Israel Throws Road Block Into Truce Decision

A single human life is precious and no one should simply discard making decisions that effect the life and dignity of the individual person. Prime Ministe Ehud Olmert told truce negotiators there would not be a truce unless Gilad Schalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier, is freed from captivity. An Egyptian source commented: “Everything was settled. A deal was close to being announced.” The release of Schalit will now complicate the possibility of securing a truce agreement that would end fighting and death. The Olmert comment caught Egyptian negotiators by surprise and made it difficult for them to achieve the present need of a truce and end to fighting.

The Egyptians are caught in the middle. They seek to enhance the power of the Palestinian Authority while at the same time persuading Hamas to accept peace and a truce. On one hand, the Egyptians want to become the savior of Gazans who are faced with ongoing difficulty in surviving, but on the other hand, they don’t want to enhance the power of Hamas.

Olmert is right to secure the release of Gilad Schalit because of his concern for human life. But, his armed force just recently conducted military operations which resulted in the death of over 600 innocent Palestinians. During the operations, the Israel Defense Force placed the lives of their own soldiers over the lives of Palestinians. There is something strange about the Olmert stance on being concerned with saving the life of a single person.