Sunday, June 25, 2006
Update on the Palestinian attack...one Israeli soldier taken hostage in raid.
Yesterday, JoshuaPundit reported on a Palestinian attack inside Israel at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Israel. Apparently,the Palestinians got an added bonus: a hostage.
Corporal Gilead Shalit from Mitzpe Hila was taken hostage, apparently after being wounded in the attack. The Palestinian faction holding him claims he is `safe and has received medical treatment'.
The Israeli military incursion into Gaza has been halted immediately.
At least one of my sources faults the Israeli commanders on the spot- Major General Yoav Galant and Brigadeer General Aviv Cochavi for slow reactions to the raid, and for not heeding what apparently was the Shin Bet's warning of tunneling in Gaza.
I don't think that's entirely fair, as Israeli military responses to Palestinian attacks are hampered by ridiculous rules of engagement and political handcuffs dictated by the Olmert government. The IDF is understandably reluctant to act independently without deferring to the politicians in Jerusalem masters...to a greater extent then ever before in its proud history.
That's why the IDF didn't immediately set out full bore after the terrorists and kidnappers. If they had, chances are that Israel might have gained the initiative and been in a position to force the kidnapped soldier’s release by trapping the terrorists.
Instead, an Israeli helicopter was detailed to do recon and shoot at empty ground and the defense minister Amir Peretz, upon learning that an Israeli naval Dabur missile-ship had opened fire, ordered the vessel to cease and desist, in case of repercussions to the abducted soldier.
Needless to say, the Palestinians took all this as a sign of weakness. Look for more attempted kidnappings of Israeli civilians and military.
Israel has given the Hamas government 24 hours to release Shalit unharmed.
The Israelis have only two options: bargaining with Hamas for Shalit's release or hoping that the missing soldier can be located through its intel and rescued by the IDF.
One rumour floating through the ozone from JoshuaPundit's sources says that Shalit is being held in Rafah and will be freed shortly...at the price of an Israeli guarantee to halt its targeted attacks on Palestinian terrorists. I personally think the price will be much, much higher...release of impounded funds to Hamas and/or the release of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli custody.
(As a side note, I'm sure at least one idiot will e-mail me to try and draw an equivalence between, say, imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti and Corporal Shalit... `hey they're both POW's, right?' W R O N G: Barghouti, like the vast majority of Palestinian terrorists was convicted of murdering civilians and had a trial. And the conditions the terrorists are imprisoned under are humane and open to scrutiny (too humane, if you ask me). Shalit is being held incognito, without trial and has not killed any civilians we know of.)
In another related story Abbas’ own Fatah group, the al Aksa Brigade, has threatened that if Israeli forces raid the Gaza Strip, they will release “20 kinds of chemical and bacteriological substances” which they have developed in the last three years.
This is just a day after Abbas was sitting down with Olmert at breakfast in Jordan, planning peace talks!. As the Qu'ran says, `War is deception.'
This is the same scenario we saw in the October 2000 kidnap by Hezbollah of three Israeli soldiers, Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Sawad, on Israel’s northern border....right under th eeyes of the UN peacekeeping force. Prime minister Ehud Barak held back then from military retaliation. Four years later, Israel was forced to pay dearly for their remains.And the Lebanon border is now a Hezbollah stronghold, with missiles aimed at Israel.
Both Israeli Prime Ministers refused to order a strong military response to attacks on Israel's soldiers, admit that the `evacuations' were a major strategic mistake and send troops back into evacuated territory – South Lebanon then, the Gaza Strip now.
The results look like turning out the same as well...just substitute Hamas for Hezbollah.
I don't fault the Palestinians for this in the slightest, by the way. This was a military attack done in the context of a war. The Palestinians realize they're at war, even if the Olmert government doesn't.
Olmert is sitting on a ticking bomb, and is in the middle of a war for Israel's very existance.. I wonder how long it's going to take before he realizes it?