The father of the Israeli soldier held in captivity for more than five years by Hamas has said he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he were a Palestinian, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Noam Shalit, who said that he plans to stand for the opposition Labor party in the next Israeli elections, has had his comments met with outrage from the Israeli right, The Guardian reported.
Hamas released his son, Gilad Shalit in a prisoner swap deal in October 2011.
The senior Shalit also likened the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by Hamas to the techniques used by Israeli paramilitary fighters, the Haganah, against Britain before the formation of the Jewish state in 1948.
“We also kidnapped British soldiers when we were fighting for our freedom,” he said.
In 1946, an underground organization, the Irgun, targeted the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, making the terrorist attack the deadliest against the British during the mandate era starting in 1920 till Israel’s inception.
When asked whether he would negotiate with Hamas, he said that he is “in favor of speaking to anyone who wants to talk to us.
“If they change their ways and are willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, yes, I would shake their hand.”
While acknowledging the role played by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in securing his son’s release, he criticized him for not acting swiftly. “As soon as they capture an Israeli soldier and are not willing to release him and ask for such a price, you should put the pressure on them including stopping the transfer of money,” he said.