IDF Central Command head Nitzan Alon sent a sharp message to Hamas on Thursday, saying their attempts to extort Israel into releasing terrorists by conducting kidnappings would only lead to the opposite results.
The IDF's campaign against Hamas in the wake of the terror group's kidnapping of three Israeli teens will continue over the coming days, said Alon. That campaign will include arresting more Hamas terrorists, including those released several years ago in the deal to release Gilad Shalit.
“In the past few days we have rearrested terrorists who were released in the Shalit deal. These arrests will drive home the point to Hamas that they will not achieve their goals, but only arrive at the opposite results when they kidnap Israelis,” he said.
In the wake of the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens - Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16) - last week, Israel has vowed to deliver a “crushing blow” to Hamas' infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
Plans to move against the Islamist terrorist movement were discussed at a meeting Monday of the Security Cabinet, convened by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Ministers in the meeting discussed punitive steps against Hamas, which Israel says is behind the kidnapping of three teenagers. Since then, over 250 Hamas terrorists have been arrested.
Israel on Thursday kept up the pressure on Hamas. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Thursday signed an order declaring the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) group illegal. Based on the order, the organization can no longer raise money or distribute money in Israel or anywhere in Judea and Samaria.
IRW, said Yaalon, is a chief fundraising front for Hamas. The organization claims to raise money to assist refugees, orphans, and the needy, said Yaalon, but most of its money ends up in the hands of Hamas, used either to fund terror attacks or pay terrorists.