The general coordinator of EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegi, asked Hamas “immediate release” of “our countryman” Iván Illarramendi, the Spaniard kidnapped by the terrorist group almost two weeks ago, because “We are not in favor of using civilian hostages to make exchanges of one kind or another.”
Otegi demanded that Hamas not only release Illarramendi, a native of Zarautz, but also “from all hostages as soon as possible” who was kidnapped “by Palestinian forces or some forces.”
The Bildu leader also asked “for humanitarian and political reasons” that “the punitive strategy for the Palestinian people” on the part of Israel and “absolutely against” the strategies “that deliberately seek to attack the civilian population in a large and indiscriminate manner, no matter who they do.”
Because of this, Otegi called on the Basque population this Wednesday to MOTIVATED in favor of Palestine and against Israel’s strategy as well as to request the “immediate release” of the kidnapped Iván Illarramendi.
Otegi, convicted of kidnapping
Otegi’s request to Hamas to release the kidnapped, of which Israel already counts more than 200, clashes with the kidnappings carried out by ETA over the years and in which he himself participated. Throughout its history, the terrorist group has been kidnapped more than 70 persons as a method of financing and pressure and blackmail before the Government.
Among them, prison officials are foremost José Antonio Ortega Lara, who were kidnapped for 532 days, those of businessmen José María Aldaya (342 days) and Emiliano Revilla (239), the engineer Julio Iglesias Zamora (116) or the PP councilor Miguel Angel Blanco, who was killed after being kidnapped for two days.
In addition, Otegi was sentenced to six years for kidnapping in February 1979 from the director of Michelin in Vitoria, Luis Abaitua, who was imprisoned in a cave for 10 days. At that time Otegi leader of Elgóibar order. While he remained in prison to serve his sentence, he graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Letters.
He is also said to be involved forever nine kidnappings as confirmed by some of his colleagues from ETA, such as the general secretary of UCD Javier Ruiperez. In 1990 he was acquitted of assault and attempted kidnapping of a former UCD deputy.