7:52 AM (12/22) IDF censorship over on incident in South.
Two boys on bicycles riding near border entered Egypt. There was concern that this was another kidnapping attempt (parts of the story are still unclear, including a version that they were forced over the border and into a truck). Egyptian army returned the boys at 3AM at Kerem Shalom border crossing.
There was concern that this was a kidnapping attempt that would blow up the Shalit deal.
10:53 PM Due to the media blackout by the IDF military censor, I can't tell you about the incident going on now on the southern Israel/Egypt border. Needless to say, it could have "affected" the Shalit/Hamas talks now, but apparently the incident is being wrapped up now, and the ending isn't bad. You'll see more about this later tonight.
Meanwhile, Israel's media is ratcheting up the pressure on PM Netanyahu to make the deal, release the terrorists regardless of the price, and get Shalit home.
The JPost posted an editorial a few minutes ago...and I'm posting the last few paragraphs from the point I find most poignant.
And with the absolute sincerity of an alcoholic having one final drink before going cold turkey, the government will assert that the Schalit deal will be Israel's last lop-sided prisoner exchange.
A deal will buttress what Palestinians already believe, that Israelis understand only force. Tomorrow's Palestinian leaders, therefore, will be that much more obdurate. It will become still harder for a credible Palestinian leader - no matter how ostensibly moderate - to abjure violence.
Stopping on a dime will mean that the pundits and politicians who orchestrated the campaign that took matters this far will have some explaining to do. If Netanyahu does pull back, it will be because Israelis were bluffing ourselves as much as we were bluffing Hamas.
A "no" now would take Hamas down a peg. Netanyahu could directly address the Islamists' disappointed constituents, emphasizing that meeting Hamas's rapacious demands would have dishonored him and caused Israel to lose face. Palestinians will understand that. So will Israelis.
He should frankly acknowledge that he was ready for an honorable deal. Indeed, he must stress that he remains ready for an honorable deal.
THE HARROWING ordeal of Gilad's selfless parents touches us all. Their son has become our son.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu must reverse course. The killers should remain incarcerated; if they don't, more Israelis will surely die.
Who is the government trying to fool?
Going to Israel?
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