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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
PMW: PA political leaders advocated kidnapping policy

Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin - June 27, 2006
Palestinian Media Watch:
p:+972 2 625 4140e: pmw@pmw.org.il
f: +972 2 624 2803w: www.pmw.org.il

Palestinian Authority political leaders
advocated kidnapping-for-hostage policy

By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Foreign Minister, Mahmud Al-Zahar:
Hamas will not hesitate to kidnap Israeli soldiers "to exchange for
[Palestinian] prisoners, should the opportunity arise."
[Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, March 7, 2006]

Interior Minister Saed Siam:
"It is inevitable to kidnap soldiers to exchange for them... There is
nothing the resistance cannot do. And when there is a goal and a good plan,
the goal can be achieved... [In the past] Hamas succeeded in kidnapping and
hiding bodies, but unfortunately, two bodies were handed over for nothing."

[Undated video clip from Abu Dhabi TV - before Hamas came into power]
Introduction:
The Palestinian Authority political leadership has been attempting to
distance itself from the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Yesterday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas instructed PA Prime Minister Haniyeh
and Interior Minister Saed Siam to "guarantee the release of the abducted
soldier." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 27, 2006]
However, one must question the sincerity of such public displays, especially
by the Hamas leadership. A review of policy articulated by Hamas political
leaders, including Interior Minister Siam himself and the PA Foreign
Minister, shows that it was the avowed policy of the Hamas political
leadership to kidnap Israeli soldiers as hostages to exchange for
terrorists.

There's another clear show of support for the kidnapping from the political
leadership. The Hamas website, Palestine-info.net, has celebrated the
killings and kidnapping in graphic posters of
smoldering and destroyed Israeli positions, with the words: "Smashed
Illusion Operation", and "Crushing Blow on Zionist Enemy". [See opposite and
below]
Another poster in English on their web site has the names of the three
groups accepting responsibility, which includes the Al Qassam Brigades of
Hamas, followed by the words:
"In the first movie - Mission 1 - Be Back!" [See below]

[Quality Operation - Smashed Illusion Operation]
The following are policy statements of both Hamas political leaders and
Islamic Jihad:
Mahmud Al-Zahar, Hamas, Foreign Minister
"The Head of Hamas party in the Palestinian Legislative Council, [and
current Foreign Minister-ed] Dr. Mahmud Al-Zahar, said that his movement
would not hesitate to kidnap soldiers of the occupation in order to exchange
them for [Palestinian] prisoners, should the opportunity arise."
[Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, March 7, 2006]
Saed Siam, PA Interior Minister (now charged with locating the hostage)
"In the past Hamas succeeded in kidnapping many Zionist soldiers.
There are thousands of prisoners of our forces, they have to think how to
free these prisoners. And I believe that it is inevitable to kidnap soldiers
to exchange for them.
In the past Hamas kidnapped 10 soldiers.
There is nothing the resistance cannot do. And when there is a goal and a
good plan, the goal can be achieved, especially about the prisoner issue,
[which] is top priority.
During the PA administration, Hamas succeeded in kidnapping and hiding
bodies, but unfortunately, two bodies were handed over for nothing. When
there is a kidnapping, and it is secured, each case in its own time, has its
own negotiations."
[Undated video clip from Abu Dhabi TV - before Hamas came into power]
Click here to view Minister Siam explaining policy of Kidnapping
Fathi Hamad, Member Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas
"The Islamic resistance movement "Hamas" yesterday threatened to carry out
kidnapping operations of soldiers in the Israeli army, in order to release
Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The threat was announced by
Hamas Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Fathi Hamad."
[Al-Ayyam, March 16, 2006]
Sheik Halid Al-Batash, Islamic Jihad
"[Palestinian Authority] Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah emphasized the
importance of forming a mechanism for the release of our heroic prisoners
who are held in the jails of the occupation, without making concessions...
Prominent Islamic Jihad movement leader, Sheik Halid Al-Batash... called for
seeking different mechanisms for the release of our heroic prisoners. He
emphasized that among the mechanisms is the kidnapping of Zionists to
exchange for the release of the [Palestinian] prisoners."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, April, 17 2006]
Sheik Halid Al-Batash, Islamic Jihad
"The Islamic Jihad [Movement] says: kidnapping of Israeli soldiers - the
fastest way for the release of the prisoners. Islamic Jihad movement senior
official [Halid Al-Batash] called on the factions of the resistance to
kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners,
who Israel holds and refuses to release."
[Al-Ayyam, May 9, 2006]

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