Thursday, June 29, 2006

Behind the Headlines: Arrest of Hamas Leaders

Jerusalem, 29 June 2006

Arrest of Hamas Leaders
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israel arrested last night several members of Hamas including a number
of senior officials, ministers and legislators, on the basis of their
being members and in some cases activists in a terrorist organization
whose activities are banned by law.

The rise of the Hamas terrorist organization to power was seen as a
grave development that brought the international community to demand
of the Hamas government an immediate cessation of terrorism. The
Government of Israel at that time acted with restraint in order to
give the President of the Palestinian Authority the opportunity to get
the Hamas government to abandon the path of terrorism and violence.

Recent events and especially those of the last few days prove that the
results of the elections in the Palestinian Authority were translated
into a government policy of terrorism. A manifestation of this policy
has been the continuing launching of Kassam rocket attacks against
communities in southern Israel and against the civilian population
with the explicit intention of sowing destruction and causing the
deaths of innocent people; the incursion into the territory of Israel
and the kidnapping of the soldier Gilad Shalit constituted a severe
escalation as part of the terrorist policy of the Palestinian

Hamas' taking of responsibility for these events and for the
kidnapping of the soldier, as well as the demand for an exchange of
captives, prove that the main purpose of Hamas is not to care for the
welfare of the Palestinian people, but to carry out a terrorist policy
against Israel. Consequently, the Government of Israel decided, as its
basic obligation to its citizens, that it must fulfill its
responsibilities and carry out the requirements of the Ordinance for
the Prevention of Terrorism.

Israel's action was taken within the context of a normal legal
criminal procedure with the intention of questioning those who were
arrested. They are suspected of criminal offenses such as membership
or activities in a terrorist organization, membership in the
leadership of a terrorist organization and other possible offenses
that constitute a violation of the law according to the Ordinance for
the Prevention of Terrorism.

The action is a legal criminal procedure which will be subject to all
the rules governing such a procedure, i.e. those arrested will be
entitled to legal defense, and their detention and questioning will be
subject to judicial review. In the event that there is no basis for
putting someone among those arrested on trial, that person will be

Israel's change of policy vis-׳-vis ministers and legislators who are
members and activists in Hamas was carried out in coordination and
with the approval of the judicial system, and Israel intends to
continue with the arrest of additional members of Hamas.


June 29th 2006

IAF fly -over the Presidential Palace in Syria

IAF planes carried out early yesterday morning, June 28th 2006, an
operational fly- over above the Presidential Palace near the city of Latakia
in Syria. The fly over is part of IDF activity based on the understanding
that Syria provides patronage and support for the leaders of terror
organizations, for most the Hamas, responsible for the abduction of Cpl.
Gilad Shalit.

The IDF will continue to use all means at its disposal against terrorists,
the terror leadership, terror infrastructure, and those who provide safe
harbor for terrorists, with the aim of returning abducted soldier Cpl. Gilad
Shalit to Israel quickly and safely.


Posted with Permisson by Dr. Mike Cohen, The Galilee Institute