debkafile Exclusive: The second ultimatum promised by Gilead Shalit’s Hamas-led captors early Tuesday, July 4, may be as abstruse as the first
Our intelligence sources report that the Hamas “chief of staff,” Muhammed Jabari (picture), who is running the kidnap operation, is trying to push Israel’s leaders off balance and keep them at sea. The general assessment is that it is important to Hamas’ tacticians to keep the Israeli hostage alive in the present circumstances.
Jabari concluded from the Israeli prime minister’s outright rejection of his first ultimatum that Olmert is flexing muscle and talking tough to buy time for Israel intelligence to pinpoint the place where the hostage is hidden. Jabari is determined not to let Israeli leaders get away with time-consuming tactics or let them have the slightest scrap of information about the hostage’s condition without a return. He believes that if Israeli intelligence did succeed in locating Gideon Shalit, Olmert and Amir Peretz would have no scruples about letting the IDF off the leash for an all-out rescue mission – whatever the cost in Palestinian lives. Ultimatum No. 2 will be framed so as to keep Israelis guessing, possibly suggesting that the hostage’s fate has been referred to some arcane religious authority for a decision.