Obama Administration Demands That Israel Open Gaza Crossings; Contests Linkage to Release of Gilad Shalit
"The United States has stepped up pressure on Israel regarding the Gaza Strip: Three weeks ago it sent Jerusalem a diplomatic note officially protesting Gaza policy and demanding a more liberal opening of the border crossings to facilitate reconstruction.
U.S. and Israeli sources say the note was followed by a verbal communication clarifying that the Obama administration thinks Israel's linkage of the case of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and the opening of the crossings was not constructive.
The note was delivered to Israel after a decision by senior U.S. officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and special Mideast envoy George Mitchell.
The latter discussed the contents of the note during his visit to Israel last week. "
So let's get this straight. On June 26, 2006, almost three years ago, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists tunneled under the border between Israel and Gaza and attacked an Israeli army post on the Israeli side of the border. They killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped Gilad Shalit (photo above right), a 19-year old Corporal who had been wounded in the attack. He has been held hostage by Hamas thugs ever since. Hamas has barred the International Red Cross from seeing Shalit, and has demanded the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners--many in prison for terrorist attacks in Israel--as ransom for his return.
Those who hold him hostage are the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip. Israel's control of the Gaza crossings helps prevent the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from launching more murderous assaults inside Israel. Israel interdicts money bound for the terrorist coffers, weapons, and the raw materials for manufacturing weapons. It is not enough effort to free Shalit and rid Gaza of the terrorist gangs, but at least it is something. However, the United States, under President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Special Envoy George Mitchell feel that Israel is being unhelpful.
I now feel great concern for the citizens of the United States who live near the Mexican border. Apparently, if drug cartels were to complete their current efforts to take over Sonora, Baja California and other northern Mexican provinces, and then launched a campaign to kidnap U.S. citizens, demanding as ransom the release of convicted narco-criminals, the Obama Administration would consider efforts to police the border and control infiltration of money and weapons into Mexico to be unhelpful.