Hamas plans to kidnap more IDF soldiers and the price for captive tank gunner
Gilad Schalit will increase if Israel doesn’t meet its demands for a prisoner
swap, Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal warned on Monday.
RELATED:Schalit rally: Thousands arriveSchalits to meet with Netanyahu
spoke at a Palestinian students conference in Damascus, as thousands of marchers
in the north of Israel joined Schalit’s parents, Aviva and Noam, in calling for
Gilad to be released now.
On Monday evening, Aviva and Noam completed the
second day of an 11-day trek to Jerusalem to demand that the government free
their son, who has been held by Hamas in Gaza since June 25, 2006, when he was
kidnapped as he patrolled the southern border of the Strip.
not be the only one,” Mashaal said. “We will kidnap more soldiers,
officers. We will not free Schalit until [Prime Minister Binyamin]
gives in to our just demands.
“Israel is responsible for the failure in
negotiations,” Mashaal added, saying he had relayed a message to the
mediator: “If you come to the negotiations table again with Netanyahu’s
– don’t come, stay where you are.”
Directing his remarks to the prime
minister, Mashaal said: “We will not repeat our requests over and over.
the list [of security prisoners demanded], and we will not change
The Hamas leader added, “We will not be flexible in our demands. As
time goes by, our demands will grow, and so will the price. Israel is
lackey, that wants to strengthen [Palestinian Authority President
Abbas, and therefore is the real one to blame for the failure in
negotiations.”Barak hints that military option to free Schalit exists
Meanwhile, at the Labor faction meeting in the Knesset on
Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted that a military option
“We sent Gilad Schalit [to the Gaza border], and we must
do everything possible to bring him home,” Barak told the Labor MKs.
negotiations that must develop to create the possibility of his return,
there are other channels of action – and it would be wrong to elaborate
As he stood at a large rally in Kiryat Motzkin, just north of
Haifa, Shimshon Liebman, who heads the Campaign to Free Gilad Schalit,
had not heard about Mashaal’s or Barak’s comments. His focus was solely
task at hand: helping organize a march that has attracted thousands of
The Campaign has demanded that the government reach an agreement
with Hamas to release Gilad, but only because that seems to be the best
available at this time, Liebman told The
government knows how to do it differently it should do so,” he said.
Campaign isn’t trying to tell the government how to free Schalit, it is
insisting that after four years it must do so now.
Liebman explained that
the Campaign had not set the terms of the swap. Since the last
has demanded 1,000 prisoners and that has not changed, he said.Sources say Israel willing to release 1,000 prisoners for
to diplomatic sources, Israel has expressed a willingness to release
Palestinian prisoners, including 450 names agreed upon with Hamas, in
Schalit, on condition that more than 100 of these prisoners who are
for some 600 Israeli deaths are not allowed to return to the West Bank,
either to the Gaza Strip or another country.
Israel is also refusing to
release “mega terrorists” responsible for the worst atrocities over the
years, including the attack at the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide
Tel Aviv in 2001 (21 teenagers dead and 132 wounded), the Sbarro
suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2001 (15 civilians dead and 130
the Park Hotel massacre in Netanya on Seder night in 2002 (30 civilians
and 140 wounded).
On Sunday, Netanyahu invited Aviva and Noam to meet
with him when they arrive in Jerusalem on July 8 and park themselves in a
that was put up a number of years ago outside the Prime Minister’s
On Monday, Noam Schalit told Israel Radio that when he and his
wife meet with Netanyahu, “We will demand action and results.” Four
enough time for the government to implement options other than a
he said. “The bottom line is that there are no results.”
morning, when the Schalits set out from Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot, they
joined by 1,000 people as they headed to Acre. From there, 3,500 walked
them to Kiryat Motzkin, according to police.
In Kiryat Motzkin, the city
helped organize a rally for Gilad Schalit. A huge banner with his
fluttered above a flower-filled traffic circle located next to the
Traffic was stalled in the area, as thousands crowded onto a grassy area
the family speak. In the middle of the circle, a war memorial with a
decked out in yellow ribbons.
“We are standing here and it is very
exciting to see all the people that are here with us,” Noam said at the
“I hope that this movement, the many people that arrived and swept
us away, will continue to arrive and continue to support us and become
His comments were met with enthusiastic
“We expected hundreds but thousands arrived,” Schalit said. He
called on people to march with the family and then to protest with them
Jerusalem until Gilad is returned to Israel.
Gilad’s grandfather Tzvi
Schalit said in Kiryat Motzkin that when he met with the prime minister
week, he told Netanyahu that every day his grandson was not freed, was a
which he faces a death sentence.Schalit's grandfather urges Netanyahu to act
He urged Netanyahu to act even before
the family reached Jerusalem.
The Schalit rally took place not far from
the apartment where IDF reservist Eldad Regev grew up, and on the Hebrew
anniversary of his death. Regev, 26, and fellow reservist Ehud
were killed on July 12, 2006, as they patrolled the Lebanese border.
snatched their corpses and returned them in exchange for incarcerated
Liberation Front terrorist Samir Kuntar, four Hizbullah gunmen, and the
of about 200 Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists two years later.
Schalit family and their supporters plan to continue with their march on
The Traffic Police have asked drivers to note the following road
closures: At 7:30 a.m., marchers will set off from the Mozart junction
Motzkin to Haifa Port, which they are expected to reach at noon. At 3:30
they will walk from the Checkpost junction in Haifa to Kibbutz Yagur.
marchers will be restricted to the highway shoulder and accompanied by
but delays are nonetheless expected on the following routes: Highway 4
Kiryat Motzkin to the Kiryat Ata junction, then Route 22 to the Home
Haifa, and then Rehov Ha’atzmaut leading to the Haifa Port.
Halutzei Hata’asiya in Haifa will be blocked off completely until the
reach Route 22.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to