View Full Version : Israel Rejects Demands Over Kidnapped Soldier, Threatens Strike

06-26-2006, 08:29 PM
Israel rejects demands over kidnapped soldier


By Nidal al-Mughrabi
Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:57 PM ET

GAZA (Reuters) - Israel rejected on Monday a demand by Palestinian militants to free Palestinian women and minors in its jails in exchange for information on a kidnapped Israeli soldier and threatened a punishing offensive in the Gaza Strip.

"The question of releasing prisoners is not on the agenda of the Israeli government at all," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech in Jerusalem.

"The time is approaching for a comprehensive, sharp and severe Israeli operation. We will not wait forever," he said. "We will not become a target of Hamas-terrorist blackmail."

Izz el-Deen al-Qassam, the governing Hamas movement's armed wing, along with the Popular Resistance Committees and the Islamic Army said Israel would not get information about the soldier unless it frees all jailed Palestinian women and minors.

"Military Statement 1", issued by the three groups, did not confirm directly they were holding Corporal Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in a cross-border raid by militants operating from Gaza on Sunday, nor give details of his condition.

Israeli and Palestinian officials said Israel was holding about 100 Palestinian women and 300 minors for alleged security offenses .

In Sunday's operation, the infiltrators dug under a border fence, killed two soldiers and abducted the tank gunner. It was the first such incident since Israel quit the Gaza Strip last year.

Two attackers were shot dead in the raid that militant groups termed a response to the killing of 14 Palestinian civilians in recent Israeli air strikes in Gaza against militants behind cross-border rocket launchings.

Troops and armor have begun to mass on Gaza's borders, but Israel Television's military affairs correspondent, who is briefed regularly by the army, said it would take another day or two until enough forces were in place for a ground operation.

Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas legislator, countered: "We are ready to face the Israeli aggression."

Olmert held Hamas, an Islamist group that came to power in March, and the Palestinian Authority chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for Sunday's assault, appearing to dash any chance of talks with the moderate leader soon.

Abbas held another round of talks late on Monday with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, in Gaza. An official said Abbas appealed to Haniyeh to try to locate the soldier.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had spoken over the weekend to both Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to try to secure the release of the soldier.

"Bottom line, we call upon this individual (Israeli soldier) to be released immediately," McCormack told reporters.

Late on Monday, militants fired three Qassam rockets at southern Israel, slightly wounding one person in the town of Sderot, security officials said.

Israel has vowed reprisals that could include a re-invasion of Gaza, a coastal territory it quit last year after 38 years of occupation, or the assassination of leaders of Hamas, a group dedicated to its destruction.

aussie patriot
06-26-2006, 11:06 PM
Well that truly comes as no suprise whatsoever. Israel tends to think it is a law unto itself, they commit human rights abuses on a daily basis and the UN sits on their hands and does diddly squat about it. mmm wonder why?
They have gone from being the oppressed to the opressors and any reasonable person could see the similarities between modern day Israel and third reich Germany, they have become what they dreaded.
Personally I am sick to death of the mainstream media getting all excited when the zionist soldiers go and launch missiles, tanks, bulldozers etc at Palestinain children and then claim that the kids who got slaughtered was "accidental" yeah right!
And israel wonders why countries like Iran say enough is enough. Maybe if they actually stopped trying to exterminate the Palestinian people they might get some respect.

06-26-2006, 11:28 PM
I couldn't agree more assie patriot.