Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal praised the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers by terrorists in Judea.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this week, Mashaal called the abductions a heroic act on behalf of the Palestinians and claimed to not have any information on incident.
Mashaal insisted that Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, who were hitchhiking on their way home for the Sabbath from school when they were kidnapped, were “settlers and soldiers in the Israeli army.”
“No one claimed responsibility so far. I can neither confirm [Hamas’s involvement] nor deny it,” Mashaal stated.
Mashaal was quick to point out that the circumstances of the kidnapping far exceed who is actually behind the abductions. Calling the kidnapping terror attack a common “disappearance,” Mashaal said the three kidnapped boys were not “youths, as Israel calls them, but first and foremost settlers…and not even regular settlers, but armed ones.”
As his “proof,” Mashaal produced a photocopied picture of a viral image circulating on social media. The image, which was produced by a Palestinian Facebook page, compared Naftali Frenkel with Israeli “Big Brother” contestant Itai Wallach posing with blindfolded Palestinians while serving in the IDF.
Mashaal maintains that Frenkel and Wallach are one and the same, despite the age difference between the two and the fact that both do not bear a close resemblance.
“This is a very important aspect with should be mentioned. They are combatants. Settlers in the West Bank are a disaster…they burn agricultural produce, kill children by running them over, invade homes, burn mosques and attack churches,” Mashaal claimed.
Blaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the abductions, Mashaal criticized the Israeli leader for not having more sensitivity towards Palestinian prisoners.
“I ask the families of these three soldier-settlers: Had Netanyahu heard the voice of these hunger strikers…would the Palestinian situation be so stressed?…had Netanyahu not provoked us in Jerusalem by Judaizing it, would Palestinians be as angry?”
“The one who lose these three [youths] is Netanyahu by ignoring the Palestinian suffering and provoking our people,” he said.
The Hamas leader blessed the perpetrators and called for continued efforts on behalf of the resistance.
“Blessed be the hands that captured them,” Mashaal said. “This is a Palestinian duty, the responsibility of the Palestinian people. Our prisoners must be freed; not Hamas’s prisoners – the prisoners of the Palestinian people.”