After Merger, Hamas Policy To Hold Kidnapped Shalit Hostage Adopted By PA
May 27, 2011

Following the recent unity government agreement between Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to the declaration by PA senior official, Nabil Shaath that the PA will continue to hold the Hamas-abducted Israeli serviceman, Corporal Gilad Shalit, until it can ransom him in return for jailed Palestinian terrorists. This is the first indication that Hamas polices are being adopted by the new Fatah/PA/Hamas unity government. Though never having outlawed terrorist groups or ended incitement to hatred and murder against Israel, as required under the signed Oslo agreements, the PA did not previously kidnap Israelis and hold them for ransom.


Shaath, a senior Fatah/PA official and former PA foreign minister, said the PA will continue to hold Shalit, and negotiate his release in exchange for jailed Palestinian terrorists, rather than freeing him immediately. In comments given to Independent Media Review & Analysis, Shaath said that Shalit would become, upon the unification of the Fatah/PA and Hamas, “the responsibility of the unified authority and it should proceed to exchange Shalit with as many Palestinian prisoners as possible … We have 7,000 political prisoners in Israel by design – taken by the Israeli authority. They have to be also freed” (‘Nabil Shaath to IMRA – PA to hold Shalit after unification 25.5.11.wmv,’ Youtube, May 25, 2011).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Nabil Shaath’s statement to IMRA illustrates clearly the direction the new Fatah/Hamas PA regime is taking. Hamas is not only responsible until now for the illegal abduction and incarceration of Shalit, but is a U.S. and E.U.-listed terrorist organization which calls in its Charter, not only for the destruction of Israel, but also for the murder of Jews.


“Corporal Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006 from Israeli territory by a squad of Hamas kidnappers who entered Israel specifically for the purpose. He is thus completely unlike Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, all of whom have been tracked down, charged and convicted in duly appointed courts of law for their criminal, murderous terrorist acts. Corporal Gilad Shalit is guilty of no crime – he was simply unfortunate enough to be seized by Hamas. This is the act of criminal gang.


“Now, however, it is no longer only the act of a single criminal gang. The PA, which previously did not kidnap and hold hostage Israelis, has agreed to be party to it. The Fatah/PA is increasingly tending in Hamas’ direction. In Shaath’s declaration, we see Hamas’ evident influence and pull.


“When Nabil Shaath foreshadows that the PA, once having come into authority over all Palestinians in Gaza, will not immediately free Shalit but, on the contrary, will use him as bargaining chip, he tells the world that Fatah is no different from Hamas as criminal, terrorist outfit. This tells us that Fatah/Hamas/PA, which in any case has never accepted Israel as a Jewish state, arrested terrorists or ended incitement to hatred and murder against Israel, must be rigorously sanctioned and isolated. As a start, the U.S. must cease all funding to the PA at once.”

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