Noam Shalit said Wednesday that his son is likely still processing the news of the assassination of the man who masterminded his abduction. Asked about Gilad’s response to Ahmed Jabari’s assassination, Shalit said his son showed no signs of joy and “is mainly looking ahead not thinking about the past.”
Shalit described Jabari as “a man with a lot of blood on his hands” remarking that he has spent the past few years “fighting against innocent civilians by firing rockets at a civilian population.”
Jabari is considered the mastermind behind Gilad Shalit’s abduction. He was also the person who negotiated the prisoner exchange deal that saw Shalit released and personally delivered him at the Kerem Shalom crossing in October 2011. Noam Shalit confirmed he had informed his son of the Gaza hit, as Gilad himself does not follow the news, but noted that he did not react to the information. Shalit stressed that despite the great suffering that the Hamas commander inflicted on his son, the family “does not consider it a personal matter.”
He added that the assassination was inevitable “as a signal of deterrence to Hamas.”
“I hope the message was received on the other side,” he said. “On the other hand this won’t end the endless cycle of violence. Hamas is not about to disappear, Gaza is not about to disappear and the Palestinians are not about to disappear. Whoever thinks they can topple Hamas, well the Islamic Jihad will succeed it, and if we topple the Islamic Jihad then al-Qaeda will emerge and so on.”
“Eventually we will have no choice but to establish a line of communication with Hamas, be it direct or indirect. Hamas is the ruling power in Gaza, we’re Gaza’s neighbors and eventually we will have to reach an agreement or a settlement with them. Maybe eventually we’ll talk to them and make them realize that it’s in their interest to maintain a calm border, if not love us, if they want to remain in power.”
Hamas issued a harsh response to the assassination. The group’s military wing issued a short statement saying that “the occupation has opened the gates of hell.”
Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar said that the “resistance’s possibilities” are now open and include suicide bombings and high profile attacks inside Israeli cities. “The resistance can cause Israel great misery,” he said.