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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Report: Israel asked Egypt to get back into Shalit negotiations?

Qatari-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Saturday that Uzi Arad, Prime Minister Netanyahu's National Security Adviser, has requested Egyptian help in restarting negotiations for the release of kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit.
The Qatar-based newspaper, A-Sharq Al-Awsat, reported that National Security Advisor, Uzi Arad, requested Egypt's help in mediation over Shalit, but Egypt has yet to contact Hamas regarding Israel's request.

The senior Hamas official quoted in the report stressed that Hamas and Cairo have been in continuous contact over Shalit negotiations.
Let's say I have my doubts about this report. If Egypt hasn't contacted Hamas yet, how would Hamas know about it? You can bet that Arad didn't call them!

In any event, the gaps between Israel and Hamas on this issue remain: To the extent that Israel is willing to release senior terrorists it wants them expelled from the region. In the absence of some earth-shaking eventl, I don't see anything moving on this anytime soon.

On the other hand, the question needs to be asked: Is this one of the 'specific requests' that Hillary Clinton allegedly made of Netanyahu? To make a deal on Shalit to facilitate smoothing the way to a Hamas-Fatah 'reconciliation? If so, and Bibi is acceding to it, that's awfully bad news.


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