Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hamas to Harm Shalit If Olmert Doesn't Give In To Demands<brAdd Image""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5236958053975378562" />
Zeev Ben Yechiel and Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Hamas has threatened to harm kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert does not free Gaza-based Hamas terrorists. The demand comes in the wake of plans to release 199 Palestinian Authority (PA) terrorists from Judea and Samaria on Friday. The Prime Minister agreed to free them as part of continuing series of "goodwill" measures to bolster the popularity of Fatah party leader and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The PA is planning a hero's welcome in Ramallah for terrorist Sa'id Atba, followed by a large hometown welcoming in Shechem.

Atba has been in jail for 32 years for leading a cell of terrorists who attacked a Petach Tikva market, killing immigrant from the former Soviet Union Tzila Galil and wounding dozens of others. Galil’s son, violinist Zinovi Kaplan, said that the government should have killed the terrorist instead of jailing him. "Those who elected such a government shouldn't be surprised that terrorists are being freed," he added.

Hamas has demanded that Prime Minister Olmert offer it the same overture he is giving Abbas by freeing Fatah terrorists.
Galil’s son, violinist Zinovi Kaplan, said that the government should have killed the terrorist instead of jailing him.

"If the enemy continues with its stubborn attitude, Gilad Shalit will become a second Ron Arad," warned a spokesman for Hamas's armed wing Izzadin Kassam. The statements came after the group held a drill simulating their kidnapping another soldier. They used as staging ground for that drill the site of the ruins of the Jewish Gaza community of Netzarim, which was destroyed in the expulsion of Gaza’s Jews in 2005 in exchange for a hoped-for peace with Gaza's Arab terrorists.

Other groups have held similar abduction drills recently, following threats to kidnap more soldiers in order to secure the release of their terrorists from Israeli prisons.

Expecting an assault on Gaza, Islamic Jihad's Al Quds Brigades and the Sallah a-Din Brigades of the Popular Resistance Committees have held large-scale abduction exercises. On Saturday, 50 Sallah a-Din terrorists are reported to have participated in their own group’s drill at the Netzarim ruins.

Shalit was kidnapped in 2006 in a cross-border raid by Hamas in Gaza just prior to the Second Lebanon war, while Arad, an Israeli Air Force navigator who went missing after he was forced to eject from his plane over Lebanon in 1986, was subsequently kidnapped by a Shi’ite Lebanese terror group. Neither the fate of Shalit nor that of Arad is known for certain, although Arad is widely believed to be dead and Shalit still alive.

According to a report recently released to Israel by Hizbullah, Arad apparently was killed by his terrorist captors when he attempted to escape in 1988.

Abu Obeida, spokesman for Izzadin Kassam, has accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad of hindering a deal to free Shalit. "Abbas and Fayyad do not want the Resistance to achieve a respectable deal as they do not believe in the way of resistance. They only believe in the way of negotiations and begging to the enemy and succeed only in releasing prisoners who were anyway approaching their release date," said Obeida.

The terrorist spokesman continued that his group would continue to kidnap IDF soldiers as long as Israel continued to hold PA terrorists.

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