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Netanyahu at Entebbe memorial: We fight terror fearlessly

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a state ceremony commemorating 40 years since Operation Entebbe, July 10, 2016. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a state ceremony commemorating 40 years since Operation Entebbe, July 10, 2016. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Story via The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to continue taking action to defeat terror, during a memorial to mark the 40th anniversary of the rescue of Israeli hostages held by terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976.

His brother Yonatan was killed rescuing the hostages held by German and Palestinian hijackers. In Hebrew, the operation is dubbed “Operation Yoni.”

Speaking at the ceremony in Jerusalem, the prime minister called the mission “the most impressive hostage rescue operation in history.”

“Bold steps for the security of the state are taken all the time, even thousands of miles from home,” Netanyahu said, stressing that Israel “will continue to act fearlessly against terror.”

Read the whole story at The Times of Israel.

Islamic State Uses Social Media to Sell Sex Slaves

(AP Photo/Balint Szlanko)

“Even if I had lost both eyes, it would have been worth it, because I have survived them.”

Captured and enslaved by ISIS, 18-year-old Lamiya Aji Bashar escaped with her life despite tripping over a land mine that scarred her face and blinded her right eye. Her harrowing tale of abuse at the hands of barbaric savages is shocking, not only for its brutality, but for the world’s casual complacency towards thousands of victims just like her.

Officials estimate roughly 3,000 Yazidi women and girls are held as sex slaves by ISIS fighters in the Middle East. Viewed as subhuman because of their faith (a combination of Islam, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism), these victims were captured in August 2014 and have endured two years of unspeakable horror. Some were liberated by international donors who bought their freedom, while others like Lamiya risked everything to escape with a smuggler. Those who remain in captivity are raped, beaten, and tortured into submission. Five of Lamiya’s sisters and a younger brother have also escaped, but her 9-year-old sister is still in an ISIS camp somewhere.

Known for their prolific use of social media to recruit fighters and inspire terrorism across the globe, ISIS is also using new media technology to sell, trade, and track their sex slaves. Business is booming. On Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp postings for young women and children offer their bodies for cash, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. Virgins fetch a premium. The enslaved victims are often dressed up in fancy clothes and heavy makeup and posed in luxurious settings. ISIS also carefully tracks each slave and their owner, passing photos and names around anytime someone tries to escape.

Shutting down the slave trade is made more difficult by the encrypted apps they use. WhatsApp and Telegram, both owned by Facebook, do not store user’s data and cannot access private conversations. The terrorists take full advantage of the built-in privacy, although the social media companies encourage users to report ISIS groups and remove their accounts when they are discovered.

It is abhorrent that thousands of innocent women and children have been trafficked, abused, and raped on a daily basis for the last two years and the world has done very little to stop it or even talk about it. It is grotesque that the profit from their sexual slavery is used to fund terrorism and enrich ISIS warlords. It is appalling that they do so openly on social media platforms and use our own love of freedom and privacy against us. And it is alarming that this use of encrypted social media means we have entered a new phase of the fight against terrorism – one where any rogue jihadist can join up with ISIS or Hamas or Hezbollah or any other terror network and remain virtually undetected by the authorities.

As people who love freedom and value human life, we owe it to girls like Lamiya to speak out against the savagery of ISIS and do everything we can to rescue the Yazidi people and other minorities persecuted by the Islamic State. We cannot allow the world to continue looking the other way. In the immortal words of the recently departed Elie Wiesel,

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”

Read more about this story at The Daily Mail.

As settlement building bashed, PM says homes not the issue

An IDF jeep and Palestinian vehicle after a possible car-ramming attack outside the Neve Daniel settlement in the West Bank on July 6, 2016. (Israel Police)

An IDF jeep and Palestinian vehicle after a possible car-ramming attack outside the Neve Daniel settlement in the West Bank on July 6, 2016. (Israel Police)

Story via The Times of Israel.

Three IDF soldiers were lightly injured in a possible car-ramming attack near the Neve Daniel settlement outside of Bethlehem, the army said.

Security officials were treating the incident as a suspected terror attack by the Palestinian driver, who was seriously hurt, although an army spokesperson did not specify what led them to this conclusion.

“Initial inquiry indicates that the ramming was intentional,” the army said in a statement.

According to police, it appeared that the Palestinian man “intentionally collided with the military vehicle.” The incident was, however, still being investigated to determine if it was an accident.

Two of the soldiers were taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment, the Magen David Adom rescue service said, while the third received treatment at the scene.

Read the whole story at The Times of Israel.

Israel’s Netanyahu in Entebbe to mark hostage-rescue anniversary

Entebbe Bibi anniversary

Story via BBC.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has visited the scene of the 1976 Entebbe hostage rescue in Uganda, in which his brother, who led the raid, was killed.

Israeli commandos freed more than 100 hostages held for a week at an airport terminal, in a daring operation. They returned to Israel on 4 July 1976.

Mr Netanyahu is also scheduled to visit Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. He has said the trip symbolises “dramatic changes” in the relationship between Israel and Africa. He is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Sub-Saharan Africa since Yitzhak Shamir in 1987.

Exactly 40 years ago Israeli soldiers carried out the historic mission in Entebbe. Forty years ago they landed in the dead of night in a country led by a brutal dictator who gave refuge to terrorists. Today we landed in broad daylight to be welcomed by a president who fights terrorism. – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Read the whole story at BBC.