European media is reporting that the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has called the prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a “great victory” for Arabs and Muslims. According to an AFP report:
AFP Thursday, October 13, 2011 03:19:03 PM AMMAN – Jordan’s opposition Islamists on Thursday hailed a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a “great victory” for Arabs and Muslims. Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Said telephoned Hamas’s exiled chief Khalid Meshaal “to congratulate him on this honourable and historic accomplishment,” a statement on the group’s website said. “It is a great victory for the Arab and Muslim nations. What was taken by force can only be restored by force,” he said, referring to the capture in June 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid by Gaza militants. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is ideologically close to Hamas, called for “a celebratory demonstration” in Amman later Thursday to express “gratitude for the heroes of the Palestinian resistance.” The deal, unveiled on Tuesday, is to see 1,000 Palestinians freed in return for the release of 25-year-old Shalit, who is expected to return to Israel via Egypt next week, according to Palestinian sources and Israeli media. The agreement is to kick off with the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, with a second tranche of 550 prisoners to be freed within two months.
Meanwhile, Hamas political leader Khaled Mash’al has promised to free the remaining prisoners while another Hamas official called the deal “a victory for jihad over the option of arrangements.” According to a MEMRI translation of a Hamas media report:
The head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Mash’al, said that the prisoner swap with Israel would include 1,000 men and 27 women from the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, the 1948 territories, the Golan Heights, and the diaspora, including 315 prisoners with life sentences. Mash’al promised to “do the impossible” to free the remaining prisoners. He thanked Egypt for the difficult negotiations it conducted, and all other elements that assisted, chiefly Qatar, Syria, Turkey, and German mediators, and called on the PA and other factions in and out of Palestine to plan further achievements as part of the national effort to free Palestine and establish a state. Hamas official Ahmed Bahar said that the prisoner swap is a victory to the option of resistance and jihad over the option of arrangements, and points to a new phase of victories over the Zionist entity. Officials in resistance factions and celebrating citizens called to abduct more soldiers.
Source: Palestine-info.info, Alqassam.ps, Alresalah.ps, October 12, 2011.
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel.