Even as the nation prays for the safe return of kidnapped soldier Gilead Shalit, reports now indicate that yet another Israeli appears to have been abducted by Palestinian terrorists.
This afternoon, fears mounted that 18-year old Eliyahu Ashri, of the community of Itamar outside Shechem (Nablus), may have been taken hostage over the past day or two by the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee, which is believed to be holding him in Ramallah.
And so, over the course of just 72 hours, the people of Israel have had their sense of personal security shattered, as the Government stands by and does nothing (thus far) to rescue the beleaguered captives – other than issue empty, meaningless threats.
It is hard to believe that this is the same country that once did everything in its power to protect its citizens and bring them home.
Indeed, next week marks thirty years since the heroic Israeli operation to free Jewish and Israeli hostages who were being held at Entebbe, Uganda, by Palestinian hijackers and terrorists.
For years afterwards, the "spirit of Entebbe" guided this country, and deterred its enemies from daring to repeat such hijinks.
Only by regaining that spirit, and hitting back at our foes, can we hope to dissuade them from further atrocities.
The sooner Mr. Olmert and his government adopt that approach, the safer the people of Israel will be.