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.

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

Read More......

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

Read More......

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.

Read More......