I’ve come across a number of active defenders of the Palestinians who have accused Israel of hypocrisy regarding the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. After all, they say, don’t you know that a couple of days earlier Israeli troops snatched two civilians from their home in Gaza and took them to prison where they keep so many Palestinian prisoners who ought to be released?
Yes, I would tell them, but these two brothers were Hamas operatives and apparently they were in the beginnings of a mission.
No, the prominent Lefty defender of the Palestinians would tell me. These are simply abductions and the Israelis are making up stories about these two sad brothers being Hamas.
Well, Israel’s security forces were doing their job well. To a point. The two brothers, Mustafa and Osama Muamar, were indeed in the midst of preparations for a mission or at least knew enough about it to warn Israeli intelligence about a pending kidnapping by the use of tunneling from Gaza in a very specific area. Unfortunately, the IDF, while responding to the alert, didn’t prepare Shalit’s unit properly for a possible engagement, resulting in the deaths of some soldiers and the kidnapping of Shalit who has yet to be heard from after almost a year. Since the attack was carried out by Hamas sub-groups, it appears that the Muamar brothers are affiliated with the group in one way or another, and their arrest was entirely justified considering their involvement in the pending attack.
Of course, Israel needs to look carefully at itself as well. Despite the intelligence, the Hamas attack was successful. A few weeks later in Lebanon, a similar pattern would be seen where the intelligence was available but somehow did not reach those who needed to have it on time or at all. Let’s hope the IDF and Israel’s intelligence services are working on fixing the system.