Hamas: Threat was not aimed at Schalit's life

But Hamas says it may tighten conditions of soldier's release over death of Palestinian prisoner in Israel.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, AP
October 23, 2007 14:38
2 minute read.
Hamas: Threat was not aimed at Schalit's life

Gilad Schalit 248.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Hamas controlled Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip announced Wednesday that members of a "very dangerous collaborators network" were arrested in the Gaza Strip. According to the announcement, the collaborators kidnapped Mohawah al-Qadi, a senior member of Hamas's military wing and a commander in the Executive Force, and handed him over to the IDF. al-Qadi was believed to be involved with the kidnapping of Schalit in June 2006. Hamas said four Gaza-residents were arrested. According to the announcement, they were recruited by Israel in the West Bank and were then transferred to the Gaza Strip in order to locate Schalit and his kidnappers. One of the suspects admitted to collaborating with Israel. He said that after being arrested by the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) forced him to help find the location where Schalit is held. He was told to give details on al-Qadi's location after he failed to locate Schalit. Last month, The IDF denied involvement in what Palestinians claimed was an Israeli capture of al-Qadi. If the Palestinian reports are true, Israeli forces penetrated deep into the heart of Rafah to nab the senior Hamas member. A Hamas spokesman denied a report on Tuesday that the group planned to harm kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit in retaliation for the death of a Palestinian prisoner earlier that day. Hamas's military wing had issued a threat to inflict harm on Israel through Schalit after the inmate died as a result of injuries he sustained in riots in Ketziot Prison on Monday. Palestinian news agency, Ma'an, quoted the spokesman as saying that reports published by the Israeli press contradicted the message sent by Izzadin Kassam. On Tuesday, Hamas wished to clarify that it intended to harm Israel by not releasing the captive soldier or by strengthening the group's position on the matter, said the spokesman. "We will not remain motionless in the face of the targeting of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We have a number of ways to harm the enemy, including everything that pertains to the Gilad Schalit affair," Hamas's military wing had proclaimed in an announcement entitled "The possibilities of Hamas for harming Israel following the quashing of Palestinian inmates." Shortly before midnight Monday, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) announced that the prisoner, who had been listed as critically injured during Monday's riots, died of his wounds at Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center. According to the IPS, the 30-year-old prisoner was in the midst of a two-year sentence at the prison when the riots broke out. During the riots overnight Sunday and early Monday morning, dozens of security prisoners were injured when some one thousand inmates scuffled with wardens. The IPS also said that 15 wardens were lightly injured. The violence broke out when guards began searching prisoners' bunks for contraband, IPS spokesman Ian Domnitz said.

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