the purpose is to terrorize and hold the mind of the Israeli public hostage to the unwarranted political demands of Hamas. Its like the pervert who twists off the head of a kitten in the presence of children to terrorize and in an attempt to control them for his own purposes. Hostage taking is a slow and insideous method for inflicting Stockholm Syndrome on Israelis, and Israelis must resist the temptation to be influenced by his plight or risk endangering everyone and everything. its an awful dilemna, but the choices are clear and neither compromise, inaction nor action is pleasant. Never pay for hostage taking, as it only encourages them to do more. Look at the piracy case where India paid a ship ransom of $2mm, now the pirates also want 150 of their fellow pirate prisoners returned. Doing likewise to them reduces you to their low level.
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After Amnesty report on detention centers, Iraqi PM orders investigation (Reuters)