Israel journalist: Israel should kidnap Hamas leaders’ sons in exchange for Israeli captives

“The Hamas of today is the Palestinian people’s legitimate representative more so than the Palestinian Authority.”

By World Israel News Staff

A veteran Israeli journalist who covers Arab affairs has called for Israel to kidnap the sons of Hamas leaders in order to arrive at a prisoner exchange deal for the return of Israeli hostages held captive in the Gaza Strip.

Remarks by Channel 13 correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli to radio 103FM came after Hamas presented an Israeli army-issue rifle belonging to Hadar Goldin, the Israeli soldier who’s body was captured by Hamas during the 2014 summer conflict.

“Claims by Goldin’s family that Israel has done nothing enough are true,” Yehezkeli said, and went on, “Israel has not even attempted to kidnap sons of senior Hamas leaders.”

“It’s psychological warfare,” he said. “Changing the mentality is all Hamas has at hand when it’s trapped in the Gaza Strip. Even though it exported terrorism to Judea and Samaria, it’s actually trapped.”

In addition to Goldin, Hamas also captured the body of another IDF soldier, Shaul Oron. Two other Israeli civilians who are believed to be alive, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, are also being held captive by the terror group. Both men suffer from mental illness and crossed into Gaza of their own accord in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

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Asked if Hamas was banking on Israel agreeing to another prisoner swap like the one struck for the release of IDF soldier in which thousands of terrorists were released, Yehezkeli responded: “The Israeli population, the defense system and the leadership sobered up from that story. We see all the terrorism that has happened as a result of all those released terrorists, and we understand that it cannot happen again.”

“The Hamas of today is the Palestinian people’s legitimate representative more so than the Palestinian Authority. It grew and bloomed after a good few Israeli mistakes,” he said.

He went on to highlight Israel’s miscalculation in backing Hamas when the terror group first formed nearly four decades ago.

“Between 1982 and 1987, until Hamas announced the Jihad as its own, Israel supported it and even built it mosques in Gaza because it thought that Hamas would be an opposing power to the Palestine Liberation Organization,” he said. “After Hamas declared the Jihad as its own in 1987, we got a violent jihadic movement that doesn’t accept our existence, and that’s a success for Hamas.”