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Monday, December 28, 2009

Has Israel made its final offer for Shalit?

Israel may have made its last, best offer for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement during yesterday's cabinet meeting that no deal had been reached to free captive soldier Gilad Shalit - and that it wasn't clear if such a deal would be achieved - is more than just a routine report on the negotiations.

Netanyahu, who leaves tomorrow for Egypt, is also trying to reduce Hamas' expectations. Israel wants to send Hamas a message that the last offer it made via German mediator Gerhard Conrad, whose name was revealed in the German press, really is the last offer, with no extra sales or buy one get one free.

The problem, of course, is that Israel's conduct so far has not bolstered this impression. The fact that Israel has changed its negotiating position, along with the 48 dramatic hours of last week's meetings of the forum of seven senior cabinet members, gave Hamas the (false?) hope that it could extract a few more concessions.


It may be that Hamas is wrong this time in assessing the Israeli position. Netanyahu does not have unlimited ability to maneuver, and the officials involved are not just responsible for getting Shalit back, but also for security in the territories after a deal. Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin isn't going to approve just any transaction.
Hmmm. We can only hope the government is done caving in on this. There has to be some limit.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

We can only hope IDF Chief Of Staff Ashkenazi doesn't get his way - he after all refuses to present to the government a military option for rescuing Shalit. The only thing that has stopped a terrorist trade up to now is that Hamas keeps raising the price for a deal.

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off stop warning your enemy before you strike. Give hamas 24 hours to release Shalit, if they don't then start killing its leaders and militia.


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