Sunday, October 24, 2010
Samir Kuntar pushes for more kidnapping
Convicted terrorist tells Hamas conference more IDF troops needed to haggle for Palestinian prisoners
Samir Kuntar called Saturday on Palestinian terror organizations to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. The Lebanese terrorist, who was released from Israeli prison in exchange for the bodies of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, gave a satellite-transmitted speech to a conference supporting Palestinian prisoners, which took place in the Gaza Strip.
Kuntar spoke after Hamas's prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, stressed that he would continue efforts to release prisoners in Israeli jails.
"I call on the resistance organizations to kidnap more Israeli soldiers and not to make do with just one, because the number of prisoners is large," Kuntar said.
The convicted terrorist insisted that the end justified all means. "We will never feel entirely free unless we bring on the release of all prisoners. The persistence of resistance organizations in the Gilad Shalit affair is the best proof of the responsibility we feel towards the issue of prisoners," he said.
Haniyeh, on his end, said Israel was holding 8,000 Palestinian prisoners as part of a Zionist effort to get rid of the Palestinian people.
He also criticized the Palestinian Authority, saying that while some were working to release the prisoners it insisted on holding 650 such political prisoners in its own jails as part of its illicit cooperation with Israel.
Haniyeh denied that the Hamas government was also holding political prisoners, or those charged with attempting to carry out terror attacks.
The conference focused on the legal aspects of Israel's imprisonment of Palestinians, as well as with the alleged torture they undergo at the state's hands. A former prisoner detained at Hadarim Prison related a tale of suffering and woe to those present.
The larger context of the conference was the rift between Hamas and Fatah. The latter claims Hamas has no real intention to arrive at a truce, after recently uncovering an arms cache near Ramallah.