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Arab MK: 'I Advised PA to Kidnap Soldier'

Knesset Member Wasal Taha, corresponding publicly with internet surfers on the Arabic-language IslamOnline site, said he repeatedly advised PA terrorists to battle and kidnap Israeli soldiers.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 7/9/2006, 2:26 PM / Last Update: 7/9/2006, 9:23 AM

MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), who last week submitted a bill to negate Knesset membership to MKs who support terrorists, said that Taha's "traitorous" remarks are further proof that Israeli democracy must protect itself.

According to a report in Maariv newspaper on Sunday, Taha told surfers on Thursday that he repeatedly advised the PA Arabs to stop shooting and targeting civilians, and to concentrate on IDF targets. An English translation of Maariv's Hebrew translation of Taha's Arabic words:
"We told them more than once that the Palestinians, who are subjected to murder and ongoing crimes on the part of the Israeli army, have two options: One is to explode and kill civilians - and these are much easier operations. The second option is the military option, in the framework of which a military unit from the resistance [i.e., terrorist infrastructures - ed.] is established in order to break into a military camp, clash with the soldiers and battle them and take them and the conquest into captivity."

Taha also had words of advice for the PA on the publicity front, saying that the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit should not be called "kidnapped" but rather "imprisoned" or "captive." Taha said, "Kidnapping is an act carried out by gangs, terrorists, and the like. But 'captive' means that [it is carried out by] an organized, legitimate group that makes decisions. Israel is trying to present our resistance as something less - as terrorism, murder, and kidnapping - in order that the diplomatic circle will be closed to it."

Asked by Arutz-7's Uzi Baruch if Taha condemns the abduction of Corp. Gilad Shalit, the MK's aide said, "We do not condemn actions against IDF soldiers, we condemn actions only against innocent civilians."

Taha himself later said that when he said that the PA had two options, he was speaking with the Israelis. However, this is not borne out by the Maariv report. In any event, he still insists that he does not object to warfare against the IDF: "What I meant was that the Palestinians... have two options: one is to fight the conquest via harming Israeli civilians, which is the easier way but not legitimate, and this we oppose; or fighting the Israeli conquest via an organized attack against the IDF, as occurred in the case of Gilad Shalit."

MKs Orlev and Effie Eitam said Attorney General Menachem Mazuz should indict Taha for treason. MK Gilad Erdan has called upon Mazuz to indict Taha for incitement to violence, and for Interior Minister Roni Bar-On to consider stripping Taha of his Israeli citizenship. Minister Yaakov Edri (Kadima) said that Taha's words "border on grave incitement."

MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union) said in response, "I suggest that we trade the Arab MKs for the kidnapped Israeli soldier."

MK Orlev said, "The traitorous words of MK Taha prove that Trojan horses have invaded the Knesset, and the democracy must protect itself from them. Taha brags about his collaboration with the enemy and shows that the instructions for the kidnapping did not emanate only from Khaled Meshaal in Syria."

Prominent attorney Yoram Sheftel said that Taha's statement "is one that no democratic country can tolerate from a parliament member when that country is at war with the enemy with whom he was talking... I believe he violated the law and aided the enemy."