a different side of Israel

Waiting for Gilad Shalit

I don’t know much except for what I hear on TV and the bits of information floating around. Most importantly, his name is Gilad Shalit and he’s 19 years old. He lives in the Western Galilee (North) in a small town called Mitzpe Hila. He is the middle of three kids, quiet, shy, an introvert. The army found his blood stained armored vest on the fence separating the Israeli and PA area. Walking tracks have been found and it seems clear that he was lead away in good health. He is alive.

We got caught with our pants down. No two ways about it. The various army branches are slinging accusations back and forth. The General Security Services claims there were warning and the army says there wasn’t.

What we know of the event? An 800 Meter tunnel was dug from the PA area to an army post in Kerem Shalom. The outpost had an armored personal carrier and a tank near by. The attack was well coordinated – 3 teams 8 people. The personal carrier was empty but was destroyed by two people. Three more attacked the outpost, 2 attackers were killed, IDF has 7 wounded. The last team attacked the tank, killing the tank commander Second Lieutenant Hanan Barak 20 and an infantry sergeant Pavel Slotzker 20. Gilad was wounded and was taken hostage.

Voices on the other side vary. What was initial glee has now turned to regret and some calls for the release of the hostage. Olmert in his first real security crisis sent a message, he holds the Palestinian Authority directly responsible for the welfare of the soldier. Hamas in what seems like an odd appeal release a statement – in Hebrew no less – calling for the well being and release of the soldier. Some sources are saying that Hamas never intended to kidnap the soldier and that this was part of an attempt to save face after the recent events in the PA.

In the meantime, we are waiting for Gilad Shalit.


  1. Wer’e all waiting to see how this tragidy will end. Hopefully not like what happened to Nachshon Waxman, and other solders who have been ‘kidnapped’ in the past, including th 3 in Labanon also following an Israeli pullout.

    Olmert and his cabinet have their work cut out fo them, but despite everything, this isn’t the time to make rash decisions. Who and WHAT Hamas is, however, is clearly evident!

  2. “Hamas in what seems like an odd appeal release a statement – in Hebrew no less – calling for the well being and release of the soldier.”

    Odd that it seems, the safe return of Gilad would lend credence to their words as well as a clear picture of their influence.

  3. Simple, Virginia,

    Hamas knows very well what will happen if Gilad is not returned safely! Their leaders will be next in line for targeted assasinations.

  4. i’ve read from ynews that hamas is asking for the release of palestinian women and children who are behind bars in israel for violating border laws in exchange for information on the whereabouts of gilad. PM olmert made an excellent and bold decision not to give in to these terrorists request. every1 knows what israel is capable of. i believe that gilad will be saved from his abductors and these evil people will get what they deserve.

  5. The Palestinians claim that their attack was an
    act of revenge after the unfortunate incidents
    causing civilian deaths two weeks ago,but their
    long tunnel must have taken few months to dig!
    their attack and Gilad’s kidnaping was done after instructios and teaching of their leaders
    in Syria, thats where the Israeli’s action should be.



    As the tension mounts between Israel and the plethora of Arab terrorist organizations that claim responsibility for the kidnapping of IDF Corp. Gilad Shalit, we sit glued to news reports of any developments. Our hearts go out to the family of Corp. Shalit and we lift our voices to Heaven and beseech the Almighty G-d of Israel to return Corp. Shalit, alive and well to his family and to his nation.

    We offer prayers and supplications to Hashem for his speedy release and we ask Hashem to provide comfort and strength to Corp. Shalit’s family and friends.

    As “Operation Summer Rains” continue in Gaza, reports that, “Israeli aircraft sent missiles tearing through the office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday, in an unmistakable message to his ruling Hamas group to free an Israeli soldier.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military was ordered to do “everything” within its power to return the captured 19-year-old corporal, and cautioned that arrests of senior Hamas officials could spread to Gaza, the Islamic militant group’s power base, a confidant said.

    Defense Minister Amir Peretz, meanwhile, said Israel would go after “higher-caliber targets” in the future — a reference to senior Hamas officials inside and outside of the Palestinian territories, a political ally said.

    Israeli aircraft, tanks and naval gunboats have been pounding Gaza for the past week in an effort to win the freedom of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, seized in a cross-border raid. Thousands of troops were also sent into the coastal strip for Israel’s first ground invasion since quitting Gaza nine months ago.”

    In addition, the Arab terrorists have issued news demands for the release of Corp. Shalit. According to further news reports from, “Palestinian militants holding an Israeli soldier issued a new set of demands Saturday, calling for the release of 1,000 prisoners and a halt to Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. But Israel rejected the demands.

    The militants called for the release of 1,000 prisoners, including non-Palestinian Muslims and Arabs held by Israel. The gesture appeared to be aimed at boosting support in the broader Arab world.

    The statement repeated a demand made earlier this week for the release of all Palestinian women and minors held in Israeli prisons — an estimated 500 people — in exchange for information about Shalit. ”

    The Jerusalem Post (07/02/06) reported that, “Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, on Sunday threatened to attack infrastructure facilities inside Israel, including schools, hospitals and universities. The threat, the first of its kind since Hamas won the parliamentary election last January, was issued in response to continued Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip.
    “If they continue with these attacks, we will strike at targets in Zionist territory that we have not struck until now,” said the organization’s spokesman.

    According to a report by Fox News on 07/02/06 that an anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrated was held in Sidon, Lebanon by Palestinians protesting the Israeli attacks in Gaza. “About 2,000 Palestinians protesting the Israeli military offensive in Gaza set fire to an Israeli flag and shouted “Death to Israel” Sunday as they marched in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp.
    Children, some in military uniforms, women and men took part in the protest in Ein e–Hilweh, Lebanon’s largest refugee camp and home to some 70,000 Palestinians in the southern port city of Sidon.

    The 90-minute protest was organized by the Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Protesters trampled and tore Israeli flags and later set one aflame amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great), “Death to Israel,” “Where are Arab rulers?” Intermittent cries of “Death to America” punctuated the march.

    America is the source of this killing, destruction and racism,” said Sheik Mahmoud Jishi, a moderate Islamic cleric. He called on people in Arab and Islamic countries to rise up “to defend the Palestinians … and stand united in the face of the Zionist aggression that is supported by the American forces of terror and evil.”
    Col. Khaled Aref, Fatah leader in Sidon and Ein El-Hilweh, argued that the best way for Palestinians to confront the attacks was to close ranks behind Abbas. “As we face this Zionist onslaught, we say that national unity breaks this conspiracy.”

    Palestinian Islamic militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other smaller factions did not join the protest. Speakers said nothing about the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier by militants, but focused on Palestinians’ plight as a result of the military offensive on Gaza, which Israel said it launched to force the release of the soldier.”

    It has also been reported by CNN that, “In the midst of the standoff over Shalit, Israel opened two routes into Gaza on Sunday to allow for humanitarian aid to flow into the Palestinian territory, an Israeli army official said.

    The Karni crossing in northern Gaza and a nearby fuel terminal at Nahal Oz were opened at midday to allow for the passage of food, medicine and fuel.

    Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said the Karni crossing would be open four days so trucks could carry humanitarian supplies into Gaza.”

    As we stand at the precipice of a potentially explosive war between Israel and her Arab enemies, it is appropriate at this juncture in time to pray not only for the welfare of Corp. Gilad Shalit, but we must pray that the leaders of the government of Israel do not accede to the demands of Hamas. We must pray that Hashem give the leaders of the government of Israel enough strength, courage and wisdom to understand that releasing Arab terrorists will not be a deterrent to further kidnappings of Israeli soldiers and civilians. Quite to the contrary, it will only embolden the Arab enemy and strengthen him in his quest to destroy the entire nation of Israel.

    We must ask Hashem to guide our leaders in a fearless path of unremitting non-compromise with the Arab enemy. We must ask G-d to give the leaders of the government of Israel the strength to resist the pressures from the UN and internal groups such as Yesh Gvul which has demanded that the Olmert government release Arab terrorists from their prisons.

    We must stand together in strength, faith and above all, trust in the Almighty G-d of Israel, for the survival and preservation of the nation of Israel is at stake. Let us remember and utter the words of the sweet singer of Israel, King David who said (Psalms, chapter 18), “I will love you Hashem, my Strength. Hashem is my Rock, my Fortress and my Rescuer, my G-d, my Rock in Whom I take shelter, my Shield, and the Horn of my Salvation, my Stronghold. With praises I call unto Hashem, and from my enemies I am saved.”

  7. Thank you Fern Sidman. I am on my knees before the Holy One of Israel, thanking Him for His promised protection of those He Dearly Loves beyond our ability to comprehend. I am grateful.

    7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    2 Timothy 1:7

    24 Hashem bless thee, and keep thee: Hashem make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: Hashem lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26
    Blessed be Hashem in every tongue – Amen

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