The Hamas terrorist organization posted a shocking new video on Sunday (view below) about the fate of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted nearly four years ago in a cross-border raid near Gaza. He is assumed to be alive, but his condition is not known, and Hamas has not honored the Geneva Convention, which requires visits by Red Cross officials.
The three-minute video, which hinted that the young Israeli soldier would share the fate of longtime missing Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad, was clearly produced to wage psychological warfare against the Netanyahu government and the People of Israel.
The Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas announced early Sunday morning that it intended to publish a special message to the “Zionist public” and shortly afterward posted an animated video. Attached to the clip was a message stating “If the sovereign Zionist public wants [Shalit's] safe return, the Zionist government will have to pay with the release of Palestinian prisoners.”
The statement added, “If you reject the current terms, you will nevertheless still need to release them, sooner or later, at a higher price,” and noted that if Israel delayed further, Shalit would share the fate of the missing Ron Arad.
The Shalit family's official response was to point out that “Hamas would do better to concern itself with the true interests of the Palestinian prisoners and the citizens of Gaza, who have become hostages of their leaders, instead of putting on films and displays.”
Noam Shalit, father of the soldier. told reporters that it was “regrettable that the leaders of Hamas time and time against choose to employ psychological warfare – for the umpteenth time – against the Shalit family and the State of Israel.” He added that the terrorist group had not responded to Israel's latest offer for a prisoner exchange, which has “lain on their table for four months, unanswered.”
Animation 'A Psychological Nightmare'
The animation showed a computerized image of Gilad's father Noam wandering the empty streets with his photo. The images were accompanied by old recordings of Gilad's voice, along with photos of past Israeli prime ministers – including Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu -- who promised to end the ordeal.
Towards the end of the film, a scene shows a prisoner exchange deal similar to that which occurred on the northern border with Lebanon, in which the bodies of two Israeli reservists were returned by Hizbullah terrorists. The condition of the prisoners was not revealed until their coffins appeared at the crossing.
In the Hamas video, an elderly Noam Shalit, leaning on a cane, appears to wait 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.
“There is still hope,” proclaims the message at the end of the video, festooned by the Izz a-Din al-Qassan logo.
'Another Deplorable Action'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting that "the Hamas leadership's use of the Shalit family's sensitivities two days after Israel allowed a little girl to be flown for lifesaving surgery outside the Gaza Strip attests, more than anything, to the character" of the terrorist organization.
"This is another deplorable action by Hamas designed to assist its leadership in avoiding a decision regarding the mediation offer," the prime minister added. "For months, Hamas's leaders have avoided responding to the proposal for a humanitarian deal, which was tabled by the German mediator, under Egyptian aegis.
"This proposal, which was formulated vis a vis both sides, would bring about the immediate return of Gilad Shalit, safe and sound, to his family and his people," Netanyahu said.