|**updated & bumped**|
And that wasn't a bluff. There were troops on the border, ready to go. And do you want to know why that worked? Because, as I've said before, violence is the only language terrorists understand. How do I know this? Read...
TEL AVIV – Under mounting international pressure to free a kidnapped Israeli soldier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh closed ranks Tuesday by concluding a power-sharing agreement aimed at ending months of violent Hamas-Fatah fighting and laying down principles for talks with Israel.
The pact between Mr. Abbas and Mr. Haniyeh serves to prop up the political rivals at a time when a hostage standoff threatens an Israeli army retaliatory invasion of Gaza.
[...] Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official in Lebanon close to the organization's hard-line leadership in Damascus, criticized Abbas Tuesday for helping Israel search for the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who is believed to be held in southern Gaza, the Associated Press reported. Instead, the official continued, Palestinians should kidnap more Israelis to use as bargaining chips.
Emphasis is mine of course.
Innocent people are bargaining chips? Right... because the rest of the civilized world uses kidnapping victims as bargaining chips too... What a crock. I almost wish the Palestinians had called Israel's play, thinking the Israelis wouldn't actually invade.
UPDATE @ 8:57pm: I must be psychic...
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli tanks and troops entered southern Gaza and planes attacked three bridges and knocked out electricity to the coastal strip early Wednesday, stepping up the pressure on Palestinian militants holding captive a 19-year-old Israeli soldier.
[...] No casualties were reported in any of the attacks, marked by the first Israeli ground offensive in Gaza since it pulled out of the territory last summer, tearing down all 21 Jewish settlements.
The Israeli strikes came amid intensive diplomatic efforts in the Arab world and by the United Nations. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel to "give diplomacy a chance."
[...]Israel said only freedom for the captive soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, could defuse the crisis, not a political agreement.
You'd think Condi might be a little more sympathetic seeing how we were just looking for 2 of our young soldiers who'd been kidnapped.
Good luck Israel. I hope you find Cpl. Shalit alive and well. Too bad the rest of the world doesn't care.