re: kidnapped Israeli soldier - who on earth enlisted this boy?
He looks like a pre-teen Bill Gates. His "kidnappers" must have taken him out of pity. The 19yr old doesn't look like he can defend himself, let alone someone else. Who on earth enlisted this guy in the IDF? He should have gone to summer camp, not boot camp.
But now that he's gotten himself taken prisoner, which is to be expected as a soldier, Israel is crying bloody foul and plans on raising Gaza to secure his return rather than release Palestinian women and children held prisoner in Israeli jails.
Why can't Israelis just admit they were out-foxed and negotiate to save lives? If they release Palestinian women and children, Gilad can then go home to his family, from whose side he should have never left. BUT, NOOOO. Israel must always come out on top.
A LARGE-SCALE military clash loomed in Gaza last night as Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, rejected demands to negotiate for the release of a captive soldier and his army prepared an operation to free the man.
Gaza militants who seized Corporal Gilad Shalit after a raid on Sunday had demanded the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails in return for information about his whereabouts.
Mr Olmert quickly responded: “The question of freeing prisoners is in no way on the Israeli government agenda. There will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements.”
He was speaking as Israel massed tanks on the border and said that the country was prepared to assassinate senior Palestinians, including the leaders of Hamas, the ruling party. An incursion to free the soldier would be by far the largest move into Gaza since the Israeli withdrawal a year ago.
So, Israelis are prepared to assassinate an indefinite number of Palestinian leaders in cold blood in retribution for their taking ONE teenage Israeli soldier prisoner and trying to bargain for the release of Palestinian women and children. Sounds equitable - if you're Israeli. To the rest of us, though, it sounds like an extreme position taken by a government that thinks that its people's lives are worth more than the lives of anyone else.
“I gave the orders to our military commanders to prepare the army for a broad and ongoing military operation to strike the terrorist leaders and all those involved,” Mr Olmert said. “Let it be clear: we will reach everyone, no matter where they are, and they know it. There will be immunity for no one.”
* * *
“We expect Mahmoud Abbas to exert his authority,” Mr Gillerman told The Times. “He has the means and military capability to ensure the soldier’s safe return. Leaders in the region and the world realise this is a watershed. It’s the last chance for President Abbas to show he’s in charge.”
One 19yr old soldier who should have never been in the military to begin with is taken prisoner and his return is "watershed." Meanwhile, the slaughter of 14 Palestinian civilians in less than 2 weeks is "to be expected." Apparently, Palestinians disagree.
“Gaza is surrounded by Israeli troops. Daily in Gaza there are massacres and murders and assassinations, so it is not easy to tell people you have to be be patient and polite. You expect a kind of reaction sometimes,” he told The Times. He also complained of international double standards: ignoring thousands of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails but protesting at the capture of one Israeli.Sounds reasonable to me. But according to Israelis, Palestinians must either roll over and play dead or prepare to die.* * *
Ahmed Attiyah, whose house is overlooked by an Israeli watchtower in Kerem Shalom, said that Gaza was so ground down by Israeli air attacks and border closures that it had nothing to lose by hitting back. “We were under Israeli threat any time, from their rockets and from their shelling,” he said. “We had no safety, so why not retaliate?” In a nearby hospital Baha Mehedin said that Palestinians wanted peace but were not prepared to sell their rights. “Hamas did something against soldiers, not citizens and not civilians, so I think everyone supports this,” the 56-year-old English teacher said.