Free GIlad Shalit: Time in Captivity

Poll: Five Years On. What should the Israeli Government do?

What action should the Israeli Government take now that Hamas has clear control of Gaza and it has been 1 year since Gilad Shalit was been kidnapped
Negotiate with Hamas
Negotiate with Hamas, release as many prisoners as it takes
Hold the Hamas Leadership directly accountable
Hold the Leadership accountable and give them one final deadline before military action
Hold Leadership accountable, give deadline for military action and total cessation of all Israeli supplied electricty and Water.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Gilad Shalit: When the Shark and The Fish First Met

From Arutz Sheva:

A short story written by kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at age 11 will be professionally illustrated, published, and released to select bookstores in January. The story is about a fish and shark that become friends despite their parents’ opposition and eventually create peace between their two species.

The story has already been translated into English, Arabic, and other languages, and has inspired an art exhibit in Nahariya. Organizers hope to bring Arabic copies of the story to the Palestinian Authority, and to bring the art exhibit to the central district.
The original story in Hebrew is available online:

The Israeli Illustrators' Association, in coordination with the initiator, "The Edge Gallery" in Nahariya, has decided to take advantage of this story as a way to keep the kidnapped soldiers in the public eye. They have illustrated Gilad's story, each in his own style. Their illustrations will be exhibited in a show, opening at "The Edge Gallery" in Nahariya on November 17, 2007. There is a possibility that this show will continue in other parts of Israel as well.

The parents of Gilad, are inviting Israeli children and you too, to illustrate Gilad's story.

Read "When the Shark and The Fish First Met"--and learn more about the Keren Maor Foundation.

Crossposted at Daled Amos

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

take advantage of the situation

The politicians and the IDF have finally done some serious, fairly proactive, attacks to neutralize the Qassam rocket attacks on Sderot and the area. It has met with considerable success. Mainly because the leaders in Gaza are scared for their lives.

This was not a ground op (which is probably necessary anyway) which puts Israeli soldiers at risk. This was targeted attacks on the leadership who are giving the ok to shoot the rockets. As soon as a couple of their leaders were knocked off, the rest ran like scared bunnies and started calling for ceasefires. The call itself is funny, as we only targeted their people because of the Qassam attacks. In other words, stop shooting Qassams, and we stop, automatically, picking off your leaders.

But they were scared, so they called for a ceasefire.

Yet at the same time they call for a ceasefire, they have still been shooting Qassam rockets into Israel. It kind of makes their call for a ceasefire meaningless. They should have stopped shooting and then call for a ceasefire. Then they could say we have stopped, let us now negotiate a ceasefire and if an agreement is not reached, then they should start up again. As it is, their call for a ceasefire is meaningless.

Israel, wisely I think, is refusing to talk to Hamas until Hamas recognizes Israel (though we all know they do talk, as they claim to have been negotiating for Shalit's release). It should keep them scared.

At the same time, I think, Israel should continue going after their leadership and knocking them off, until such an agreement is in place. Keep them scared.

What Israel should really do now, I think, is negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas. but not on Hamas' terms. Not an agreement that says Hamas stops shooting Qassam rockets and Israel stops killing terrorists.
The agreements negotiated should be that Hamas stops shooting Qassam rockets and returns Gilad Shalit to Israel, and Israel stops killing terrorists.

Now that Israel finally has some semblance of an upper-hand on the Gaza situation, we should take advantage of it. They are scared for their lives. Tell them that if they want us to stop shooting at their leaders, they should stop shooting at us and give us back Shalit.

We finally have an advantage. Let's use it.

(cross posted at the Life in Israel blog)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

(cross posted at Life in Israel )

With all this talk of a possible offensive entry by the army into Gaza due to the recent wave of Qassam rocket attacks, I consider the fate of Gilad Shalit.
All indications point to the fact that he is still alive. Going into Gaza now on an offensive will likely create a situation in which Hamas will execute, God forbid, Shalit.

Remember Nachshon Wachsman? The soldier kidnapped by Palestinians. He was held in a rigged building and while Israeli forces broke in to try to free him, the terrorists killed him in full view.

Is that what we want to happen now? Could we not have released Shalit earlier, before it came to necessity of an armed offensive in Gaza? Does the army not think that this will be Shalit's fate?

The price demanded for Shalit was very high. I was against trading so many terrorist for Shalit, and the government was as well. It is horrible to have a soldier in captivity, but when one pays too high a price for his freedom, it encourages more kidnappings.

But since then, we have released about a thousand terrorists anyway. Just as a sign of goodwill. To strengthen Abu Mazen. For free. With nothing in return.

If we were going to release a thousand terrorists, couldn't we have done it to obtain Shalit's release? Especially knowing that there would be a good chance we would need to go into Gaza on the offensive at some point?

Let's hope this scenario does not play out and Shalit comes home safely, but it is very worrying..

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eyal Regev: We must listen to Nasrallah

Family members of kidnapped reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev expressed hope on Wednesday that Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah would hold true to his statements Tuesday that talks on their release were indeed progressing

"I hope that Nasrallah actually goes through with what he promised," Goldwasser's wife, Karnit, told Channel 2.

On Tuesday Nasrallah asserted on Hizbullah's Al-Manar television station that there "are strenuous negotiations."

Despite the fact that Goldwasser was hopeful that he was speaking the truth, she said that "the state of Israel has no idea... no information on Udi and Eldad," and therefore, neither do the families.

Eyal Regev, Eldad's brother, told the news channel that Israel "needs to listen to Nasrallah. He said that there is progress... this statement is very important. We must do all that we can to promote this deal," urged Regev.

In response to reports that Hizbullah provided Israel with precise information as to the fate of Goldwasser and Regev, Karnit told Army Radio that Israel had not received any such information regarding either her husband or Regev.

"There was no information passed on," she said, adding that Ofer Dekel, who handles the negotiations for the government, was keeping her constantly updated and that there was no new information.

The Saudi paper Al-Watan reported earlier Wednesday that Hizbullah gave Israel the information, which if true, would mark the first concrete information Israel has received regarding their fate.

According to Israel Radio, Israeli officials were satisfied with the nature of the information, and in light of the news, those involved in negotiations with Hizbullah have reportedly decided to swap nine Lebanese prisoners - as well as an unspecified number of Palestinian and Arab prisoners for Goldwasser and Regev.

The officials went on to say that Hizbullah had acquiesced to an Israeli request, mediated by German officials, to provide the information about its reservists, in addition to information about IAF navigator Ron Arad, missing since 1986.

Jpost: Eyal Regev: We must listen to Nasrallah

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Body of Israeli swapped for Hizbullah prisoner, 2 slain fighters

From YNet

Lebanese media reports Hizbullah hands over body of Israeli civilian to International Red Cross while Israel in turn hands over prisoner, bodies of two Hizbullah fighters. PM's office: Deal part of negotiations to return kidnapped soldiers Regev, Goldwasser
Hizbullah swapped the body of a dead Israeli in exchange for the bodies of two slain fighters and a Hizbullah prisoner at a crossing point along the border on Monday.

Israel's Channel 2 TV identified the Israeli as Gabriel Dwait, a Jewish immigrant from Ethiopia, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on January 20, 2005. He was 27 at the time.

An Israeli military vehicle carrying the bodies of the dead Lebanese was seen driving into the no-man's zone along the border at about sundown and returning shortly afterward, crossing paths with Lebanese ambulances headed the other way.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said in a statement that the deal was made ''in the framework of negotiations to return captured soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.'' Lebanese officials said Israel also received information on missing navigator Ron Arad.

Officials did not immediately confirm what was inside the vehicles.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that Hizbullah handed over to the International Red Cross the body of Israeli civilian and that the ICRC took custody from Israel of two guerrilla bodies and a prisoner.

ICRC officials declined to comment on the swap. United Nations officials from the UN peacekeeping force deployed in southern Lebanon could not be reached for comment. The peacekeeping force, which is headquartered in Naqoura, has in the past been involved in similar swaps.

Although Monday's exchange was limited in scope, the fact that it is taking place could improve the chances of further swaps involving the two Israeli soldiers whose capture triggered a conflict last year between Hizbullah and Israel.

Israeli government and military officials declined to comment Monday on the possibility of a swap.

Regev, Goldwasser not part of deal
The capture by Hizbullah of Israeli soldiers Goldwasser and Regev during a cross border raid in July 2006 sparked the 34-day war between the Shiite Muslim group and Israel. Three other Israeli soldiers were killed in the raid.

Some 1,200 people were killed in Lebanon during the war, most of them civilians. Israel lost about 160 people in the fighting, most of them soldiers, but failed to win the freedom for its soldiers.

It did not appear that the two abducted soldiers were part of the swap Monday, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Hizbullah turn over the soldiers.

New TV, a local Beirut station, reported that the bodies of the two Lebanese would be exchanged for the corpse of an Israeli who had drowned in the Mediterranean and whose body was swept northward by current. It did not elaborate.

A Lebanese official said the Israeli who would be swapped Monday ''died of a cause unrelated to last year's aggression.'' The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

'I wish Samir Kantar were returned before my son'
Two ambulances were seen Monday driving through the last Lebanese army checkpoint more than a mile from the Israeli border late afternoon, apparently to pick up the bodies of the Hizbullah guerrillas.

Lebanese troops kept journalists and civilians away from the border and the area where the swap was taking place. About 100 people gathered near the army checkpoint in this Mediterranean Sea fishing port.

Among those waiting was Hussein Wizwaz, in his 60s, who came after hearing from Hizbullah that the body of his son would be repatriated.

Ali Wizwaz, 32, was killed in a major ground battle with Israeli troops during the summer 2006 war in the border village of Maroun al-Ras, his father said.

''I heard on television that there will be some prisoner exchange,'' the man said, adding that he contacted a Hizbullah office and was informed that the bodies of his son as well as guerrilla Mohammed Dimashqiyeh would be returned.

''I wish Samir Kantar and his comrades would be set free before my son, the martyr, because those who are alive are more important than the martyrs,'' the man said. Kantar is the longest-held Lebanese in Israel, imprisoned since 1979 for killing three Israelis.

Dimashqiyeh's aunt, Maryam Saad, waved the portrait of the guerrilla in military uniform over her head and wept, saying she came not even knowing whether the man was among those repatriated.

''Whether him or others, I will not be upset,'' she said. ''All our prisoners and martyrs are equal and the same.''

The state-run news agency in Beirut identified the Lebanese prisoner sent back as Hassan Naim Akil.

Last year, Israeli officials for the first time raised the possibility that the two soldiers held by Hizbullah might not have survived the initial attack. Military officials then said one of the soldiers was critically wounded and the other seriously wounded when they were captured, without giving further details.

Hizbullah has repeated the two captured soldiers would be freed only in exchange for freedom of all Lebanese prisoners held in Israel.

Several Hizbullah members were captured during last year's war. In addition to Kantar, the main Lebanese prisoners held in Israel are Nasim Nisr, a Lebanese-born Israeli captured for having contacts with Hizbullah, and Yehia Skaff, who was detained in 1978 while taking part in a Palestinian militant attack that killed 35 Israelis, are also held in Israel prisoner.

YNet: Body of Israeli swapped for Hizbullah prisoner, 2 slain fighters

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Olmert/Bush, Don't Miss This Opportunity

If there is to be yet another summit, let some good come out of it.

Israel has again and again (always to her own detriment), made all the concessions, in this never ending quest for peace with the Arabs. The Arabs, on the other hand, make empty promises, and do nothing. Even worse, they perceive concession to be weakness and demand even more.

This total mockery of the so-called peace process is nothing short of insanity. A well known definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again, expecting a different outcome. This time let's break with this tragic cycle. Let's put some real demands on the table, and let's stick to them.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Olmert, we demand that you not let this so-called peace summit you have planned become just one more missed opportunity. Demand that the soldiers be released before any further concessions on Israel's part.

Again, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, do not miss this opportunity. Demand the release of the Israeli soldiers being held by the Arabs, and do not offer anything until this condition is met.

Please read the article from Israel National News below:

Regev: Why Does Olmert Offer Good Will to Arabs and not Jews?

by Hana Levi Julian

( Benny Regev, brother of kidnapped IDF reservist Eldad Regev, urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday to make goodwill gestures to Israeli citizens as well as to Arab terrorists whom he ordered released in order to prop up the government of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking to approximately 3,000 people at the eastern Gush Etzion community of Nokdim, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the re-establishment of Jewish communities in Gush Etzion, Regev called on the Prime Minister to raise the bar on his efforts to rescue the soldiers kidnapped in 2006.

Regev’s brother Eldad and fellow reservist Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped on July 12, 2006 by Hizbullah terrorists in a cross-border raid from southern Lebanon. Neither has been seen or heard from since. Just two weeks earlier, IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid from Gaza. With the exception of an undated audio tape featuring Gilad’s voice, he also has not been seen or heard from since his abduction.

“Ehud Olmert, demand a sign of life of the captives before the peace conference in November, and make this demand a condition for your attendance,” urged Regev. He added that the government is equally obligated to build trust among its own people as it does with the PA. Ehud Olmert, demand a sign of life of the captives before the peace conference in November, and make this demand a condition for your attendance.

“We must also demand trust-building steps from the Arab states and the Palestinians,” he asserted. “They must prove to us that their way is a way of peace and concessions, respect for human rights and international law.”

The issue of trust, emphasized so often by politicians from the PA and elsewhere in their efforts to persuade Israel to buckle on security measures, must also apply at home, said Regev.

“We must build up the trust of citizens called for reserves or compulsory service, full trust, because all of us – and especially the representatives of the people – stand behind them and beside them during their service and in the event of, G-d forbid, injury or captivity,” he said.

“This is a meeting of Arab states, the United States and other countries that are committed to the release of the captives according to U.N. Resolution 1701 and if he does not [demand a sign of life], we have missed another chance,” he reminded.

The U.S.-sponsored Mideast summit, slated to be held November in Annapolis, Maryland, is expected to focus on the issue of territorial and other concessions by Israel to the PA and the formation of yet another Arab state, in Judea and Samaria.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Karnit Goldwasser confronts Ahmadinejad

Goldwasser takes Ahmadinejad to task
The wife of one of the IDF soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah last summer infiltrated a UN press conference with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday to demand information on her husband.

"Why are you not allowing the Red Cross to visit them?" Karnit Goldwasser asked of her husband Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who was kidnapped with him. When Ahmadinejad didn't respond to her questioning, despite her having been called on by the moderator, she asked, "How come you're not answering me?"

Right before Goldwasser's question, Ahmadinejad refused to answer a question from Channel 10 correspondent Gil Tamari. Tamari asked whether Iran was concerned that Israel might take an action similar to the one it took last week, in which the IAF allegedly bombed a possible nuclear site in Syria. Ahmadinejad simply said, "Next question."

When another reporter asked a question seeking clarity on whether the Iranian president recognized Israel or wanted to destroy it, he asked for the journalist's news outlet before responding. Told that it was a Fox News reporter, he declined to address the question directly, but did eventually ask, rhetorically, "The Soviet Union, where is it now? It failed. It disappeared. Was it done through war? No." He also reiterated his support for the Palestinians' right to self-determination, as well as earlier calls he has made for a Palestinian referendum.

Later, when a different reporter asked a similar question, Ahmadinejad replied, "They really want to hurt us, but with the support of God, they won't be able to harm the Iranian nation."

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Report: Hamas moves Schalit, fearing kidnapped senior member will 'sing'

Kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit, held by Hamas since June 2006, has been transferred to a new hiding place, Channel Two reported Tuesday.

A commentator on the station estimated that the kidnapping of Senior Hamas official Mohawah al-Qadi, at first denied by the IDF but then referred to by Interior Security Minister Avi Dichter, was the reason for transferring Schalit.

Reportedly, Hamas was afraid al-Qadi would disclose details regarding the whereabouts of the soldier.

JPost: Report: Hamas moves Schalit, fearing kidnapped senior member will 'sing'

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Red Cross Pushing for Shalit's Release

I heard contradictory news about whether the Red Cross is indeed involved in this--The BBC is say the Red Cross is involved:

The Director General of the ICRC, Angelo Gnaedinger, met Ismail Haniya in Gaza on Wednesday.

Afterwards, Mr Gnaedinger said he was told a visit to Corporal Shalit was "under consideration and that everybody is working on a positive solution".

Cpl Shalit was seized in Israel by Palestinian militants in June 2006.
ICRC officials say they have raised the issue of gaining access to the captured Israeli soldier in five previous meetings with Hamas, but Mr Gnaedinger's visit was the most senior-level attempt to resolve the issue.

A statement from Mr Haniya after the meeting made no mention of any possible visit to Cpl Shalit. Instead, he said he hoped that Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli soldier would be released in an "honourable prisoner-swap deal".

The Haaretz newspaper reports that Israel has sent Hamas a new proposal in its negotiations over Gilad Shalit. No further details are given.

Quoting a senior Hamas official, the paper also says European officials from more than one country have recently begun mediating between Israel and Hamas over the soldier.
The question is whether in the process of mediating, those involved will pressure Israel further on releasing more terrorists in exchange for Shalit.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Don't Let Apathy Kill Them"

From Arutz Sheva:

Tel Aviv Birthday Party Rally for Shalit

Family and friends of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit are planning a large 21st birthday party rally at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv Tuesday. Organizers will hand out small magnets with slogans stating "Don't let apathy kill them" and "We're waiting for you back home."

Hamas has refused a request by Shalit's father Noam to publish in its newspaper a birthday letter to Gilad. Independent Arab newspapers previously have published personal letters to his son, who was kidnapped by Hamas and other terrorists more than a year ago.

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Hamas wants prisoner release for Schalit video

"We did not blackmail Israel, and we gave free information to Gilad Schalit's father and his family that Gilad Schalit is still alive. When he asked us to bring him glasses for his sight, we did so as a humanitarian duty. We treat Gilad Schalit in a humanitarian way that is in line with the Palestinians' morals," Hamas leader in Syria, Khaled Mashaal told a CNN reporter on Monday.

"Hamas changed a lot and great efforts have been made to conform to the realistic positions of Palestinians and Arabs. When Hamas says with other Palestinians forces that we demand for a Palestinian country as the border was back in 1967, Isn't this a development? [Sic]" he added.

But past reports in virtually all Israeli media outlets painted a picture less rosy than Mashaal's account Monday. Hamas's release of an audiotape with Schalit's voice was the first sign of life from him, Red Cross representatives have yet to be allowed to contact him, his glasses were never given to him and reportedly, his captors were not treating him according to the guidelines stated in the Geneva Convention.

Also, comments made by Ahmed Youssef, an aide to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh earlier Monday, prove that no shred of information was "freely" given to Israel by Hamas, as Mashaal claimed in his interview.

If Palestinian women and children were freed from Israeli jails, Youssef said, Hamas would consider releasing a videotape of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit which would reveal information about his condition.

The aforementioned audiotape was released on June 25, a year after the soldier was captured.

Yousef told Israel Radio that Hamas was prepared to "give another gesture of goodwill" if Israel responds accordingly.

"When we released the voice recording of Schalit we expected something from Israel in return, namely, the release of women and children from Israeli jails."

"If Israel would have done this we would have published a videotape of Schalit talking about himself," said Yousef, lamenting, "unfortunately, this never happened."

He concluded by saying that if Israel agrees to the proposal, Hamas will consider a "new initiative" in the form of a video recording.

Tuesday marks the 21st birthday of the captured IDF soldier - his second birthday spent in captivity.

References: Hamas wants prisoner release for Schalit video

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Prose to Ponder

A haiku

really, what irks us
is...ideology kills
free Gilad Shalit

by rda

A Poem

clasping peace
piece by piece
peace piped in
breaking ways
piece meal
breaking bread
flat bread shared
piece by tattered piece
full-filling my guts desire...

for peace
shorn off the lamb's weathered wool
living amongst the enemy
piece of my peace
piece of your peace
blanket persists stitch by stitch

by rda

thanks to

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A Christian perspective:
A poem about Freeing Gilad

Gilad at 19 you are just a lad,
they were cowards taking you
but we havent stopped praying
nor will we do, until the Lord delivers you
Your father mourns a son and heir
The Heavenly Father hears our prayer
Yes we are Christians we worship Yeshua
But we faithfully bless you of that please be sure
We know that our God answers prayer
We know though alone you will not feel lonely
For the Holy Spirit can reach you even when only
He can cos you are far from the touch of friends.
And so this poem slowly ends. Gilad you are
prayed for by all your friends, friends you do not
know from across the world, friends who march under
a banner of Love unfurled in the Heavenly Realm
with Yeshua Ha Messiach at the helm
So we pray psalm 91 and we pray for your health and
your strength and protection and declare to the enemy
wherever the lurk - Our God Reigns and completes His work
on earth as in Heaven love and faith are leaven.......................

By the Way...

The Following Poem was submitted by Valerie.
As the moderator of this blog,[Mr Bagel] I'd like to indicate that I respect peoples rights to their chosen religious beliefs.

Personally I'm Jewish, and on my own personal blog I wouldn't entertain the notion of posting a Poem that featured beliefs that contradict my own held beliefs.

But the desire to free Gilad Shalit is not about any particular persons religious beliefs, its simply the decent thing to want and because of that, I have decided to post this poem.

Valerie I appreciate the time you spent in writing this poem.

Regards Mr Bagel

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Almost Lost Another One

The BBC reports:

Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets of Hebron, in the West Bank, last September
Israeli politicians said the incident was "unacceptable"
An Israeli soldier has rejoined his unit after being left behind in Gaza during a raid against Palestinian militants, army officials have said.
The only thing more unsettling than how it happened is the claim that the circumstances are not unusual:
The soldier fell asleep during the operation last Thursday, but his absence was not noticed until his colleagues returned to Israel.

The unit re-entered Gaza several hours later and rescued the soldier, who had fired a flare and tracers into the air.

The Israeli military said it had launched an inquiry into the incident.

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told Israel Radio that similar incidents had happened "dozens of times".

"People are tired and not thinking straight after long hours or long days," the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.
At a time that Israel's efforts to rescue 3 kidnapped soldiers have been a complete failure, articles like this are not reassuring--though that last line might explain Olmert after 1 1/2 long years.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jenin leader of Al Quds Brigades abducted by Israeli undercover agents

From Maan News Agency

Israeli undercover forces are said to have abducted the leader of the Jenin chapter of the Islamic Jihad-affiliated Al Quds Brigades, Adham Younis Al 'Azza (25), when he was visiting the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank on Thursday afternoon.
A Ma'an correspondent reported that shots were fired at Al-'Azza's car from a white Volkswagen with Palestinian number plates. Then, the men in the Volkswagen abducted Al-'Azza, taking him to an unknown destination.

Eyewitnesses declared that dozens of Israeli soldiers could be seen standing on the rooftops of nearby houses.

Al-'Azza has previously escaped many Israeli assassination attempts.
Can anything be read into this? Is this just a tactic used against a terrorist that has escaped assassination in the past, a potential bargaining chip for kidnapped Israeli soldiers, or maybe a message that kidnapping is a tactic that works both ways.

If the terrorists speak about on this, they can always equate this with their kidnappings and say it justifies what they do--and if they don't, their apologists will.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why is the Israeli government releasing any Palestinian Prisoners?

Rehavam Zeevi, Israeli Tourism Minister, was shot by four
gunmen in the Jersusalem Hyatt hotel in October 2001

Israel 'to free leader of terror group that killed minister'

Israeli Cabinet ministers today approved a list of 256 Palestinian prisoners slated to be released this week in a gesture of support for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, said to include the No 2 in the radical PFLP group.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - a militant PLO faction listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union - claimed responsibility in 2001 for the assassination of Rehavam Zeevi, the right-wing Israeli Tourism Minister.

The names of the prisoners to be released have not been announced, but Palestinian sources said that they would include Abdelrahim Malluh, deputy leader of the PFLP. "“President Abbas has told the Malluh family that he will be freed,” Khalida Jarar, a PFLP official, told AFP.

David Baker, an official in the office of Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, said that a ministerial committee approved the release by seven votes to two. The list is to be published later today, giving Israelis 48 hours to file legal challenges before the prisoners, including six women, are released on Friday.

According to Mr Baker's statement, "there is no blood on their hands" - meaning that none has been directly involved in attacks on Israelis.

But Mr Malluh's inclusion on the list, giving his senior rank in the PFLP, is likely to prove controversial. Zeevi was shot by four gunmen in the Jersusalem Hyatt hotel in October 2001 in a what was said to be a reprisal for the assassination two months earlier of Abu Ali Mustafa, the PFLP leader.

Malluh was arrested in 2002 and sentenced in 2004 to nine years by an Israeli military tribunal for belonging to a terrorist organisation. The PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat remains in Israeli custody, although he has not been tried.

Israel pledged to release the prisoners as a "goodwill gesture" to Mr Abbas to help shore up his authority after Hamas gunmen routed the forces of his Fatah movement as they took over the Gaza strip last month. Eighty-five per cent of those to be released are Fatah members; none is from Hamas.

But the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, Ashraf al-Ajrami, said that the release of 250 out of more than 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails was not enough.
"Israel insists on releasing those who have limited sentences," Mr al-Ajrami said. "We want a release of prisoners who received long sentences."

Mr Bagel: I can't believe what I'm seeing? Why, why would you realease prisoners? To reward what? Name one thing the Palestinians have done that justifies a gesture such as this?

Why are we making a gesture of support for Mahmoud Abbas, what has he done?
Why does Israel insist on making first 'gestures', why does Israel insist on weakening its negotiating position? I can't understand why we allow the government to do this?

It has never lead to anything positive for the Jewish state.

There should be absolutely no prisoner releases until Gilad Shalit is released. To even consider releasing any prisoners simply compromises the position Israel starts from in trying to get Gilad Shalit's release.

Why does the Israeli government never learn?

I'm flabbergasted at the ineptness of this Government.

Times online: Israel 'to free leader of terror group that killed minister'

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hamas man involved in Shalit kidnapping arrested

Man also admits to participating in infiltration of IDF outpost five years ago and several missile launchings

The IDF and Shin Bet arrested Mohammad Sufi, an operative affiliated with Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) who admitted to involvement in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit one year ago, it was cleared for publication on Friday.

Sufi (30) was arrested at the beginning of July, and was responsible for documenting the June 25, 2006 attack and kidnapping at Kerem Shalom as part of Hamas' propaganda campaign.

During his investigation, Sufi also admitted to involvement in the infiltration into an IDF outpost in southern Gaza five years ago, in January of 2002. Four soldiers, including a major, were killed in that incident.

Sufi, who lives in Rafah on the border with Egypt, admitted to having fired several missiles towards Israel and planting explosive devices against IDF forces.

These devices caused the injury of a number of soldiers, in the incidents cited.

Mr Bagel: Note another fact that points to the ever increasing scenario that Hamas was directly involved in this crime.

Don't allow the Palestinian Terrorists to play Musical Chairs, they must be held accountable. The Hamas leadership is directly responsible and accountable.

References: Ynet News: Hamas man involved in Shalit kidnapping arrested [End]

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Report: Hizbullah took reservists alive

A Lebanese reporter with close ties to Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was quoted by Channel 1 on Thursday night as saying that kidnapped IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Golwasser had been taken alive from their military vehicle when they were abducted exactly one year ago.

According to the report, Hizbullah filmed the kidnapping before hiding the video in an undisclosed location.

Less than an hour after the incident, the reporter claimed, Nasrallah received a message saying that "the gift has arrived," referring to the captured reservists.

Nasrallah reportedly responded to the news by asking whether Hizbullah had any casualties and what the Israeli media was reporting.

References: Jpost: Report: Hizbullah took reservists alive

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Has Anybody Seen Ehud, Eldad, or Gilad?

One year ago today Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev joined Gilad Shalit as prisoners of Islamic least we think that is the case. Hezbollah says they are alive and in their Hands but there has been no communication from them, no pictures or Red Cross visits--no word from to their families that they are OK.

Each of the kidnappings were made without provocation and on Israeli soil. Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped under the watchful eyes of the UN. Other kidnappings during during this year provoked world outrage they were released, two Fox broadcasters and the BBC's Mr. Johnston (who after his release took a victory tour thanking every terrorist he could find). Where is the outrage for Ehud, Eldad, and Gilad?

When negotiating the truce for this past summer's war in Lebanon, Israel wanted any cease-fire delayed until Eldad and Ehud were released but France said no. Olmert gave in and together they sentinced Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev to a long imprisonment.

Where is the UN Human Rights Council? Why havent the UNFIL troops insisted on the return of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev as outlined in the cease fire agreement? Why hasn't France SHOUTED for the return of French citizen Gilad Shalit the way the British shouted for their BBC Reporter? Why isn't the BBC campaining for all of the terrorist's hostages in Gaza to be released? Is Gilad Shalit not just as human as Johnston? Does Ehud Goldwasser's wife love him any less? Was Eldad Regev less kind? I don't think so.[Click read more...]

The world just them as less human because they are Israeli and they are Jewish. Stare into their eyes and read their stories below--- make them come alive in your heart see them as individuals with loved ones not just captives. Then please come to Monday's rally at the UN and show the world that we will not let this stand.

Gilad Shalit
Gilad (20) was born on 08/28/1986. He is the son of Aviva and Noam Schalit from Mitzpe Hilla in the Western Galilee and the brother of Yoel (23) and Hadas (16). Gilad was born in Nahariya but was raised from the age of two in Mitzpe Hilla. He went to the regional elementary school in Maona and to junior high in Kfar Veradim. He graduated with distinction from the science class of “Manor Kabri” high school. Gilad loves mainly math and sports. He has enjoyed playing basketball ever since he was a child, but is interested in sports in general. He follows the different leagues and tournaments all over the world, from tennis and basketball to cycling and athletics. If you wish to know the results of a tournament somewhere in the world – it’s Gilad you should ask.

Gilad began his military service about a year ago – at the end of July 2005. He preferred to serve in a combat unit despite the fact that he could have avoided combat duty due to a low medical profile. He followed his elder brother Yoel into the armored forces. Yoel had finished his service a year earlier. Gilad was highly motivated. He overcame all the obstacles facing a combat recruit of the armored forces and successfully ended his training a few months ago. For the last couple of months he has been on duty guarding and ensuring the security of the settlements around Gaza.

Gilad is a well-mannered, quiet and introverted young man. An almost permanent shy and hesitant smile light up his face. Gilad is always volunteering to help everyone; even on his short vacations from the army he helped his parents run their “Bed & Breakfast”.

Since the attack at Kerem Shalom on Sunday, 06/25/2006, Gilad has been held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

Gilad - Mother and Father, Yoel and Hadas and all the family and all your friends miss you terribly and wish to see you and your smile already and to embrace you in a strong and loving embrace.

Ehud Goldwasser (Udi)

Udi (31) was born in Nahariya on 07/18/1975. He is the son of Miki and Shlomo and elder brother of Yair (26) and Gadi (23). He married Karnit 10 months ago, after 9 years of seeing each other. Udi and Karnit share a great love and a very special relationship.

Udi is a graduate of the science class in “Amal Comprehensive High School”, Nahariya. He served in the combat battalion “Tzabar Givati”. After his military service he toured Australia alone on a motorcycle for half a year. Later, he completed his preparatory studies in the Technion and went on to study environmental engineering.

Udi is a kind and much loved person. He is considerate of other people’s opinions even if they oppose his own. It’s fun being in his company. He is a loving caring person, always ready to offer a helping hand in any situation. He is a man of principles and values, knowledgeable in many varied subjects. He loves movies, music and spending time with his friends.

He has many friends from the different periods of his life: His childhood friends with whom he grew up in Nahariya, pals from the army, friends from the Technion and friends from his travels around the world. Conservation of the environment is of the utmost importance to him. Indeed, he joined a Green group so as to help clean our nature reserves.

Udi loves animals, and although he suffers from a mild fur allergy, he lives with two cats and lovingly adopted “mishehoo” (“someone”), an abandoned and injured dog he found in the street. He is a sworn lover of motorcycles and has encyclopedic knowledge of all models made all over the world and their technical details.

Over the last few years he has developed a great interest in photography. He spends much of his spare time taking pictures of scenery and nature in Israel and abroad. Lately, his hobby has become a profession having begun to work on some projects as a photographer.

As a child he sailed the seas with his father, and has recently got his “skipper” license for sailing yachts and was planning to sail abroad.

Udi has a special love for children. He is always talking proudly of the kids in his family and of his friends’ kids. Karnit and he are dreaming of their own addition to their family!

On the 07/12/2006 Udi was abducted to Lebanon after Hezbollah attacked his military patrol.

Eldad Regev Eldad Regev is 26 years old. Born and raised in Kiryat Motzkin. Eldad is the son of Tova (of blessed memory) and Zvi Regev, and brother of Benny, Ofer and Eyal. Eldad attended “Mitzpe”, a religious elementary school in Kiryat Motzkin, before continuing his education in the nearby Yeshiva High School in Kiryat Shmuel. After completing three years of military service in the elite Givati infantry brigade, he enrolled in Bar Ilan University's pre-law preparatory course with the aim of being accepted to the university's Law faculty. Eldad is loved and immensely popular among all that know him.

In high school, Eldad excelled in biology and passed all his matriculation exams with ease. In spite of his mother Tova's untimely death (of blessed memory) while he was in the 12th grade, Eldad decided to serve in a combat unit and volunteered for Givati. After the service, like most of his friends he traveled to the Far East. On his return he started to work while at the same time continuing his studies in Bar Ilan University’s academic preparatory course.

One of the qualities that makes Eldad so special is the kindness of his heart – never hesitating to donate and offer aid to anyone in need. He always likes to stay informed and is constantly involved in what is happening around him. Eldad made many friends throughout high school and during his army service, all of whom can attest to his fine qualities.

Among Eldad’s hobbies are football (last year he passed a coaching course - he is a fan of Maccabi Tel Aviv football team), music and books.

A fanatical football fan, before being called up for reserve duty Eldad closely followed the World Cup games. He also went to Roger Water’s (of Pink Floyd) concert in Kerem Shalom.

Eldad was called up for military reserve duty after completing his exams at the preparatory course in Bar Ilan University. During his reserve duty he spoke with his family and told them of his experiences. Three days before his abduction he visited his family and participated in the annual memorial for his mother. Later, he watched the last game of the World Cup between Italy and France. The following day he returned to the complete the remainder of his reserve duty.

On July 12th 2006 Eldad was abducted and taken to Lebanon after Hezbollah attacked his military patrol.

One long year has passed since IDF soldiers Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hamas and Hezbollah.

Show the world we have not forgotten and will not forget them.

Join us in demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

Monday, July 16th, 2007

12:00 noon / Rain or Shine

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza ( 1st Ave. and 47th St . ) New York City , NY


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Hamas Heroes

Hamas Heroes

Beeb!* Your bold reporter is free! --
Released, like the poor canary
From a dark cave of perdition
That is Gaza. Let’s all rejoice!

Laughter burns. Loud cheers smoke the air.
Politicians cry relief
Along with the Press. Saviours
Misunderstood -- thank you Hamas!

Haniyeh, the broker, the brave,
the honest man, freedom fighter,
A face with which the world can side
Against the fabled terrorists.

Let us forget the Hamas charter
Of hate, the killings, the rockets,
Their harsh Sharia, and Shalit
Who slowly dies while all applaud.

By Beaman


Less than a month ago, Hamas henchman were throwing their opponents from tall buildings in Gaza with their hands tied behind their back. For years they have been firing rockets into Israel, a democratic nation, leading to the deaths of many innocents. The same men sanctioned and ordered, and still do, suicide attacks in Tel Aviv nightclubs, buses and restaurants. A year ago they captured an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, whom they still hold hostage, asking in return for the release of hundreds of criminals. By all the latest reports, Shalit is dying, a slow, painful and lonely death in captivity.[click read more...]
Nevertheless, Hamas have today pulled off a propaganda victory of the highest proportions. In numerous interviews and discussions in Britain already, there have been calls for Hamas to be recognised as a viable political party, one that we should engage with. If only these willing people in Europe and America would cast off their intellectual laziness and read the Hamas Charter, which is committed to the extermination of Israel, the mass murder of Jews and the overthrow and Islamisation of the free world. Then add to that fact, that Hamas is not an isolated group but a wing of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood which is strong especially in Egypt.

As British journalist Melanie Phillips best puts it:

All over the world, the Brotherhood is behind the pincer movement of jihad through terrorism and jihad through cultural capture. And manipulation is the name of the game it plays. It creates terrorist or insurrectionary pressure; it then poses as the ‘honest broker’ peacemaker; it thus turns its victims into its supplicants and can then turn the ratchet still further. It played this game in France, when the French government implored the Brotherhood imams to restore order in the wake of the Muslim riots in the banlieues (riots that it said were ‘nothing to do with Islam’). It has played it over Alan Johnston. And it is playing it in Britain and the US, where its proxies have been pushing hard for ‘engagement’ with the Brotherhood as an antidote to al Qaeda — and where, with the British and American political elite now in such moral, intellectual and political disarray, it is now succeeding. (Link)


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

abandoning our soldiers

The Second Lebanon War began exactly one year ago today. Two soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad regev, were kidnapped on the northern border by Hezbollah operatives. They covered their bases with a distraction by shooting some missiles into Israel. During the mission to kidnap these soldiers, they also killed three other soldiers.

Israel responded with airstrikes, and eventually a limited ground invasion. The soldiers have not, as of yet, been recovered. They are still in captivity, along with Gilad Shalit in Gaza, and the soldiers of the '80s - Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zacharya Baumel, Ron Arad and Guy Hever who disappeared in August of 1997.

Are we doing enough to obtain the release of the captive soldiers? Until they are home, the answer has to be "no". We cannot say we are doing all we can until we achieve success.
[Click read more...]

It has to be the goal and discipline of every army and government to protect the soldiers they send out to battle. To not abandon them. In October 2000, when Joseph's Tomb was overrun by PA militants, Ehud Barak, then Prime Minister, pulled the troops out of the area, instead of defending it. In the process, he abandoned one Israeli soldier (Druze I think) in the tomb and decided not to go back to extract him. The result was a lynching of the soldier, which led to his brutal death.

The world was not outraged. The world does not care when a Jew is brutally murdered. The world does not care when an Israeli is brutally murdered. Nobody will defend us and nobody will protect us. Nobody will be outraged on our behalf. That is our job, with Hashems help, because nobody will do it for us.

We abandoned our soldier then, but we must learn our lesson from it. We have to be vigilant in defending our people, our land and our heritage.

Our government is in the process of making more concessions to Abu Mazen on the hope that it will strengthen him against his opponents in Hamas. We have been strengthening Abu Mazen for years already and we have never gotten anything in return, except for grief.

We need to be less concerned about who is strong on the PA side, and more concerned about strengthening ourselves and protecting ourselves. The soldiers need to know that we will not rest until they are all safe. they need to know they go out to fight to protect us, but we will do whatever we can to keep them safe and get them home safely from missions.

And we cannot abandon our soldiers. We have to remember them - in our thoughts, in our prayers, in our deeds.

I have noticed that in many shuls there are signs requesting people pray for the three missing soldiers - Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit - for their safety, health and quick return to their people.

These signs are abandoning our soldiers. There are no signs about the other missing soldiers. Are there suddenly only three missing soldiers? Were the other five returned to Israel? Were they declared dead and brought to a Jewish funeral? Did I miss that day?

We are missing eight soldiers. Yes, the loss of the most recent three is more acute, because of its freshness and the pain of the subsequent war. But that gives us no right to abandon any of the other soldiers.

We must do all we can to obtain the release of all the soldiers, and bring them back home.

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Web Black Out For Kidnapped Soldiers

From Arutz 7:

Leading Israeli Internet web sites plan to shut down operations for five minutes at 9:05 a.m. (2:05 a.m. EDT) Thursday in order to promote public awareness of the lack of information on the fate of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
Hizbullah terrorists kidnapped the soldiers a year ago today during a cross-border attack on IDF positions, setting off the war that lasted for almost five weeks. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated at the outset that the war would end only after the soldiers were returned but later backed down from his position, when it became evident that the IDF and Home Front Command were not prepared for the massive attacks, that included 4,000 rockets on the Galilee.
This is what looked like:

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Rally to Remember Regev and Goldwasser

The families of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser will join others whose loved ones were kidnapped as soldiers by terrorists at a rally to mark one year since their capture, scheduled for Thursday at the ‘Gan HaEm’ (Mothers’ Garden) in Haifa.

Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped on July 12, 2006 by Hizbullah terrorists in a cross-border attack from southern Lebanon.

The event is organized by the Haifa municipality. The northern port city suffered repeated Katyusha rocket attacks during last summer’s 34-day Second Lebanon War against Hizbullah.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

J O S H U A P U N D I T: Update: Alan Johnston's release in Gaza

This update just posted yesterday by, Freedom Fighter, at JoshuaPundit, discusses the renewed hope for a soon release of kidnapped hostage, Gilad Shalit.

Freedom Fighter first reports the details surrounding the release of British journalist, Alan Johnston, held for 114 days, by the Durmush clan, after his abduction, in Gaza, and his subsequent release, and ends with a brief discussion of the possible hopes Johnston's release may hold for a soon release from captivity, of Gilad.

Please read Freedom Fighter's original post below:

Dated: Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Updated: Alan Johnston's release in Gaza

[click read more...]

Alan Johnston, following his release yesterday didn't linger with his Hamas benefactors but went quickly to the safety of the British consulate in Jerusalem, Israel. He compared his 114 days as a hostage to being "buried alive."

Apparently Johnston was being held by the powerful Durmush clan, the heads of the so-called `Army of Islam' who made the original snatch. It wasn't authorized by Hamas or Fatah, but in the leadup to the Gaza turf war neither was prepared to do much about it and risk alienating the Durmush. As you remember, Hamas boss Ismail Haniyeh said that Johnston's kidnappers were only seeking `a little reward' while Fatah boss Mahmoud Abbas kept stalling for time by saying that Johnston was in good health and would be released soon.

They both knew exactly where Johnston was and who was holding him through the entire period.

Now that the turf war in Gaza is over, Johnston was a liability to the Hamas government seeking renewed legitimacy and relations with the EU.

Accordingly, Hamas laid siege to the Durmush compound where Johnston was imprisoned, and to provide a little bargaining power, Hamas kidnapped two Durmush clan memebers, while the Durmush kidnapped nine Hamas operatives in revenge.

It all ended last night, when both sides exchanged their hostages and Johnston was freed.

Johnston’s freedom is a tremendous propaganda coup for the Hamas regime in Gaza and a step towards European recognition led by Britain. The new Brown government, already wilting under the impact of the recent Islamist attacks will likely lead the way towards the recognition and legitimization of the Hamas regime.

Apparently, this was in the cards even before Tony Blair stepped down as PM.

Reportedly, Blair promised Vladamir Putin to engage with the Hamas regime, which is how he got Russia's support for his appointment as the Middle East Quartet’s special envoy.

Johnston's release could also pave the way for the freeing of Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit. At the press conference with Johnston, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, said he hoped to be able to free Shalit in an “honorable deal for the release of our heroes.” And Egypt has promised to send a mediator to negotiate a prisoner swap.

This comes straight from Hamas kingpin Khalid Meshaal in Damascus, who now is claiming that Shalit is a liability since the Gaza takeover, and Hamas has apparently presented mediators from Europe with a reduced list of a few hundred Hamas shooters in Israeli jails as the price they want for Gilead Shalit...discounted down from over 2,000.

Hamas probably believes that continuing to hold Shalit is just one more impetus for the Israelis to possibly go in and clean the area out. And if he really is seriously ill, as the recent tape that was released suggests, Hamas might just be figuring that it's better to get a reduced price for him while he's still alive as opposed to getting nothing for a corpse.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter
At: 12:32 PM

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Free: Gilad Shalit: Gilad Shalit * Gilad and Israel * Gilad * Jewish Soldier and Gilad * Kidnapped Soldier * Justice * Hostage * Kidnapped Israeli * Gilad Shalit * IDF* Terrorism* Jewish * Hamas * Jew

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