Powered by WebAds

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hamas to link prisoner release talks with Hezbullah's

A 'Palestinian Authority' source told Haaretz this morning that Hamas has decided to link the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit with the release of kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser by Hezbullah. This is contrary to Hamas' approach to date, which kept the negotiations for Shalit completely separate from those relating to Regev and Goldwasser. According to the source, who is said to be close to 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, Hamas' change in tactic is a result of Syrian and Iranian pressure. At the end of this post, I will tell you why the Syrians and Iranians want Shalit to be part of the same deal as Goldwasser and Regev. Apparently, Israel is not willing to pay for dead bodies with terrorists anymore.
According to the source, Hamas is trying to keep this development from the public because of the heavy criticism leveled against the organization in recent days by the two groups that participated in the raid that resulted in Shalit's abduction.

The groups, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and the Islamic Army, headed by a former member of the PRC, Mumtaz Durmush, have been critical of Hamas, because it is negotiating over Shalit without consulting them.

The PRC issued a pamphlet last week in which they warned that "no organization should embark on independent announcements on anything having to do with the imprisoned soldier held by the three military organizations."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, said Sunday that "foreign elements are trying to link the Palestinian issue with the Lebanese issue," hinting that Iran was involved.
The Egyptians have made these kinds of statements before, and whenever I saw them, I always assumed that the reference was to Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas politburo chief in Syria. This report says that the Iranians (and the Syrians themselves - not just Meshaal who is a Hamasnik at heart) are behind the change in tactics, and the unanswered question is why. I'm going to speculate as to why, and you can all decide whether you agree with me.

My gut feeling is that Hezbullah feels that it has nothing to give in a 'prisoner exchange,' because Goldwasser and Regev are both dead. Last week, I blogged that the government said that one of them was critically wounded and one was seriously wounded in the original kidnapping. In the same post, I discovered that the government had been offered 'information' regarding Goldwasser and Regev in exchange for an exorbitant price that included Samir al-Kuntar, who committed one of the most heinous terrorists acts in Israel's history, bashing a 4-year old to death with rocks on the beach near Nahariya. In the same post (how many of you actually read it?), I noted that Goldwasser's father Shlomo had urged the government not to exchange prisoners for his son's body.

I think that Goldwasser and Regev are both dead and therefore Hezbullah has nothing for which Israel is willing to pay an exorbitant price (maybe the government learned something from the Tannenbaum exchange?). But we know that Shalit is alive. There were rumors that Israel got a letter from Shalit, and that rumor was later confirmed. So Syria and Iran have pressured Hamas to throw Shalit into Hezbullah's pot, bringing Hezbullah back into the negotiations.


At 9:32 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I think that Israel needs to change its capital punishment policy, and start executing some of those 9200 paly terrorist prisoners. Maybe one every 6 hours until our soldiers, or their bodies, are sent back.

It's hard and brutal, but it is the only language that folks like Hamas and Hezbollah understand.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I agree. But it's likely to be a cold day in hell before that happens.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Fortunately, Carl, there really is a town called Hell, in Michigan. I've been there. This time of year, it is likely frozen over. Maybe that will help us.

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, Michigan


Post a Comment

<< Home