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The art of projection: PA official claims Israel holds bodies of Palestinians “hostage” for “negotiations”

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadura Fares: “Israelis unique in many unprecedented acts that no state on the face of the earth does. One of them, and perhaps the most criminal of them, is that it takes bodies as hostages for cheap political negotiations. This is only done by crime gangs, and I haven’t heard that even crime gangs do this. Crime gangs abduct living people sometimes and hold negotiations with their family or people connected to them, but holding bodies is something that no one has done before Israel (sic).”

[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, April 8, 2024]

Note that Hamas has held the bodies of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, and is currently holding the bodies of dozens of Israelis murdered during the 2023 Gaza war.

Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - At least 1,200 Israelis, including over 1,000 civilians, were murdered and over 4,800 wounded, in addition to approximately 244 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 110 later released or liberated and at least 26 later killed), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre, the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched the Swords of Iron War to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

Gaza War 2014 / Operation Protective Edge – In June 2014, Hamas escalated its hostilities and attacks against Israel - including the firing of numerous rockets at Israel. Israel responded with Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' ability to launch rockets and its terror infrastructure in general, which included its building of cross-border tunnels for the purpose of terror attacks and kidnappings. The war began on July 7, 2014, when the Israeli government ordered the Israeli army to launch an aerial operation against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, and continued until Aug. 26, 2014, when an open-ended ceasefire was declared. During the war, 32 Hamas cross-border tunnels built for the purpose of terror attacks were destroyed, and two thirds of Hamas' rocket arsenal was used up or destroyed. Despite claims by Hamas and others of Israel using disproportionate force and of an extreme amount of civilian casualties, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, stated on Nov. 6, 2014, that Israel had gone to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict.”

Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul - Israeli soldiers who were killed during the 2014 Gaza War. Their bodies are being held by Hamas. Avraham Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed - Israeli captives with mental health disorders who are being held in Gaza.

Israelis Avraham Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed separately crossed into the Gaza Strip in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and Hamas indirectly has acknowledged holding them. Both men suffer from mental illnesses. Regardless, Hamas and Islamic Jihad view them as valuable bargaining chips in their efforts to pressure Israel to free more terrorists. Likewise, Hamas is holding the bodies of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were both killed in the Gaza Strip during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

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