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Hamas: No Free Information On Missing Israelis

19 July 2015

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel has finally officially acknowledged that two Israelis were being held in the Gaza Strip, presumably in Hamas's custody.

Israel had hoped that Hamas would disclose information on the matter, which would help Israel repatriate the two men in return for a non-costly price or at no price at all.

But Hamas has acted smartly by remaining tight-lipped on the matter for the past 12 months.

Hamas should continue this wise policy as giving free information of any kind to Israel would be self-defeating and immensely harmful for the Palestinian cause, especially the cause of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps.

It is likely that Israel will ask third-parties to pressure Hamas to release specific information on the missing Israelis as a "humanitarian gesture."

Israel could ask the Ramallah regime and/or the Sissi regime to exert pressure on Hamas to release the missing soldiers.

Hamas should firmly reject such deceptive tactics.

More to the point, Israel is not expected to pursue this matter with the same vigor and persistence it pursued the Shalit affair.

The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.

And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel's social ladder.

But non-action by the Israeli government would embarrass the Zionist regime and expose its racist nature. In fact, we have already witnessed the Ethiopian Jewish community, which was subjected to a humiliating conversion process at the hands of the High Rabbinate in Israel, openly accuse the Israeli regime of racism vis--vis the black Ethiopians. (Talmudic authorities consider black Africans virtual animals).

Moreover, hundreds of Ethiopians recently took to the streets in protest against widespread racism against black Ethiopians by official Israeli institutions, prompting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repudiate racism.

It is imperative that Hamas exercise patience and resilience in dealing with this matter of the missing Israelis. Israel, in dealing with us, adopts Real Police in its most callous forms. It withholds medical care from Palestinian prisoners. It often flagrantly re-arrests prisoners released in the context of international agreements such as the Shalit deal.

It keeps Palestinian prisoners in prison despite the expiration of their jail terms. It keeps extending the imprisonment of "administrative detainees" for many months and years, without charge or trial.

Indeed, numerous Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails don't actually know why they are in prison.

For these and many other reasons, Hamas must deal with Israel on the basis of reciprocity.

Finally, it should be made abundantly clear that any perceived intransigence on Hamas's is not a goal in itself.

Hamas, indeed the entire Palestinian people, have many scores to settle with Israel. Israel is continuing to blockade Gaza, open fire on fishermen, prevent Palestinians from traveling through the Beit Hanoon border crossing, prevent the free flow of goods and services between Gaza and the West Bank, and bar Gazans from having their own seaport and airport.

Israel is also deliberately impeding the reconstruction of Gaza where 100,000 homes were destroyed and damaged during the Nazi-like Israeli blitz last year.

These are indisputable rights not excessive demands made by the Palestinians.

That is why, every asset available to the Palestinians ought to be utilized to expedite these legitimate Palestinian interests.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and current affairs political commentator living in Occupied Palestine 

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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