Powered by WebAds

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Meshaal: Shalit is still alive

CNN reports that its Damascus correspondent Nic Robertson inteviewed Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal. It was Meshaal's first interview with western media in more than two years, and according to Robertson, Shalit is still alive. You can watch a CNN segment with Robertson (but not with Meshaal) here.

Shalit was kidnapped by 'Palestinian' terrorists (allegedly not from Hamas although Hamas clearly 'helped' them) on June 25, 2006. Jim at Gateway Pundit has a picture taken from the Israeli army outpost from which Shalit was kidnapped that shows the distance - three kilometers - that Hamas tunneled in order to kidnap Shalit.

CNN reports:
Meshaal said Hamas has put forward a list of 350 Palestinians they want released from Israeli jails, but he blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks.

An Israeli envoy traveled to Egypt last month with a list of Hamas prisoners the Israelis would be willing to release, an Egyptian official said. While Israel has given up Palestinian prisoners in the past, Israel has also said it will not release certain prisoners accused of having carried out terrorist attacks.

Meshaal cited Israel's willingness to release Palestinian robbers and such, but not leaders, as one reason negotiations have broken down.

Among the prisoners Hamas wants released is Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader serving five life sentences. He was convicted in 2004 on five counts of murder stemming from three al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades attacks that killed Israelis. He was also sentenced to 40 years in prison on an attempted murder charge from a failed suicide car bomb.
The things I found most curious about this report were that first, Hamas has apparently dropped the number of terrorists whose release they are demanding. In the past, they have always talked about 1000-1400. Note that the number has now fallen to 350. Even that is too many and we should not be releasing terrorists. But the fact that they have decreased the number of prisoners demanded shows some frustration - if not desperation - on their part.

Second - and this was only in the video and not in the writeup - Nic Robertson emphasized a couple of times that they saw "no conclusive proof" that Shalit is still alive. You may recall that Shalit was wounded in the kidnapping, and in the audio tape released in June on the kidnapping's anniversary, he says that he is in need of "prolonged hospitalization."

Third, in the video - and again not in the write-up - Robertson questions why Hamas would want Barghouti - who is a Fatah leader - released. It's a good question, but I think the answer is that Hamas believes that it will not be able to govern in the long term without Fatah, and that there is a better chance of 'reconciliation' with Barghouti than there is with Abu Mazen.

We thus have two pieces of evidence (the decrease in the number of terrorists demanded and the desire to have Barghouti released) that indicate that Hamas is weakening. But no, that does not mean that 'peace' is at hand.


At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That CNN would meet with a group of animals such as Hamas only serves to give them legitimacy in this world. They are a vile, animalistic group of thugs and their mention of "humanitarian duty" nauseates me. Try telling all the innocent victims of their humanitarian duty. These Hamas animals treat people worse than animals. They torture them and behead them on a whim. Humanitarian duty my rosy keister.


Post a Comment

<< Home