Mohammed Sharatha directed the kidnapping and murders of IDF soldiers Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon in 1989. Both soldiers were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists as they were hitchhiking on their way back home from their military bases.
Sasportas was kidnapped and murdered in February of 1989 and his body was found three months later, in May. Saadon was murdered in May of 1989 but his body was not found until seven years later, in 1996.
Sharatha was captured by the IDF in Gaza shortly after Saadon’s murder. He was sentenced to three life sentences.
Interviewed by Israel’s Channel 10 News just six days after his release from prison and his return to Gaza, Sharatha said, “I did what I did and I do not regret it.”
Sharatha, who refused to cooperate with Israeli investigators and reveal where Saadon’s body had been buried, even after he was captured and sentenced, said that the kidnapping and murder of the two soldiers was a direct order from Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (who was killed in an IDF air strike in 2004).
He explained why he refused to reveal the location of Saadon’s body.
“Why did the enemy not show us the burial place of people whom we are just now starting to look for? These are people who have been missing since 1967,” he said, adding: “Israel has secret prisons where there are detainees whose identity is unknown.”
Sharatha said that his one request of Israel now that he has been released is to be allowed to finish the university degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which he began while in prison. Allowing terrorist prisoners to study while in prison is just one of many benefits given to them by Israel. In comparison, Gilad Shalit spent five and a half years in Hamas captivity and was not allowed one single visit from the International Red Cross.
At the end of the interview, Sharatha encouraged future terrorists who will commit murderous acts towards Israelis.
“They have a great experience and greater power, and their fighting spirit is greater than ours,” he said. “We are proud to have created a generation that will continue with the battle and go further, and Allah willing they will achieve victory.”