Powered by WebAds

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hamas leadership in Syria apparently behind kidnapping

Diplomats in Gaza claim that they know where Gilad Shilat is being held and who is holding him. They refused to divulge the information to HaAretz in an interview that apparently took place yesterday:
"Gilad's kidnappers have promised they are giving him good treatment. He is wounded, but he is in good health," the diplomats said on Sunday, adding they had succeeded in locating the group holding the kidnapped soldier and that they "hope he will be released as quickly as possible."

The sources did say that they are in contact with the heads of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed al-Ja'abri and Ahmed Randor, in attempts to convince them to release Shalit. The Hamas military wing shared responsibility for the attack with the Popular Resistance Committees and a largely unknown group called the Army of Islam.
From what I can gather, the persons holding Shalit answer to Syrian-based Khaled Mashaal and not to anyone in Gaza. This is conjecture on my part. But looking at the list of people who have called for Shalit's release, it's hard to find anyone based in Gaza who is not on the list:

'Moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
'Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas' deputy premier, Nasser al Shaer
PA government spokesman Razi Hamed

[I could not find a link for Haniyeh, but I am pretty sure I saw him call for Shalit's release].

Now don't get me wrong, these people aren't calling for Shalit's release out of love for Jews or humanitarianism or any other good reason. They're trying to protect themselves because they believe that if Shalit is not released they will be targeted by the IDF. The people with nothing to fear from the targeting of the 'Palestinian leadership' in the Gaza Strip - and who may have an interest in the 'Palestinian leadership' in the Gaza Strip being wiped out - are the members of the 'Palestinian leadership' outside of Israel, i.e. those who sit in Syria. 'Moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen is certainly scared. Yesterday, he made sure that everyone knew that if Shalit was not released, the IDF would come into Gaza. Hamas is scared as well. Its Gaza-based leadership went underground last night.

I thought of this myself, but then I found that at least two columnists/reporters agree with my analysis. They would be Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff of HaAretz:

Conversations Sunday night with representatives of the Palestinian factions involved in the attack reflected an effort to renounce responsibility for the fate of the soldier, who may have become a burden rather than an asset. No one understands this better than Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who kept silent Sunday. The military wing has placed a bomb in his hands, almost certainly without having consulted him beforehand.

If Shalit is not released immediately and if, heaven forbid, he does not survive captivity, the Palestinians have two scenarios to fear: a major IDF ground invasion of Gaza, and attacks on senior Hamas officials. The fate of the Hamas government is now dependent on the fate of the kidnapped soldier. Harming him is liable to constitute a death sentence for the government and some of its ministers. Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamed called on Israel Sunday, in fluent Hebrew, almost in supplication, not to take steps that would lead to escalation.

Hamed, who said he doesn't know who the kidnappers are, knows who is behind the kidnapping, even though he won't admit it. They are Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, and Ahmed Jabari, leader of the movement's military wing in Gaza. Meshal and Jabari have pushed Haniyeh and his people into a corner.

The "Meshal exercise" also drew criticism from Fatah officials. In talks with Hamas leaders Sunday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused Meshal of sabotaging the agreement that the Palestinian factions were going to sign in regard to the prisoners' national unity document. Egyptian diplomats in Gaza, who tried in vain Sunday night to reach the Hamas military wing, realized that the person to whom they actually must address their grievances is in Damascus.
Let's hope and pray that the 'Palestinians' feel enough pressure that this kid comes out of this alive and well.


Post a Comment

<< Home