Two weeks after three Israeli teens were kidnapped in the West Bank, Israel’s Embassy in New Zealand on Friday released an analysis of three kidnapper’s handbooks published by terror group Hamas that provide doctrinal and operational information on carrying out abductions.
The most recent manual was distributed in 2013, according to Dr. Adnan Abu Amer, a lecturer at the Al Ummah University Open Education and opinion writer for Palestine, the mouthpiece of the Hamas movement.
In an April 2013 article for Al Monitor in Arabic Abu Amer wrote that Hamas distributed an 18-page booklet entitled The Kidnapper’s Handbook among its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The manual details methods for conducting kidnapping operations. Its recommendations include learning Hebrew fluently, targeting Israeli soldiers with weak physiques and immediately replacing any vehicle used in an operation.
In February 2010, the Hamas-run Palestinian Information Center reported on the distribution of a book entitled An Inside Perspective of the Resistance (Al-Muqawama). The 200-page treatise focuses extensively on the abduction of Israelis and “Zionist soldiers” with the goal of exchanging them for Palestinian convicts.
An Inside Perspective was written by Muhammad Arman, a senior Hamas operative who commanded the group’s Silwan Squad, which carried out terror attacks during the Second Intifada including the bombing of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Arman was arrested in August 2002 and sentenced to 36 life sentences in Israel. Due to the severity of his crimes and the danger he poses if freed, Israel refused to release him as part of an exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.
In his book, Arman analyzes the challenges facing terror operatives. Among his detailed kidnapping methods, he suggests firing rockets and mortar shells toward Israeli targets from the West Bank. He additionally advises on how to carefully exploit various communications platforms, such as cell phones and the Internet.
In his operative tips, Arman also claims that certain Israeli soldiers are more worthwhile to kidnap in order to increase the effectiveness of the abduction. According to Arman, desired characteristics to look for when abducting an Israeli soldier include Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, one who is married, is the father of children, and whose parents are alive.
Another 16-page Kidnapper’s Handbook, similar to that written by Abu Amer, was distributed in 2002.
The three teenage kidnap victims Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar were abducted from a bus stop on their way home from school late at night. The Israeli military is currently engaged in an extensive manhunt to locate the boys.