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Hamas’ Latest Shalit Video Part of Psychological Warfare

Short staged video posted by Hamas supposedly shows kidnapped Israeli soldier with two masked men, one of them armed, standing next to him.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/22/2010, 5:09 AM / Last Update: 9/22/2010, 5:05 AM

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Hamas continued this week its psychological warfare and tried to once again influence Israeli public opinion on the subject of a unequal prisoner swap deal involving kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in June of 2006 and has been held in captivity in the Gaza Strip ever since that time. Hamas is demanding that Israel release thousands of terrorists currently jailed in its prisons in exchange for the kidnapped soldier.

A video posted by the terrorist group to YouTube on Monday, shows a silhouette of Shalit, reminiscent of an image of him shown in a video released one year ago. Beside Shalit stand two masked men, one of them armed.

One of the armed men then aims his weapon towards Shalit, at which point the screen goes dark. Sounds of a weapon cocking are heard, followed by a few shots. The words “Is the mission complete?” then appear on the screen.

This is the second time Hamas has released a shocking video of Shalit. Last April, an animated film it released showed a computerized image of an elderly Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father, leaning on a cane, waiting at the Erez Crossing, only to be confronted with a vehicle bearing a coffin, covered with an Israeli flag. At this point, the kidnapped soldier's father wakes up and finds he has been caught in a nightmare. The message at the end of that video proclaimed that “There is still hope.”

The Shalit family said in response to Monday’s video: “The Shalit family regrets that instead of worrying about the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, some of which could have been home long ago, Hamas’ leaders choose to continue to hold our son Gilad hostage to fulfill their political desires, an act that is a continuing war crime according to international law. Also, Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus do not hesitate to use psychological warfare of the lowest kind against the family, rather than respect the law and international conventions.”

Since June, the Shalit family has been protesting in a tent opposite the Prime Minister’s home in Jerusalem. Last month, thousands of people marked Shalit's 24th birthday and his fifth one in captivity, in a special ceremony held in the protest tent.