Kidnapping drill in Gaza
Photo: AFP

Hamas: Abbas thwarting Shalit deal

Izz al-Din al-Qassam military wing holds wide-scale exercise on ruins of Netzarim settlement. Spokesman Abu Ubaida issues new threat against Israel: 'If you continue to insist, Gilad Shalit will be the second Ron Arad'

Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, held a wide-scale exercise Tuesday evening on the ruins of the former settlement of Netzarim.


During the exercise, group spokesman Abu Ubaida said that if Israel carries on with its policy regarding a future prisoner exchange deal, kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's fate will be similar to that of missing IDF navigator Ron Arad.


Ubaida accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of thwarting the deal.


"We warn the enemy against continuing its policy. If it continues with the insistence approach, Shalit will be considered a second Ron Arad," he said, accusing the Palestinian Authority and Fayyad's government of contributing to the delay in the implementation of the deal.


"Abbas and Fayyad are not interested in seeing the Palestinian resistance achieve an honorable deal, as they do not believe in the way of the resistance. They only believe in the road of negotiations and in pleading with the enemy, and manage to release prisoners whose jail term was close to its end like in the recent list."


Abu Ubaida noted that the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers will continue to be an option as far as his organization is concerned, as long as Palestinian prisoners are jailed in Israel.


Other Palestinian organizations, including the Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades and the Popular Resistance Committees' Salah al-Din Brigades, held a number of wide-scale exercises as part of "the preparations for an Israeli offensive in the Strip."


The organizations fear that in spite of the ceasefire in Gaza, Israel is preparing for an attack on the Strip, which may even take place in the coming weeks during the holiday of Ramadan.


Source in the Strip estimate that the political tension in Israel will cause Israeli leaders "to flex their muscles".


Sources in the Islamic Jihad and PRC told Ynet in recent days that while the first days of the truce were "a well-earned rest", the recent weeks were a period of intensive training ahead of an expected Israeli operation.


On Saturday, the PRC's military wing, the Salah al-Din Brigades, conducted an exercise in Beit Hanoun on Saturday in which it rehearsed a raid of an IDF base and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.


PRC spokesman Abu Abir told Ynet that the drill was aimed at sending a message that "if the Israelis don't resolve the Palestinian prisoners issue soon and contemplate attacking Gaza, the Palestinian resistance is prepared to not only defend the Strip but also take the initiative and kidnap more soldiers who will never see the light of day unless a prisoner exchange deal is signed."


פרסום ראשון: 08.20.08, 09:45
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