Gilad Shalit May Be Released Soon

Via Debka, Palestinian and Egyptian sources are reporting that Gilad Shalit, the captured Israeli soldier who has been held by Hamas for for almost 3 years, is going to be moved to Cairo in a few hours. The Egyptian police are presently securing the path on which he is to be transferred because Al Qaeda types would probably like to capture him. In Cairo, no doubt Shalit is going to be released to the Israelis. Israel is denying the reports, saying they are unfounded, but that may just be diplo-talk. If he is being released, it is nearly on the 3 year anniversary of his capture.
A top Egyptian general was said to be in Israel several hours ago. He was probably putting the final touches on a prisoner release deal. In exchange for Shalit, Israel is apparently going to release Palestinian prisoners, possibly up to 1,000 of them.
He has reportedly been treated well during his captivity. One of the stated reasons for the Gaza invasion early this year was to either force the release of Shalit or to find him and free him. Neither succeeded.
Earlier today, a huge crowd of Israelis blocked entrances to Gaza to 1,400 UN and relief vehicles trying to enter from Israel. They were demanding humane treatment for Shalit.
Shalit was captured by a combined team of Hamas, the Army of Islam (Al Qaeda Palestine) and the Popular Resistance Committees (includes members from Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas) on June 25, 2006, who tunneled through the border, attacked an Israeli border outpost and captured the wounded Shalit. In total, 2 IDF troops were killed and 4 others wounded in the raid. 2 of the raiders were also killed. The purpose of his capture was to force the release of prisoners, but it did not work.
There were reports recently that Israel has agreed to release 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Shalit, but it’s not known if they are going to go through with that.

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2 thoughts on “Gilad Shalit May Be Released Soon”

  1. This news is great-if it be true-and i hope it is.
    Here is something that really did happen-a letter from Hamas to President Obama sent via CODE PINK delegation that entered Gaza via Rafah-invited by the UN to see the facts on the ground and build playgrounds [3 pink playgrounds were built] in this the final year of the UN’s Decade of Creating a Culture of Nonviolence for ALL the Children of the World-BTW- the USA is on the record as not being able to support the initiative as would make it “to hard for us to go to war.”
    The letter Hamas sent to President Obama via the CODE PINK delegation that entered Gaza through Egypt:
    His Excellency President Barack Obama,
    President of the United States of America.
    June 3rd 2009
    Dear Mr. President,
    We welcome your visit to the Arab world and your administration’s initiative to bridge differences with the Arab-Muslim world.
    One long-standing source of tension between the United States and this part of the world has been the failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    It is therefore unfortunate that you will not visit Gaza during your trip to the Middle East and that neither your Secretary of State nor George Mitchell have come to hear our point of view.
    We have received numerous visits recently from people of widely varied backgrounds: U.S. Congressional representatives, European parliamentarians, the U.N.-appointed Goldstone commission, and grassroots delegations such as those organized by the U.S. peace group CODEPINK.
    It is essential for you to visit Gaza. We have recently passed through a brutal 22-day Israeli attack. Amnesty International observed that the death and destruction Gaza suffered during the invasion could not have happened without U.S.-supplied weapons and U.S.-taxpayers’ money.
    Human Rights Watch has documented that the white phosphorus Israel dropped on a school, hospital, United Nations warehouse and civilian neighborhoods in Gaza was manufactured in the United States. Human Rights Watch concluded that Israel’s use of this white phosphorus was a war crime.
    Shouldn’t you see first-hand how Israel used your arms and spent your money?
    Before becoming president you were a distinguished professor of law. The U.S. government has also said that it wants to foster the rule of law in the Arab-Muslim world.
    The International Court of Justice stated in July 2004 that the whole of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are occupied Palestinian territories designated for Palestinian self-determination, and that the Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal.
    Not one of the 15 judges sitting on the highest judicial body in the world dissented from these principles.
    The main human rights organizations in the world, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have issued position papers supporting the right of the Palestinian refugees to return and compensation.
    Each year in the United Nations General Assembly nearly every country in the world has supported these principles for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. Every year the Arab League puts forth a peace proposal based on these principles for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    Leading human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch have also stated that Israel’s siege of Gaza is a form of collective punishment and therefore illegal under international law.
    We in the Hamas Government are committed to pursuing a just resolution to the conflict not in contradiction with the international community and enlightened opinion as expressed in the International Court of Justice, the United Nations General Assembly, and leading human rights organizations. We are prepared to engage all parties on the basis of mutual respect and without preconditions.
    However, our constituency needs to see a comprehensive paradigm shift that not only commences with lifting the siege on Gaza and halts all settlement building and expansion but develops into a policy of evenhandedness based on the very international law and norms we are prodded into adhering to.
    Again, we welcome you to Gaza which would allow you to see firsthand our ground zero. Furthermore, it would enhance the US position; enabling you to speak with new credibility and authority in dealing with all the parties.
    Very Truly Yours,
    Dr. Ahmed Yousef
    Deputy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry
    Former Senior Political Advisor
    to Prime Minister Ismael Hanniya

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