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Operation Brothers Keeper morphing into Hamas sweep

IDF; 'PA cooperating out of their own self interest'

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Posted on: 
19 Jun 2014
Operation Brothers Keeper morphing into Hamas sweep

Senior Israeli defense officials told reporters on Wednesday that ‘Operation Brothers Keeper” as the effort to return kidnapped Israeli teenagers Gil- Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19 has been dubbed, has already succeeded in disrupting the activities of the Islamist terror militia Hamas in the West Bank, and will continue to do so even after the boys are safely returned to their families.  Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman, said security forces are targeting Hamas at “all levels…from tactical operatives to its institutions all the way up to its strategic leadership.” SO far, nearly 280 suspects have been arrested, including 53 individual who were released in 2011 in exchange for Gilad Schalit. Meanwhile, Israeli security forces deployed to search for the teens have come under attack in several incidents in recent days, despite ostensible cooperation from the Palestinian Authority security forces and a condemnation of the kidnappings by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The PA is cooperating with Israel “not out of love for Israel, but for their own interests,” said Lerner. “From our point of view, we don’t depend on them... We’ll count on ourselves.”

“Over the last three days, the mission has developed beyond the primary target of bringing the boys home to striking a substantial blow to Hamas,” Lerner said. “Ultimately, they must pay the price for openly declaring their intent to carry out such attacks. I expect this operation not to cease ... Hamas cannot be strong enough to carry out these attacks.”

“There’s nothing that is limiting our action,” agreed Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in a separate briefing. “All the intelligence and operational capabilities of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Shin Bet and the Israel Police are available for the benefit of this highest-priority operation.”


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