Initifada leader Marwan Barghouti is among the hundreds of prisoners the captors of IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit want freed in a swap, the Palestinian Authority information minister said Monday. Schalit's captors handed the names of Palestinian prisoners they want freed to Israel several days ago, through Egyptian mediators. Little is known about the list, including the number of names on it.
However, PA Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti confirmed Monday that two of the most senior Palestinian prisoners, Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat, are on the list. The information minister and the prisoner are distant relatives. Marwan Barghouti, seen as a potential successor to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is serving five consecutive life terms for his role in shooting attacks that killed four Israelis and a Greek monk. Saadat heads the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. "The list of the prisoners we want released very soon includes the names of Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat, and many other people who had been there for a long time," Mustafa Barghouti said.
According to reports in the Palestinian media earlier Monday, Schalit's captors were also demanding the release of Hassan Salameh as part of any prisoner swap. Salameh is responsible for planning several suicide attacks against Israel that were carried out as a response to an IDF assassination in 1996, Israel Radio reported Monday. Hamas is also demanding the release of Fuad Shubaki, a high-ranking Fatah official and the paymaster of the 2001 Karine-A affair, during which the IDF intercepted a Gaza-bound Iranian weapons ship. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper reported that a planned deal for Schalit's release will be implemented in three stages.
Let me summarize. The really hardcore bad guys with multiple buckets of blood on their hands go first. Then Schalit will be turned over to the Egyptian government and be held by the Egyptian authorities until the Palestinian terrorists with only a bucket of Israeli blood in each hand are released by Israel. I would have thought for the Egyptian authorities to agree to hold Schalit as hostage would be at least one violation of the Camp David Peace accord but what do I really know? Anyways, the Egyptians will turn Schalit over to Israel after the release of the second group. Within two months of Schalit's release to Israel, the terrorist with only one bucket of blood will be released by Israel. That is, if you can believe in the good faith of the Palestinian terrorists who are allegingly holding Schalit captive.
Unlike the 15 British naval personnel held captive by Iran there has been absolutely no communication by any third party showing Schalit alive and relatively well. Neither the Red Cross nor any other human rights organization has been allowed to communicate with Corporal Schalit - even briefly. There hasn’t even been a Palestinian equivalent of the Iranian home movies showing Corporal Schalit alive. Not one letter penned in Corporal Schalit’s hand has been delivered to either his parents or Israeli authorities - nor released to the international media. Media reports in the immediate aftermath suggested that the IDF believed Schalit was seriously wounded, perhaps grievously, in the attack launched by Popular Resistance Committee. One needs to be asking why no proof has even been offered that Schalit is still alive.
Looking at the who’s who of Palestinian terror elite who are to be released in the first stage, I would suggest it would be safe to conclude that the Palestinian’s are going for the gold the first round out. One must ask why? G-d forbid, but is this the proof Schalit is dead? Are the Palestinian giving their wish list with the heavy hitters knowing that they cannot deliver Schalit to Egypt for the round two?
Or is subterfuge at work here? The Palestinians know Schalit is dead, and cannot produce a living Schalit to the Egyptian (let alone Israeli) authorities, so they develop this incredibly contentious list and conditions which no Israeli government in good conscience could agree to adhering; thereby, claiming a propaganda victory. And if by chance Olmert is the fool everyone claims he is and he agrees to the conditions – then the Palestinians will get a few hundred of their most hardcore killers out in the first round before their deception can be documented. And really, what can Israel do but batten down the hatches and prepare for more civilian deaths?
Shoshana Amos, Aviel Atash, Vitaly Brodsky, Tamara Dibrashvilli, Raisa Forer, Larisa Gomanenko, Denise Hadad, Tatiana Kortchenko, Rosita Lehman, Karine Malka, Nargiz Ostrovsky, Maria Sokolov, Roman Sokolovsky, Tiroayent Takala, Eliyahu Uzan, Emmanuel Yosef (Yosefov) Senior Warrant Officer Haim Alfasi, Chief Warrant Officer Yaakov Ben-Shabbat, Cpl. Mazi Grego, Capt. Yael Kfir, Cpl. Felix Nikolaichuk, Sgt. Yonatan Peleg, Sgt. Efrat Schwartzman, Prosper Twito, Sgt. Liron Siboni, Dr. David Appelbaum, Nava Appelbaum, David Shimon Avizadris, Shafik Kerem, Alon Mizrahi, Gila Moshe and Yehiel (Emil) Tubol, Avraham (Albert) Balhasan, Rose Boneh, Hava Hannah (Anya) Bonder, Anat Darom, Viorel Octavian Florescu, Natalia Gamril, Yechezkel Isser Goldberg, Baruch (Roman) Hondiashvili, Dana Itach, Mehbere Kifile and Eli Zfira
These are the names of Israelis who were brutally murdered since 2003 by Palestinian terrorists who were first released in prisoner exchanges. What is missing are the names of those wounded and maimed in those same multiple attacks. I suggest everyone read Caroline Glick’s latest column in the Jerusalem Post - The Next Grand Bargain before you read any more of this blog posting.
But I will offer this quote taken directly the end of her column:
Schalit was kidnapped by a joint Hamas-Fatah force. The government could place sanctions such as travel bans on PA Chairman and Fatah terror chief Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister and Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh and their associates. So too, the government could order the Prisons Service to prevent jailed terrorists from talking to reporters, politicians and European diplomats and so end the anomalous state of affairs whereby convicted murderers like arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti are allowed to engage in psychological warfare against Israeli society and serve as power brokers in Palestinian society from prison.
Since last summer, the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government has taken no steps that would lead either the Palestinians or Hizbullah to view Schalit, Regev and Goldwasser's illegal captivity as a burden. Rather, like their bosses in Teheran, the terrorists have all benefited from their criminal behavior.
Because of the fecklessness of our leaders, we lost a war we should have won and our hostages, who soldiers like Nadav Baeloha heroically gave their lives to free, have remained in captivity.
As Hizbullah, Iran, Syria, and the Palestinians show daily with their escalating saber-rattling, our leaders' continued incompetence since the war has brought us ever closer to a new war. Now, through their cowardly and unnecessary genuflections to our enemies, made under the preening cover of feigned concern for the lives of our hostages they have done nothing to free, Olmert and his associates place the lives of every one of us in danger.
While Glick offers viable suggestions on what the Kadima coalition could have done, I would go a few steps further than even Glick, and suggest its long past the time for Israeli society to openly debate the death penalty for anyone convicted of 2 or more multiple deaths arising from any politically motivated terror attack on civilians. The Palestinians have a long bloodied history of local and international terror attacks launched with the sole motivation of freeing Palestinian terrorists from jail. Let’s just start at Munich and work our way forward to Schalit.
I am not naïve, nor do I believe that by executing killers will deter the terror masters but it could substantially reduce the chance of any future Israeli government being held hostage by terrorists. It would also effectively stop the practise of using murderers as legitimate currency in which to meet any ransom demand issued by terrorists. Oh, and before anyone suggests it; I would be more than willing to apply for the job as state executioner. It’s the one government job in which I don’t believe my poor command of Hebrew would negatively affect my job performance.