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Israel/Palestine: Will There Ever Be A Deal For Shalit?

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been held by Hamas for nearly four years, with all attempts having failed to get him released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Blogger The Other Door, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, gives his perspective on Shalit's ongoing captivity in this post.

Photo of Gilad Shalit flag by flickr user zeevveez (used under a Creative Commons licence)

Photo of Gilad Shalit flag by flickr user zeevveez (used under a Creative Commons licence)

The Other Door asks “Who wants Shalit?”:

ما يقارب الاربع سنوات والجندي الوديع, الجوكر جلعاد شاليط في الاسر الفلسطيني, او الاسر الحمساوي للدقة والحق. وكل محاولات الوسيط الالماني لعقد صفقة تبادل قد بائت بالفشل وكذلك محاولات الجيش الاسرائيلي بعتاده وأنذاله فشلت في الوصول اليه , ولم يحصل اي رجل مخابرات او اي عميل على طرف خيط من عقدة شاليط!
For nearly four years the poor soldier, “the joker” Gilad Shalit has been held by the Palestinians, or by Hamas to be truthful and accurate. The German attempts to broker a deal for an exchange have failed, just as the Israeli military with all its gear and thugs have failed in all attempts to reach him, and no intelligence officer or informer has reached a clue to solve the mystery of Shalit!

He goes on:

طبعا كل هذا لأن الطرفين, الاسرائيلي والحمساوي غير معنيين بصفقة ! اسرائيل بحكوماتها لا تريد ان تعقد صفقة كل ما يتذكر منها الناخب الاسرائيلي انه تم تحرير اسرى فلسطينيين , قتلوا اسرئيليين . وحماس ايضا الا تريد ان تعقد صفقة تخسر فيها الورقة الرابحة, والتي حصلت عليها بجهد جهيد وتحافظ عليها بكفوف الراحة فجلعاد شاليط اغلى عنصر في حماس وهي بدورها لن تتنازل عنه, على الاقل ليس مقابل الف اسير وان كان بضمنهم اسرى v.i.p , حماس اليوم جل تفكيرها بماذا بعد الصفقة؟! طبعاً حماس لا تستهين بتحرير 1000 اسير , بل انها ساعة السعادة عندما تحرر اسرى مهما كان عددهم وإنتمائهم . ولكن أثار اي صفقة تعقدها حماس , لن تكون جديدة وجذرية على حماس . فحماس اليوم تحظى بـتأييد الشارع الفلسطيني سواء ان في غزة او في الضفة الغربية, فيعني من قد يؤيد ويسعى بالخط الحمساوي بعد الصفقة , هو اليوم يسير مع الخط الحمساوي وان لم يكن في يده او لسانه فبقلبه.
Of course, all this is because the two sides, Israel and Hamas, are not interested in a deal! No Israeli government wants to make a deal so that the only thing the Israeli voter remembers is that it freed Palestinian prisoners who killed Israelis. Nor do Hamas want to make a deal which would make them lose their trump card, which they had obtained by great effort and kept hold of tightly. Gilad Shalit is the most valuable element Hamas have, and they in they turn would not give him up, at least not for 1000 prisoners, even if they include “VIP” prisoners. Today Hamas has begun to think about what happens after a deal. Of course, Hamas does not take lightly the freeing of 1000 prisoners, indeed it is a time of happiness when prisoners are freed, whatever their number and affiliation. But the effect of any deal made by Hamas will not be new and radical for Hamas. Hamas today enjoys the support of the Palestinian street, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, and it means that whoever might support and follow the Hamas line after a deal, is today following the Hamas line, if not by action or words then in their heart.
عملية اختطاف جلعاد شاليط لم تكن عملية نوعية عسكرية فقط بل هي سياسية اكثر من كونها عسكرية, والهدف منها لم يكون مكسب سياسي بالشارع الفلسطيني ملتهب الفصائل وانما مكسبه السياسي تعرية الساسة الاسرائليين امام المواطن الاسرائيلي, وجعل الاسرائيلي المتوسط يتخذ القرار, فعندما دفع الاسرائيلي المتوسط حكومته الى الحرب, كانت حماس جاهزة للحرب. رغم الخسائر الرهيبة والفظيعة التي نتجت عن الرصاص المسبوك. ولكنها خلقت البلبلة في كافة الصفوف الاسرائيلية. والبلبلة تقطع النفس او على الاقل تغير وتيرة التنفس لدى الاسرائيليين الذين عرفهم التاريخ بالنفس الطويل.
The capture of Gilad Shalit was not a purely military operation, but was political rather than military. Its aim was not to be a political gain on the Palestinian street, provoking the different factions, but it was a political gain exposing Israeli politicians in front of their citizens, and making the average Israeli take a decision. When these average Israelis pushed their government to war, Hamas was ready for it, despite the terrible, awful losses that resulted from Operation Cast Lead. But it has created confusion amongst all Israelis. And confusion creates problems or at least impatience and haste among Israelis who are historically known for patience and careful planning.

The blogger concludes:

في ظل الحصار الامني والاقتصادي على الفلسطينيين كان من الصعب على المقاومة الفلسطينية تنفيذ عمليات فدائية. وهذا الشح الفدائي كاد يؤدي الى اوسلو 2 ولربما ابطال اوسلو 2 قد يكونوا الحمساويين . ولكن جلعاد شاليط انقذهم من اوسلو 2 وكانت عملية الاختطاف بمثابة رافعة من خط مقاوم عسكري الى مقاومة عسكرية سياسية مهنية. على الرغم من ان حماس كانت قد نجحت بالانتخابات الفلسطينية ولكنها في حينه لم تكن الا النبض العسكري المقاوم والروح الثائرة للشعب الفلسطيني ولكنها بعد عملية اختطاف جلعاد شاليط ادخلتها الى اجندتها العمل السياسي . وفي السياسة لا يتنازلون عن ورقة رابحة. عن ورقة تضع كل مقترحاتك على الطاولة بينما لو بقيت حماس على حالها العسكري لعقدت صفقة شاليط في الاسبوع الاول لأسره . واستمرت في قصف القسام العشوائي الذي يتمنى كل اسرائيلي ان يسقط بجانبه او على بيته قسام كي يحصل على تعويضات من محبي اسرائيل
Under the economic and military siege on the Palestinians, it was difficult for the Palestinian resistance to carry out operations. The infrequency of operations all but led to Oslo 2, and maybe Hamas supporters were the real champions of those accords. But Gilad Shalit delivered them from Oslo 2 and the operation was equivalent to elevating the line of military resistance to one of professional and political military resistance. Even though Hamas won in the Palestinian elections, at the time they were nothing but the pulse of military resistance and the revolutionary spirit of the Palestinian people, but the capture of Gilad Shalit began their involvement in an agenda of political action. In politics they never abandon the trump card, a card that places all the options on the table, while if Hamas had remained in a military state it would have made a deal about Shalit in the first week of captivity, and continued random strikes with Qassam rockets, which all Israelis wish would land next to them, or their house, in order to get compensation from Israel's supporters.

5 comments

  • MERC

    The Other Door ignores the far larger story of the priceless propaganda value of a captive Shalit to Israel. As successive Israeli governments ratchet up the pressure, via massacre, colonisation and slo-mo ethnic cleansing, on the Palestinian people, Israel’s fictitious and hyped credibility has become increasingly tattered and threadbare.

    Whether it’s a Shalit, a Sderot or an Iranian nuclear program, Israel needs every possible diversion it can concoct or lay its hands on to ensure the $$$s and ordnance keep flowing from the Benighted States of America and to distract gullible Western leaders and their sheeple from the historic criminal Zionist project of wiping Palestine off the map.

  • Robby

    If HAMAS were to view it as a business deal, they would withdraw their emotions and take the 1-for-1,000 deal.

    Taking the deal would show they are willing to negotiate in earnest and put the welfare of 1,000 Palestinians ahead of their own political ambitions.

    But HAMAS’ continues to show their own ideals and ambitions that come first, ahead of the welfare of the people they were elected to lead.

  • Hello,
    Thanks for making emphasis on the issue of Shalit. This poor Israeli solders happened to be a small change in Mediterranean politics. Everything has its limit. Said to be Israeli-Palestinian exchange of prisoners reached its limit too, strange though it may seem. No doubt, Israel will not compromise its security in spite of Palestinian provocations.

  • MERC

    “This poor Israeli soldier…” What is this, Global Comedy?

  • jean kelly

    the palestinians are professional losers. their leadership is the worst. their people are ‘resisting’ and suffering. the resistance is so dumb,

    they should just declare victory and give up. if they give up the fighting, the aid that would flow into palestine would be amazing. so it wouldn’t contain all of the west bank, so what? look at monaco, a small speck of a country that is very very prosperous.

    give up and live, or keep fighting while your kids are getting killed and maimed instead of educated.

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