Director of PA Ministry of Information: Abducting soldiers is only language Israel understands
Telephone interview with Hani Al-Masri, senior Palestinian leader, writer and political commentator:
(Interviewer notes that the prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel is currently in the headlines, and asks about the importance of this deal.)
Al-Masri, senior Palestinian leader, writer and political commentator: "The importance of this deal is that Israel is proving, for the millionth time, that it understands only the language of force. Despite all the initiatives and attempts at peace invested by the parties and [by] many Arab states, which have signed agreements with Israel, or which have tried to sign agreements with Israel, Israel releases prisoners only through [prisoner] exchange deals… This proves that Israel understands only the language of pressure, the language of interests, the language of force. This is a new triumph for Hezbollah and the resistance, who managed to get a good bargain by getting the Lebanese prisoners released and the bodies of the Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab Shahids (Martyrs)... This is a strategic folly, [Israeli] stupidity and narrow-mindedness. While Israel rejects all hands proffered by moderate Arabs, and by supporters of peace, she actually encourages all supporters of the resistance and the radicals, in their violent act…"
Interviewer: "Hani, after the deal that is going to take place between Hezbollah and Israel, Lebanon will be the first Arab country to have liberated its prisoners from the occupation's prisons by means of the resistance. What is the meaning of this?"
Al-Masri: "The meaning [of this bargain] is what I said, Israel understands only one thing: abducting soldiers and Israelis to be exchanged for prisoners. Could Israel not have released Palestinian prisoners while it was conducting talks with the Palestinians at the highest levels, in order to build confidence, in order to encourage the Palestinians towards peace, instead of resorting only to resistance, only to force? It's a clear message that tells the Palestinians, and all the Arabs, that Israel understands only the language of resistance, only the language of force, the language of pressure, and the language of loss."