after his death, when there was so much to be done, she got into a kind of ‘euphoria’. After that the real hit came.

  14. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    June 20, 2014, 8:14 pm

    I heard that we’ll get to hear that phone call as soon as the police are through with the voice overs. The auditions are taking time.

  15. unverified__5ilf90kd
    unverified__5ilf90kd
    June 20, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Everyone is Lebanon is saying what they always say i.e. The Mossad did it – they often say that and often they are right. In this case it seems reasonable that Bibi needed a great excuse the whack Hamas yet again, and he did. Let’s hope that the Mossad will release these kids soon and they will be found stumbling around in the West Bank near a settlement. God help any Palestinian who finds them – the IDF will shoot him immediately just in case he knows something about it.

  16. Peter Garcia-Webb
    Peter Garcia-Webb
    June 20, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I too have wondered about the lack of evidence. I have gone so far as to suggest that the whole thing just might be a Mossad plot. See my article on my https:petergarciawebb.com

  17. Hostage
    Hostage
    June 20, 2014, 9:04 pm

    Are Jews really immune from suspicion of foul play in connection with missing teenagers?

    No. It’s really not a rhetorical question. From the days that the patriarch Joseph was kidnapped by his brethren, to the days when Chief Sephardi Rabbi Amar’s family plead guilty to kidnapping his daughter’s teenaged boyfriend, there have always been examples of “Jews” kidnapping other “Jews”.

  18. talknic
    talknic
    June 20, 2014, 9:13 pm

    Boys steal a car, torch it, go AWOL. Netanyahu’s insane lust spins out of control. Are they searching the illegal settlements?

  19. Talkback
    Talkback
    June 20, 2014, 9:28 pm

    (delete)

  20. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 20, 2014, 11:15 pm

    Reporters, like police, always want more evidence. Understandable. And given the Michael Oren reaction to the two youngsters killed on Nakba day there is a type of free for all speculation allowed. The attempt by Israel to get a positive comment out of the UN resulted in the UN voicing itself as if it were reporters or police, and if a legal proceeding was what Israel was asking for from the UN at this point of the process, the UN’s participation is purely PR and of no more use than yellow ribbons or hashtags.
    The plaint that other reporters should use the weaselly term “allegedly” is a bit much. If in fact this is revealed to have been some sort of a hoax then Scott Roth will come out smelling like roses that Isabel kershner did not use “allegedly” and was proven wrong for her acceptance of the information as given rather than adding “reportedly”.

    there is a possibility that the young students will never be found and their bodies will never be found and then the mystery will continue and the “allegedly” will assume mythic proportions and unless Israel releases evidence at that time that will withstand the scrutiny of a cop/reporter, then the plaint that there should have been an “allegedly” will stand the test of time.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      June 21, 2014, 3:32 am

      MORE evidence? Is there ANY? Or do we need MORE evidence, that this is a false flag operation?

      Nobody would have any problem to admit that Hamas did it. But if even they don’t admit it than there’s something else going on.

      Cui bono, right now? Especially from the fact that one has dual citizenship?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 21, 2014, 5:07 am

      ”The plaint that other reporters should use the weaselly term “allegedly” is a bit much.”

      Weaselly term? Are you for real? It’s normal journalistic practice to inform readers when a claim has not been proven – anything else is propaganda, not journalism. And since NO evidence has been presented of a kidnapping, any journalist who omits ‘allegedly’ or ‘reportedly’ is simply parotting the Bibi line, which of course is what you want.

      And it’s a bit rich of a Zionist to complain about the use of such words. Any time an Israeli crime is reported in the Western press – which is rare as they prefer to ignore them – journalists go out of their way to ‘balance’ the claims. Hence the use of all the hedging expressions, ”Palestinians say…”, ”Israel denies this……”, ”’Locals claim…” etc. The Nakba Day murders were a particularly nasty example of this, but you see it all the time. And I don’t see you complaining.

      You seem to have a lot invested in the belief – and that’s all it is – that the students were kidnapped, and are scornful of those who seek something as quaint as evidence. Nobody here rules out the possibility that this is indeed what happened – some posters consider it the most likely option – but the only one who is certain they know what happened, to the exclusion of all other possibilities, is you. Why is that?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 21, 2014, 9:23 am

      Everyone should use “allegedly”. Given the fact that the only thing that we know is that there was an allegation, the parents are all smiles, yukking it up with Peres, coupled with the fact that the actions of the Israelis in the West Bank appears to have nothing to do with finding some supposed, allegedly kidnapped people and more to do with arresting members of Hamas and attempting to destroy the Palestinian unity deal, “allegedly” is being kind.

  21. Bandolero
    Bandolero
    June 20, 2014, 11:45 pm

    I think it may be interesting what the Iranian Press TV reports on these events:

    Israel minister reveals manhunt reason

    A senior Israeli official has admitted that Tel Aviv’s current manhunt in the West Bank has more objectives than finding the allegedly missing Israeli teenagers.

    Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Israeli media on Friday that the search for the three illegal settlers meant to “break” Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and its reconciliation deal with Fatah.

    Tel Aviv has accused Hamas of kidnapping the Israeli settlers, who were allegedly abducted in the occupied West Bank earlier this month.

    However, Hamas rejects the claim, saying Tel Aviv seeks to sabotage the recent reconciliation accord reached between the movement and Fatah, which led to the formation of the Palestinian national unity government. …

    Source:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/21/367893/israel-minister-reveals-manhunt-reason/

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 21, 2014, 10:04 am

      @ Bandolero
      Here’s an Israeli Jewish woman linking the Palestinian unity government with the terrorist HAMAS, saying the three boys plight follows from this linkage. She’s speaking to American Christians, saying she has the facts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjwwoIya9Ig

      Note she claims, inter alia, that the boys were kidnapped from an area never intended to be part of any Palestinian state, an area mostly Jewish, an area under Jewish control.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 21, 2014, 12:09 pm

        Note she claims, inter alia, that the boys were kidnapped from an area never intended to be part of any Palestinian state, an area mostly Jewish, an area under Jewish control.

        The Israelis have poor reading skills. Article 9 paras 2(3) and 3(3) of the Oslo II Accords said that Area C was supposed to be transferred to Palestinian control and jurisdiction:

        ARTICLE XI, Land

        2 The two sides agree that West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will come under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Council in a phased manner, to be completed within 18 months from the date of the inauguration of the Council, as specified below:

        (3) In Area C, during the first phase of redeployment Israel will transfer to the Council civil powers and responsibilities not relating to territory, as set out in Annex III.

        3. For the purpose of this Agreement and until the completion of the first phase of the further redeployments:

        (3) “Area C” means areas of the West Bank outside Areas A and B, which, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in accordance with this Agreement.

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/interim.html

  22. amigo
    amigo
    June 21, 2014, 6:04 am

    “Israel had even offered a $10m reward for information on Shalit’s whereabouts in a mass text message to mobile phones in the Gaza Strip.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/18/gilad-shalit-palestinians-gaza-prisoners

    Why no offer of rewards for three alleged kidnap victims.

    Am I wrong????.

  23. just
    just
    June 21, 2014, 8:20 am

    “A Palestinian teenager, 15, was shot dead by IDF forces during rioting in the West Bank village of Dura early on Friday. Another Palestinian, aged 22, was critically hurt by IDF gunfire in clashes near the Qalandiyah checkpoint, and later died of his wounds, according to Palestinian sources. Violence flared as the search for three Israeli youths who were kidnapped from a hitchhiking station entered its ninth day.

    Since the disappearance of Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, late on Thursday, June 12, there been no sign of life nor have any demands been made by their kidnappers. ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.600172

    2 more Palestinians killed by the IOF. More Palestinians kidnapped.

    Haaretz writes ‘kidnapped’, followed by ‘disappearance’, followed by ‘kidnappers’.

    Day 9 of ?

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 21, 2014, 9:16 am

      “Day 9 of ?”

      They better find them within the next few days. Israeli Jews are not know for their patience.

      I have updated my best ending for this mess: the guys are found alive in the basement of a crazy settler and the whole scandal brings down the government and leaves the military/security people looking like idiots.

  24. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    June 21, 2014, 8:59 am

    what the Israeli government is not doing has me wondering

    For the Israeli government, Hamas responsibility for the kidnapping is a settled issue. “The information is incredibly clear to us,” an Israeli military source told Business Insider. When asked about other claims of involvement in the kidnappings by groups ranging from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the source said that “it would be kind of a waste to even look into it.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/israeli-teens-kidnapped-in-west-bank-2014-6#ixzz35H80cLX2

    “it would be kind of a waste to even look into it.” if my child was kidnapped i would demand from the authorities to check every possible avenue no matter how remote.

    one of the latest speculations from the times Of Israel looks like they are grasping at straws.

    A Hamas leader currently living in Turkey is believed to be behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week, an Israeli security official said Thursday.

    Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/security-official-hamas-leader-abroad-likely-behind-abduction/#ixzz35HDRvnSH

    the official with no name claims the Hamas leader in Turkey named Al-Arouri was able remotely to set up terror cells in the West Bank that perpetrated the kidnappings. i suppose it’s possible but then the same nameless official does on to say:

    The official conceded that Israel had no “smoking gun” proving al-Arouri’s involvement in the kidnapping last Thursday night of Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, “but I have no doubt that al-Arouri was connected to the act.”

    as others commentors said from both sides of the spectrum due to the lack of evidences speculations are rife.

    what is known, another Palestinian teen Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen die on Friday from Israeli forces live bullets.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 21, 2014, 9:09 am

      “When asked about other claims of involvement in the kidnappings …the source said that “it would be kind of a waste to even look into it.”

      This is just like at a recent court hearing of the journalist who was severely disabled by a tear gas canister while covering a demonstration. The military representative explained to a shocked judge that they did not launched an investigation because they knew they would not find out anything.

      So, if a guy in Turkey is the “mastermind” why aren’t they bombing Turkey?

      “…the official with no name [of course] claims the Hamas leader in Turkey named Al-Arouri was able remotely to set up terror cells in the West Bank…” How do you remotely set terror cells? Do you need to be the Borg to do that?

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        June 21, 2014, 1:00 pm

        lol! my sides are aching

        “…the official with no name [of course] claims the Hamas leader in Turkey named Al-Arouri was able remotely to set up terror cells in the West Bank…” How do you remotely set terror cells? Do you need to be the Borg to do that?

        what was written in the Times of Israel

        The official claimed al-Arouri, who used to live in a village north of Ramallah, has urged West Bank operatives incessantly to set up terror cells and perpetrate kidnappings. Al-Arouri has financially sponsored these cells, which were trained and directed to abduct Israelis. Often, that money was transferred through charities to obfuscate their real destination — the would-be kidnappers — the official said.

        Read more: Israeli official names Hamas leader abroad as suspect behind kidnappings | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/security-official-hamas-leader-abroad-likely-behind-abduction/#ixzz35IBxZjZY

        perhaps i should have choosen ‘from afar’ rather than ‘remotely’ for clarity sake.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 21, 2014, 1:24 pm

        I’m slightly surprised that they haven’t found a way to bring Iran and Hizballah into it yet.

        Maybe it’s next?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 21, 2014, 9:26 am

      Right. Because even though Hamas has been under severe attack from both the PA and the IDF in the WB for nearly a decade, some dude in Turkey could just phone in a kidnapping. Just like that. Do they think we’re all daft?

      But I think we are getting closer to the truth. Not the official story above, of course. But that this seems to be a step on the road to pressurising foreign authorities to crack down on any and all ”Hamas leaders” who might be resident in their countries. I would say the fact that this abduction mastermind is living in Turkey is no accident – Turkey and Israel have had a turbulent time of it recently, and the Israelis might see this as an opportunity to put pressure on Turkey.

      As I said before, anyone who thinks any of this is about ‘finding the boys’ needs to visit a psychiatrist asap.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        June 21, 2014, 1:24 pm

        i know it’s a long shot but there is one other possibility why there isn’t that much evidence been presented, that is the Israelis and the ‘kidnappers’ are in secret negoiations. of course this doesn’t explain the collective punishment of the Palestinians nor the arrests or the three deaths in the past week.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        June 21, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Given how Mr Sara has whipped Jewish Israel into a frenzy over this he risks life and limb if he’s negotiating.

  25. Paldi5
    Paldi5
    June 21, 2014, 9:04 am

    Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

    The LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.…

  26. Kay24
    Kay24
    June 21, 2014, 9:30 am

    If this was not a kidnapping, and the kids are not in any Palestinian area, would Bibi Netanyahu apologize for the violence inflicted on these poor people, the humiliation, and the false accusations? Nah. Bibi only apologizes when he has a gun to his head.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 21, 2014, 9:32 am

      There would be no apologies. Jewish Israel will simply shrug its collective shoulders, say Hamas needed to be taken out anyway, and move on.

    • piotr
      piotr
      June 21, 2014, 10:54 am

      Roseanne Roseannadanna would graciously say “Never mind” when pointed out that she spouted nonsense, and thus we can recognize that she was a fictitious character with no resemblance to any actual people.

    • just
      just
      June 21, 2014, 11:04 am

      Kay– I can only recall one Netanyahu ‘apology’. He ‘apologized’ to Erdogan 3 (three) years after his goons raided & murdered people on the Mavi Marmara.

  27. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 21, 2014, 10:07 am

    I would have thought that the number of incidents in which settlers are victimised because of their settler status would be bound to exceed the number in which they victimised for some other reason – that is just because the settlements arouse so much hostility. To me that does create a balance of probability here – though not proof – in favour of the kidnapping story even when some other explanation is plausible. In the terrible Fogel case too there was another plausible explanation, involving a Thai worker who had got into a quarrel, but we shouldn’t have been surprised that that explanation turned out not to have been valid.
    I would be surprised if those responsible, if there has indeed been a kidnapping, have in the course of their lives had no connection at all with Hamas (Hamas surely must attract all those who want to resist Israel) but also somewhat surprised if it were a simple connection whereby they are soldiers following orders from a central Hamas directorate. This must be a world of the same type, though on a bigger scale, as that portrayed in Conrad’s ‘Secret Agent’, where factions, splinter groups, spies, fanatics, mercenaries, provocateurs and police agents lead each other a dance.
    In some degree Hamas is actually involved, even though they don’t like to admit it, on the ‘rescue’ side. It is part of the Palestine Unity Government and the PUG is cooperating in the search without causing Hamas to resign. That is perhaps an aspect of Hamas that should be encouraged, at least by those who sincerely desire a 2ss.
    I do hope with some urgency that there will be no more deaths connected with this incident.

    • just
      just
      June 21, 2014, 10:15 am

      “I would have thought that the number of incidents in which settlers are victimised because of their settler status would be bound to exceed the number in which they victimised for some other reason”

      I’m having trouble finding articles or evidence of the ‘victimisation’ of settlers.

    • Jake
      Jake
      June 21, 2014, 10:20 am

      There is already at least one related death, as Sycamores said above:
      ‘what is known, another Palestinian teen Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen die on Friday from Israeli forces live bullets.’

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 21, 2014, 11:59 am

      ” the number of incidents in which settlers are victimised because of their settler status”

      Could you provide some examples of this ‘victimisation’? Given how obsessively the Western press frets every time a Palestinian dares to look at a settler the wrong way, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about this ‘victimisation’.

      And given that settlers are responsible for so much violence and abuse of Palestinians – quite aside from the fact that the ‘settlements’ themselves are a form of violence – why do you assume that they are ‘victimised because of their settler status’ rather than in revenge for one of the many ‘price tag’ attacks on Palestinians? That is, of course, if they are ‘victimised’ at all.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 21, 2014, 2:27 pm

        ” the number of incidents in which settlers are victimised because of their settler status”

        Could you provide some examples of this ‘victimisation’?

        The Fogel family springs to mind. Years ago the suicide bombings in the settlements, like the one in the supermarket at the entrance to Ariel, & etc. I doubt that these attacks happened because the people targeted were gingers. I tend to agree that most attacks on Jews in the OPt probably do occur because the people targeted are illegal settlers.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 21, 2014, 6:01 pm

        Yes, thanks Hostage. I don’t argue that the settlers are victimised very often. They are very well protected and like others who lead privileged lives have little reason to fall out among themselves. They are far more often the victimisers.

  28. tommy
    tommy
    June 21, 2014, 11:38 am

    Are there no John Wayne Gacey’s in Israel?

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 21, 2014, 12:38 pm

      I’d be interested to know how many individual soldiers have multiple kills or shootings on their record.

      • Elisabeth
        Elisabeth
        June 22, 2014, 10:04 am

        “I’d be interested to know how many individual soldiers have multiple kills or shootings on their record.”
        This one has:

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.596851

        This killing at the Tapuah Junction was committed by the same soldier who already killed a Palestinian at the same place in 2013. (According to Walla.)

        In 2013 the story was that the Palestinian had used ‘an improvised weapon’. (He was standing at a bus stop with a box of firework and one went off apparently.)
        Here is that story:
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.556920
        This time it is said that the Palestinian attacked with a hand gun, but his family says that he was waiting for a delivery of merchandise for his phone shop and was shot as soon as he came out of the taxi that brought him there.

        At a the Dutch site there is a picture of Mohammed Alaa Odeh (the man that was killed recently) in front of his phone shop. He seems proud of his shop and he had two little daughters. I find it very hard to believe that this man was a ‘terrorist’ who went out to kill.

        The same soldier killed twice with the same excuse at the same place. The first time he was not punished, and so he killed again.

  29. piotr
    piotr
    June 21, 2014, 11:51 am

    The problem with terror motivation is that concerning Hamas, they are currently busy restoring the ability of Gaza to import goods without Israeli control, which necessitates agreeing to PA control and patching an agreement with a very hostile government of Egypt. The only plausible attribution to an organized group would be a splinter group.

    But a splinter group could also do something simple, like a shooting, IED or even spikes on the highway. Hard to see any “added value” from a complex plot of kidnapping.

    While “alternative explanations” were not true in Fogel case, one should remember that the culprits were not tied to any organization, but had personal revenge motifs. IDF focused investigation on their village precisely because those motifs were clear (settlers harrassing and killing in that village). Hamas had nothing to do with motivating and directing those young people. Here the additional complication is that a kidnapping would be much easier for a Jewish Israeli.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 21, 2014, 11:53 am

      ”While “alternative explanations” were not true in Fogel case, one should remember that the culprits were not tied to any organization, but had personal revenge motifs.”

      I didn’t follow the case very closely, but isn’t there considerable doubt about the Itamar convictions?

  30. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    June 21, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Anyone else notice that, at least on some of the internet news sites, the disappearances are not getting as much attention as a few days ago? It looks like the ratings are slipping.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 21, 2014, 3:14 pm

      As far as the news media are concerned, there isn’t much to report. Not a word about the precious Israeli boys, and it’s only Palestinians who are getting killed, and only Palestinians whose lives are being further disrupted and their homes raided.

      So, as far as CNN et al are concerned, nothing here to see. Move on.

    • just
      just
      June 21, 2014, 3:14 pm

      yes.

  31. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 21, 2014, 2:39 pm

    APN briefing call on settlements says only one of the three teens was from a settler family, and also that one of the three made a phone call to the Israeli police or IDF after the disappearance. All three were apparently going to the same school and hitch-hiking–not clear if they were together though at any time.

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