There seems to be some progress in the political efforts for the release of soldier Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped almost a month and a half ago. Via Egyptian mediating, an agreement is being formulated in which Shalit would be transferred to Egypt, and then the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released in exchange would be negotiated.
The kidnapping was a tactical failure of soldiers in the field, but has now become a strategic problem. Kidnapped soldiers always make a delicate situation: On one hand, everybody wants them back safe and sound as soon as possible. On the other, complying with the terrorists’ demands will encourage more kidnapping attempts, even of innocent citizens vacationing abroad.
Soldiers can tell that being kidnapped is usually not something they think of. A soldier in combat duty realizes that he could get shot or set off roadside charges, but it is hard to imagine being physically abducted when surrounded by comrades and armed with advanced weaponry. Nevertheless, they should be absolutely confident that their country would do everything possible to ensure their safe return if and when they are kidnapped, much like they know their comrades would never leave them wounded behind.
Gilad Shalit has recently turned twenty. His parents threw a sad party for the occasion, due to the absence of guest of honor. Everyone is hopeful he shall celebrate his twenty first birthday at home.
September 6, 2006 at 4:07 am
Everyday I check the headlines expecting to see news of his release.