The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s armed wing, insisted early Saturday that it had kidnapped another Israel soldier in the past two days.
Al- Jazeera published details of the soldier allegedly abducted by the militants, including a photo of the “kidnapped” soldier, his name, date of birth, identification number and city of residence. However, an IDF and Israel Police investigation found no basis to the claims, saying the details published by Al-Jazeera were those of a reserves soldier who is currently abroad.
On Friday the Brigades published a statement saying the group had kidnapped a soldier, but provided no identifying details.
The group published a list of demands for the soldier’s release, including the release of Palestinian prisoners and an end to the ‘siege imposed by Israel on the Palestinians since Hamas won the general elections in January.’
In addition, the al-Aqsa Brigades called on Israel to release the Hamas officials recently detained in the West Bank and demanded the transfer of Yasser Arafat’s body to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
On Friday a senior al-Aqsa members told Ynet that they were unaware of a soldier being abducted by the organization and that the report was apparently false.
Senior al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades members estimated that the report was false, saying that it may have been part of the internal competition between Palestinian organization.
'Our people are frustrated'
A senior al-Aqsa commander said: “There are people here who are unable to digest the success of the Hamas movement and the Popular Resistance Committees, which carried out the abduction in Kerem Shalom, and feel a sort of organizational envy that they are not part of this success.”
The senior commander added that al-Aqsa members recently claimed responsibility for mock kidnappings due to frustration among the activists following the abduction and murder of teen settler Eliyahu Asheri.
He explained that one of the kidnappers was an al-Aqsa member who collaborated with the PRC after realizing that his organization is afraid of carrying out such an operation due to the expected pressures by security organizations following its implementation.
“Our people are frustrated because organizations constraints and the affiliation to Fatah have prevented them from taking part in the abduction. This is the only reason for the recent reports, which are aimed at bringing al-Aqsa back to business in terms of the public opinion, as well as creating confusion among the Israelis,” the commander explained.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also claimed it had kidnapped missing Rishon Letzion resident Noach Moskowitz, but the 62-year-old’s body was found in a cemetery in the city. Police officials estimated that he died of natural causes.