Netanyahu Thanks ISA, IDF For Security Efforts
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the plethora of security developments in Israel over the past several days Monday, including Operation Brothers' Keeper, skirmishes with Syria, and the arrest of the murderer of Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi hy"d.
Netanyahu opened by thanking the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) for apprehending terrorist Ziyad Awad, a terrorist released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal who was arrested a month ago by Yamam special forces near Hevron, along with his 18-year-old son, for Mizrahi's murder.
In his opening remarks, Netanyahu said, "I want to commend the Shin Bet, IDF and police on the fast investigation of the murder of Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi."
Mizrahi was driving to Kiryat Arba for a Passover seder meal earlier this year, with his pregnant wife and three of his children, when the terrorist opened fire on the family car. He served as head of the Technology Division in the Sigint Unit, part of the Intelligence Brigade in the Investigations and Intelligence Branch of the police.
Regarding the arrest, Netanyahu confirmed that Awad's house has been slated for demolition as part of his punishment.
"There will be additional measures, including home demolitions," he said.
The front lines
Netanyahu also responded to criticism from Syria late Sunday; Syrian officials charged that the IDF violated international law after it retaliated for the death of a 15 year-old boy and serious injury of Ministry of Defense subcontractors Sunday afternoon.
The deaths were caused by explosives being lobbed over the border from Syria into the Golan Heights, and resulted in the first death of an Israeli by fire from Syria since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011.
The Prime Minister praised the IAF airstrike, adding that "if necessary we will use more power."
Netanyahu also reassured the public that the IDF is still searching for three yeshiva students kidnapped by Hamas eleven days ago, after multiple confirmations by intelligence officials that Hamas is responsible for the kidnapping and that there is evidence that the boys are still alive.
According to Netanyahu, returning the boys "has been, and remains, the paramount task of the State of Israel."
Summarizing the operation, an IDF spokesperson told AFP Monday morning that "since the abduction 11 days ago, approximately 361 suspects have been detained, 250 of them Hamas members, and 57 who were released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange."
In addition, security experts revealed earlier this week that a network of terror tunnels had been found in Hevron and that over 1400 sites have been searched for the abducted teens.