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Israeli MK suggests Palestinian prisoners be used as human shields to prevent projectile attacks

Nov. 29, 2008 1:53 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2008 1:53 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners in Israel should be used as human shields to protect Israeli targets around Gaza, according to the suggestion of an Israeli Knesset member published in the Hebrew daily newspaper Maariv in Saturday.

Member of the Knesset (MK) with the center-right Likud party Gilad Arden was quoted in the paper responding to the reports of eight injured Israeli soldiers after several projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip.

Ma'an has not received any statements from Palestinian factions claiming responsibility for the attacks. According to the Israeli news source Yedioth Ahronoth, however, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) claimed responsibility for the mortar fire, as well as the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, which is affiliated with Hamas.

Arden told the paper that the Israeli government should transfer Palestinian prisoners affiliated with militant factions in Gaza to facilities that have been targeted by projectile attacks. According to Arden, this move would make Palestinian factions "abstain" from launching more projectiles.

He suggested the immediate creation of a temporary detention center near the Gaza border, and said it should not be outfitted with bomb shelters or reinforced walls. Adopting such a measure, he said, would show Palestinians that they were serious about stopping attacks.

Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi reacted with shock and outrage at the suggestion, saying it would lay the grounds for new war crimes charges and said anyone who took steps to fulfill the suggestion would face an international tribunal at The Hague.

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