Photo by: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Hamas: No Schalit release before Palestinian prisoners
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Group blames PM's "intransigence" for lack of deal; Hamas releases video comparing Schalit to Ron Arad, displays "old" Schalit in prison cell.
Kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit won’t see the light until Palestinian prisoners enjoy freedom in the context of a dignified prisoner swap, Hamas said on Saturday.
Hamas’s announcement came on the fifth anniversary of the abduction of Schalit.
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Hamas held Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responsible for the consequences of the failure of efforts to secure a prisoner exchange deal.
Hamas claimed that it was Netanyahu’s “intransigence and criminal policies” that was delaying a prisoner swap. It also urged human rights and legal organizations to put pressure on Israel to “protect Palestinian prisoners against Zionist repression.”
Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, published a video clip, in which it also vowed that Schalit would never see the light until Palestinian prisoners are released from Israeli jail.
The video clip contains a scene where Schalit’s face is replaced with that of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad, whose whereabouts have been unknown since 1986.
Also on the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Schalit, Hamas published photos of an actor impersonating a gray-haired elderly Schalit sitting in a tiny cell in captivity.
On the walls of the cell the “prisoner Schalit” has written graffiti that reads: “My fate is the same as that of Ron Arad, “Save me at any cost” and “I miss mom."
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