Saturday, July 01, 2006

And the response to 1000 for 1 from Israel ...

if you don't return our soldier, we'll take out your Prime Minister.

ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.

The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.

It came as Israeli military officials readied a second invasion force for a huge offensive into Gaza.

Hamas's Gaza-based political leaders, including Mr Haniyeh, had already gone into hiding.
Well that's stark enough. But, if they are serious, it doesn't give much room to escalate if the Palestinians keep digging in.

Though perhaps they are merely reflecting back at the Palestinians their ludicrous, threatening rhetorical tone of 1000 to 1.

We knew this was coming. More martyrology narrative at the UN.

The Palestinian act of war which triggered this entire incursion is forgotten, and it turns out that Israel launched a premeditated military assault in Gaza to "collectively punish and terrorize hundreds and thousands of citizens."

No doubt this version will be believed by large swathes of the Arab Street - and more over time - because God forbid they criticize their own policies. This conspiratorial "analysis" will ring truer to them.

As far as collective punishment goes, I seem to recall that a very large majority of the Palestinian people were in favor of holding onto Gilad Shalit and using him as a political tool.

Did they really believe there would be no consequences?

Perhaps that comes as a consequence of believing their own propaganda for too long - that Israel left the strip in the first place because Hamas had - in some convoluted way - defeated them.
Many in this impoverished coastal strip were savouring a rare feeling of military superiority following the capture of Cpl Gilad Shalit, 19, during an attack on an Israeli military post on Sunday. The popularity of the kidnapping would make it difficult for Palestinian leaders to secure Shalit's release without getting something in return.

Palestinian militants demanded the release of some Palestinian prisoners in Israel in exchange for information about Shalit, an offer Israel swiftly rejected. Prisoners hold great weight in Palestinian society, and the demand for a prisoner release resonated across Gaza.

"Even if they slaughter 100,000 Palestinians, this is a chance that can't be lost. It's the only way the prisoners will be able to get out," said Bassem Al Khoudry, 35, owner of a fast food stand in Gaza City. "If they release him with nothing in return, they would betray their nation, their prisoners."
At this point, it looks to be their illusions which are fast being slaughtered.

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