Israeli warplanes struck the Palestinian Interior Ministry early Friday, setting it ablaze as Arab leaders tried to forge a deal that would halt the Israeli offensive and free a 19-year-old soldier held by gunmen allied with the ruling Islamic Hamas.
Well, there a host of things that can be said about this. But, the thing I want to highlight is this, Israelis do not play around, like the rest of the world does.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said militants agreed to a conditional release of the kidnapped soldier but that Israel had yet to accept their terms, which he did not specify.
The rest of the world walks on eggshells becaue Arab oil has a stranglehold on the industrial powers of the world. But as we can see Israel gets results. Keeping in mind that nothing has been worked out yet, it is interesting to note that there is now talk that Hamas is more than willing to negotiate.
"The soldier will only be released unconditionally and there will be no negotiations with a gang of terrorists and criminals," Meir told The Associated Press. "There is nothing to talk with them about."
But Israel has chosen to balk, at least publicly they have. They are not wanting to tip their hands, because they are in control at the moment. They have 64 Hamas officials in custody. They are the keys to getting the man out of captivity, they are in the driver's seat.
"If the Palestinians act now to release Cpl. Shalit and hand him back to us ... we would immediately initiate a dramatic reduction in tension," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "He is the primary issue, he is the primary reason for the crisis."Note, that after the 64 are taken into custody, we now have one more bargaining chip left.
After previous diplomatic efforts by Egypt, Jordan, France and other nations failed, Israel sent thousands of soldiers into vacant areas of southern Gaza on Wednesday.
But on Thursday, Israel decided to delay a further offensive into northern Gaza at Egypt's request, an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the diplomacy.
Basically what Mr. Regev is saying is, give him up, we will give back your 64 creeps, and will not invade Gaza. Now we have word of the possibility of a settlement, which will feature Cpl. Shalit's release. It's amazing how dealing with thugs disproportionately, yields better results than just talking about it. Other nations failed to persuade the terrorists to give up the corporal, they could have allowed those nations to broker a deal. But they didn't. They played their hand and lost big, on this one.
The world could learn a lot from the Israelis.