As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Tensions mount in Gaza as kidnappers’ deadline passes

Deadline passes for captured Israeli soldier in Gaza

Mon Jul 3, 2006 11:50pm ET8 (Reuters)

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

The smallest of the three groups, the previously unknown Islamic Army, said there would be no further information on Corporal Gilad Shalit, 19, after Israel refused to meet the deadline. Shalit was seized in a cross-border raid on June 25.

“Whether he will be killed or not killed, we will not disclose any information about the fate of the soldier,” said spokesman Abu al-Muthana.

“Discussion is closed.”

I’m not sure what this means; but I’m praying that it is not as dire as it sounds. Please, keep praying.


 Tensions mount in Gaza as kidnappers issue ultimatum

After a night which was punctuated by rocket fire, arrests of people approaching checkpoints with knives, and the elimination of 3 terrorists who ran at a checkpoint with automatic weapons, and suicide vests (reports differ as to whether one terrorist actually detonated his vest), the following ultimatum was issued, around 9am Israel time,by the 3 Palestinian terror groups who claim control over the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit:

The announcement was signed by the Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees, the Izaddin Al-Kassam Brigades, and the Islamic Army.

“If our demands are not met by 6 AM Tuesday,” the declaration states, “we will view this stage of our operation as being over, and the Zionist enemy will be the one to bear the responsibility for the consequences.”

The story goes on to report that Israeli forces, which had gathered on the northern Gaza border since last Wednesday although activities had been limited to southern Gaza, have moved into northern Gaza, albeit on a limited basis:

IDF forces entered northern Gaza in several places this morning, after having been deployed on the border since Wednesday night. The stated goal of the operation, which is still described as "limited," is to find underground tunnels and enemy-planted explosive devices. As of now, the forces – tanks, armed personnel carriers and bulldozers – are not going further than several hundred meters into Gaza. One bulldozer cleared away concrete barriers from one of the roads.

After Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s rejection of the conditions, saying that Israel will not negotiate with terrorists for the release of kidnapped Israelis, the Justice Minister issued the following statement:

Justice Minister Haim Ramon on Monday warned of a harsh military response in the Gaza Strip if an abducted Israeli is harmed by his Palestinian captors.

Justice Minister Haim Ramon made the threat after the militants holding Israel Defense Forces Corporal Gilad Shalit implied the soldier would be killed if Israel does not begin releasing Palestinian soldiers by Tuesday morning. “If God forbid, they should hurt the soldier, our operations will be far far worse,” Ramon told Channel 2 TV.


Meanwhile, leaders around the world are beginning to make their voices heard, such as this report on the Jerusalem Post.com:

France and Norway urged Israel on Monday to stop attacks on civilian targets in the Gaza strip, and demanded the release of Gilad Shalit

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy met Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere during a brief visit to Arendal, about 200 kilometers south of Oslo. “The Israeli soldier must immediately be released, as must the Palestinian lawmakers arrested by Israel,” Stoere was quoted as saying by the Norwegian news agency NTB. Douste-Blazy said it was crucial to support Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. “If there is complete chaos on the political and civilian level, it would lead to more radicalization on the Palestinian side and even stronger countermeasures by Israel,” he said.

As I have kept my eyes on the Israeli, and other Middle East new sites this weekend, I was reminded by a feature at Jerusalem Post that this is the 30th anniversary of the successful "Operation Thunderbolt," better known to those of us who remember it as "The Raid on Entebbe." At least, should it become necessary or, indeed, possible for Israeli Special Forces to mount a rescue of Corporal Shalit, they would not have to fly in a black Mercedes Benz, to try and masquerade as Idi Amin’s entourage, and they wouldn’t be flying multiple C-130s over large parts of the African continent. However, as the world’s attention has been focused on Gaza for so many days now, it would defintely be hard to pull off a "surprise rescue."

SATURDAY JULY 3, 1976 Officer Amitzur Kafri curled up around a bag of oranges on the floor of the Hercules-130 military plane, drifting in and out of sleep. Around him, 28 fellow Israeli Sayeret Matkal special forces reconnaissance soldiers in fake Ugandan army uniforms sat or lay, squished together, sweating and silent, on their way to Entebbe, Uganda. Preceding them by six days were 100-plus Israeli and other Jewish passengers from skyjacked Air France flight 139, held at gunpoint in Entebbe after most non-Israeli passengers were freed.

[…]

The plan to rescue the more than 100 hostages held at Uganda’s Entebbe airport was certainly unprecedented. The elite team was used to covert operations on Israeli or nearby soil, where the terrain was familiar. But passing over Ethiopia and then Kenya, their final mission in Uganda would be an unparalleled 3,800 km. from Israel; the round-trip distance too far for the Hercules to handle without refueling.

As the clock ticks the next 10 hours away until the deadline, pray hard for those who wait, for those who serve, and those who have such difficult decisions with which to live, and most of all, pray for Corporal Shalit and his family.

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July 3, 2006 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings

Leave a Comment »

  1. I await the ending of this story. I wish ourleaders had such bravery as the Isralies. My prayers continue. MsAster

    Comment by Rosetta | July 3, 2006 | Reply


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