Monday, July 14, 2008

Israelis Helped Secure Betancourt's Escape From FARC rebels

Israelis Helped Secure Betancourt's Escape From FARC rebels - Middle East Times: "Betancourt's captors put her on a helicopter that arrived as scheduled, little knowing that their comrades-in-arms were actually undercover Colombian soldiers. Betancourt and 14 other hostages who had been held in the jungle, including three Americans, were freed.

As Betancourt savored her first moments of freedom, the international media went into a collective feeding frenzy as her face appeared on newspapers and TV screens around the globe.

The Israeli media in particular made a meal of the moment as Betancourt had referred to Israeli help in gaining her freedom. It was ex-Israeli commandos who were responsible for advising and helping Columbian forces to free the captives.

Last year, a group of Israeli military advisers, on receiving approval from the Israeli Defense Ministry, took up residence in Colombia in order to assist the army there, the special units in particular.

This followed a request by Columbia asking Israel for help in its struggle against FARC which had become infamous for kidnapping civilians and military figures for ransom and drug trading."

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