Senior PA official and Deputy-Secretary of Fatah's Central Committee Jibril Rajoub said last month that the Palestinian Authority encourages Hamas to kidnap Israeli soldiers and hold them hostage in order to exchange them for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Israel holds about 5,000 Palestinian terrorists in prison, many of them murderers. The PA sees all Palestinian prisoners as heroes -- even those serving 67 and 54 life sentences for planning suicide bombings and murder of civilians -- and demands their freedom.
Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006 and held him hostage for five years, until Israel achieved his release by freeing over 1,000 terrorists from prison. Palestinian Media Watch documented that the PA leadership supported and congratulated Hamas at the time.
PA Chairman Abbas himself praised the kidnapping:
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Representing Mahmoud Abbas, Rajoub "saluted" the terrorist kidnappers:
"I say in the name of the Fatah movement -- we salute those who dug the tunnel [to capture the Israeli soldier]; we salute those who captured the captive (Gilad Shalit), and salute those who guarded the captive until this deal was completed [Applause]."
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The PA has committed to distancing itself from violence in order to be accepted as a peace partner. PMW has documented that the PA continues to violate this commitment, even during the current peace talks, and continues to actively support and glorify violence and terror.
Now a PA leader has reiterated the PA's support of the kidnap-for-hostage policy.
The following is a longer excerpt of Jibril Rajoub's statement:
Deputy-Secretary of Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub:
In October 2011, the Israeli government agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.