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The "Army of Islam" that holds abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has declared an end to negotiations for his release, but at the same time pledges to keep him alive in keeping with the teachings of Islam -- if he is still alive:
Palestinians holding an Israeli soldier said this morning that they had ended negotiations on his fate after Israel ignored an ultimatum to begin releasing prisoners.
The Hamas-led militants holding Corporal Gilad Shalit had said that if Israel had not begun releasing some of the 1,500 prisoners by 6am today it would "bear the consequences". A spokesman for the Army of Islam, one of Cpl Shalit's abductors, said they had "decided to freeze all contacts and close the files of this soldier" but added: "We will not kill the soldier, if he is still alive."
Israeli and Palestinian officials believe the soldier is still alive and negotiations are taking place all over the Middle East to secure his release.
The faction of the Palestinian Authority that remains under the control of Mahmoud Abbas now believe that Ismail Haniyeh has lost control of the al-Qassam militant wing. The terrorists who have kidnapped Shalit take orders directly from Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, and Bashar Assad has clung to Mashaal in order to maintain some form of proxy war against his neighbors. With his army pushed out of Lebanon and his most reliable ally pulled out of a spider hole, Assad has little left except Hamas and Hezbollah to maintain his power in the region.
Egypt already knows this, which is why Hosni Mubarak has put pressure on Assad to get Shalit released. Mubarak has no love for Hamas, as they have strong relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak's chief domestic problem. Mubarak, as the Guardian notes, also wants to be seen as the regional power broker in order to secure his American funding and to gain power at the expense of Syria. He went to Saudi Arabia yesterday in an attempt to form a loose alliance against the nascent Syria-Iran axis, and probably found a receptive audience.
Syria lies at the heart of this crisis. Its sponsorship of Hamas and its terrorist activities have given Assad influence over a significant part of the Islamofascist networks of terror arrayed against the West. If Mubarak and King Abdullah cannot resolve the crisis by returning Shalit to the Israelis, it may be time to inform Assad that his continuing sponsorship of terror has made him a target in the war on terror. Our armies will soon march out of Iraq, and we could march them to the Mediterranean via Damascus if Assad doesn't wise up.Sphere It View blog reactions
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