Gilad Shalit’s fifth anniversary as a captive held incommunicado by Hamas will arrive next month. It is generally thought that he is in an underground bunker somewhere in Gaza. Hamas has not allowed him visits from the Red Cross, or to communicate with his family, in contravention of the Geneva Convention.
Former Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that it was almost impossible to use military force to free him:
Ashkenazi explained during an address at a business forum at Bar Ilan University, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate, that Hamas is hiding the young soldier in a way “that makes it almost impossible” for the IDF to find him.
“We do not know where he is,” Ashkenazi said.
“It must be admitted that we cannot use military force to release Shalit… It is my dream to see a helicopter landing at the Erez Crossing with [him] and I phone his parents to inform him that we have freed him,” Ashkenazi confided.
I can understand that he might be in a booby-trapped location such that even if the IDF knew where he was they would be unable to rescue him. But someone knows where he is. The IDF has sources in Gaza, and they have the ability to bring Hamas operatives out and question them. How can it be “almost impossible” to find him?
The former IDF chief said that if a military option could not be found to free the captive soldier, then Israel would have to admit that “a reasonable price” would have to be paid.
The ‘price’ won’t be ‘reasonable’. That’s the whole idea. The price will be that Israel meets one of the main demands of the Palestinian Arabs: it will ultimately release all Arab prisoners, no matter what they’ve done. Once an exchange like the one Hamas has proposed is made, the whole enterprise of arresting terrorists and confining them will fall apart.
[An aside: Ashkenazi's dilemma is not exhaustive. I wonder if the option of pressuring Hamas by threatening its leaders (and carrying out the threats if he is not released) has been tried. They are quite prepared to send compromised women, mentally handicapped teenagers and others on suicide missions, but are they really prepared to become martyrs themselves?]
Today, since Hamas has become a full partner in the Palestinian Authority, the PA has assumed responsibility for Shalit. Not only the leaders of Hamas, but those of the PA are responsible for the ongoing war crime that is Shalit’s cruel captivity. In fact Gilad’s parents sent a letter to the US Congress asking that PA funding be cut off until he is freed.
The official PA position, according to negotiator Nabil Shaath, seems to be that there is nothing wrong with continuing to hold Shalit hostage! It’s remarkable the way the world pretends that the PA is better than a bunch of gangsters, and keeps on paying them, training their army and providing them with weapons.
In September, these liars, terrorists and murderers will be asking the UN to help them take a chunk of the Jewish National Home and create a pretend state that will be a base for more terrorism and murder.
Why not remind UN delegates — not that it will change what these corrupt parasites do, but it might embarrass them a little — that they are legitimizing gangsters?
Here is a billboard that a young Israeli-American named Gal Sitty wants to put up facing UN headquarters in Manhattan:
Sitty has set up a site at which people can contribute to the campaign to set up the billboard. As of today (May 26) there are pledges for $4,696 out of the $10,000 needed.