The wife of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas underwent secret orthopedic surgery at a private Israeli medical facility Friday. The presence of the Amina Abbas at the Assuta Medical Center in Ramat Hachayal was kept a heavily guarded secret until her release Sunday.
Abbas’s surgery took place during a time of increased tension as three Israeli teens were abducted by Hamas militants the same night. Israeli police confirmed that the three, Gilad Sha’ar,16, Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Naftali Frankel, 16, sent a message to authorities at 10:25 P.M. that said, “We have been kidnapped.”
Israeli forces amassed a large scale effort to recover the teens. Forces erected additional security checkpoints along the border and limited access between Israel and Gaza to prevent the three from being smuggled into Hamas strongholds. House to house sweeps resulted in the arrests of 150 Islamic militant leaders.
Ehab Bessaiso, the Palestinian government spokesperson, condemned Israeli’s campaign as an aggressive act of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.
According to sources, “Israelis fear that the purpose of the attempt is to force the government into releasing some of the 5,000 security prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails.” Sources cannot confirm or deny that the planners of the kidnapping plot were the same who were recently freed in a prison swap agreement arranged by the Obama White House and U.S. State Department.
The Abbas government issued an official statement condemning the kidnappings stopping short of any culpability. In it, Abbas called for an end to “the successive Israeli violations” in efforts to recover the youth.
“The Palestinian President’s [Abbas’s] Office condemned the chain of events that took place last week, from the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths to the series of consecutive Israeli violations – both concerning the prisoners’ [hunger] strike, and the break-ins into the Palestinian homes, the attacks of the settlers and the occupation army, which led to the death of a young Palestinian as a Martyr (Shahid), and the persecution of numerous innocent people.
In a statement published Monday, June 16, 2014], the President’s Office reiterated that all sides must refrain from violence, especially since the President’s position is to continue the intensive action toward [securing] the release of the prisoners agreed on (i.e., an allusion to the fourth phase of prisoner releases, which Israel cancelled), and [the release of] all the prisoners in the [Israeli] jails when a final status agreement is signed.
In addition, the President [Abbas’s] Office praised the efforts of the Palestinian Security Forces in keeping order, calm and stability, in order to prevent the Palestinians from being drawn into anarchy and instability, and to prevent any element from taking advantage of the situation for “non-national purposes.” – [WAFA, official PA news agency, June 16, 2014]
The official release of the PA statement came at the same time as Abbas’s Fatah Movement page posted a cartoon celebrating the kidnapped three as a World Cup trophy.
Disparity between public issuances and clandestine actions affirm the diametrical differences between what constitutes human rights in Israel and what constitutes human rights in Palestine.
By treating and releasing President Abbas’s wife, Israel deconstructs the Palestinian propagation of Israel being an apartheid state. Regrettably, Israel continues to fall prey to international pressure, negotiating with terrorists and releasing prisoners for the sake of Palestinian confidence-building and peace processes.
With enemies on all sides, Israel’s treatment of Amina Abbas exemplifies a ‘love of enemy’ that stands to confound Palestinians and Nobel recipients alike. Despite this nugget of information being downplayed or overtly omitted from the larger story of Israeli aggression in search of its kidnapped youth, let us hope Israel keeps heaping the coals of kindness upon its enemies’ head until the international community is forced to take note.