Some of the terrorists freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit not only control the Gaza Strip, but are planning attacks and kidnappings with Iran’s help.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
A senior security official’s assessment reveals that some 420 of the 1,027 terrorists exchanged for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 have revived their terrorist activity over the last six years, Israel Hayom reported. Hundreds of rock throwings, stabbings, Molotov cocktail attacks, car rammings and shootings – as well as attacks that were planned but stopped in their tracks due to Israel’s intelligence work – can be directly or indirectly traced back to these terrorists.
Some of the released terrorists have become high-ranking Hamas officials, with the most senior of them being Yahya Sinwar, who is now the terror group’s prime minister in Gaza, having taken over from Ismail Haniyeh a year ago. Sinwar is considered a ruthless hardliner who spent 22 years in Israeli prisons. Even behind bars he was involved in plotting the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman in 1994. Sinwar was put on the US terrorism blacklist in 2015.
Three other released terrorists are currently running anti-Israeli activities in Judea and Samaria, which have the added “benefit” of damaging the regime of the Palestinian Authority (PA) that is nominally in charge there. Abdel Rahman Ranimat, Abdullah Arar, and Forsan Khalifa are each in charge of a different section of Judea and Samaria. Ranimat oversees Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho; Arar oversees Jerusalem and Ramallah, and Khalifa is responsible for Samaria. Assisted by other freed terrorists, they were the brains behind many terrorist attacks that have been thwarted over the past year alone.
According to the report, these four men, as well as several other senior Hamas officials who were freed in the Shalit deal, are running the Gaza Strip. While not yet ready to face Israel head-on, they have not and will not stop planning attacks. Their main goal, the PA says, is the abduction of another Israeli, whether civilian or soldier. There have literally been dozens of kidnapping attempts thwarted by the Shin Bet, Israel’s Security Agency, since 2011.
The comparatively small-scale danger of kidnappings, however, pales beside the threat posed by Hamas strengthening its ties to allies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, while being newly funded by Iran to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The Shin Bet recently exposed an Iranian terrorist network in Judea and Samaria that had been recruited and handled directly by Iran’s intelligence system.