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, June 24, 2008

Gilad Shalit’s Book Now on YouTube

From the IsRealli blog:

Gilad Shalit’s book, When the Shark and the Fish First Met, now appears on YouTube to mark two years since he was kidnapped.

The Consulate General of Israel filmed five fifth-grade students from New York [Bronx Middle School] reading the story that Shalit wrote when he, too, was eleven years old. “Gilad was a boy our age when he wrote this story; if only we could write something so significant at this age. Today, no one knows where he is and he probably misses his parents,” said one of the students. “If the shark and fish can make peace, why can’t people?”

Click here to download (PDF) information about Shalit and the book.
You can also download the story in Hebrew and in translation here.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Calm Before The Storm: The Israeli Consulate On The Truce

From an email from the Israeli Consulate in NY.

All very matter-of-factly.

I like this part:

Palestinian terrorist organizations must:

o Halt all fire and terrorist activity
o End their buildup of arms
o Cease smuggling from Egypt
In other words: Hamas must give up terrorism.

Isn't that kind of like asking the current Israeli government to ask responsibly?

Details of the "State of Calm" in Gaza

After a protracted period of negotiations between Egypt and representatives of Israel and Hamas, it was announced that a period of calm would be instituted between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip beginning at 6:00 A.M. on Thursday, 19 June. Following are some of the major points comprising this agreement:

  • The institution of "calm" applies only to the Gaza Strip and not to West Bank areas. Thus, while Israel's security forces will refrain from operations in the Gaza Strip, they will continue to undertake necessary operations in the West Bank.
  • Palestinian terrorist organizations must:
    • Halt all fire and terrorist activity
    • End their buildup of arms
    • Cease smuggling from Egypt
  • While the above points are effective immediately with the beginning of the "calm," opening the crossings to Gaza will be implemented gradually after successive periods of calm.
    • After 3 days, Israel will open the Karni and Sufa crossings for basic commodities
    • One week later, Israel will allow for a larger number of commodities to enter the Gaza Strip, excepting those used for weapons manufacturing
    • After an additional week, talks will be held about opening the Rafah crossing to Egypt
  • The freedom of Gilad Shalit, kidnapped two years ago, is an integral part of the "state of calm." According to Foreign Minister Livni, releasing Shalit is a necessary step if Hamas wants to achieve further gains.
  • Furthermore, Israel will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that all parties adhere to their obligations. Hamas will bear responsibility for any terrorist act by any organization and should be prepared to accept the consequences of such actions.

While the State of Israel has every desire to see this "lull" develop into a period of sustained calm, she places primary significance on the safety and security of her citizens. Should the "calm" collapse, Israel will take alternate measures to address the new situation.

Information for this report comes from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Better to check out Caroline Glick's Israel's Darkest Week:
The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's liquidation sale of Israel's strategic assets opened officially this week. Iran's proxies have pounced on the merchandise.
Read the whole thing.

One concern is the lack of clarity on how Gilad Shalit fits in.

According to the above, Shalit is "integral" to all of this and after receiving concessions, Hamas must release Shalit to get more.

Noah Pollak
, however, writes that Olmert:
has agreed to a tahdiyya with Hamas, but notably without the release of Gilad Shalit, which up until this moment had been the central (and non-negotiable) condition of any such agreement.
Likewise, according to
"If Gilad Shalit is not released, Rafah crossing does not open," said Senior Defense Ministry Official Amos Gilad during an interview with Ynet on Wednesday night. Gilad is currently representing Israel in talks negotiating the ceasefire with Hamas and the other Gazan terror organizations in Egypt.

Gilad's statement validated an earlier statement made by the kidnapped soldier's father, Noam Shalit, according to which Israel's government had neglected his son during the negotiations of a truce.
But in the same article, Gilad says:
"I think the ceasefire is the only way we may be able to bring about Shalit's release," he said, adding that the issue had been prioritized during his talks with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in Cairo on Tuesday.

"During the last discussion we set aside a third of the time allotted to speak about Shalit, and we were adamant in demanding that his release be part of the agreement," Gilad said.
Gilad Shalit may be part of the agreement, but only conditionally. Shalit's release has not been secured. First Hamas gets the recognition it wants and enough goodies so it can brag that just like The Disengagement, once again Hamas 'resistance' has forced Israel's hand. Then Hamas can haggle over releasing Shalit--just as it has till now.

And according to Glick:

The government agreed to the "cease-fire" with Hamas without securing Gilad Schalit's release from captivity. Rather than acknowledge that they have likely signed his death warrant, the government insists that it's not done capitulating. It will begin begging Hamas to accept hundreds of Palestinian murderers jailed in Israeli prisons in exchange for Schalit next Tuesday.

One more reason why the truce is a cruel joke.

by Daled Amos

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