Bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens found in West Bank

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The bodies of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped on June 12th, Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Shaer, 16, were found Monday evening outside of Hebron in the West Bank near the Palestinian town of Halhul.

The families have been notified after the intense 18-day mission, Operation Brother’s Keeper, searching for the boys.

Halhul and the surrounding Palestinian areas have been shut down by Israeli security forces as they investigate the terror attack.

The Israeli Cabinet has scheduled an emergency meeting for 9:30 PM.

16 rockets fired into Israel, Hamas behind rocket attacks

16 rockets fired into Israel Sunday into Monday morning; For first time since Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas responsible for rocket attacks on Israel

Iron Dome intercepts rocket fired into Israel (EPA)

Iron Dome intercepts rocket fired into Israel (EPA)

At least 16 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel Sunday night into Monday morning, the largest concentrated amount of rocket attacks on Israel in the past two weeks when rocket resumed at the start of Operation Brother’s Keeper.

Majority of the rockets exploded in open areas in southern Israel, however, shrapnel damaged several homes, with no injuries reported.

Hamas carried out the rocket attacks on Sunday into Monday, the first rocket attacks since November 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense by Hamas’s military wing.

While investigation and intelligence gathering is still underway, it is believed that Hamas’s decision to attack Israel is due to the killing of terrorist Mohammed Zaid Abid in an Israeli airstrike on Sunday evening as he was attempting to launch a rocket into Israel. Additional reports believe that Hamas is responding to Israel’s airstrikes.

With increasing attacks on Israel, the IDF has instructed the Armored Corps to prepare for transfer to southern Israel.

Speaking at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, “We are witness to increased fire from the Gaza Strip in recent days. We hit a Hamas cell yesterday, which was planning to fire rockets at us. If the quiet achieved following Operation Pillar of Defense is disrupted, there are two options: Either Hamas stops it, as it is responsible for the territory, or we will stop it. We cannot allow the continuation of rocket fire.”

There have been over 200 rockets fired into Israel in 2014.

Rocket attack from Gaza burns Sderot factory to ground

Rocket fired from Gaza burns Sderot factory to ground; IAF performs two airstrikes over weekend targeting terror sites; 11 rockets fired into Israel over weekend

Sderot factory on fire that later burned to the ground from rocket attack

Sderot factory on fire that later burned to the ground from rocket attack

A rocket fired from Gaza into Israel hit a factory in the southern city of Sderot on Saturday causing a massive fire. A total of four rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel with rocket attacks continuing on southern Israel Saturday, following six rockets fired into Israel on Friday.

The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committee took responsibility for the attack claiming the rocket attack was in response to the IDF’s killing of two of its operatives on Friday.

Four were reported injured from the attack, a 23-year old and 59-year old who were inside the factory when the rocket hit, both suffering from light burns and were rushed to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

The factory was burnt to the ground. Firefighters were dispatched to the factory and were able to extinguish the fire within two hours.

The Israeli Air Force responded to the rocket attacks over the weekend in two airstrikes hitting 12 targets. The IAF struck two weapons manufacturing sites, a terror activity site in central Gaza, three terror activity sites in south Gaza and three rocket launching pads. According to reports from Palestinian media four were injured in the attacks.

There have been over 40 rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation Brother’s Keeper. The IDF has struck over 30 terror targets in Gaza in airstrikes.

Addressing Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi Saturday night, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated, “We will not tolerate attempts by terror organizations in the Strip to disrupt the daily lives of the South’s residents. As we have done in the past few days, we will continue acting with a heavy hand and attack terror elements firing at Israel, and strike them with a painful blow. At these very moments, the IDF and security forces are working, and will continue to chase and catch terror elements that are trying to hurt us.”

Israel releases names of main suspects in kidnapping

Two Hamas operatives named as main suspects, missing since time of kidnapping as Operation Brother’s Keeper two weeks in

The Hamas suspects in the kidnapping, Amer Abu Aysha & Marwan Kawasme

The Hamas suspects in the kidnapping, Amer Abu Aysha & Marwan Kawasme

Israel has named two main suspects in the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel. The suspects, who are at large, Amar Abu-Eisha,33, and Marwan Kawasmeh, 29, have  both been previously incarcerated and residents of Hebron.

Both are members of Hamas and the IDF has evidence they played a central role in the kidnapping of the three teenagers over two weeks ago. Both have been missing since June 12 when the boys were kidnapped, the IDF and Shin Bet have searched and questioned their families and homes extensively.

A senior Palestinian authority confirmed that the Palestinian Authority believes the two are in hiding and that they have been searching for the suspects. He stated that there is “clear evidence they have links with the abduction.”

Both the men have criminal backgrounds and links to terror and Hamas, Kawasmeh was arrested first at the age of 18 and admits to having been recruited to Hamas in 2009. He was incarcerated in 2012 for military training and recruiting and obtaining raw materials for producing weapons and explosives. Eisha was incarcerated in 2005 and in 2007 for short terms.

The IDF searched over 49 sites in the West Bank Thursday, arresting nine suspects. In their searches they found weapons such as handguns and explosives.

On releasing the names of the suspects connected to the kidnapping a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)  official stated that, “The intelligence circle continues. With regards to publicizing information, we release what we can in time. With regards to publicizing information, I can’t talk in detail about the significance of this.” On the missions being held in Operation Brother’s Keeper, he stated, “Forces are concentrated in the Etzion and Judea area, and are being led by the Kfir] Brigade commander (an infantry unity), who is continuing to command over rolling operations, including tightening the intelligence circle.”

Fire breaks out in Jerusalem neighborhood

Hundreds evacuated as firefighting forces work around the clock to contain the fire and extinguish it

 A firefighting plane extinguishing fire in Ein Kerem neighborhood in Jerusalem (FLASH())

A firefighting plane extinguishing fire in Ein Kerem neighborhood in Jerusalem (FLASH())

Jerusalem was hit with forest fires Wednesday, the fires coming from the Ein Kerem neighborhood.  The fires, which have been under control but broke out in the afternoon, have resorted to over 34 firefighting teams and six firefighting planes needed to extinguish the flames.

An additional fire broke out in Nataf, a village close to Abu Ghosh where five firefighting teams were sent to extinguish and prevent the spread of the fire.

All efforts were placed in effect to maintain the fire. Firefighters have been working to assure the fire does not reach Yad VaShem, Israel’s national Holocaust Museum.

Residents in the Ein Kerem and surrounding region were evacuated. No major injuries have been reported, however, three people were injured from smoke inhalation.

Mother of kidnapped addresses UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Rachel Frenkel addresses UN Human Rights Council, call for “much more can be done” as Operation Brother’s Keeper enters its 12th day

Rachel Frenkel addresses the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Rachel Frenkel addresses the Human Rights Council in Geneva

 

The mother of Naftali Frenkel,16,  one of the three kidnapped teenagers addressed the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.  Rachel Frenkel addressed the Council in Geneva alongside the mothers of Eyal Yifrah,19, Gilad Shaer,16.

Operation Brother’s Keeper has now entered its 12th day with the Israeli cabinet voting Tuesday morning to lesson the scope of the mission by reducing security forces in the West Bank and focus on intelligence gathering.

In her speech she focused on being a mother and wanting her son to come home. She avoided politics, thanking bother the Red Cross and UN for their time. She stated, “Twelve days ago, my son Naftali, and two other teenage students, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaer, whose mothers are sitting behind me, were kidnapped on their way home from school. Since then, we’ve heard nothing: no news, no sign of life.”

She emphasized that more could be done to bring the boys home stating, “I believe much more can be done, and should be done- by so many. That is why we three mothers have come here today, before the United Nations, and before the world, to ask everyone, to do whatever they can, to bring back our boys.”

Ending her speech, she stated, “Mr. President, it is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?”

Israeli airstrike on Syria leave 12 dead, Operation Brother’s Keeper enters 11th day

Israel Air Force strikes 9 military targets in Syria following attack on Sunday that killed 13 year old Israel: Ya’alon warns Assad of Israeli sovereignty; 12 reported killed in Syria; 37 arrested in connection to Operation Brother’s Keeper, 57 arrested part of Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange

IAF military airstrike in Syria

IAF military airstrike in Syria

The Israeli Air Force responded to the explosion caused by a missile into Israel Sunday which left four injured and a 13-year old dead. The IAF reportedly attack nine Syrian military positions late Sunday night.

While an ongoing investigation is underway, it is believed that a advanced Kornet anti-tank missile was fired at the vehicle on Sunday morning.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the airstrikes as a result direct to Syrian President Bashar Assad as responsible, stating, “The Assad regime now sees that it is responsible for the area under its control. We will respond aggressively and harshly against any provocation and violation of our sovereignty.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement, “The IDF targeted nine Syrian army positions in response to the earlier attack that originated in Syria killing an Israeli teenager and injuring two other Israeli civilians. The targeted sites include Syrian [regional] military headquarters and launching positions.”

IDF Spokesperson Lt. Co. Peter Lerner stated that Sunday’s attack was “an unprovoked act of aggression against Israel, and a direct continuation to recent attacks that occurred in the area… he IDF will not tolerate any attempt to breach Israel’s sovereignty and will act in order to safeguard the civilians of the State of Israel.

Reports from the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights claims that 12 Syrian soldiers were killed in the airstrikes, with separate media reports claiming 10 were killed.

Later Monday afternoon an IDF source stated that Israel “has no intention to escalate the situation, and wants to concentrate its efforts in Judea and Samaria.” Israel has entered its 11th day of Operation Brother’s Keeper in search of the three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’er and Naftali Frenkel.

An IDF senior official stated Monday that “The IDF will have exhausted search operation in Hebron area within two or three days.” The IDF arrested over 37 Palestinians Sunday night, with a total of 361 suspects detained and 250 of them Hamas operatives. 57 of the arrested were released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange and have been arrested during the mission.