Sunday, October 23, 2011



Israel, Israelis being kidnapped by Arab terrorists and prisoner exchanges – all this is nothing new in Israel's reality but one difference may be that in the years before, the price of Arab kidnappers such as Fatach, Amal, Hizbollah, Hamas, etc. has been much lower than it is the case today. 1027 Arab terrorists were released in order to free one person: Gilad Shalit. Hamas is planning further kidnappings and we can be sure that the next price will be much higher than 1027 terrorists. 

I have started researching on the Internet as well as going through my private book collection in order to learn more about the entire subject. Who is with whom in the Arab world of terror and why ? How did Israel react and why Israel seems to be loosing ? By the way, I read that some Arabs were twittering (regarding Gilad Shalit) that Israel cares about its citiziens whereas Arab countries don't give a damn about their own people. 

The wider public should know about prisoner exchanges and kidnappings done by Arab terrorist groups who, today, are widely accepted as peace partners. The FATACH with Abu Mazen, for instance. Now Russia even invited representatives of the Lebanese Hizbollah for an official visit.  

Here is a short history about one of the first kidnappings carried out by Arab terrorists: 

On the eve of 1 January 1970, the nightguard Shmuel Rosenwasser (then 58 years old) was kidnapped by Fatach terrorists. This happened near the small Israeli town of Metullah near the border to Lebanon.

Four days later, the Fatach officially announced that the nightguard is in their hands. This is what the Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman writes in his book “By any means necessary” (“Medinat Israel Ta’aseh HaKol”). 

Shortly after the announcement, the Fatach demanded from Israel to release 100 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shmuel Rosenwasser. The Fatach was particularly interested in two terrorists being released:

1. Fatach Terrorist Mahmoud Hijazi, who was in command of a terror attack against Israel in 1965. Hijazi was the thrid person sentenced to death by an Israeli court (after Adolf Eichmann and Me'ir Tuviansky).

2. The first female terrorist Fatma Barnawi, sentenced to life imprisonement for trying to blow up Jerusalem's “Zion” cinema. The terror attempt took place in 1967. 

Secretly the Fatach was aiming for something higher and not only for a prisoner release. The moment Israel started negotiating with Fatach, it showed that Israel was recognizing the terror group. Until then Israel refused acknowledging Fatach, Palestinians or Yassir Arafat. For many years, it was forbidden to talk to such Arab groups as Fatach (the PLO) and if any Israeli did, he could be punished and end up in jail. 

You need to take a closer look at the time: In 1970, the Prime Minister was Golda Me'ir who had always stated that there was no such thing as a Palestinain people. Golda's Minister of Defence was Moshe Dayan. In those days, Israel refused any official talks with Arafat, the Amal or any Arab terror group. This is why the Fatach was very keen on seeing whether Israel would enter into negotiations with them. Israel, however, understood the hint and found a great way out of the dilemma. Golda Me'ir simply accused the Lebanese government for the kidnapping of Shmuel Rosenwasser. 

Already on January 2, 1970, an elite unit of the Israeli GOLANI force entered the Lebanese village Kila. Why Kila ? Because Shmuel Rosenwasser had been taken there after his kidnapping. 

The Golani soldiers didn't find Rosenwasser but arrested about nine Lebanese soldiers together with a couple of civilians. All of them were taken to Israel. Furthermore, the Golani soldiers confiscated plenty weapons and ammunition. 

The Israeli government was working on an additional plan: An Arab - Israeli prisoner should work as an agent for Israel. Eventually such a guy was found in an Israeli jail. The Arab agreed working as an agent and Israel let him escape from prison. The agent made his way to Lebanon, found some Fatach guys and told them about how evil the Zionists are, that he hates them and that he had just escaped from prison. 

The Fatach went for it and the Israeli government informed the local press about the case: An Arab prisoner had escaped from jail. The truth, of course, was not told to the media. A huge media coverage started and due to Israeli press reports, the Lebanese Fatach was convinced that the Arab (agent) had told them the truth. That he was one of them.

The agent did a great job and even found out where Shmuel Rosenwasser was held in captivity. However, due to the location the Israelis decided not to start a military operation. In the end both sides came to the conclusion that a prisoner exchange would be the best way out. 14 months after Shmuel Rosenwasser's kidnapping, he returned as a free man. The day was also his 59th birthday. 


"Medinat Israel Ta'aseh HaKol" by Ronen Bergmann

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