Olmert warns “sky will fall” on Gaza if they harm Gilad
Have they no shame to openly threaten an entire civilian population with annihilation before the whole world?
Israel warned [Hamas] that the "sky will fall on them" if they harm a captured soldier after a deadline passed on Tuesday for the Jewish state to accept a prisoner exchange.Apparently, not.
While Israeli tanks and infantry massed along the Gaza Strip's northern border for a threatened ground incursion, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the campaign to free Corporal Gilad Shalit could turn into "a long war."* * *"It requires lots of patience, sometimes endless restraint. We have to know when to clench our teeth and to deal a decisive blow."
Washington has been urging Olmert to show restraint and take steps to minimize civilian casualties.He's been gone for 20 years and they're only now suspecting that he's dead?
Hamas accused Israel of trying to topple its three-month-old government, which the Jewish state and Western powers have pushed to the brink of financial collapse by cutting off aid.
The smallest of the three militant groups, the previously unknown Islamic Army, said there would be no further information released on 19-year-old Shalit, who was seized in a cross-border raid on June 25.
They sent conflicting signals about his fate.
"Whether he will be killed or not killed, we will not disclose any information ... Discussion is closed," said Islamic Army spokesman Abu al-Muthana.
But he later said: "We do not kill captives. Our Islam requires that we treat captives well and fairly." He declined to say whether Shalit was alive or dead.
Osama al-Muzaini, a Hamas political leader, said the militant groups have withdrawn their representatives from the talks with the Egyptian mediators.
He compared the fate of Shalit to that of Israeli airman Ron Arad, who has been missing since bailing out of his plane over southern Lebanon 20 years ago. There has been growing speculation Arad is dead.
"They (the militant factions) may kill him (Shalit), take him to another country or may hide him. All options are open," al-Muzaini said.Brutal collective punishment, brazen assassinations, and systematic and relentless land grabs - Nazi Germany? NO - the only democracy in the Middle East.
Palestinian security sources said Israel had increased the number of armored vehicles on the northern edge of the strip, which Israel quit last year.
A small Israeli force moved deeper into northern Gaza in search of explosives and tunnels but the army said it was not part of a broader incursion. Overnight, an Israeli air strike in northern Gaza killed one militant.
Israel has hinted it could assassinate leaders of Hamas, whose government is under an international aid embargo, if Shalit is not freed. "I want to stress, none of them will be immune," Olmert said.
Interior Minister Roni Bar-On told Israel Radio: "Hamas well understands ... that the sky will fall on them if they harm Gilad Shalit."* * *
Hamas sources said Western diplomats, whom they did not name, had told the group that Israel had prepared a 13-man hit list headed by exiled leader Khaled Meshaal and including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar.