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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hamas' favorite terrorists

There's a wire service story this morning that indicates that a deal is about to be made to free kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit in exchange for anywhere from 1000 to 1400 'Palestinian' prisoners terrorists. This morning, Haaretz takes a look at some of the terrorists that Hamas wants Israel to release:
Among those whose release Hamas intends to demand is Abbas Sayed, the mastermind of the massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya over Passover in 2002, in which 29 civilians were killed.
For those who have forgotten, the Park Hotel Passover massacre is also known as the Seder night massacre. As many of you may recall, author and columnist Naomi Ragen was one of the survivors of that terror attack (that's the hotel dining room in the top left corner of this post):
Sitting in the lobby of the Park Hotel with my young daughter in-law and aging mother in -law, I watched as the lobby slowly filled with hundreds of people. I kept my eyes on the security guard. To my shock and dismay, I saw him leave his place by the door and walk back into the hotel dining room, leaving the door completely unmanned. I considered walking up to him, complaining loudly, but just then my husband, sons, and father-in-law came out of synagogue. We kissed, exchanged holiday greetings, and I tried to quell my fears.

After all, what were the chances that a suicide bomber would find his way davka to this hotel, of all the hotels in Israel? I tried to think back to the years when a hotel lobby filled with excited voices was a pleasant and cheering experience, something boding conviviality and holiday cheer. I tried not to see the gathering crowd with the eyes of an enemy bent on an opportunity for maximum human slaughter, which is what we Israelis have been doing naturally for the last eighteen months every time we leave our homes.

My husband and I sat together with our loved ones, enjoying each other’s company. It was seven p.m. The dining room was scheduled to begin seating people at seven-thirty.

For no reason, I was suddenly filled with a sudden sense of horror. I envisioned my kitchen, and imagined the smoke rising, blackening the walls, billowing through the house.

“What’s wrong?” my husband asked, watching my face change.

“I think I might have left the fire burning under the kitchen kettle, ” I told him.

“Are you sure?”

“No. I don’t know.”

He looked concerned for a moment, then looked over my shoulder. “People are going into the dining room already.” I stood up. “Let’s go,” I said. It was seven fifteen.

My father in law waved an envelope in front of us. “I know how Alex hates cantors, so I arranged a private seder for us upstairs.” He and my mother-in-law were going to stop in the bathroom first, and they’d join us in a few minutes.

The dining room upstairs was a far cry from the joyful, packed, and noisy crowd in the lobby we’d just left. Only two or three tables were set, and less than a handful of people were seated. We found a table set for seven and sat down. It was seven twenty.

I looked around at the table to see if it had all the things we needed to begin the ceremony when my in-laws arrived.

And then I heard it: A sound, like a roar, rolling through the room, making the floor rumble. I looked up from the table, thinking: “What…?” Then suddenly, there was a deafening crash of sound like no other I had ever heard in my life, a sound that was like an emphatic statement in a language all its own, whose meaning was impossible to mistake for any other, impossible to misunderstand. The wall of windows facing us suddenly blew inwards, crashing, sending slivers of glass flying past our cheeks and legs, littering the floor. I heard my daughter in-law screaming. Screams rose from downstairs. It gave me the idea that I too should scream. And I did, the way I had once screamed in the labor room, giving birth.

“I can’t believe this is happening to me!” my daughter in-law repeated hysterically, held close in my son’s arms.” “Get down!” my husband shouted. As we did, I saw Akiva picking glass from his hand, and I wondered if he’d scratched himself. Someone from another table shouted: “I hear firing!”

We froze. This had been a terrorist modus operandi in previous attacks. First the bombing, and then machine gun fire to finish off anyone who survived. For one moment, my heart, which had previously been filled with the knowledge that I, my family, had survived, felt its first moment of real fear.

“Wait here,” my husband told us. “I’m going to find my parents.”

It was only then I thought of them, downstairs. I knew that they must both be dead. And I thought: I have to get out of here with my children, alive. We took an impromptu vote, those in favor of waiting for my husband to return versus those who wanted to flee. The women, flee-ers all, won.

I went towards the staircase we’d come up from, looking down. Acrid, black smoke and twisted metal filled the space for as far as I could see. I hurried back to my family gathered at the other end of the room. The two young boys who had been seated near us shouted that there was another staircase, and pointed out to the adjoining patio. Just then, two waitresses suddenly walked in from the staircase we’d originally used. One was drenched in red blood, her long dark hair and pretty face staring at her upraised bloody hands.

“Let’s go!” I told my children, heading down the emergency exit. It emerged into the hotel’s outdoor pool area. A high fence kept us from leaving. We, and others, milled around desperate for a way out. Suddenly, we caught a glimpse of the blown out glass doors of the main dining room. For a moment, I just stared.
Read the whole thing. It's chilling. But Sayed is just one of Hamas' favorite terrorists:
Palestinian sources told Haaretz yesterday that topping the list of those Hamas wants released, is Sheikh Hassan Yusef, among the leaders of the organization in the West Bank.

Yusef, a resident of Bitunia, near Ramallah, was jailed for his membership in a terrorist organization.

Next in line is Sheikh Mohammed Jamal Natshe, from Hebron. He is also among the leaders of the Hamas political wing in the West Bank.

Also high on the Hamas list is Jamal Abu Hija, who headed the group in the Jenin region.

Another whose release Hamas will demand is Yahiye Sanuar, among the founders of Hamas and its special security arm, a resident of Khan Yunis, and brother of Mohammed Sanuar, considered to be one of the heads of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military arm of the organization, and one of those believed to have been involved in the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

Sanuar has been in prison for nearly 20 years, having been sentenced for the murder of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. He is not considered to have "bloodied his hands" in terrorism against Israelis.

The jailed leader of Tanzim, Marwan Barghouti, is also on the list, as is the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Sa'adat, held for his alleged role in the assassination of former minister Rehavam Ze'evi, but sentenced for other violations.
Recall that in September, 'moderate' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, who supposedly had nothing to do with Shalit's kidnapping, offered to trade Shalit for Barghouti and Sa'adat. At the time, Israel rejected the 'offer' out of hand. Now, we're apparently going to give up even more, and we're going to endanger more lives. If we were endangering more lives by sending the IDF in to try to find Shalit, I would be all in favor. But to endanger innocent civilians who could be struck anytime and anywhere God forbid is completely unacceptable. This isn't the end of a war and it's not an exchange of prisoners captured in a war. Anyone who cannot see the difference between Shalit on the one hand and Sayed, Barghouti and Sa'adat on the other hand, has something bad in a bad place. If this was the end game, why did we go to war last summer? And if we went to war, why didn't we finish what we started?

I find it appalling that the Olmert-Peretz-Livni government is going to do this. You can rest assured that all of these 'prisoners' are going to return to terrorism and that tens of Israelis will God forbid die as a result. That's what has happened every time there is a 'prisoner' exchange. Hashem Yishmor (may God protect us).


At 5:27 PM, Blogger M. Simon said...

Un fricken believeable.

And what is with the parents of the captured who are willing to sacrifice innocent others so they get their "loved ones" back.

Why doesn't any one speak out against the prisoner lobby that is driving this?

Israel is a nation of women. Weak women at that.

The road to Aushwitz is paved with "it can't happen here".

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

M. Simon,

Actually, the Goldwasser's and Regev's have been relatively decent. Shlomo Goldwasser, the father of the captured soldier, told the government yesterday that if his son is dead, they should not pay anything to get his body back.

Shalit is another story. The last I heard, he is going to Gaza to meet with the terrorists. But he was apparently a known leftist long before this happened.

It's hard for me to judge them, because I am not in their position and would never want to be. But I think that doing these kinds of exchanges just leads to the next kidnapping.


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