Friday, December 18, 2015

 

ISRAEL UNFAZED AS EGYPTIAN FIGHTER JETS ENTER ITS AIRSPACE.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.
12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

US lawmakers condemn EU labeling of settlement products-Bipartisan resolution accuses Europe of encouraging boycott of Israel, setting back prospects for peace-By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil December 17, 2015, 9:05 pm-the times of israel

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of Congress members introduced a resolution Thursday expressing staunch opposition to guidelines issued recently by the European Union mandating the labeling of products manufactured in Israeli West Bank settlements and in the Golan Heights.Democratic representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, and Republicans Peter Roskam and Ed Royce – all legislators with strong pro-Israel records – co-authored the resolution. In a statement released after the resolution was submitted, the four accused the EU of advancing a general boycott of Israel.The guidelines, they said, “only encourage and prompt consumers to boycott all Israeli goods.”“This is counterproductive to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, harmful to U.S. national security interests, and contributes to the deeply misguided anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” the four complained. “Boycotts chip away at economic integration, which negatively affects Israelis and Palestinians alike. The establishment of the European Economic Community was predicated on the notion that peace and security are achieved through trade, economic cooperation, and job creation – not boycotts and isolation. The same is true for Israelis and Palestinians.”The resolution itself expresses alarm that “politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel represent a concerted effort to extract concessions from Israel outside of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and undermines efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” a position that the sponsors wrote was itself in contravention of longstanding US policy.“The United States has long opposed efforts to impose solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict outside of direct negotiations between the two parties,” they noted, adding that “the United States has historically been at the forefront of combating economic pressure against Israel and has enacted legislation to counter both the Arab League Boycott of Israel and the BDS movement.”The resolution also cited recent legislation – at both the federal and state levels — that discourage support for BDS actions, and even call for US negotiators to discourage potential trading partners from engaging in such actions.It noted a law passed earlier this year as part of a trade negotiating package states that the United States should discourage potential trading partners from adopting policies to limit trade or investment relations with Israel when negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European countries.At the same time, multiple state legislatures – including Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina and New York — have passed laws and resolutions rejecting BDS practices, and in some cases, divesting state funds from any body that engages in BDS.The text of the resolution itself calls upon all of the European governmental bodies “to oppose any boycott, divestment, or sanctions initiatives aimed at singling out Israel, to refrain from actions counterproductive to resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and to work on bringing the parties back to the negotiating table.” It also encourages EU states “to exert prudence in the implementation of the European Union labeling guidelines.”The legislators noted that the European Union is Israel’s largest trading partner, arguing that as such, “the European Union should play a constructive role to help bring the parties back to the negotiating table and resolve their differences, not try to extract one-sided concessions and feed into politically-motivated acts to boycott Israel.”The resolution is included as part of the omnibus funding package, and is set to go through its first rounds of voting on Friday. The package is considered must-pass legislation in order to stave off the risk of a government shutdown – and has been hammered out in a series of bipartisan trade-offs.If the resolution stays in the package, its chances of passing are considered good, since Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the Obama administration both have indicated that they hope to see the omnibus spending bill’s speedy passage.Left-wing groups, such as Americans for Peace Now, have complained that throughout the past year, there has been an increase in Congressional moves that they say violate longstanding US policy differentiating between the legal status of lands claimed by Israel after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and lands within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.This resolution’s sponsors noted in their statement that when it came to boycott, divestment or sanctions actions, they did not in fact make any differentiation. “This resolution expresses our opposition to the EU labeling decision and all other boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts directed against Israel or Israeli-controlled territory,” the four noted.At the same time, the text of the resolution “reaffirms” Congress’s “strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.”

UAW International Union strikes down California student Israel boycott-Executive board says 2014 resolution to divest ‘espouses discrimination and vilification against Israelis’-By JTA December 17, 2015, 10:29 pm-the times of israel

The United Auto Workers International Union struck down a boycott resolution against Israel.The University of California Student Workers Union, UAW Local 2865, which represents more than 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors and other student workers in the UC system, approved a resolution in December 2014 to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, against Israel.On Tuesday the UAW International Executive Board stated its “unanimous belief” that BDS “espouses discrimination and vilification against Israelis and UAW members who are of Jewish lineage.”The board determined that “the provisions of the BDS Resolution, despite semantical claims to the contrary by the local union, can easily be construed as academic and cultural discrimination against union members on the basis of their national origin and religion.” The UAW board also called the BDS resolution “a clear and convincing breach” of the union’s constitution, and “would harm UAW-represented workers and other union members” by boycotting companies that employ these individuals, leading to “direct economic deprivation.”Informed Grads, a UC student group that had opposed the resolution, said the UAW had set a national precedent by denying the local organization the right to adopt such a measure.“The anti-Semitism and active promotion of hate that ran rampant throughout this BDS campaign cannot and must not be tolerated. We applaud UAW International for taking a firm position against BDS and discrimination based on religion or national origin,” Karra Greenberg of Informed Grads, who testified at the appeal hearing, said Wednesday in a statement.

ISRAEL SATAN COMES AGAINST

1 CHRONICLES 21:1
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

GENESIS 12:1-3
1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I (GOD) will shew thee:
2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3  And I will bless them that bless thee,(ISRAELIS) and curse (DESTROY) him that curseth thee:(DESTROY THEM) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

ISAIAH 41:11
11  Behold, all they that were incensed against thee (ISRAEL) shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing;(DESTROYED) and they that strive with thee shall perish.(ISRAEL HATERS WILL BE TOTALLY DESTROYED)

ISRAELS TROUBLE

JEREMIAH 30:7
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;(ISRAEL) but he shall be saved out of it.

DANIEL 12:1,4
1 And at that time shall Michael(ISRAELS WAR ANGEL) stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:(ISRAEL) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation(May 14,48) even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,(WORLD TRAVEL,IMMIGRATION) and knowledge shall be increased.(COMPUTERS,CHIP IMPLANTS ETC)

Deputy minister promotes IDF officer cleared in Palestinian’s death-Army had investigated the lieutenant for two years before finding him not guilty in the killing of a rioter who tried to attack troops-By Judah Ari Gross December 17, 2015, 11:09 pm-the times of israel

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan conferred the rank of first lieutenant Thursday on an IDF reserve officer who was recently cleared by the army in the death of a Palestinian man during a West Bank riot two years ago.In a ceremony held in Ben Dahan’s office in the Kirya army base in Tel Aviv, the deputy minister cited the need to “back up IDF commanders and soldiers and fight those who seek to sully them.” He placed the two bars denoting a first lieutenant on the shoulders of Aviv Morag, a reservist who had served in the Lavi Battalion of the IDF’s Kfir Brigade.“In an age when many people slander the IDF and its soldiers — even thought the IDF is the most moral army in the world — it is upon us to declare loudly that you all are our heroes, that we won’t allow organizations like Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem and others to release their libelous claims in Israel and abroad,” said Ben Dahan, a member of the Orthodox nationalist Jewish Home party.Ben Dahan’s attempt to link Morag’s case to attempts to “slander” soldiers seemed tenuous. The investigation into the 2013 death of Muatazz Idreis Sharawnah was carried out not by Breaking the Silence or B’Tselem, but by the army itself.Usually, army commanders rather than government officials present soldiers and officers with their new ranks, and only the IDF chief of staff is presented with his rank by the prime minister. But while fighting the case, Morag’s attorney, Eyal Paltek, reached out to the deputy defense minister, who took an immediate interest in the story, an aide to Ben Dahan said.After meeting with Morag and his family, the deputy minister agreed to have his office organize the ceremony.-The case against Morag-In the early hours of July 2, 2013, during a particularly violent riot in the Palestinian village of Dura outside of Hebron, Morag and seven soldiers were sent in a large, armored vehicle, known as a Ze’ev, into the thick of the commotion.Sharawnah, 19, climbed onto their vehicle, broke its side mirrors and attached a Palestinian flag to it, before trying to open the rear door of the Ze’ev. The soldiers inside grasped the door handle to prevent him from entering the vehicle and attacking them, but Sharawnah persisted.Eventually, Morag exited the Ze’ev and fired a warning shot in the air and used other non-lethal riot control methods to scare him away from the vehicle. When Sharawnah still attempted to enter the armored car, Morag shot him. Though he apparently intended only to injure the Palestinian man, the gunshot proved to be fatal, and Sharawnah died later that day.“I don’t for a second regret what I did. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened had I not acted the way that I acted,” Morag said during the ceremony.As a result of the incident, the Military Police’s investigation unit opened a case against Morag to determine whether he had followed the army’s rules of engagement.For unclear reasons, that case dragged on for over two years. Morag was cleared of all criminal charges in October.In the interim, between July 2013 and October 2015, Morag was stuck in limbo. He was removed from his combat soldier status and his advancement in the army, in terms of both rank and position, was impeded. IDF second lieutenants generally rise to the rank of first lieutenant within a few months.Morag had intended to carry on in the army, and was in line for an administrative role. But after the incident, he decided to cut his service short and leave the IDF.“I am willing to pay the price of a prolonged judgment period, delay of my rank and my leaving the IDF in order to protect my soldiers and prevent injury to them,” he said at the time.

Obama says no specific, credible terror threat over holidays-In second security briefing highlighted by the White House this week, US president says Americans ‘have to be vigilant’-By AP December 17, 2015, 11:33 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — US President Barack Obama said Thursday that American intelligence and counter-terrorism officials have received no specific, credible information suggesting a potential terrorist attack against the United States. He said Americans must be vigilant this holiday season.“We cannot give in to fear or change how we live our lives,” Obama said in brief remarks to employees at the National Counter-terrorism Center. “We will not be terrorized. We’ve prevailed over much greater threats than this; we will prevail again.”Obama spoke after a briefing by his national security team on the current threat level, the effort to combat extremist groups and propaganda abroad, and steps to tighten scrutiny of people entering the US on visas.In a reminder of the limits such assurances, Obama’s remarks nearly echoed a statement he delivered just before Thanksgiving — one week before the shooting in San Bernardino, California.Still, the White House has sought to ease public worries in the wake of that attack. This was the second security briefing the White House has highlighted this week. The president visited the Pentagon on Monday for an update on the US-led fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.On Thursday, Obama noted he was briefed on the K-1 visa program, which one of the attackers in San Bernardino used to come to the US in July 2014. Tashfeen Malik passed background checks and in-person interviews. Still, FBI Director James Comey has said officials believe she was radicalized before she arrived.Malik and her husband, Syed Farook, pledged allegiance to an IS leader in a Facebook posting as the shooting occurred.Obama said the threat of terrorism has evolved to include smaller groups or individuals, making detection harder. He said the US was constantly “upping our game” to match the new threats.He said the US was focused on three areas: going after terrorists overseas; working to prevent terrorists from entering the country; and strengthening ties between law enforcement and local communities and the technology sector to prevent attacks at home.“We have to be vigilant,” he said.

US poised to lift sanctions on Iran under nuclear deal-Senators say agreement off to ‘terrible start’ with Tehran’s sentencing of American reporter and its ballistic missile test-By Deb Riechmann December 17, 2015, 11:33 pm-the times of israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States appears poised to lift at least some sanctions against Iran — possibly as early as January — as members of Congress urge a swift, robust US response to Tehran’s recent ballistic missile test.Secretary of State John Kerry said in a letter Wednesday to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iran is fulfilling its obligations under the international agreement in what Kerry calls a “transparent” and “verifiable” way, and that “suspension of sanctions … is appropriate.”The committee’s top Democrat, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, said at a hearing Thursday that it appears that sanctions relief could start as early as January, not in the spring as initially anticipated.The deal involving the United States, Iran and five other world powers would curb Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for giving Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue.Cardin said that throughout the congressional review of the deal, witnesses for the administration guessed that it would be spring until Iran could comply with the terms required for that relief to begin.“Now we understand it is likely that Iran will be in compliance and entitled to sanctions relief as early as January,” Cardin said at the hearing where Obama administration officials were questioned about the deal.“Obviously, we want them to comply — don’t get me wrong,” Cardin said. “But why did we misjudge so badly the date that is likely for compliance?”Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for implementation of the deal, agreed that some administration officials had speculated that it would take until the spring. But he said the pacing of compliance is in Iran’s hands.Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said Wednesday that Iran will carry out its remaining obligations in the next two weeks to pave the way for the lifting of sanctions in January. He said Iran would now dismantle some nuclear centrifuges and ship out a major portion of its stockpile of enriched uranium.Mull emphasized that the agreement requires Iran to take steps to dismantle its nuclear program correctly, not quickly.“We’re not there yet,” he said. “I don’t think anyone in the US can predict when that will be. The responsibility for that lies with Iran as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”Mull said Iran has begun dismantling its uranium enrichment system by removing thousands of centrifuges and transferring them into a storage facility that will be monitored by international nuclear inspectors.“It has already removed more than 5,000 of its machines and is likely to move quickly to remove the rest in the coming days,” Mull said.He said Iran is reducing its stockpile of various forms of enriched uranium to no more than 300 kilograms of material enriched up to 3.67 percent.“It will accomplish this primarily by shipping a significant amount of such material outside Iran, while also diluting the remaining excess to the level of natural uranium or below,” Mull said. “Commercial contracts are in place for Iran to ship its enriched uranium stockpiles to Russia. We expect that this material — approximately 25,000 pounds of material enriched up to 20 percent low-enriched uranium — could leave Iran in the coming weeks.”Senators from both parties expressed concern about recent actions taken by Iran, which they fear could foreshadow Iranian noncompliance.Saying the deal is off to a “terrible start,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the committee chairman, cited Iran’s conviction of Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter, along with the export of weapons to Syria and Yemen, and an Oct. 10 ballistic missile test that UN experts say violates the UN ballistic missile test ban.“We see no evidence of them paying a price for any of these actions,” Corker said.Mull said the administration was “actively considering the appropriate consequences” to the October missile launch, but did not elaborate.Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who supported the deal, called for forceful enforcement of the agreement.“If we fail in any way to relentlessly enforce what we’ve got in terms of both US unilateral and multilateral abilities to constrain Iran’s actions, they will take that as a clear signal that we’ve taken our eye off the ball,” Coons said.Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and 35 GOP senators wrote President Barack Obama on Thursday, urging the administration not to lift sanctions in the wake of the ballistic missile test.“This approach toward Tehran undermines further an already weak Iran deal and jeopardizes our national security interests,” the letter said.

Israel unfazed as Egyptian fighter jets penetrate its airspace-For first time since 1973 war, aircraft briefly crossed border during several sorties against Islamic State; Israeli officials call violations ‘minor’-By Times of Israel staff December 16, 2015, 2:28 am

Egyptian military jets entered Israeli airspace on several occasions in recent months during raids on Islamic State affiliates in the Sinai Peninsula.The airspace violations were brief and did not elicit a response from the Israeli military.According to Ynet the incidents were the first known instance since 1973’s Yom Kippur War that Egyptian fighter jets flew over Israel.Last month, underlining the potential for miscalculation in such circumstances, two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian plane which Ankara said violated its airspace, sparking a bilateral crisis.Egypt has been operating extensively against Islamic State affiliates in Sinai in recent months, as jihadists have increasingly attacked both military and civilian targets in the region.The insurgency has grown since the 2011 popular uprising against longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. After the army overthrew his successor, Mohammed Morsi, in July 2013, attacks surged. Islamic State’s Sinai Province has launched dozens of attacks against Egyptian soldiers. In October the group said it smuggled and detonated a bomb on board a Russian plane in the peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.In light of the threat posed by IS, Israel has allowed Egypt to mobilize large numbers of troops to the region, in an agreed departure from the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement that states the peninsula should remain demilitarized.

Mother of soldier killed in Gaza urges his status be changed to MIA-Zehava Shaul says so long as there’s uncertainty about her son Oron’s condition, she won’t give up hope for his return-By Times of Israel staff December 18, 2015, 12:53 am

The family of Oron Shaul, an IDF soldier killed in action during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, on Thursday called on the government and military to change his status to missing in action.Shaul’s mother, Zehava, told Channel 10 in an interview scheduled for broadcast on Friday that as far as she’s concerned, the matter “isn’t closed.”Oron Shaul was killed during summer 2014’s 50-day military campaign, Operation Protective Edge, against Hamas in Gaza. His body, and that of another soldier, Hadar Goldin, was not recovered and Israel classified both soldiers as killed in action.“It isn’t closed, there are gaps,” she said. Zehava Shaul said that so long as there’s the smallest possibility her son’s alive, she’ll hold onto hope.“If it’s not 100 percent, I’m holding on it, my heart tells me he’s alive,” she told the channel.Earlier this week Shaul told the press that the family was “in a state of complete uncertainty” concerning Oron’s condition and called on the government to return her son as quickly as possible.In response to a chilling letter claimed by Hamas to have been penned by Shaul and released by Hamas on Sunday morning, his mother demanded physical evidence that her son was still alive, promising the family would “turn the country and the world upside down” in order to bring him home.The letter was a purported emotional appeal by Shaul to his bereaved parents begging for his release, in an apparent attempt by Hamas to leverage the family’s hope that he is still alive into negotiating a prisoner exchange.Hamas sources told The Times of Israel on Sunday evening that it was willing to reveal information about the two IDF soldiers, whose bodies it is believed to be holding, if Israel releases some of its operatives currently being held in prison.Shaul and six other soldiers were killed on July 20, 2014, when their armored personnel carrier was struck by an anti-tank missile in Gaza City. Shaul had been driving the APC at the time. The army was able to recover the remains of only six soldiers. But based on forensic evidence, the IDF concluded that Shaul had also been killed.Zehava Shaul demanded Sunday that Hamas provide proof of life before the family would begin to act. “Ismail Haniyeh, I turn to you again. I want to believe you,” she said in remarks addressed to the Hamas former Gaza prime minister. “Give us concrete evidence on Oron’s actual condition. The moment we have proof, I promise you that we will turn the country — and the world — upside down to make sure the deal actually happens,” she said during a press conference at the family home in the northern town of Poriya.In its response to the letter, the Goldin family called on Israel to take tough measures against Hamas over the capture of the soldiers’ bodies.“The Shaul family and we, the family of Hadar Goldin, have been waiting for a year and a half for our sons to be returned home, and Hamas is now psychologically manipulating us in order to break our spirit. The time has come for the country to not give in to the patterns of the past, to present an attack position to Hamas and set the price that Hamas will have to pay for kidnapping our soldiers,” the Goldin family said.“The State of Israel cannot give any gesture — humanitarian or otherwise — to the people of Gaza until Hadar and Oron are returned,” they said in a statement.Hamas, in its message, would neither confirm nor deny that Shaul and Goldin were still alive, but said it would provide information about their fate in exchange for the release of its operatives. The group also announced on social media Sunday that it would hold a press conference on Monday.“Hamas will hold a negotiation and transfer information on the destinies of the Israelis only after Israel releases prisoners from the Shalit deal who were re-arrested after the kidnapping of the teenagers,” the organization said, referring to the more than 1,000 terrorists who were released from Israeli prisons in order to secure the 2011 release of Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped in 2006. In the years following, many of those terrorists were arrested again for violating the terms of their release.It is not clear if Hamas was genuinely trying to have Shaul’s family believe he was still alive, or if the letter was simply a sadistic ploy; in either case, it is likely that it was meant to spur greater willingness on Israel’s part to negotiate.In the press conference, Zehava Shaul also called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to do more to retrieve her son and Goldin.“Now I demand of my country: Bring back my son. Bring Oron back home, together with Hadar Goldin, as quickly as possible,” she said.“Despite all the efforts that were made and weren’t made, we have not yet seen any results and our son has not returned home. We don’t leave wounded soldiers behind, and also not the deceased. The responsibility is on you — the government and the army — to return our sons home. We demand action.”Although both Shaul and Goldin were pronounced dead by the IDF — based on forensic evidence — Hamas penned the letter to Shaul’s parents as if he were still alive, begging them to work for his release.“My dearest mother, I hear it raining all around me but I cannot see or hear it. I keep waiting for happy news that will bring me back to you,” the letter to Zehava and Simha Shaul began.“I want to be freed from captivity, and though I don’t deny I have been treated gently, I fear you have forgotten me, which fills my heart with much sadness and despair.”Calling the Shaul family pawns in a “political gambit” by the Israeli government, the letter emphasized the slow progress of efforts to return him.“The army promised us that we would return to our homes and families safely, but they left me here and have not done anything to bring me home,” it said.“Mom, Dad, I beg you to please take action on my behalf,” the letter concluded.Last month, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal reportedly demanded the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners — including Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat — in exchange for the bodies of Goldin and Shaul.Barghouti, accused of being a major mastermind of the Second Intifada, is serving five life sentences after an Israeli court found him guilty in 2004 on multiple murder counts for his involvement in multiple lethal terror attacks. Saadat was arrested and imprisoned for his involvement in the 2001 assassination of Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi.Israel has, on several occasions, freed live prisoners in exchange for the remains of its servicemen. However, Jerusalem has never negotiated directly with Hamas.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.



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