Noam Shalit, whose son Gilad was captured in 2006 in a terror raid orchestrated by Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas military commander killed by Israel on Wednesday, said Jabari “had a lot of blood on his hands” and that he hoped the ongoing IDF operation would restore quiet to southern Israel.
Killing Jabari was “a necessary step” toward bringing calm to the south of Israel, Shalit said. Ultimately, though, Shalit added, Israel would have to deal “directly or indirectly” with Hamas, since “Hamas is not going anywhere.”
Jabari organized the 2006 attack in which Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel via an underground tunnel, attacked an IDF position, killed two soldiers and dragged Shalit into Gaza, where he was held hostage for more than five years. Jabari also escorted Shalit when he was handed over to the Egyptian authorities last year, en route to Israel, as part of an exchange deal under which Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners.
Noam Shalit said he could “not disclose” whether his son met Jabari while in captivity, but “I don’t think he had any interaction” with the Hamas military chief. Noam said he had told Gilad Wednesday “about the assassination… He didn’t say anything. He’s dealing with it. Mainly, he’s looking forward.”
Noam Shalit, who said in January that he would seek a Knesset seat with Labor in the next elections, said he hoped the aim of the Operation Pillar of Defense would be achieved. “The key is to restore quiet for hundreds of thousands… who want to live in quiet and have been prevented from doing so.”
Still, Shalit said, “Gaza won’t disappear; Hamas won’t disappear; terror from Gaza won’t disappear; Gazans won’t disappear.” Ultimately, therefore, we’ll have to talk to Hamas — directly or indirectly, whether we like it or not.”
Hamas, he said, would have to be convinced that “there has to be quiet.”