Israel Downgrading Military Operation to Recover Kidnapped Teens

Mission Will Now Focus on 'Intelligence Gathering'

Getty Images

By JTA

Published June 24, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel’s Cabinet agreed to reduce the presence of the country’s military in the West Bank and limit its incursions into Palestinian areas 12 days after the kidnapping of three Israeli teens.

The operation to locate and return the teens, called Operation Brother’s Keeper, now will focus more on intelligence gathering, Haaretz reported.

“A large part of the operation against Hamas has been exhausted,” Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

The operation also was scaled back in advance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week. “We are making progress all the time,” Yaalon said. “We are not working in the dark. It is only a matter of time till we get to the hostages and the kidnappers, but we need patience.”

More than 300 Palestinians have been arrested during the 12 days of military operations. Five Palestinians have been killed in the operations.

The Times of Israel quoted IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz as saying that the military is working under the assumption that the teens are still alive, “but with the passing of time, fears grow.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for condemning the kidnapping.

“I appreciate what President Abbas said a few days ago in Saudi Arabia, rejecting the kidnapping,” Netanyahu said at a meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Pont. “I think these were important words. Now if he really means what he said about the kidnapping, and if he is truly committed to peace and to fighting terrorism, then logic and common sense mandate that he break his pact with Hamas. This is the only way that we can move forward.

“There can be no alliance with the kidnappers of children,” he added.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in an interview with Al-Jazeera late Monday praised the kidnapping of the teens, but would neither confirm nor deny that Hamas was responsible.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.