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Monday, July 06, 2009

Why Gilad Shalit won't be released

In a column at YNet, Guy Bechor lists ten reasons why kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit will not be released anytime soon. The bottom line is that neither Hamas - nor for that matter the Egyptians - has an interest in Shalit's release. Here are some of the reasons Shalit will likely not see the light of day anytime soon:
1. Gilad Shalit is today the main and possibly only asset possessed by Hamas. He is what turns them from a terror gang to a respectable organization that prompts global politicians to meet with its representatives, seemingly for a “humanitarian” purpose but only a naïve individual would believe that. The Shalit negotiations enable Hamas to bring senior group members into and out of Gaza, send them to Egypt and Syria, grant them immunity from assassination, etc. A reasonable person would not give up such an asset. Israel, with its desire to advance a swap, merely reinforced this asset and made it precious.

2. Egypt promised Israel that as long as Shalit is in captivity, it will not open the Rafah crossing, so that he will not be smuggled in. And so, Shalit has become Egypt’s insurance policy to ensure that Gaza will never be connected to Egypt.

3. Israel’s willingness to release Marwan Barghouti amazed Hamas. After all, the group added his name to the list in order to hinder the talks and did not believe for a moment that Israel would agree to it. Do you think Hamas will agree to secure the release of its greatest enemy so that he will prepare Fatah to engage in a military move against Hamas?


5. Hamas is incredibly scared of the huge outcry in the wake of a swap, once it turns out that instead of 12,000 prisoners it made do with the release of 1,400. Each prisoner’s family is certain that her son will be among those released, and this is a real threat on Hamas and its popularity. This is the reason it will prefer to keep the prisoners in jail. Hamas knows that Mahmoud Abbas will only gain from such huge protest.


7. Senior Hamas figures are currently in Israeli jails. Should they be released, the balance of power between the domestic Hamas and the group’s leadership abroad may change in favor of the domestic branch. Khaled Mashaal, Musa abu-Marzuk and other Hamas leaders in Damascus view this as a threat to their leadership. In their view, Israel is doing them a favor by detaining the authentic domestic leadership.


9. There were those around here who deluded themselves into thinking that another name added or taken from the list would get the job done. They sent emissaries Ofer Dekel and Amos Gilad, they played with the lists, but this never had a chance. Hamas is facing weighty interests, rather than a list of names, which in any case are not too important at the moment.
Bottom line: Israel should have rescued Shalit a long time ago, and it certainly should have done so during Operation Cast Lead. With all of the intelligence that Israel has on Hamas in Gaza, it is inconceivable that the IDF does not know where he is being held. Olmert did not have the you-know-what's to try to spring Shalit. Does Netanyahu? We will see when the opportunity to spring him presents itself.

Read the whole thing.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

By coincidence, I just happened to be watching "Operation Thunderbolt" and the scene of Yoni's death affected me. It reminded me that Jewish history has known joy and sorrow together. Rescuing Shalit may be difficult if not impossible. But as Yoni said, "if you never try, then you will fail." Israel has never even tried to rescue him and this is a source of shame and reproach for Israel. Its chillul Hashem to give ransom to terrorists to allow them to murder Jews again.

It may be that Shalit may be killed if he is rescued but he deserves to know his country went to the last length to secure his freedom. If he has to die, then let him die knowing Israel served Hashem by trying to free a Jew. There is no shame in valor today any more than in the valor Yoni displayed more than three decades ago to bring every Jew home to Israel from Uganda.

Its about time!


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