Thursday, January 15, 2009

Talk Again Of Ceasefire--But Not Of Gilad Shalit?

If this ceasefire goes through, it will be a little more difficult for Hamas to claim victory:
The Egyptian proposal is mostly bad for Hamas. It doesn't let the organization bring the Palestinian public any political achievement that would justify the blood that has been spilled, and even forces on it the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, in the form of its renewed presence at the Rafah crossing (as a condition for its reopening).

Once the cease-fire is reached, the IDF will withdraw from the positions it captured in Gaza, and only then will the two sides begin to discuss the opening of border crossings and removal of the blockade, which was the reason Hamas gave for waging war. The most that Cairo is offering is a timetable for the opening of the crossing points, and even that depends on negotiations due to begin after the cease-fire is reached, and it's tough to know how or when they will end.
If Hamas is really serious about a ceasefire, it seems that Israel is too:
The Hamas statement came as Israeli defense officials were gradually reaching similar conclusions regarding the need for a quick cease-fire. Defense Ministry and top generals have expressed reservations about expanding the ground incursion in Gaza and support bringing the war to a quick end. Some say Israel has already done all it could with all possible goals of the Gaza operation and has proven that it is no longer deterred by a serious conflict with Hamas or by sending in ground forces and reservists. [emphasis added]
Now that is the part that is problematic. It's bad enough that the UN resolution on Thursday made no mention of Gilad Shalit, but there has been no indication that the rescue of Shalit was a major goal of Operation Cast Lead.

This mindset is so bad, that when this Haaretz article finally does mention Shalit, it is not in the context of bringing him home:
The IDF has always had a problem with maintaining operational discipline over a long period, especially when reserve forces are involved. On Wednesday, with the active assistance of bloggers, false rumors were spread saying that Gilad Shalit had been rescued from captivity. That didn't happen, but if nothing goes wrong with the plans in the next few days, Israel has a decent chance of ending this conflict while maintaining the upper hand.
So Shalit is mentioned only one time in the article--as an example of the difficulty the IDF has in preventing leaks and false rumors. 

Apparently the Israeli government has been exceptionally successful in keeping expectations low in the operation.


Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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