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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kidnapping Israelis is official Hamas policy

The elected government of Hamastan has enshrined as policy the kidnap of Israelis. As such, arresting the leaders seems to be quite appropriate, if perhaps too mild a reaction.

Palestinian Media Watch put together some quotes:

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]

SiamSaed 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]

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]