[News] Olmert Rejects Negotiations to Release Captured Soldier for Imprisoned Women and Children
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 27 12:03:13 EDT 2006
Olmert Rejects Negotiations to Release Captured
Soldier for Imprisoned Women and Children, Orders
Preparations for a Comprehensive Assault on Gaza
Olmert Dashes Hopes of Palestinian, Israeli
Families Rice Urges Diplomacy, France Mediates to
Release Missing Israeli Soldier
Grabbed by what Anshel Pfeffer described in The
Jerusalem Post on Monday as the Entebbe
Syndrome, the Israeli premier Ehud Olmert ruled
out negotiations and rejected a Palestinian
demand to free 400 women and minors among more
than 9,800 Palestinian detainees in the jails of
the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), dashing the
hopes of both the Palestinian families and the
Israeli family of the missing soldier.
The IOF reported corporal Gilad Shalit missing
following a daring Palestinian attack, in which
two Palestinians were killed when they attacked
an IOF unit protecting the Israeli-Egyptian
border crossing of Karm Abu Salem (known to
Israelis as Kerem Shalom), after killing two
Israeli soldiers and wounding four others.
In an unconfirmed report spokesman for the
Popular Resistance Committee (PRC), Mahmoud Abed
Alaal, told Ynet on Monday evening that his
group kidnapped an Israeli settler in the West Bank.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meanwhile set
up a special operations room to monitor the
situation, ordered search for the missing Israeli
soldier, was in close contact with Egyptian
mediators and spoke with the US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice Arab as well as world
leaders to defuse the tension and search for
information on the whereabouts of the missing soldier.
President Abbas is exerting maximum efforts in
order to acquire the release of the soldier,
alive and unharmed, said Palestinian chief
negotiator and lawmaker Saeb Erakat.
Israel sealed off and prevented entry to and exit
from the Gaza Strip, practically besieging
President Abbas inside the Mediterranean coastal strip.
Olmert Orders Ongoing Military Action
Ruling out negotiations, Olmert instead insisted
that, the age of restraint has come to an end,
and gave an order to military leaders to prepare
our troops, so that they are ready for
comprehensive and ongoing military action.
He ruled out negotiations: This is not a matter
of negotiations, this is not a matter of
bargaining, Olmert said in a speech to a Jewish
Agency gathering in Jerusalem.
However, the United States, Israels strategic
ally, had a different point of view.
There really needs to be an effort now to try
and calm the situation, not to let the situation
escalate and to give diplomacy a chance to work
to try to get this release, Secretary Rice told
reporters who landed in Scotland for a refueling
stop en route to Pakistan. She was referring to
the missing dual Israeli-French soldier Gilad Shalit, 19.
Israel Radio indicated in a report this morning
that Israeli officials have effectively given the
US veto power over Israeli action. The reporter
explained that Israel cannot launch a major
operation inside the Gaza Strip without America's
consent, IMRA reported Tuesday.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav on Monday sought
the help of the Vatican in efforts to release the
Israeli soldier. He made the request to
Archbishop Antonio Franco, the new Vatican
ambassador to Israel, his office said in a statement.
France Joins Mediation Efforts
Meanwhile, France joined Egypt and Russia in their mediation efforts.
In Tel Aviv, The French Embassy in Tel Aviv
confirmed that Shalit holds French citizenship
and said Paris was working to win his release.
French ambassador to Israel, Gerard Araud said,
The French authorities are in contact with
Mahmoud Abbas to find ways to obtain the
soldiers liberation, he told journalists,
adding that he was to visit Shalits family on
Monday at the Mitzpe Hila village in Galilee.
Shalit's family on Monday pleaded with his
captors to treat him humanely and to remember he
has a loving family who misses him dearly.
The only thing we have left right now is hope,
nothing more, Noam Shalit told the Associated Press Television.
Hope was also wide spread among the families of
thousands of Palestinians detainees kidnapped by
the IOF soldiers in a still going on kidnapping spree.
Palestinian local radio stations were busy
broadcasting interviews with Palestinian
prisoners who conveyed hopes for their release as
part of a prisoner exchange as well as with their
families who also pleaded for Shalits safety.
Hanah Kosey Khatib, from Nablus, whose three sons
Ahmad, Mohammad and Mikdad are currently in
the IOF military prisons, told Ynet that nations
of the world are exerting pressure on the
kidnappers to release Shalit, but are not paying
heed to her sons or their friends.
Is the life of a kidnapped soldier worth more
than the lives of our children? she asked. Does
a mother of a kidnapped soldier feel more pain
than we do? Our children have been in jail for
years. In my case, I have not been allowed to
meet with my children for four years and no one cares, no one gets involved.
Release of Palestinian Women, Minors Demanded
Olmert on Monday rejected a demand by three
anti-occupation groups that Israel frees about
100 Palestinian women and more than 313 minors in
exchange for releasing Shalit.
The three groups said in a statement they would
only release information on the fate of Shalit if
Israel freed Palestinian women and minors incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
The Occupation [Israel] will not get any
information about its missing soldier unless it
abides by the following: release all female
prisoners in Israeli jails... and children under
the age of 18, the statement said.
It was signed by Al-Nasser Salahuddin Brigades,
the Army of Islam and the Izzuddin al-Qassam
Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
Wasfi Kibha, the Palestinian cabinet Minister of
Prisoner Affairs, said Israel holds 150 women and 360 children under 16.
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News