On July 25th 2006, Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier doing his compulsory service was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The intention of his kidnappers was and still is to use him as a bargaining chip for releasing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. This method of bargaining by the Hamas and its allies is very effective. The use of threats of not being responsible for whatever happens to Shalit if their demands are not met is a form of ransom to exact a high price from
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What Hamas and their allies lack in sophisticated military equipment, they make up in stealth and tactics which has hit the underbelly of
Apart from that, Israel’s government is weak and much is due to the notorious corruption scandals that is tainting many cabinet ministers, the latest being the Minister of Finance Hirschson and who knows who will be next in line for interrogation by the police. Even PM Olmert has baggage waiting to be opened by the police at the appropriate time. These factors cannot be overlooked when assessing the power of the Israeli Authorities to negotiate or deal with the Palestinian kidnappers.
The moral dilemma is great when it comes to bargaining the release of Gilad Shalit. There is no doubt that prisoners with blood on their hands will be included in the bargain and the ramifications of this will increase the use of the effective kidnapping weapon by the Palestinians in the future. What is obvious is that the Israeli Army has failed to prevent kidnappings of their soldiers. Every kidnapping will exact an increasingly higher price. One needs to examine past kidnappings and the price exacted. The trend is that the price increases and so does the hate against
Prevention of kidnappings must take top priority to prevent Palestinian terrorists from using this tactic. The fact that kidnappings of Israeli soldiers in their line of duty does occur shows that the Israeli Security Forces have not found an effective way to prevent this from happening.
The bargaining for Shalit’s release will continue and it is not certain when he will be released. The price remains high and the disagreement over the Palestinian prisoner list remains an obstacle in reaching an agreement.
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The only way to prevent kidnappings and violence in the end is for both sides to sit down and negotiate a peace treaty between