Sunday, June 25

Abducted soldier believed seriously wounded; Cabinet okays large-scale IDF operation

The IDf officer and soldier killed in today's assault:
  • 1st-Lieutenant Hanan Barak, 20, of Arad
  • St.-Sgt. Pavel Slotzker, 20, of Dimona
The captive soldier is 19-year-old Gilad Shalit, of the Galilee community of Mitpze Hila near Carmiel. He is one of three siblings. (Thanks to Carl for the image)

Defense Minister Amir Peretz, in a brief statment to the press at 17:15 IST, said that if Shalit was harmed in any manner, "his blood would be upon the heads" of his captors and the Palestinian leadership, in a pointed reference to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

Shalit reportedly sustained stomach wounds in the assault and abduction on the IDF outpost, according to The Jerusalem Post. His whereabouts are unknown and the IDF is said to be preparing possible rescue scenarios.

A particularly ghoulish aspect of the incident is a Palestinian claim that the captors are holding body parts of the slain Israelis, as well, to increase the pressure on the Israelis to accede to their demands, among them, the release of Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Channel 2 News reported shortly after 20:00 that the security cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided on a large-scale, graduated operation against Palestinian targets in southern Gaza. The extent and aims of the operation were not revealed.

Troops searching for Shalit discovered the entrance of the nearly kilometer-long tunnel, which extended some 300 meters into Israeli territory.

IDF spotters said that that they'd had intel warnings for over a month of a tunnel in the vicinity, although massive army backhoes digging in the area were unable to find it in time.

"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to ask they urge Palestinian Authority Chair Mahmoud Abbas to secure Shilat's release. She also relayed the message that Israel considers the abduction a test to Abbas' leadership, and expects him to stay in Gaza to help resolve the crisis.

"Livni also spoke with her European Union and Spanish counterparts, and is set to speak with foreign ministers from Great Britain, France, Russia and others."

Meanwhile, "Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas invited leaders of various Palestinian terror organizations to his office Sunday afternoon and informed them that he had received an ultimatum from the Israeli government warning that if the kidnapped soldier was not released safely within a matter of hours, IDF forces would enter Gaza and the organizations would bear responsibility."


Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

When Israel captures murders with "blood on their hands", we place them on trial and at worst incarcerate them (until the next prisoner exchange).

I shudder to think of what we can expect from Hamas?

Anonymous said...

Your posts this morning on LGF were very good. The first one was SUPERB. I'm not a Jew or an Israeli, but I could feel the emotions you were trying to convey there.
May God protect Israel forever and free her of her enemies. If I'm correct I guess you can call them the current disguise of Haman. Is that correct? (Hamas, Haman, interesting...).
God bless you and your family also.


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