Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gilad Shalit exchange deal could boost both Hamas and Israeli government

Sensational agreement may see as many as 1,000 Palestinian prisoners freed in exchange for Israeli soldier captured in 2006

Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 11 October 2011

"...The deal to free the sergeant, sealed on Tuesday, is a sensational agreement with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza but is shunned as a terrorist organisation by Israel.

Though there were not full details on the Palestinians Israel would agree to free in return, it would almost certainly involve members of the PLO as well as Hamas.

Reuters quoted one source as saying it could be as many as 1,000.

Caution is in order: this is not the first time a breakthrough in the case has been reported and experience suggests that premature publicity can prove fatal....

Hamas has been feeling uncomfortable due to the turmoil in Syria, its main base outside the Gaza Strip, so a mass release of its men from Israeli jails would be popular with its own supporters and a significant boost to its credibility and legitimacy....."

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