The Hamas-affiliated Ar-Risala website reported Wednesday that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has decided to fast during Ramadan.Even if the blatant lies in the report were more believable, the story is still obviously garbage. Hamas is doing everything it can think of to keep Shalit's whereabouts secret, and no one who knows details about Shalit's captivity would dare speak to a newspaper about it.
The report comes as talks have stalled between Hamas and Israel over the possible exchange of hundreds of prisoners for Shalit, who was captured in a 2006 raid.
The report seemed to be intended to increase pressure on the Israeli government, whose prime minister has faced criticism over his perceived failure to prioritize reaching a deal with Hamas.
“A popular proverb goes that if one lives in a community for more 40 days, he becomes one of them. This seems to have come true in the Gaza Strip," the report in Ar-Risala said.
After years in Gaza, Shalit has become "embarrassed to ask for food during Ramadan despite the fact that his captors do not deny him that right,” the report, in Arabic, continued.
Shalit thinks the government "lost interest," it said, and he "abandoned Jewish traditions to mimic Muslims after the good treatment he received from his captors, even while they are fasting.”
The Israeli government, added Ar-Risala, is too busy with the demonstrations and protests in Tel Aviv, and so Shalit could not hear recently on Israel’s Channel 1 TV station any news about him.
The report claims Shalit noticed the protests against housing problems became too big, and that caused him "depression and disappointment. He lost hope of any prisoner swap deal that can secure his freedom."
He seems to be saying, “Shalit wants to topple the regime,” the report claimed.
It is a transparent, and sickening, attempt to influence Israeli public opinion.
However, I would not be surprised if Shalit fasts during the ninth day of Ramadan, and even the night before when the Muslims are feasting.