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    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Betancourt Colombian-French politician calls for Gilad Shalit's release. Mossad took part in Betancourt rescue!.

    JULY 20th 2008
    Daveed Fakheri
    Taneh Nazan


    Published: 07.20.08, 19:57 / Israel News

    Betancourt calls for Gilad Shalit's release

    Colombian-French politician
    holds kidnapped Israeli soldier's
    picture as she urges rebels to
    free all hostages during Paris rally.

    Ingrid Betancourt urged Colombian rebels to free all hostages as she addressed a rally in the French capital on Sunday that was part of a series of demonstrations around the world to protest against kidnappings.

    Thousands gathered near the Eiffel Tower to hear Betancourt, a Franco-Colombian politician rescued from captivity this month after spending more than six years as a hostage of Colombian rebel forces.

    Betancourt held a large sign with kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit's photo. The sign read, "Gilad Shalit, kidnapped since June 2006."

    "We want freedom for everyone," said Betancourt, drawing loud applause from the crowd, many of whom chanted the Spanish word for freedom "Libertad!".

    Betancourt's speech, delivered in Spanish, was shown on television in Colombia, which is also preparing to hold a mass anti-kidnapping rally on its national day.

    Hundreds of Colombians gathered in Madrid's Plaza Mayor over the weekend to call for peace in Colombia and to celebrate Betancourt's liberation.

    Ingrid Betancourt on stage (Photo: AFP)

    A smiling Betancourt was flanked on the Paris stage by her mother and various artists and singers.

    She called for an end to the conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). She also read out a list of names of those still held by the FARC and called for their release.

    The FARC has been fighting a socialist insurgency for 44 years, mainly financed since the 1980s by the cocaine trade.

    Betancourt and 14 other hostages were freed after Colombian military agents tricked FARC fighters into handing the group over to them. The agents pretended to be non-governmental workers acting as go-betweens for the FARC leadership.

    She is a popular figure in France and was awarded one of France's top honors by President Nicolas Sarkozy this month.

    Published: 07.20.08, 17:08 / Israel News

    Mossad involved in Betancourt rescue

    Spanish newspaper

    says Israeli, US and French secret services took part in operation to free hostage from Colombian rebels earlier this month

    Mossad, the Israeli secret service, was involved in the operation to free hostage Ingrid Betancourt from Colombian rebels, a Spanish newspaper said Sunday, adding US and French secret services were also involved.

    "Mossad and the US and French intelligence services worked for more than a year with the Colombian authorities to develop the plan," Vanguardia said, citing an Israeli secret service source.

    Previous Report

    Betancourt rescue in Colombia: Israeli connection / Ynet
    Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt mentions Israel in shower of praise following her rescue; most likely not by chance. Israeli advising team, headed by former Sayeret Matkal officer Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Israel Ziv, may have been involved in operation

    Betancourt hugs daughter after rescue

    Colombian armed forces freed Franco-Colombian politician Betancourt, three US nationals and 11 Colombian soldiers July 2 from the jungle, where they were being held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

    According to Vanguardia, Israel, France and the US had different reasons for participating in the operation: France because of Betancourt's half-French nationality, the US because of the three Americans in the group and Israel in order to maintain good bilateral relations with Colombia and the US.

    Vanguardia's correspondent in Tel Aviv said the Mossad operation consisted of two agents unknown to each other separately infiltrating FARC.

    The pair managed to penetrate the Marxist guerrilla group so effectively that they ultimately controlled what FARC did or didn't know, the Catalan newspaper said.

    The Israeli and US secret services used unmanned spy drones to locate the camp where the hostage were held, Vanguardia said.

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