Thursday, October 27, 2011

(PMW Video) - Hamas TV: Kidnap 6 more Israeli soldiers and free remaining 6,000 prisoners

Itamar Marcus/Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Media Watch
27 October '11

On October 17, 2011, Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners, the first of 1,027 Palestinians prisoners to be released in exchange for the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hundreds of the released Palestinian prisoners were serving life sentences for murder.

Following the deal, Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV broadcast a video which presents this exchange as a prototype for future Hamas strategy and action. The clip presents the kidnapping of another 6 Israeli soldiers as the key to the release of the remaining 6,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Text on screen:

"1 Zionist soldier = 1,000 prisoners.
6 Zionist soldiers = 6,000 prisoners.
Capture of 6 Zionist soldiers = release of remaining prisoners.
We are still thinking about you. Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas military wing)."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Oct. 21, 2011]

In November 2008, Palestinian Media Watch was invited to give testimony before the Israeli government committee headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar, entitled "The Committee for Establishing Principles of Negotiation for Release of [Israeli] Prisoners."

PMW documented that Israel's willingness to exchange large numbers of imprisoned terrorists for the release of a small number of Israeli hostages was understood by Palestinians to indicate that kidnapping is the most effective tool for freeing terrorists. These sentiments were expressed by the Palestinian Authority as well as by Fatah and Hamas leaders and members. The PMW Special Report to the commission documented the Palestinian reactions immediately after exchanges that took place since 2004 and reached clear conclusions about how Palestinians view these exchanges. In the introduction PMW wrote:

"Israel's release of prisoners in exchange for hostages is not seen by Palestinian society as merely the last stage of one kidnapping, but as the first act of the next kidnapping."

Click here for PMW report (PDF) from December 2009: Palestinian kidnap-for-hostage policy 2004 - 2009

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