'Top Hamas man can be bargaining chip'

September 10, 2007 10:18

Dichter: Operative allegedly kidnapped by IDF useful for freeing Schalit; says any new leads welcome.

1 minute read.

'Top Hamas man can be bargaining chip'

avi dichter 298 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said on Monday that the senior Hamas member allegedly captured by the IDF last Friday was useful from an intelligence perspective and could serve as a bargaining chip for kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit. In an interview with Army Radio, Dichter said that at the end of the affair, Hamas would release Schalit, and Israel would release Palestinian security prisoners. "Any way to acquire new intelligence is welcome and very important in the process of bringing Gilad Schalit home," he said, adding that there was a huge advantage in being able to acquire additional relevant, concrete information on the soldier. However, defense officials said earlier this week that while the man in question, Mohawah al-Qadi, could provide information on Schalit's kidnapping, they were doubtful he could offer any information that would assist in rescuing the soldier. The officials also noted that Qadi's value as a bargaining chip was not especially high, as he was not a particularly high-ranking operative. Regarding Syrian claims that the IAF invaded its airspace last week, Dichter declined to comment on Monday, saying, "Let's speak after the holidays." On the recent arrest of a neo-Nazi cell in Petah Tikva made up of former Soviet Union immigrants, Dichter said he would be wary of changing the Law of Return, noting that the number of IDF officers from the former Soviet Union who received IDF honors was inordinately high.

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