Hamas warns against Schalit rescue

Terror group’s website says captive has been watching World Cup games.

June 24, 2010 02:54
2 minute read.
Hamas warns against Schalit rescue

gilad schalit 248.88. (photo credit: Channel 2)

Hamas boasted on Wednesday that Israel had failed over the past four years to determine the location of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas-affiliated Website Al-Resalah quoted Abu Mujahed, a spokesman for one of the groups that is believed to be holding the soldier, as saying that the only way to secure the release of Schalit is for Israel to accept all the demands of the captors.

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Israel will never be able to get any information about Schalit, Abu Mujahed said.

“In the past four years, the resistance groups have succeeded in surpassing the occupation’s various methods by holding on to Schalit,” he added. “The occupation got information about him only when we willingly provided it.”

Abu Mujahed, spokesman for Nasser Eddin Battalion, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, warned Israel against launching a military operation to release Schalit.

“If they launch a new aggression on the Gaza Strip and continue with their stubbornness, the fate of Schalit will be similar to that of [missing IAF navigator] Ron Arad.” He said that demonstrations and sit-in strikes by Schalit supporters outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem “show that the [Israeli] government is under immense pressure.”

Earlier, the same site claimed that Schalit was spending his time in captivity watching the World Cup games. It further claimed that Schalit, a French national, was “saddened” by the French national team’s fiasco at the World Cup.

Hamas also reiterated its opposition to allowing representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Schalit.

Riyad al-Ashqar, director of the Information Department in the Prisoners Affairs Ministry of the Hamas Government, mocked a wish made this week by Schalit’s grandfather, who was quoted as saying that he wanted to see his grandson before he dies.

“What’s going to happen if Tzvi Schalit [the grandfather] dies without seeing him?” he said in an article published on a number of Palestinian news Web sites. “I asked myself this question after reading the statement he made on his way to meeting the Israeli Prime Minister. In my opinion, he can go to hell. We’re not responsible for the suffering of the Schalit family.”

The Hamas official said that the Israeli government and Binyamin Netanyahu were responsible because of their refusal to accept the demands of the Palestinian groups that are holding Schalit. He pointed out that many Palestinians who were in Israeli prison had passed away without having the opportunity to see their family members.

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