Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Vital Perspective is all over this story. Start at the top and just keep scrolling. (Later: so is Allah at HotAir.)
In the meantime, pray for the safety of Corporal Shalit, seen here in happier times. (Photo credit: VP)
I believe the IDF, already attacking Gaza in force, is following the credo of Teddy Roosevelt... and will continue until they get Corporal Shalit, alive... or his kidnappers, dead. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: The Palestinians have upped the ante, it seems, by claiming that an Israeli teenager has been kidnapped in the West Bank as well; YNET reports that, according to the "Popular Resistance Committees", he will be killed if Israeli forces do not withdraw from Gaza immediately. (Later -- confirmed.)
The teenager is 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri. Vital Perspective reports that, as of 10:45AM EST this morning, the IDF has isolated a building where Asheri is believed to be held and has surrounded it. Please pray for him as well.
(Later: still-unconfirmed reports, as of late Wednesday EST, talk of a third kidnap victim, 62-year-old Noah Moskovitz of Rishon le-Zion. I'm beginning to take my wife's theory seriously: perhaps the Gaza Palestinians missed the Jewish settlers they used to have in their midst, and are kidnapping as many Jews as they can to assuage their loneliness. In all seriousness, I'll be praying that this is a false alarm.)
10PM Wednesday: Eliyahu Asheri is now believed to be dead. The IDF has recovered a body, although they have not yet said conclusively that it is he. (Later -- it was not.)
11AM Thursday: Eliyahu's body was recovered early this morning, based on information from terrorists captured over the past few days. The boy had been shot in the head shortly after his abduction. His burial was Thursday afternoon (7:30AM EST) in Jerusalem's Mount of Olives cemetary. ha-Shem yinkom damo.
In the meantime, the Palestinians are mobilizing world opinion against this "Israeli aggression" and "possible genocide". To which I can only respond: shut the hell up. The Palestinians have suffered over the past several decades, to be sure... but they have no right to talk of genocide. They most emphatically have no right to accuse Jews of genocide. (I elaborate on that here, in a somewhat different context.)
Vital Perspective also reports to supposed astonishment of a Hamas representative, as seen on Israel's Channel Two. Israelis get upset, the Hamas guy said, when we kill one of them. But Cpl. Shalit is still alive, and they're angry at us anyway?? Personally, I prefer Cox & Forkum's perspective:
UPDATE II: In a bit of distantly-related good news, the so-called "Prisoners Document", an accord loosely agreed between Fatah and Hamas, is not in any way an olive branch extended towards Israel. The good news is that the newspapers seem to understand that -- the LA Times, the NY Times, and yes, even the BBC.
UPDATE III: Events are changing, hour by hour. As of 9:40PM (EST) Wednesday, the IDF has rounded up Hamas leaders, in Gaza and elsewhere, and placed them under arrest. (This catches me by surprise -- but, on reflerction, why not? They're a terrorist organization, are they not? An organization, mind you, that has kidnapped three Israelis in the past week, and that has a clear intention of continuing -- one that has announced it will target Israeli embassies abroad, one that has long targeted Israelis wherever it can find them. More to the point, an organization purportedly in control of the Palestinian territories, having been elected to power by them -- that brazenly demanded concessions from Israel as conditions for getting Cpl. Shalit back. We shall see what concessions they demand now.)
I can't improve on the prose from Vital Perspective:
Israel is undertaking several moves designed to increase pressure on Hamas to free Cpl. Gilad Shalit and return him safely to his family, including some very unexpected moves. It appears that Israel is in the process of a major round-up of the Hamas leadership. Hamas officials say that more than 30 "lawmakers" have been arrested in the West Bank (we can only hope the numbers are that high). Three Hamas "parliamentarians" -- Mohammed Abu Tir, Wael al-Husseini and Ahmed a-Tun -- are confirmed to have been arrested in East Jerusalem. Earlier, the IDF surrounded a Ramallah hotel where the Hamas Deputy PM Nasser al-Shaer was holed up, and then arrested him. Not long ago, Palestinian Labor Minister Mohammad Barghouti was arrested at a roadblock north of Ramallah. The entire Hamas leadership in the West Bank is being taken into custory -- Israeli reports say that this is unprecedented in its scope. It's like you can't even be a terrorist anymore! The heads of Hamas, including many ministers and most Hamas parliament members have been taken into custody... As a result, the leadership has gone underground... At the same time, the IDF is attacking Hamas infrastructures in Gaza, where dozens more are expected to be arrested.Yes, folks, this is war.
And incredibly -- for anyone who doesn't know how the IDF operates, given a choice -- is this comment, in a report by Yahoo News:
No casualties have been reported since the offensive began early Wednesday.We have seen multiple air-strikes. The IDF has invaded the entire Gaza Strip, with tanks and heavy weapons. Power stations and other infrastructure have been destroyed; bridges have been bombed to oblivion from the air. And in all this -- no casualties. (Accident? Coincidence? Not at all. Israeli troops risked themselves to distribute leaflets to Palestinians, warning them to evacuate towns that were about to come under attack. This is not unusual for the IDF; this is standard operating procedure, in a style I remember well from my own time in uniform.)
It seems that the Hamas 'parliamentarians' surrendered without a fight, too. Interesting.