Exactly one year after Gilad Shalit
was released from Hamas
captivity, the group's military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, released a 45-minute long film telling the story of the former soldier's abduction from planning to execution, as well as the prisoner exchange deal that saw him freed.
One of the abductors noted in the film that a raffle was held to determine which of the cell members who had trained for the operation would eventually embark on the mission.
He added that training had been rigorous and that seven names were drawn. Having been selected, the cell members began undergoing special training.
One of the kidnappers claimed they had been trained to handle any situation that may arise during the mission. Abu Hamza, one of the operatives, noted that the group had been trained on how to guard the captive after the abduction.
The kidnappers claimed that all of the equipment used in the operation came from Hamas' military wing.
The film later showed how the tunnel that was used in the operation had been dug. It was revealed that the planners of the operation were careful not to provide the operatives with any information they were not required to know prior to the mission.
Gilad Shalit before release
Abu Hamza noted that they did not know the exact purpose of their training at the time. One of the operation's planners remarked that two days prior to the abduction, Hamas' military wing began to fire rockets and mortar shells at the Gaza vicinity area. The operatives were given the target at the very last minute.
On the eve of the operation, the film suggests, the terrorists were gathered in a house which they were told would give them access to a tunnel which leads to the Kerem Shalom IDF post. The cell members then changed into their uniforms and waited for their mark.
Kidnapper plan operation
Terrorists aim at IDF tank
According to the film, the team was then divided into two: one group documenting the abduction and one carrying it out.
The kidnappers waited in the tunnel for the break of dawn when the soldiers were likely to be unfocused and tired. Having exited the tunnel, they were surprised to discover the area was empty with just a military jeep parked at a distance.
Kerem Shalom outpost
One of the kidnappers
According to the kidnappers, the moment they exited the tunnel was the most dangerous of the whole operation due to the risk of exposure.
Earlier in the film, ex-prisoners, some of whom were freed as part of the Shalit deal, discussed life inside Israeli prisons and expressed hope that Hamas would launch additional abduction missions to bring about the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Over the weekend, Hamas released a short preview
of the film. On Wednesday, Israel's Channel 10 aired a documentary
in which Gilad Shalit shares his experiences from his time in captivity.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org