Hamas said Wednesday that it had thwarted an Israeli attempt to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit through non-diplomatic means. Hamas security claims the Shin Bet attempted to get to Shalit using Palestinian collaborators.
The commander of the Hamas government's internal security office, which functions as the counterpart of Israel's Shin Bet, announced that his men had detained a cell of former Palestinian security officers on suspicion that they had been involved in an attempt to gather information on the whereabouts of the soldier.
Abu-Abdullah told the Palestine Times website that the cell had been in touch with Israel. "We arrested members of a cell made up of a number of collaborators, who rented a home and vehicles on the east side of the southern Gaza Strip," he said.
"They planned to kidnap a senior member of Hamas' military wing, Izz a-Din a-Qassam Brigades, in order to convey him to the Israeli side as part of their efforts to find Shalit."
Abu-Abdullah added that the Shin Bet was continuing its efforts to gather information on the soldier's whereabouts. "Even the war was part of the effort to find out his location and try to get to him," he said.
"The cell's scheme was foiled at the last minute. They had a ready plan for action and it was very similar to the kidnapping of Muhawesh al-Kadi," Abu-Abdullah added in reference to a senior Hamas official, who was said to have been involved in Shalit's capture and who was reportedly kidnapped by the IDF near his home in Rafah