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.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Hamas Coup and Repurcussions for Gilad Shalit

With the reality of the Hamas takeover of Gaza sinking in and the broader consequences having been addressed, thoughts are now turning to issues such as Gilad Shalit's captivity, which will reach its one year anniversary on June 25. Needless to say, there are all kinds of assumptions:

Analysts say that Hamas first must prove to nervous Gazans that it can deliver on a practical level by providing basic items such as gasoline, food, electricity and water. This would mean securing even a minimum level of cooperation with Israel, which could be bolstered significantly by the release of Shalit.

Second, making a prisoner swap with Israel would boost Hamas' popularity in Gaza as well as the West Bank. The issue of Palestinian prisoners is a hugely emotional one on the Palestinian street, where almost every family has a relative or friend in an Israeli jail.
The motivation for Hamas to get good PR is balanced by the anger they would generate among Gazans if they did not get a large number of prisoner releases in exchange.

On the other hand, is Israel really willing at this point to negotiate with Hamas and as a result help mitigate the world's horror at the Hamas coup and strengthen their position in Gaza--while at the same time realizing that obtaining the release of Shalit could provide Olmert with some good PR of his own.

Bottom line: Gilad Shalit remains as much a pawn as ever.

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