The Tragic Fight for Gilad Shalit

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There are myriad reasonable paths available for securing the freedom of Gilad Shalit, kidnapped and held by Hamas five years ago. So why has Israel persistently pursued the suicidal release of hardened murderers in order to bring him home?

Senior PA officials revealed last week that an agreement between Hamas and Israel on a mass Palestinian prisoner release is imminent. We have PM Netanyahu’s serial bungled handling of Shalit’s captivity to thank for this sorry state of affairs.

Many opportunities presented themselves for pressuring Hamas to free Shalit without the disastrous return of convicted mass murderers to Hamas. Netanyahu caved-in on each occasion.

One confounding example is his recent payment of tax revenues to the PA.  In response to the PA’s unity deal with Hamas, Netanyahu initially withheld those funds, totaling $100 million, from the PA for two weeks.

The Shalit family urged Netanyahu to remain firm and freeze that money until Shalit’s return. Yet their call won no support from the Israeli media; their desperate lone voice went unheeded. Under pressure from the West, and from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,  Netanyahu capitulated and transferred the funds to the PA.

The Shalit’s push for a prolonged revenue freeze aimed to hurt the perpetrators of Shalit’s kidnapping: Hamas and its new accomplice, the Palestinian Authority. Clearly, if the PA has genuinely reunited with Hamas terrorists, it now shares responsibility for all of Hamas’ actions, including, of course, the Shalit kidnapping.

As Noam Shalit said: “Today, after the reconciliation deal… the PA is actually responsible for the kidnapped Israeli soldier held by his captors, who are also part of the new government set to be formed.”

After the release of the funds, Shalit noted: “Unfortunately we received no explanation of why the tax funds were transferred to the PA given these facts.”

Of course not. There was no rational explanation.

In return for the transfer of funds, Israel received – in the words of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz – “reassurances and clarifications that the money would not find its way to terrorists’ hands…”

Whom was he kidding? Those commitments come from the same Fatah and PLO people who promised that they would never join forces with the terror organization, Hamas.

Despite this, and throwing all caution to the wind, Israel has gone ahead and transferred the funds to the PA while failing to implement any mechanism for tracking the transferred funds.

After the confounding release of those tax revenues, Noam and Aviva Shalit turned to the US for help. They called on Congress to halt its financial assistance to the PA in the wake of its union with Hamas, until his son’s release. Since Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a unity government, the letter argued, the PA can no longer disclaim responsibility for Gilad’s fate, and the threat of losing Washington’s annual $400 million donation might encourage it to take action. They even pleaded directly with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to halt that funding.

The Shalits reminded the two US legislators that under the Rome Statute of the International Court 1998, it is a war crime to hold someone hostage.

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  • john dickens

    How odd that you have failed to mention the 300 Palestinian children incarcerated in Israeli jails…. so unlike the usual fairminded and honest approach of the Frontpagemag (lol)

    • aspacia

      LOL, at least they are in jail, and have not been murdered by Arabs like the Fogel family. Currently, Israel does not have the death penalty, however, it should be implemented to prevent the release of Muslim Murderers.

    • MixMChess

      How odd that you failed to mentioned that Palestinian youths (at 12-18 most are teenagers, NOT children) are incarcerated for attacking Israeli soldiers and Israeli property with rocks, molotov cocktails and other weapons. You also forgot to mention that jail terms for youths are generally very short and are often commuted.

      I guess you just want Israel to lie down and be attacked and murdered even if its by a teenager?

    • Vermont Yid

      If it were up to me, I'd give them 24 hours to return an unharmed Gilad Shalit or else I'd send them 100 dead former prisoners. After another 24 hours, I'd send them another 100 dead prisoners. If I should run out of "palestinian" prisoners, I'd start demolishing "palestinian" towns on the same schedule.

      The Israeli government is totally responsible for how long this has dragged on. They're too concerned about public/world opinion and that usless, debating society loosely refered to as the "United Nations." They're united alright – united against Israel.

  • Bert

    More proof that most of the leadership in Israel is extremely corrupt. They would rather betray their own citizens rather than stand up to the terrorists. The main reason for this moral rot is that they are secular atheists who have NO moral compass. Judaism means nothing to them in their elitist arrogance. Even Netanyahu is at bottom another corrupt political wheeler dealer. But the G-d of Israel is mocking that corrupt leadership by foiling all their clumsy attempts to achieve peace and security. Of course most of the nations too, including Obama in the U.S., are also corrupt. Corruption may seem clever for a time but soon enough it leads to suffering and destruction.

  • NStahl

    The Israelis should release all the terrorists the PA wants-in bags.

  • jonhartz

    300 "children", vicious teenagers who have murdered and maimed Israelis with stones, they are better off in an Israeli prison than on the streets of the Arab-created ghettos.

    • Belenky

      Actually, it's well known that many Arab youths turn themselves in to the Israelis (by carrying a knife), because the conditions in the Israeli jails are so excellent, that it is the best way for them to get a good education.
      As far as I know, the Israeli Arabs are by no means looking to change their status (of Israelis), despite the hate-campaign and anti-Israel propaganda to which they are exposed.

  • LindaRivera

    I am so sorry for the murder of innocent Malki and all of the other innocents savagely murdered for the sole reason they were not Muslim.

    Giving even one dollar to the Palestinian Authority Muslim terrorist organization and their terrorist allies, Hamas, is a crime against humanity.

    How far and how low Western and Israeli leaders have fallen. For many years our leaders have stained our nations with the terrible blood guilt of financing Muslim terrorists. Not only financing, but arming with weapons. And military training.

    For many years, the U.S. has armed and given and continues to give advanced military training to the Muslim terrorist Palestinian Authority army. One of the U.S. Muslim trained terrorists told journalist Aaron Klein, that all of the U.S. training is used against Israel. They are American leaders' proxy army against the Jewish people.

    Because of our immoral, pro-Islam, pro-terror leaders, we are witnessing the death of Western civilization. Only our Merciful G-D can rescue us from future hell on earth.

    • bob maram

      god bless you linda rivera de roberto maram con toda mi corazon

  • Vermont Yid

    If there should be a "mass palestinian prisoner release," there would not be anywhere in the world Israelis could travel without being kidnaped and held for randsom.