Monday, December 21, 2009

Shalit Deal: Ongoing Updates

8:52 AM Reports saying boys entered Egypt on intentionally for an "adventure" before entering army. They were arrested by Egyptian police upon crossing over - leading to the concern that they were kidnapped and forced into a car at gunpoint.

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.

With the sincerity of a teenager that next time, he'll really be home on time.

Who is the government trying to fool?

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JT said...

What is the general opinion of members of the IDF to this decision? How do you think the average soldier will react if the deal isnt made? Do you think morale will go down if Shalit is left to Hamas, or will morale go up bc Israel is standing strong?
(I really have no idea of the answer to this; in theory I could see it going either way.)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

JT: I would guess that the more combat-oriented the soldier, the more disdain he/she has for the deal, as they will have to directly mop up the consequences.

In "cast lead" operation, Golani soldiers were clearly told; "you will not be a gilad shalit -- go down fighting; no matter what"

The IDF has since tightened its policy on the Hannibal Protocol.

Additionally, I know soldiers who have personally told their parents not to allow negotiations to take place if they are G-d forbid ever captured, to prevent the release of palestinian terrorist vermin.

JT said...

Thanks Jameel for the insight.
I would imagine that the more elite soldiers would be better able to avoid capture through whatever means (although i would think anyone is susceptible to being stunned and taken.)
It is a huge credit to the abilites of the soldiers (and of course the man upstairs) that nobody was captured - alive or not - in CastLead.

ValeriusS said...

Unfortunately some Israelis believe that their government leaders are not sincere in their efforts to free Gilad Shalit through negotiations. Here's the link to an article with this view:

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