Israeli journalist suggests kidnapping Hamas' children for hostage deal

This week, Hamas released a photo of a rifle it claimed belonged to hostage Hadar Goldin.

HAMAS SUPPORTERS attend an anti-Israel rally in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
HAMAS SUPPORTERS attend an anti-Israel rally in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

Channel 13's Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli suggested that Israel should kidnap Hamas officials' children in order to reach a deal to return Israeli hostages in Gaza in a 103FM interview on Friday.

At an event to celebrate 35 years after the forming of Hamas, the terror organization presented a Tavor rifle it claimed belonged to Hadar Goldin whose body was taken hostage in 2014. Yehezkeli opened the interview by discussing this move.

"It's psychological warfare," he said. "Changing the mentality is all Hamas has at hand when it's trapped in the Gaza Strip. Even though it exported terrorism to the West Bank, it's actually trapped."

When asked if Hamas believes it can get Israel to agree to another deal in which thousands of terrorists are released like the Gilad Shalit deal, Yehezkeli responded that "the Israeli population, the defense system and the leadership sobered up from that story. We see all the terrorism that has happened as a result of all those released terrorists, and we understand that it cannot happen again."

He claimed that the negotiations are stuck because Israel will not release thousands of terrorists for the hostages in Gaza. "The claims from the Goldin family that Israel hasn't done enough are correct. There are still many more things Israel can do. Israel hasn't tried to kidnap sons of Hamas officials."

 JOURNALIST ZVI YEHEZKELI in the documentary series ‘Shtula.’ (credit: Channel 13) JOURNALIST ZVI YEHEZKELI in the documentary series ‘Shtula.’ (credit: Channel 13)

"Israel hasn't tried to kidnap sons of Hamas officials."

Zvi Yehezkeli

What was Israel's biggest mistake?

Yehezkeli added that "the Hamas of today is the Palestinian people's legitimate representative more so than the Palestinian Authority. It grew and bloomed after a good few Israeli mistakes.

He further claimed that Israel's first mistake was supporting Hamas.

"Between 1982 and 1987, until Hamas announced the Jihad as its own, Israel supported it and even built it mosques in Gaza because it thought that Hamas would be an opposing power to the Palestine Liberation Organization," he said. "After Hamas declared the Jihad as its own in 1987, we got a violent jihadic movement that doesn't accept our existence, and that's a success for Hamas."