between Israel and Hamastan (Gaza), and that Shalit is a prisoner ofwar. And, as in other wars, prisoners of war will be returned only after the cessation of all hostilities. This is the norm throughout the worlod - take World Warf II for example - and also in Israel's previous wars - the War of Independence in 1948; the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In all these wars, there was no exchange of prisoners until hostrilities had ended. If the Israeli goverment does make such a declaration, the Hamas rulers will be deprived of their principal psychological weapon against Israel. They will lose favor in the eyues of both the residents of Gaza and the residents of the Westr Bank, who will then know that Hamas can do nothing for them. They will losed whatever recognition they have achieved in the rest of the world. Yes, therre will be a furor here in Israel for a while, and the Shalit family will be deeply hurt; but their swon is a soldier and they must resign themselves to this fact. Once the furor has dieddown - and it will - the whole ,matter will drop out of the headlines, leaving a frustrated Hamas with no gains to speak of.
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Firebomb explodes near gas station in East Jerusalem; no injuries or damage caused (Haaretz)