The three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, who were abducted by Palestinians earlier were found dead in the village of Khalil, near Halhoul north of Hebron. They appeared to have been dumped in haste. The ambulance that came to retrieve the bodies came under heavy rock attack from local Palestinians. The teens had apparently been shot dead soon after they were abducted. Hours after they were abducted, police received a call from the cellphone of one of the boys. He whispered, “We’ve been kidnapped.” Then shots were heard. It is probable that all three boys were shot dead at that time. However, police assumed it was a prank call. Local police were deluged with prank calls that night. Two men, Marwan Qawasmeh, 37, and Omar Abu Aysha, 33, both Hamas members, are wanted in the crime. They disappeared on the same day that the teens were kidnapped and have not been seen since. Both were members of the military wing of Hamas. It was unknown if they acted alone as a cell or if they had help, but in light of the careful planning needed to carry out the crime, they probably had some help. However, it is dubious that everyone in Hamas’ military wing knew of this plot or even that a all of the leaders of its military wing knew. A lot of these grouplings operate on a cell structure and more or less act on their own. The fewer people who know about a plot in advance, the easier it is to pull it off, and Palestinian society is utterly riddled with a huge number of Israeli spies. Without this spy network, Israel could not roll up the number of plots that they do. Over 200 Palestinians have been arrested in connection with this crime, however, charges have not been filed against most of them, and the evidence connecting them to this crime or any other illegal act is dubious and probably nonexistent at the moment. They are being held in “administrative detention,” a fake procedure typically implemented in counterinsurgency states and now implemented in the US. Once this is implemented, you no longer have a democracy. That is because this procedure allows the jailing of anyone without charges being filed. People can be held on no charges for an unlimited period of time under this edict. Hebron is a nasty place. It is an Arab city of 90,000 Palestinians, but due to Israeli insanity, 500 Jewish settlers are scattered throughout the city in little fortresses. These settlers carry guns openly throughout the town and lord it over the local Arabs, beating them, destroying their property, and setting fires. A large Israeli military detachment has been set up to protect this madness. The city’s 90,000 Arabs are very limited in their movements due to barriers, checkpoints, soldiers everywhere, and frequent lockdowns and raids, all to protect this ridiculous settler contingent. Tourists going to Hebron report that the city seems to be seething in barely-buried hostility. The place gives off very bad vibes. Israel commenced to bomb 34 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza (all empty) saying that they will destroy Hamas. But they have said this many times before. Hamas does not in general like rocket fire coming from Gaza which is often fired by radical Al Qaeda allied groups, but they do not want to be seen as enforcing Israel’s will against the local fighters. I am convinced that Hamas does not want war with Israel, but that does not apply to all of the Al Qaeda grouplings. Most of the radical groups operate under the moniker of the Popular Resistance Committees. After the air raids, three rockets were fired from Gaza. Pro-Israel sites are saying that Abbas’ Palestinian Authority praised the kidnappings, but this is not the case. In fact, they condemned them and were working with the Israelis to find the boys. This collaboration outraged the locals so much that they burned a few PA police cars in Ramallah the other day. There have been riots and protests the whole time the IDF has been carrying out these raids in the West Bank. A number of Palestinians, mostly kids, have been killed and wounded in these raids. I think that Israel will have a limited, controlled response to this act and Hamas will follow with a similar response. The harder Israel hits Hamas, the more Hamas will fire rockets, including ones of greater power, longer range and greater accuracy.
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