UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Tuesday, June 17 2014
Quotes of the day:
Naftali Bennett (Israel Economics Minister):
“ . . . we are turning membership in Hamas into an entry pass into hell.”
Orit Struck (head of the Knesset Land of Israel caucus):
“The Americans pushed for releasing more and more terrorists, and the kidnappings were the result. But the Americans never take responsibility for anything. They prefer to just sling mud at Israel. They would never accept their children being kidnapped on the way home from school and their mothers worrying.”
As Israel continues to tighten the noose around Hebron and now Shechem (Nablus), there still is no news about the three missing Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped on Thursday night. No further claims of responsibility have been made since the apparently bogus one on Friday, and no demands have been forthcoming from the kidnappers.
All in all, as time passes, any hope of finding the boys alive grows ever dimmer.
Nevertheless, Israeli troops continue to pour into the Hebron area along with bulldozers and tanks which were positioned just outside the city yesterday. The number of Hamas terrorists who have been arrested throughout Judea and Samaria is now in the hundreds.
The same troops making the arrests are encountering violence in virtually every neighborhood in Hebron and every Palestinian settlement outside of the city. Incidents of “rock” throwing (at Azzun, Giti Avassar, Rachel’s Tomb and at least 20 other locations), IEDs (along road 443 and elsewhere), and attempted infiltrations (at Kochav Binjamin and elsewhere have occurred overnight.
Israelis (including an infant) have been wounded and a number of Palestinian terrorists have been shot and killed. One was shot to death as he tried to throw a concrete block from a rooftop and another as he tried to breach the security perimeter fence of a Jewish community.
At the same time that all of this is happening in Judea and Samaria, the situation here in the south continues to deteriorate. There are incoming missiles from Palestinian terrorists in Gaza every night now; last night it was Ashkelon’s turn again with at least two missiles targeting the city at 10:47 pm. Again, here in Ashdod, we heard the Iron Dome interceptor missiles being fired.
In response, the IAF and the Israeli navy has struck Hamas facilities in various parts of the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, a few explosions here and there do nothing to stop the rocket fire.