Briefly, as events unfold:
The terrorists involved in holding Gilad Shalit (Hamas’s military wing, Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Army) have delivered an ultimatum to Israel: Release 1,000 prisoners in return for information about Shalit or "pay the consequences." The "consequences" remain unspecified, but implied is the murder of Shalit. The truth is that we don’t know if he’s alive, even though there is an unconfirmed third party report (in Al Hayat in London) of Egyptians having seen him. Deadline on this ultimatum is hours away:6 AM here.
Olmert has refused to bow to this ultimatum. My heart is with the Shalit family even as I know that there can be no such concession.
There is a limited operation going on in northern Gaza, which the IDF has now entered on the ground. According to the Middle East News Line, however, the military is uneasy about the current state of affairs, saying that the limited force must be withdrawn or reinforced. "We cannot remain in a stationary position much longer," said one military source. The fear, with increased Hamas threats, is casualties. At present the force is about one kilometer into Palestinian territory and residents have been warned to take care.
YNet now reports that there is a major operation (involving as much as 30 tanks) on-going in Ramallah, where a large IDF force is surrounding a police station where three persons from Al Aksa Brigades involved in the kidnapping and murder of Eliyahu Asheri are being held. The IDF is calling for the surrender of the three, who are barricaded inside, and are threatening to destroy the building if they don’t.
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