It has been almost 24 hours since the GMBDW was the first publication anywhere to report on the broadcast by Israel’s Channel 2 of Hamas military leader Saleh al-Arouri remarks confirming that Hamas was responsible for the West Bank kidnappings of the Israelis teenagers, an event which sparked the latest round of the Gaza conflict. The GMBDW finds it odd that one day later, almost no major media in the West, at least in English, have picked up the story with the exception of a lone CBC report. As we reported yesterday, al-Arouri’s remarks took place at the current Istanbul meeting of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, which adds another key dimension to the story. We also find no major media reporting, including in Israel, that Qaradawi was involved with this event.
Israeli media has issued their own English language translation of Saleh al-Arouri’s comments and the following Times of Israel version is the most accurate based on GMBDW’s own translation which we obtained subsequent to our post:
I praise the brave action that the al-Qassam Brigades carried out, the kidnapping of the three settlers to Hebron,” he said, adding that some say it was done on behalf of Palestinian inmates hunger striking in Israeli prisons.
When we first reviewed the translation, we noted Saleh al-Arouri’s use of the expression “some say” which could be interpreted as a claim that he himself had no direct role in the planning for the murders and therefore has no definitive knowledge of the motivation behind them. It could also be an attempt to disassociate himself from the crime in light of any possible prosecution or extradition attempt. Mr. al-Arouri’s claims are contradicted by an unidentified Israeli security official who, as reported by an Israeli newspaper last June, identified al-Arouri as the mastermind behind the kidnappings:
A Hamas leader currently living in Turkey is believed to be behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week, an Israeli security official said Thursday…..According to the unnamed official, Saleh al-Arouri — a former West Bank resident deported from the region after serving a prison sentence in Israel for several years, who is now a leading figure in Hamas overseas operations — is thought to have been a key figure for years in attempts to initiate terror attacks in the West Bank, funding and arranging the training of terror cells.
Subsequent Israeli media reports say that Salah al-Arouri (aka Saleh al-Arouri), who is based in Turkey, was also the mastermind behind what has been described as a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank that was intended to end the rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and spark a third intifada.
The role of the GMBDW is not to speculate about the behavior of the world’s media, but surely this apparent admission by a Hamas leader that the organization’s military wing carried out the kidnapping is worthy of coverage, particular in light of the multitude of false claims that the Israeli police had exculpated Hamas in connection with the crime. We could understand a hesitation to report had the source been yet another anonymous Israeli official but the video is still posted online for anybody to review so the only question of authenticity could be the accuracy of the translation. We also cannot explain why to date, only the GMBDW finds it worthy to note that a Hamas military commander made these remarks at a meeting of an organization headed by Youssef Qaradawi, with Qaradawi present, and in full view of of Turkish leadership including Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler.
For a profile of Saleh al-Arouri, go here.
For our report on the IUMS meeting, go here.