PA Chairman Abbas: "Hamas kidnapped a soldier... That's a good thing," but also: We don't want military resistance
In October 2011, the Israeli government agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.
Interview with Mahmoud Abbas following the exchange:
Interviewer: "Don't you think that it was the resistance which succeeded in freeing 1,000 prisoners? Negotiations must always be accompanied by a measure of force; there is no negotiation without resistance - that's the
experience of the nations, of Ireland and all countries."
Abbas: "Correct, but for us the conditions are different. Military resistance - we are unable. Hamas kidnapped a soldier, or captured a soldier, and managed to keep him for 5 years - that's a good thing, we don't deny it. On the contrary, it's good. Because in that small strip of 40 x 7 km [Gaza], they managed to guard him and hide him - that's a good thing. But that's not called resistance. In the end, a soldier was captured and we paid a heavy price: the invasion of Gaza, 1,500 casualties. We paid, but let's put that aside. If we're talking about [freeing] prisoners then it succeeded. There is no military resistance - neither we nor, by the way, Hamas - neither we nor Hamas want military resistance. They say this and we also say this."
Note: The interview was carried out by Egyptian TV, but was broadcast on PA TV.
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