Islamic Jihad: ‘Kidnappings the only way to release prisoners’

Senior official of terror organization calls on Palestinians to abduct Israeli citizens, target settlers in West Bank

Islamic Jihad members in Gaza (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Islamic Jihad members in Gaza (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A senior Islamic Jihad official called Friday on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli citizens, arguing that Israel had proven in the past that it was willing to negotiate the release of Palestinian security prisoners in exchange for the lives of its civilians.

Speaking during a protest in the Gaza Strip, Khaled Albatsh urged Palestinian leaders to come up with a detailed plan that would ensure a massive release of prisoners held in Israeli security facilities.

“Our war against the enemy is raging,” Albatsh said, according to Maariv. “We must find the ways and means to release our prisoners, we must devise a clear plan to free them.”

Albatsh further called on members of his organization to target Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

“It cannot be that only one side suffers from the occupation,” he said.

On Friday, the IDF confirmed three Israeli teenagers were missing since Thursday night, raising suspicion that they had been abducted by members of a terrorist organization. Security forces were conducting a widespread search in the Gush Etzion area, where the teenagers had last been seen, an IDF spokesman said.

The Prime Minister’s Office said it held the Palestinian Authority and its president Mahmoud Abbas responsible for their well-being.

Earlier Friday, Palestinian media reported a firefight between Israeli military forces and Palestinian gunmen in the South Hebron Hills region. According to a report in the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, large IDF forces raided the village of Yatta in the Hebron region and searched houses there. The military had set up roadblocks in the area.

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