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 29, 2007

NYC Rally for the release of the 3
Kidnapped Israeli Soldiers
- How to get there -

The Rally on July 16th to help free the 3 Kidnapped Israeli Soldiers will be held in close proximity to the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The entrance to the rally will be at 47th Street; the site of the rally can be entered from Third Avenue or from First Avenue through Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.

Choose from the list below on how you'll be getting to the rally from within New York City:

  • 1. New York City Public Transportation
  • 2. Grand Central Station (Metro North)
  • 3. Penn Station (Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, Amtrak)
  • 4. LaGuardia, Kennedy or Newark Airports
  • 5. Links to Public Transportation/Airport Web Sites

To see the list of ways to get there click the read more tag.


By Subway

  • 4, 5, 7, or S (Shuttle) train to Grand Central Station (42nd Street)

  • 6 train to either Grand Central Station (42nd Street) or to 51st Street station
  • E or F train to Lexington Avenue station (53rd Street). Walk 6 blocks south to 47th Street; then 1 block east to 3rd Avenue.
    Please note that if you are traveling on the Southbound 6 train, the 51st station is wheelchair accessible. Call 1-800-734-6772 to assure the availability of elevators and escalators in that location on that day.

By Bus:

  • M15 or M27 bus to 47th Street & First Avenue
  • Eastbound M42 or M104 bus to 42nd Street & Third Avenue or First Avenue


From Grand Central Station walk east to the entrance on 47th Street. The walk should be less than 10 minutes.

FROM PENN STATION (Long Island Railroad, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit):

Queensbound E train to Lexington Avenue station (53rd Street).


  • S (Shuttle) train or number 7 train to Grand Central Station. Follow directions from Grand Central Station.

  • Eastbound M42 or M104 bus to 42nd Street & Third Avenue or First Avenue


For information on getting into Manhattan from New York-area airports, click on the links below (NOTE: links will open in a new window):

  • LaGuardia Airport
  • Kennedy Airport
  • Newark Airport

To Manhattan from New York-area airports via public transportation:

From LaGuardia Airport:

  • Take the M60 bus to Second Avenue and 125th Street, then transfer to the Southbound M15, which runs down Second Avenue to 47th Street, or,
  • Take the M60 bus to Lexington Avenue and 125th Street, then take the Southbound 4,5 (express) or 6 (local) train to Grand Central Station (42nd Street).

From Kennedy Airport:

  • Take the Manhattan bound A train to 42nd Street, then transfer to the 7 train to Grand Central Station (42nd Street).

From Newark Airport:

  • After your arrival at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, take the Eastbound M42 or M104 bus across 42nd Street to Second Avenue.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORT WEB SITES(NOTE: links will open in a new window):

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR):
New Jersey Transit:
Metro North:
New York City Transit: or call 718-330-1234
LaGuardia Airport:
JFK Airport:
Newark Airport:

Directions From Outside New York City:

Local Federations throughout North America may be sending delegations to the Rally. Please contact the Federation coordinator at your local Federation through JewishFinder

If you would like to take public transportation there are a number of options for travel to New York City. Please visit these websites or contact the ticket agents for times and tickets

This guide was provided to assist people going to the rally, please use your own investigations on how to get there. The guide was derived from a previous UJC guide.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rally for Gilad Shalit on July 16


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
Hammarskjold Plaza
(1st Ave. and 47 St . )
New York City


Sponsored by the:
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
And Jewish Community Relations Council of New York

In cooperation with the United Jewish Communities,
UJA-Federation of New York, and American Zionist Movement
For more information contact: Conference of Presidents 212-318-6111 or
info@conference of Presidents
JCRC at 212-983-4800 x 151

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Netanyahu: Swapping prisoners for Shalit would harm Israel

Right: Likud Chairman and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Likud Chairman and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that "releasing [Palestinaian] prisoners would send out a misleading message and undermine our efforts, and would harm our battle against terrorism."

Speaking before the Jewish Agency assembly, Netanyahu said that "the government must do all that it can to secure the release of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit," but expressed his objection to the prisoner exchange deal proposed by Hamas, noting that "freeing terrorists would further weaken Abu-Mazen [Abbas] in the inter-Palestinian arena."

Addressing the issue of Qassam rocket fire on Sderot, Netanyahu said that Israel's central problem is "the collapse of deterrence," and suggested "changing the rules so that Hamas understands that they will pay a significantly heavier price."

Netanyahu also said that he would not serve as finance minister in Prime Minister Ehud Olmet's government, and that the Likud would not join the coalition and would press for early elections.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that he would seek cabinet approval for the release of 250 Fatah prisoners held in Israeli jails, as part of a package of steps aimed at strengthening Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking at the close of a four-way summit with Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II, Olmert said only prisoners who Israel does not hold directly responsible for deaths of its citizens would be released.

"As a gesture of goodwill toward the Palestinians, I will bring before the Israeli cabinet at its next meeting a proposal to free 250 Fatah prisoners who do not have blood on their hands, after they sign a commitment not to return to violence," Olmert said.

Bagelblogger: I can't help but think the timing of this potential prisoner release is terrible. Why release any without something in return? Why release them, and then involve Hamas in a bidding war trying to get the same kind of compromise? Surely this is only going to lead to an escalation in Kidnap attempts and a dangerous form of poker bluff involving Gilad?

The history of prisoner releases does not bode well, how many of these 'prisoners with out blood on their hands' (that we know about) are going to end up being terrorists with 'blood on their hands'?

Why can't Israel take a position of strength and demand rather than always compromise?

thanks to: Netanyahu: Swapping prisoners for Shalit would harm Israel
By Amiram Barkat and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Captured Israeli soldier 'held in boobytrapped room'

Israeli television said today an Israeli soldier captured a year ago is being held in the southern Gaza Strip in an underground room inside a booby-trapped building.

Sergeant Gilad Shalit was grabbed by Palestinian gunmen in a cross-border raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip on June 25, 2006.

The report, aired on Israeli Channel 2, said Shalit is being held near Shaboura refugee camp, close to the town of Rafah in the southern part of the coastal territory.

The reporter said his information came from Hamas sources.

Israeli officials declined to comment and a militant source representing one of the three groups holding Shalit said the report is "speculation and imagination".

The television report said Shalit is being cared for by two captors with whom he has formed a "cordial" relationship, and he is being treated fairly.

Shalit's living quarters were described as a two-room underground store with enough supplies to last two weeks, accessible down a ladder through a 15-metre-deep shaft which the report said is lined with explosives.

It added that the captors receive supplies and newspaper cuttings every two weeks and that they have been ordered to take good care of their prisoner.

Last year Shalit's captors refused to accept a pair of spectacles sent by his parents because they feared they were embedded with miniature electronic devices.

SMH: Captured Israeli soldier 'held in boobytrapped room'

Kipper tip to Barbara's_Tchatzkahs

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Free Shalit Yes, But Not At Any Price

There are some in the Israeli MSM that are trying to convince us that we have no choice, that we must pay any price that the Hamas asks in order to save Gil'ad Shalit.

I beg to disagree. The Jewish people weren't born yesterday. We are an ancient people and we have a long a bitter experience with kidnappers and other rogues. In general, our sages have said that we do not redeem captives for more than they are worth (see Gittin 45). There are other factors to be considered, but it is clear that giving in to the demands of the kidnappers will encourage more kidnappings. What's more, experience has shown that when Israel releases terrorists, the results are disastrous, as Yisrael Harel explains:

May 21, 1985 witnessed what has come to be known as the "Jibril deal". Some 1,115 terrorists were released in exchange for three Israeli soldiers who had been abducted in Lebanon. According to statistics published by the Israel General Security Service (Shabak, or Shin Bet), more than 40 percent of those released went on to resume terrorist operations including acts of murder. Those released in the Jibril deal also produced the Palestinian leadership that launched the 1989 intifada--that in many ways continues to this day.

With 22 years hindsight, that was a cancerous precedent. The terrorist organizations discovered Israel's soft belly: the inability to withstand the pressures exerted by the families of the abducted soldiers. Ever since, abductions have become routine: Israelis are kidnapped and Israeli governments, right- and left-wing, redeem the abductees with the wholesale release of terrorists. It is these frequent capitulations, especially in the Lebanon arena, that led Hassan Nasrallah in 2000 to the conclusion that Israel had lost the will to fight and could be likened in its weakness to a spider web.
We have to pray that God will give our leaders the wisdom to do what is good for the country. With all of the sympathy that I have for the Shalit family, we cannot have their personal interest take precedence over the interest of the entire nation.

[Cross posted on Cosmic X in Jerusalem]

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Translation of Gilad Shalits audio message:
On tape, Gilad 'urges' meeting demands

Transcription of What Gilad said in English
Click read more to see it
By Reuters

GAZA - Following is the text of a statement by captive soldier Gilad Shalit, as heard in an audio tape released by his Palestinian captors in Gaza yesterday. Translation is by Reuters from the original Hebrew:

"I, the soldier Gilad, son of Noam Shalit, [am] held by the Khattab Shaheed Iz al-Din al-Qassam [the military wing of Hamas].

"Mother and father, my sister and brother, friends in the Israel Defense Forces: I send you regards from jail and my longing for all of you.

"An entire year has passed with me in jail, and the state of my health is still deteriorating and I need extensive hospitalization.

"I am sorry for the lack of interest in my case and in the demands of Khattab al-Qassam on the part of the Israeli government and the army. It is clear that they must accede to these demands in order for me to be released from jail - especially as I was involved in a military operation, under orders, and was not a drug dealer.

"Just as I have parents, a mother and a father, the thousands of Palestinian detainees also have mothers and fathers who must have their sons returned.

"I have great faith that my government will take more of an interest in me and will accede to the demands of the mujahideen.

"Corporal Gilad Shalit."
Haaretz: On tape, Gilad urges meeting demands

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Gilad Shalit speaks from captivity (video)

If the video fails to load click here:
Gilad Shalit speaks from captivity

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LGF: Palestinian War Crime: Gilad Shalit Tape Released

Follow-up to earlier audio post by: Rafi G

Monday, June 25, 2007

Breaking News: Little Green Footballs: Palestinian War Crime: Gilad Shalit Tape Released

Palestinian War Crime: Gilad Shalit Tape Released

The Hamas thugs who kidnapped Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit have released an audiotape; and the craven Western media are universally shying away from the word “kidnapped” (the truth) in favor of “captured” (the terrorists’ preferred word): Hamas releases audio of captured Israeli.
BBC reporter Alan Johnston, however, was “kidnapped.”

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas militants posted an audio message on Monday from an Israeli soldier captured a year ago at an army base near the Gaza Strip, the first sign of life from the young serviceman since he was seized.

In the message, posted on the Web site of Hamas’ military wing, Cpl. Gilad Shalit sent greetings to his family and said his health was failing. He also expressed disappointment in the “lack of interest” of the Israeli government in his fate.

“I have spent a full year in prison, and my health is still deteriorating, and I need a prolonged hospitalization. I regret the lack of interest on the part of the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces in my case and their refusal to meet the demands of the al-Qassam brigades,” he added. ...

“Just as I have parents, a mother and father, the thousands of Palestinian prisoners have mothers and fathers to whom their sons must be returned,” he said. “I have a great hope from my government that it show more interest in me and meet the demands of the mujahideen (captors).” ...

Shalit’s father, Noam, listened to the tape on Channel 2 television, asking the station to play it a second time for the soldier’s mother. He said it appeared that the statement was coerced.

“I imagine that it’s the same as the letter they dictated to him and doesn’t reflect his real state,” he said. “We want somebody independent to see him, to examine him and the conditions under which he is held, his medical condition of course and his mental (state).”

The Israeli human rights group B’tselem accused the captors of war crimes, noting their refusal to allow Red Cross workers to visit Shalit. But the militants holding the soldier insisted he was in good health and treated well.

B’tselem, with their appeasement and surrender philosophy, are one of the parties indirectly responsible for the situation that allowed Shalit to be kidnapped. Their complaint that the mujahideen haven’t allowed the Red Cross to see Shalit (!) is ludicrous beyond belief.

UPDATE at 6/25/07 8:23:19 am:

At Huffington Post, they had to turn off comments on their entry about the Shalit tape, so their vicious Jew-hating readers wouldn’t embarrass them again: Comments for Israeli Soldier Captured A Year Ago Heard On Audio Tape.

UPDATE at 6/25/07 8:53:13 am:

They haven’t turned off the comments after all; they just didn’t show up when I first visited. And the vicious haters are turning out in force. A representative comment:


I agree with you giginthesky. My point is we should not care about what happens to a jewish soldier ... he’s probably killed many innocent people in the name of Israel, he’s not innocent in any way. The only innocents are the civilians. Frankly, I dont think anyone does care about him, its just the media which has become a passive conduit for propaganda by pro-isreali and zionist lobbies.

Israel actually wanted peace If Israel actually wanted peace, there would’ve been peace a long time ago but, what Israel wants is all of Palestine and all of Lebanon. They can only have this via two methods: Genocide and constant war.

Gilad Shalit banner
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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Monday, June 25, 2007

Remember 1 year ago today?
Two soldiers killed, one missing in Kerem Shalom terror attack

Reprint of article from: 25 Jun 2006

PM Olmert: The State of Israel views the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Chairman Abu Mazen and the Palestinian government as responsible for this event - with all this implies.

Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

This morning (Sunday, 25 June 2006) in the course of an infiltration and attack by terrorists in the area of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, an IDF officer and a soldier were killed, a soldier was abducted, and four others were wounded.

The soldiers killed have been identified as Lt. Hanan Barak, 20, of Arad and Staff-Sgt. Pavel Slutzker, 20, of Dimona. Cpl. Gilad Shalit is missing in action.

At 5:40 in the morning, terrorists from the Hamas and Popular Resistance Committees terror organizations infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel originating from the Rafah area, passing under the security fence to the area between the Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings. The terrorists,operating under cover of mortar and anti-tank fire from within the Gaza Strip, attacked attacked an armored personnel carrier, an IDF tank and a watchtower. IDF forces returned fire, killing at least two terrorists.

This attack was carried out and spearheaded by senior members of the Hamas and authorized by the party's leadership.

The IDF holds the Palestinian Authority and the democratically elected Hamas government responsible for the attack and the fate of the missing soldier.

* * *

On June 26, IDF forces detonated the tunnel which was used during the terrorist infiltration into the Kerem Shalom area. IDF forces uncovered the opening of the tunnel inside a Palestinian house located about 350 meters from the fence. The length of the tunnel was about 650 meters.
Israel MFA: Two soldiers killed, one missing in Kerem Shalom terror attack

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On Anniversary Of Capture, ADL Urges International Community To Press For Immediate Release Of Israeli Soldiers

New York, NY, June 22, 2007 - On the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on human rights groups, the United Nations and the international community to speak out and demand his freedom, as well as that of two Israeli soldiers held captive by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

On June 25, 2006, Gilad Shalit, 20, was kidnapped by Hamas in an attack on a military installation on Israeli soil. Shalit remains in captivity in the Gaza Strip. Israel Defense Forces reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, kidnapped in a raid on Israel's northern border and taken into Lebanese territory by Hezbollah on July 12, 2006, also remain in captivity, their whereabouts and conditions unknown.
"The continued captivity of these young men after one year with no word as to their fate is unacceptable and a clear violation of international protocol," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director. "The international community must demand their immediate and unconditional release."

In letters to the directors of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Human Rights First, ADL called on those groups to speak out and demand the release of the soldiers one year after their capture.

The League thanked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his previously speaking out on the issue and for meeting with families of the kidnapped soldiers. On the anniversary of Shalit's capture, Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman urged the Mr. Ban to "reinvigorate efforts" to demand the soldiers' release.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which set the terms of an Israeli-Hezbollah ceasefire in August 2006, calls for the "unconditional release" of the soldiers. The captors of Goldwasser and Regev have refused to provide any information to international relief agencies regarding their whereabouts or condition. Hezbollah and Hamas have also denied requests by the International Red Cross for access to the captives.

If you haven't checked out the Free Gilad Shalit Blog please do especially today

ADL : On Anniversary Of Capture, ADL Urges International Community To Press For Immediate Release Of Israeli Soldiers.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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MK Levy: Humanitarian Aid to Gaza in Exchange for Shalit

From Israel National News

"We also have some humanitarian demands of our own," says MK Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, "namely, freedom for our captive soldier Gilad Shalit."

MK Levy, of the National Union party, does not rule out a priori humanitarian aide to Hamas-ruled Gaza, but says it must be made contingent upon the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Monday will mark exactly one year since eight Hamas terrorists crawled through an underground tunnel from Gaza into Israel, killed two IDF soldiers and abducted Shalit from his tank. The enemy force entered Israel through a deep tunnel dug especially for the attack, and Shalit has not been heard from since.
"I assume the government will reach some kind of decision in the coming days regarding the opening of the crossings into Gaza," MK Levy told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine on Sunday morning. "This, in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza where people die of disease and hunger."

"But we have some humanitarian demands of our own," Levy said. "I propose that the Government of Israel make its continued humanitarian aid contingent upon the release of Gilad Shalit. We must say: If you ignore the humanitarian need of his family, and of all Israel, and keep him with you, then we too will keep our aid from reaching Gaza."
Over the weekend, a bicycling event was held to remember Israel's three most recent captives - Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the latter two of whom were kidnapped nearly a year ago into Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. In addition, some 500 people are taking part Sunday morning in a one-year anniversary rally for Shalit near the Knesset in Jerusalem.

One of the first victims of the Olso War was Rabbi Levy's 28-year-old daughter Ayelet HaShachar, a mother of a three-year old girl, who was killed in a car-bomb attack near the Machaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem in November 2000.

Asked about the claim that the kidnappers are not controlled by the Hamas government, Rabbi Levy said,
"To say that they're just a bunch of wild guys who don't listen to orders - I don't accept that. The whole Hamas regime is the same way... The world understands this, and will therefore accept our demand. This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the terrorists' plight. There's no reason for us to be so good-hearted. If they don't want to run out of flour in a week or two, then let them give us back Gilad."

Thanks to Arutz Sheva and Hillel Fendel for this article:

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New hope for return of kidnapped soldier?

TEL AVIV – Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip is spurring hope for the safe return of an Israeli soldier kidnapped nearly a year ago by the fundamentalist Islamic group, even as it issued a terse warning to Israel not to harm its leaders "or forget about Gilad Shalit."

Shalit, then a 19-year-old army corporal, was captured last June 25 during a cross-border raid and smuggled into Gaza. He has been held by Hamas and two other organizations involved in the attack, in which two other Israelis were killed.

Israeli officials and family members are hoping that with Hamas now in control of Gaza, having prompted their rivals in Fatah to flee to the west bank following a bloody conflict last week, Hamas alone will be able to decide Shalit’s fate.

"There is a new situation and I hope Prime Minister Olmert will know how to take advantage of it," Noam Shalit told journalists at a graveside ceremony Sunday marking a year since his son was captured and his son’s comrades were killed.

It would be in Hamas’ interest, experts argue, to make a deal now.

"I think it’s a great opportunity for Gilad Shalit and for Alan Johnston for sure," said Lt. Col. (Res.) Anat Berko, a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, referring to the BBC reporter who was abducted in Gaza in March. "I think Hamas wants to show that they are the boss, that they can make things happen and they are the ones with the key."

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.

Hamas is likely to want to make a deal on prisoners before Israel makes one with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a move that would strengthen Abbas and Fatah’s standing instead of that of Hamas.

Hamas, said Yaron Ezrahi, a political science professor at the Hebrew University, "is in the process of being maligned and criticized in an unprecedented way because the picture that dominates the international press is of the Hamas member with a mask, in a terrorist uniform, with a gun in his hand. On the other hand, they have never been in a position of having full responsibility for the daily lives of 1.5 million people."

Ezrahi said that "the rewards of releasing Shalit would not be higher in the future. I think Hamas right now after its military victory is definitely in the mood to try to cut political losses and public image losses they are suffering. I think they should have a very compelling motivation to release Shalit now."

In the west bank, Fatah spokesman Samir Nayfa suggested to the Palestinian media that a deal between Hamas and Israel could happen, even in unexpected ways. "Hamas might announce that Shalit disappeared amidst the state of chaos in Gaza Strip, or they might announce that he ran away," he said. "Hamas might go to the extreme of announcing that Fatah people helped Shalit run away."

At the same time, Hamas issued a warning on Saturday. "If any of Hamas’ leaders are harmed, Israel can forget about Gilad Shalit," a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, told reporters.

The daily Ha’aretz cited security sources reporting that the Egyptians, who had been mediating with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to broker a deal for Shalit, might resume efforts soon if the situation in Gaza does continue to wind down. They had stopped in recent weeks as the fighting between Fatah and Hamas intensified, the sources said.

David Baker, an Israeli government spokesman, told JTA that Shalit’s release is still very much at the top of the Israeli agenda. "Israel will not relent in its efforts to allow for the safe return of our soldier Gilad Shalit," he said. "These efforts continue unabated."

Observers say that if Hamas does strike a deal to swap prisoners with Israel, it also would break Israel’s self-imposed taboo on talking to Hamas, even if it is through the Egyptians.

Berko, the Herzliya center researcher and author of the recent book "The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers," said that despite Israel’s desires to strengthen the secular Fatah movement over Hamas, the time may have come to realize it can only influence things so far.

"I think this is not the time to deal with strengthening or weakening sides. We saw Israel cannot predict or create all the processes in the Middle East. We saw it in Lebanon and we are seeing it all over the world," she said, referring to the surge of Islamic fundamentalism of which Hamas is a part. "As time passes it will become harder to secure Shalit’s release. Now something has changed and we have to take the opportunity and speak with the devil," she said

Thanks to New Jersey Jewish Standard and Dina Kraft

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Prayer for the Deliverance of the Captured Israeli Soldiers

It has been 1 year since the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
Below this appears a prayer written by Rishon Le'Sion Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Shelomo Amar.

(Psalm readings: Chapters 70, 13, 142, 126)

The following passage contains the word of G_d please treat it with respect and appropriateness.
[click read more...]

Prayer for the Deliverance of the Captured Israeli Soldiers

MAY it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our fathers, that these Psalms which we have read before You today should come to You favorably, and be accepted before you as if King David Your anointed one – peace be on him – had said them himself. Please take action for the sake of Your Holy names which are written in them, and which are alluded to in them, and accept with mercy and favor our prayers and requests, so that our supplications reach You. Have pity, show concern and extend mercy to the captives, Ehud ben Malka Goldwasser; Eldad ben Tovah Regev; and Gilad ben Aviva Shalit, and save them, showing redemption and mercy, together with all captives and prisoners from Your nation Israel.

MAY the One who can liberate captives release them from their detention, deliver them from captivity to liberty, from tyranny to redemption, and from gloom to brightness, and restore them to complete health – a healing of the soul and of the body – and revitalize their spirit, reinvigorate their strength, and help them in happiness and joy; then they will be strengthened and healed and will have eternal happiness.

MAY the merit of the prayers, the cries, and the supplications of the multitudes who plead for them all over the world stand for them as a shield and a protection, freeing them from their captivity. Please tear asunder any negative judgments. May all their merits be presented before You, the Blessed One, and all that they have achieved and done for the sake of our nation and our heritage. Tear up their verdicts for the merit of the Holy Name that is alluded to in the initial Hebrew letters of the phrase “Accept the prayer of your nation; fortify us, purify us, You who are so awesome.”

MAY the words of this scriptural verse (Isaiah 53:10) be fulfilled for them: “God’s captives will return and come to Zion in joy; eternal happiness will be on their heads, they will be invested with joy and happiness, and sorrow and anxiety will be banished.” May this happen very soon!

Translation by Rabbi Mayer Waxman, Director of Synagogue Services, Orthodox Union
Edited by David Olivestone, Director of Communications, Orthodox Union

Gilad Shalit is a corporal in the Israel Defense Forces. He comes from
Mitzpe Hila in the Western Galilee, and holds dual Israeli and French citizenship. Gilad is the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since Nachson Wachsman in 1994. Early on Sunday morning, June 25, 2006, Shalit was kidnapped by Palestinian Arab terrorists who attacked an army post in Israel after crossing the border from Gaza via a tunnel near the Kerem Shalom crossing at the south Gaza Strip border. During the morning attack, two Israel Defense Force soldiers were killed and four others wounded.

Thanks to International Sephardic Leadership Council

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hamas: 'No change in Schalit's captors' demands'

"There is no change in the demands of Gilad Schalit's captors," Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, was quoted as saying on Sunday morning.

Obeida added that negotiations over the release of the captured IDF soldier were halted two months ago and since then there had been no messages conveyed by Israel via the Egyptian mediators, Israel Radio reported.

"We urge Israel to deal with the issue quickly because this foot dragging is not in Israel's interests if it wants to protect Gilad Schalit," said Obeida.

Bagelblogger: No Change? Surely you would need to check with his captors? Unless of course we finally accept the obvious, Hamas has been behind the kidnapping all along.
Instead of Israel accepting thinly veiled threats from Hamas terrorists, Hamas need to know the dire consequences if Gilad Shalit is harmed. Each and every leader of Hamas needs to know they are directly responsible for Shalit's safety.

Terrorist organisations must be held accountable.

Hamas: 'No change in Schalit's captors' demands'

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Zahar: Hamas willing to renew talks over release of Shalit

Top Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said Saturday that Hamas is willing to renew negotiations over the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for an Israeli release of Palestinian prisoners.

"If Israel wants to begin at the point where we stopped, there is a possibility to complete the exchange deal", Zahar said.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid by Hamas and two smaller militant groups in June last year. So far, Egyptian mediation attempts to exchange Shalit for Palestinian prisoners have failed.

IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were subsequently abducted by Hezbollah on July 12 near the border with Lebanon, sparking the Second Lebanon War.

Noam Shalit, Gilad Shalit's father, said Saturday that he hopes he won't go through another "nightmarish" year, and called on the government "to pick up the pace in bringing back the children."

Shalit spoke at a ceremony in Rosh Hanikra following a cycle rally in the western Galilee, organized to show support for the abducted Israel Defense Forces soldiers and their families.

Karnit Goldwasser, wife of Ehud Goldwasser, called on newly elected president, Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to act for the quick release of the abducted troops, "and not to let apathy kill them."

Some 3,000 cyclists took part in the rally Saturday morning, under the banner of "stop apathy for the sake of the kidnapped soldiers."

The cyclists began at the Regba shopping center situated between the coastal towns of Acre and Nahariya, and finished at Rosh Hanikra.

The rally marks almost a year since Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants.

Could it be any more clearer that Hamas is in full control of the situation? The pretense and fabrication that Hamas doesn't have complete control of the where abouts of Gilad Shalit needs to be realised by the world.
Why is it a organisation which has been declared as a terrorist entity, which is so obviously behind the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit is able to exist in any form?

Why isn't the entire world denouncing this crime? Why is Hamas left to commit atrocity after atrocity under the pretense of crimes being committed by 'uncontrollable splinter groups'. The time has come, any country, state or administration that is involved in terrorism needs to be confronted now.

Have we not learned the lessons of not taking firm action and holding countries that harbor, train and encourage terrorism to be accountable.

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Gilad Shalit - one year later

By Rafi G

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

On June 25, 2006, Palestinian militants breeched the Israeli border and attacked a military outpost. They abducted Gilad Shalit and, in the process, killed two other IDF soldiers and injured three more.

Since the abduction, we have read in the news about offers for a trade. The terms of the deal as suggested by the ruling Hamas leaders has been ridiculous. They have demanded thousands of prisoners in exchange for Shalit, and they will not even give any information as to Shalit's condition prior to any deal.

We have occasionally been told, via the media, that a deal is imminent and we can expect good news "within 2 weeks." I can remember about 4 different times over the year that our government has counted on the promises of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to declare that the Shalit situation will be over in a matter of days.

The days pass, the weeks pass, the months pass, and all we are left with is more promises by Abbas and Gilad Shalit remains in captivity.

With the recent Hamas coup of Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas will obviously not even be able to make promises that he cannot keep. He will not be able to give us the hope and optimism we desire.

We like to fool ourselves.

We think that as long as the moderates are in control, we are ok. Everything will work out. Abbas will work it out and get us Shalit back under reasonable terms. As long as we have someone there making promises to us, even though those promises will never be kept, we remain calm. We remain optimistic that Abbas will come through.

Abbas will never come through. I say that loud and clear. He has never come through. He is not a moderate. He has done nothing for us and, even worse, he has done nothing to advance the goals of the Palestinian people. He has gotten a lot of goodwill gestures from Israel, but in the 2.5 years he has been President of the PA, he has not advanced their situation at all.

We have our hopes and desires. As long as Abbas was willing to make us promises, empty as they might be, we were willing to have expectations. The problem with that is that as the time passes, our expectations result in constant disappointment.

Maybe now that Hamas is in complete control of Gaza and Abbas does not even have the ability to make promises, we will stop taking hope from him. Hopefully we will begin to look for real solutions to obtaining Shalit's freedom (and Goldwasser and Regev in Lebanon, but that will be for another post) and stop relying on false hope and people who do not have the ability to come through.

And we, the people who cannot do anything except pressure the government, and even that does not help with the crowd of selfish politicians currently filling the seats of power who ignore the calls of the public, should keep reminding the government of its responsibilities, and keep pressuring the government in any way possible to bring this situation to its resolution.

But the fall of Abbas should also be a reminder that "we have nobody to rely on except our Father in heaven."

As long as Abbas was making promises, we could forget about Hashem and rely on Abbas and Olmert. Now that they can no longer make any promises, the time is ripe to remember that really we should be relying on Hashem to bring this to a resolution. There is nobody here reliable to rely on. We must increase our prayers and our good deeds in Shalit's merit.

(this post has been cross posted at the Life in Israel blog)

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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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End of Days Talkspot: Israel Pulls Out of Lebanon

Muse, of "Shiloh Musings" blog fame, makes a very valid point in her previous post. One that I'm sure we all agree with, and that is, "We mustn't forget all of the other Israelis held by the enemy. Some were captured over 20 years ago."

Thank you Muse for this reminder to us all that we must never forget these captured, and, or, missing Israeli's, and their brave families.

This site has been dedicated to one, in particular, of the captured Israeli's, a brave, young IDF soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, in the hope that he will soon be returned safely to his waiting family, but not in the disregard for all other missing Israeli's.

This blog is dedicated to all those who are still missing, and to their suffering families, in the hope, that G-D willing, many others, may still be alive, and might return home, safely, and soon, after the horrors of their captivity.

We must never lose the hope (HaTikva), nor should we ever forget to remember, these dear souls, and their families.

Perhaps this blog, dedicated to one young Jewish boy, can be a reminder of all the other captives, in addition to Gilad, who's families are still watching, and believing, for their loved ones return.

Thank you Muse, for reminding us that, this isn't only about a single Israeli soldier, but, should rather serve as a continual reminder to us, of ALL the missing Israeli's, and their loved one's who still long for their safe return.

Our hearts bleed for the families of Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev, and all the others, who remain, yet unaccounted for. In this hope, I thought I would link an article from DEBKA, which I had posted, last year, following the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, on the morning of Yom Kippur's eve.

We must remember Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, as they too, have been held captive, as has Gilad, for almost a year now. As this anniversary of their capture nears, may we do everything within our abilities, to secure their release. We must, "Never forget" !!

Please click read more to read article below:

Original article: DEBKA

On: October 01, 2006

Read original article here:

Israel Quits Lebanon Leaving Hizballah Back in the Saddle under UN Auspices:

DEBKAfile Special Military Report

October 1, 2006, 10:55 AM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s military sources saw the Iast Israeli soldier quit Lebanon before dawn of Oct. 1, Yom Kippur eve, leaving in captivity Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the two soldiers whose abduction by Hizballah provoked the 34-day Lebanon war on July 12.

Only one third of the 15,000 international peacekeepers the UN Security Council pledged for an expanded UNIFIL has in fact been deployed in South Lebanon. And even that paltry force has made no effort to stop Hizballah restoring its presence and replenishing its stocks of rockets and missiles to points in South Lebanon within firing range of Israel. In most ways, therefore, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of Aug. 14 is a dead letter.

While withdrawing the bulk of its force gradually, Israel kept the last units behind in a futile effort to persuade UNIFIL commanders to uphold key provisions of the resolution. They refused even the minimal demand to restrict Hizballah’s military movements along the Israeli border. They claimed they could only act with the permission of the Lebanese government. By finally giving way on this point, the Israeli government accepted the determination that UNIFIL is the instrument of the Lebanese government - not the enforcer of UN resolutions or Israeli security.

This concession makes nonsense of the claim that the most important gain of the Lebanon operation was the removal of Hizballah’s fighting forces from access to the Israeli border. This claim was made in a desperate attempt by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and chief of staff Lt.-Gen Dan Halutz, to justify the war and its losses.

Looking slightly further ahead, Israel’s policy-makers had better hurry up and form a plan to meet an exacerbated threat from Lebanon, the possible displacement of the Fouad Siniora government in Beirut with a pro-Syrian, Hizballah-dominated administration. This further deterioration in Israel’s national security situation is far from being a remote hypothesis.

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah used the war to forge alliances with the Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, head of the rival Shiite movement Amal, and the Christian Maronite strongman Michel Aoun. This bloc intends to make a bid to install a pro-Syrian government after Ramadan is over next month.

Our sources in Beirut report a last-minute US-French initiative to frustrate this development. Siniora had his interior minister Ahmed Fatfat posted decree No. 2403 for Lebanon’s five intelligence and security agencies to pool their intelligence data and so provide his government and national army with the means of asserting control over national security. Two pro-Syrian officers, General Security chief Wafic Jezzini, and Director-General of Internal Security forces, Maj.-Gen Ashraf Rifi, stamped hard on this decree. The Siniora government was thus denied a key resource for dominating the country at large, not just the South, and is more vulnerable than ever to a hostile push.

As for Israel’s policy-makers, their handling of the bargaining with UNIFIL was as muddled, vacillating and feeble as their conduct of the Lebanon war itself. By accepting the Aug. 14 truce, they agreed to handing over the Lebanese-Israeli border to an international peacekeeping force without teeth; its rules of engagement are so constrictive that without Lebanese government authorization its members may not fire a single shot - even when necessary to prevent Hizballah moving back to its former aggressive positions or smuggling in fresh supplies of weapons – both of which are out-and-out violations of the same Resolution 1701 which mandated its own deployment.

By removing its troops in keeping with that same resolution, Israel has bargained away its last option for extracting information about the fate of the two soldiers seized by Hizballah; Red Cross access has brusquely refused.

In the view of DEBKAfile’s political sources, the last IDF units were kept in Lebanon after the truce for no discernible military or diplomatic purpose but to lull the Israeli public into not looking too closely at their leaders’ feeble negotiating stance and assuming Israel was still a strong player on the Lebanese scene. By Yom Kippur eve, most people were caught up in seasonal pursuits and less inclined to continue their painful in-depth calculation of the war’s net results.

Those results can be summed up in four negative developments which the Olmert government failed to thwart:

1. The wholesale smuggling through Syria of fresh weapons supplies to Hizballah from Syria and Iran, which neither the Lebanese army nor UNIFIL is lifting a finger to stop despite an explicit UN embargo. The heads of Israel’s government neglected to draw lessons from the failed deal on the Gaza crossings and the Philadelphi route, which never prevented arms flowing freely from Egyptian Sinai to Palestinian terrorists, notably the ruling Hamas.

Syria stays technically in the clear of the UN arms embargo by setting up huge arms dumps on its border with Lebanon, ready to be pushed across at a moment’s notice by land.

2. Expanded UNIFIL, which Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni did her best to present as a force with teeth, rather than monitoring Hizballah’s movements and disarming its combatants, is busy monitoring the feuds of Lebanese political and military factions.

3. These international units refrain from entering S. Lebanese villages. There is therefore no hindrance to Hizballah re-occupying those villages and restoring its strongholds within range of the Israeli border. The UN force is not setting up checkpoints to control banned traffic in the South. At best, the units are using makeshift roadblocks which go up for an hour at most before being removed and leaving Hizballah a free field for moving around the South.

4. The naval blockade against illegal arms imports, purportedly maintained by French, Italian, German and Greek war vessels, is about effective as UNIFIL’s ephemeral roadblocks. Their governments consented to the vessels being barred from entering Lebanese territorial waters. And so a strip of ocean 12 miles wide up to the Lebanese coast remains wide open for Hizballah’s arms ships to freely ply the route between Syrian and Lebanese ports.

Anxious to turn disaffected popular attention away from Hizballah’s recovery under the benign auspices of the UN’s European contingents, Israeli ministers and military chiefs have been debating out loud the need to carry out a major ground operation in the Gaza Strip, whence Qassam missiles continue to be fired into Israeli communities and where the Palestinians are building up their arms stocks, unhindered by international monitors and Egyptian police.

Related articles:

Israel’s Real Danger

European Lebanon Force Is Cast as Shield for Iranian-Hizballah Military Buildup

Nasrallah Is Already Carving out Lebanon’s Future


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gaza Infighting Renewed, Causing Increased Concerns for Shalit

This article, from October 03, 2006, ran on The article addresses the dangerous situation created by renewed infighting among the rival Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah loyalists, and it's potential implications on kidnapped Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Now, just as then, only to a far broader and potentially more dangerous degree, the infighting, and resulting overthrow of Gaza, by Hamas, has everyone especially concerned for the safety and return of Gilad Shalit. We must do everything within our abilities to ensure that pressure is applied at all levels to initiate action directed toward the immediate release of Gilad.

There is no time to waste. Gilad is a pawn in a vicious game of hostage taking and pro-longed blackmail by these so-called "Palestinian" terrorist thugs. They are not "freedom fighters", or "militants", or "soldiers". They are vicious, cold blooded killers, capable of any, and every evil act, from "homicide bombers", to kidnapping, to "blackmail", and most certainly, brutal murder. I cannot stress enough the urgency of this situation. Please get involved !! Do it because it's right !! Do it now !! Please !!

Please read the original article below:

Latest Report from

Gaza Infighting Renewed, Causing Increased Concerns for Shalit

11:05 Oct 03, '06 / 11 Tishrei 5767

by Hana Levi Julian

Renewed clashes between Fatah and Hamas left three dead and at least 22 wounded in Gaza Monday night. Israeli officials are concerned about how the situation impacts IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

The inter-faction violence which began Sunday escalated into what Palestinian Authority officials were concerned might once again raise the threat of a civil war, especially with the realization of the large number of weapons available in Gaza. Terrorists have smuggled thousands of arms across the border from Egypt in recent months.

Israeli officials, meanwhile, are concerned that the sharp increase in fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen in Gaza will negatively impact efforts towards obtaining Shalit’s release.

The soldier was abducted on June 25th by Hamas terrorists in a raid on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza. His whereabouts and condition are still unknown.

Two Fatah members were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Khan Younis, an attack the faction blamed on Hamas. Three people were wounded in a firefight at Shifa Hospital in Gaza between the family of a dead Fatah gunmen and Hamas police officers. Fatah gunmen killed a waiter in Jericho when he refused to close his restaurant and comply with a strike organized by the minority faction to protest violence in Gaza. Two of PA Deputy Prime Minister Nasser al-Shaer’s bodyguards were shot by unidentified attackers in Shechem, according to the Associated Press. Al-Shaer was not present at the time.

Some 5,000 Fatah protestors in Rafah called for the resignation of PA Interior Minister Said Siyam and demanded the Hamas-led police force disband, leading to more violence. One police officer and a demonstrator were killed and at least 18 others wounded in the clash between police and protestors, according to Reuters.

Nabil Amr, a top aide to President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said in Ramallah that Abbas was ‘seriously considering’ forming an emergency government or calling early elections to put an end to the ongoing conflicts and bloodshed. “Decisions should be taken in a short period of time,” he said.

The two factions have been battling for control of the PA government since Hamas took over from Fatah as majority party after a landslide victory at the polls in January.

An announcement last month by leaders of both factions that a new unity government would be formed proved meaningless after Hamas insisted it would never agree to formally recognize Israel’s right to exist, one of the demands of the Quartet Forum.

The United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, which comprise the Quartet, have also demanded that Hamas disarm and renounce violence as well as promise to uphold agreements signed by the previous PA administration.

Despite a statement released a week ago by Hamas officials that the impasse between Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Abbas would be overcome within two weeks, little progress has been made.

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