The Battle to Free Shalit

The scene of the most recent soldier abduction in Israel is hauntingly reminiscent of  Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldier Nachshon Wachsman’s capture in ’94. In that poorly executed raid, special forces invaded the Islamic militant safehouse where Wachsman had been held, and in the shoot em’ up that ensued between soldiers and radicals, the young captive was killed.

Hopefully the case of Gilad Shalit, 19, kidnapped on the Gaza border earlier in the week by Hamas militants, will bring more promising results. For more information check these articles out. From YNET, The DailyNews and The TimesOnline (I hope to post on the Hamas deal and the Israeli incursion into Gaza, as well as the ramifications of Syria’s hardline response in the coming days).

Not Open For Business makes the point that Israel’s arrest of several dozen Palestinian ministers in response to the kidnapping is a lawful act. He says that unlike the premeditated action of the Hamas abduction, Israeli army units have not kidnapped but rather arrested Palestinian officials. Although the action might prove deft in retrospect, I don’t think it’s a very lawful response.

Here’s the head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh on Israel’s actions:

When they kidnapped the ministers they meant to hijack the government’s position, but we say no positions will be hijacked, no governments will fall

Here’s the response from Not Open for Business:

…Israel did not “kidnap” anyone, Mr. Prime Minister of terror. Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier through the use of a pre-meditated tunnel that took two months to dig. Israel, in turn, arrested the officials of your government which is responsible for this crime and act of war. Those ministers that were arrested are not to be used as bargaining chips – they have been arrested as party to a crime. However, Israel is pretty damned lenient, and if the soldier is returned unharmed, then those ministers will be releases as well, since the crime would have been solved.

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