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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Former Finnish President to mediate?

DEBKAfile is reporting that Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni is on her way to Helsinki to explore the possibility of the veteran mediator Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, mediating the hostage crisis with the 'Palestinians.' This following the apparent failure of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resolve the situation. Of course, this contradicts Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s reiteration after Sunday's cabinet meeting that Israel will not be blackmailed or negotiate for the freedom of kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit.

DEBKAfile points out that
Recruiting Ahtisaari would initiate an agonizingly slow process and condemn Gideon Shalit to weeks if not months in captivity. The Finnish mediator, an outstanding expert on Muslim affairs and negotiations, has just wound up one of his less succession missions in Kosovo on behalf of the United Nations. Specializing in prisoner exchanges, the former Finnish president takes a broad, comprehensive approach to a crisis, which in the case of the Israeli corporal might well entail cross-contacts with the Hizballah and the Muslim Brotherhood movement. He is believed to have good connections with the Qatar-based Sheikh Yusuf Al- Qaradawi, a mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood and a recognized religious authority for all parts of Hamas.
But this means that Israel will have to do something with its troops sitting in Southern Gaza, and since they cannot move back, they will have to move forward or be sitting ducks for Hamas attacks. The likely result is that 'moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has maneuvered Israel into doing his dirty work by getting rid of the Hamas 'government.'


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