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Monday, August 22, 2011

IAF got a big fish

When the IAF went into action against the leadership of the Popular Resistance Committees on Thursday night, one of the targets - Kamel al-Neirab, better known as Abu Awad - was a huge catch.
The death of Abu Awad, who played a major role in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit five years ago, has been described by his friends and family as a “severe and painful blow” to the Popular Resistance Committees.

“His death is a huge loss for the resistance groups in the Gaza Strip,” said Ziad Sha’ath, a longtime friend of Abu Awad.

“It has really hurt us.”

A Palestinian journalist described Abu Awad as one of the most senior militiamen in the southern Gaza Strip. “He was considered a big military commander,” the journalist said. “The Popular Resistance Committees will never be the same after Abu Awad.”

According to the journalist, the Israeli air strike wiped out the most important leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of armed groups that has been responsible for dozens, if not hundreds, of attacks on Israelis over the past decade.

Abu Awad co-founded the Popular Resistance Committees with Jamal Abu Samhadanah (nicknamed Abu Ataya) after the start of the second intifada in September 2000.

The group is one of the most significant and powerful militias in the Gaza Strip and its membership is estimated at several hundred.

Abu Awad and Jamal Abu managed to increase the range of rocket-propelled grenades and were responsible for manufacturing bombs that penetrated an IDF Merkava tank a year later in the Gaza Strip.

Under their leadership, the group also launched scores of attacks on Jewish settlements in Gush Katif and on IDF soldiers during the second intifada.

In June 2006, while the two men were planning an operation to infiltrate Israel to carry out a large attack, IDF missiles killed Abu Samhadanah along with at least three other PRC members at one of the organization’s camps in Rafah.

However, the death of Abu Samhadanah did not stop the group from carrying out the operation two weeks later, resulting in the abduction of Schalit.

Schalit’s kidnapping was seen as an act of retaliation for the targeted killing of Abu Samhadanah.

Abu Awad’s friends predicted that his death would “complicate” efforts to secure the release of Schalit. They said that he was one of the few people in the Gaza Strip who knew where the soldier was being held.

Abu Awad joined Fatah during the first intifada, which began in 1987. A few years later he fled to Egypt, where he was detained by Egyptian security forces being allowed to travel to Libya.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, he and a number of his colleagues returned to the Gaza Strip, where he worked as an intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority’s security forces.
I am sure there are other people in Gaza who know Shalit's whereabouts. And I'm sure the IDF knows too.

Maybe this is an opportunity?

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At 2:15 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

My guess as to Shalit's location is discussed a couple of threads down from this one, Shifa Hospital, the Hamas defacto HQ, where the,um, fearless leaders of the, um, holy warriors of Islam can hide behind women, children, the elderly, sick, where they know they're safe from Israeli attack.

Only the morality and enormous restraint of Israel effectively guarantees this safety. Remember when Saudi Arabia sent in their army into the Grand Mosque at Mecca to destroy the terrorists? Remember when India sent in their army to the Sikh Golden Temple to destroy the Sikh terrorists? Remember when the Russian govt sent in troops to that school in Beslan to destroy the terrorists and free the schoolchildren? Remember when... well, it's a long list. And remember, there was NO global outrage against the Saudi govt, the Indian govt, the Russian govt, the other govt's because the majority of the civilized world saw the unfortunate necessity and therefore moral justification of those actions.

However, if Israel attacked the underground complex of Shifa Hospital, to free Shalit, or as part of a necessary counter-strike against Hamas, the global hypocritical outrage would be deafening.

Notwithstanding that under the Geneva Conventions, Hamas, by using this "protected facility" for military purposes, has caused this hospital to lose it's protected status and that Israel would be legally free to use whatever "measured", "proportionate" (whatever that means under international law) military actions are necessary to free it's hostage and/or eliminate the Hamas HQ and leadership. That Hamas would bear, under the Conventions, the legal responsibility for forcing a militarily necessary attack by Israel and for all the consequences.

So much for "international law". Only Israel is held to these ridiculous double standards.


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