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May 24, 2012 12:04 pm

2012 Report: 20 Attempts to Kidnap IDF Soldiers by Terrorist Groups

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Tunnel used to attempt to kidnap soldiers uncovered by IDF forces in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Photo: wiki commons.

A senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces says there have been 20 attempts to kidnap IDF soldiers in 2012 to date by Arab and Palestinian terrorist groups.

“Terror groups are constantly on patrol looking for situations they can take advantage of,” the officer said. “Their preference is for soldiers, because they feel that can extract the highest price for them.”

Israel’s release of over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit has gone a long way to increasing the threat of kidnappings, the officer says, which is now considered a concern at all times of the day, while in the past, specific threat alerts have gone out when intelligence found an increased risk.

The IDF has altered there instructions for personnel operating in the Judea and Samaria region, telling them to “not stand alone at an intersection, do not stand at a bus or transport station alone, make sure you are in constant touch with touch with your commanders, and report any unusual activity.”

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The officer also noted the kidnapping risks for Jews living and traveling outside of Israel.

“Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and other Iranian-backed groups are still looking to take revenge for Israel’s elimination of some top terrorists. We have been receiving information from security sources all over the world indicating the dangers, which are still strong,” he said. “Even though the warning against civilians to travel to Turkey, for example, has been lifted, anyone who goes there needs to be very careful. IDF soldiers are forbidden to go there under any circumstances.”

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