In separate statements released this week, Hamas and Fatah have called for the immediate abduction of Israelis. The terrorist organizations said by holding Israelis hostage they would have greater leverage in the release of the most vile of terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.
The Bethlehem news agency, Ma'an, reported that the Fatah-controlled Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades “urge all our fighters to capture and abduct Israeli soldiers and civilians.” When the call was issued, Fatah members later explained, “there was no response by the Israelis to release the prisoners...”
According to Ma'an, Hamas called on all Palestinian factions and terror groups to kidnap Israelis for the liberation of Palestine, “to work together to capture more Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them with Palestinian prisoners.”
In its communiqué, Hamas called on Israel to “comply with the factions’ demands” and quickly conclude an exchange deal. Hamas, along with other PA factions, have been holding Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit hostage since July 2006. In exchange for Shalit's freedom, the PA has demanded the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian terrorists.
The statements of Hamas, Fatah and others were issued in honor of what has been declared Palestinian Prisoners Day by the Palestinian government.
Israeli Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh attended Prisoner Day activities in the territories, calling Israel a “terrorist state,” and expressed sympathy for terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails. “All they did was fight for their freedom,” said Barakeh, head of the Israeli Hadash party. Hadash is Israel's Communist party faction.