Hamas Would Release Shalit for Cease-fire, Promises
Hamas says it will release Gilad Shalit in exchange for an Israeli cease-fire and several prisoners to be named later.
All groups in Gaza, including Hamas, would now accept a cease-fire deal with Israel which would include releasing Gilad Shalit, according to the Palestinian Agriculture Minister, who also heads the coordinating committee of Palestinian organizations there. Ibrahim Al-Naja said the factions were ready to stop the Qassam rocket fire if Israel’s ceased all military moves against the Palestinian factions in Gaza. They are also ready to release Shalit in exchange for guaranteeing the future release of Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas leaders did not confirm this report on Monday, but if it is true, then this is the first time that Hamas has indicated its acceptance of the Egyptian proposal to solve the crisis.
Egypt’s proposal did not include an Israeli commitment to the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners, only guarantees for their future release. Al-Naja said the Palestinian faction’s conditions were that the cease-fire would be mutual and Israel would stop all its actions against the Palestinians. He also said Israel must provide clear guarantees to free veteran prisoners, minors and female prisoners incarcerated in Israel.
While this looks at first glance like a victory for Israel [UPDATE: See Blue Crab Boulevard and Jay Currie, for example.], it’s mostly a sign that the terrorists have gotten all they can hope for in this conflict and wish to regroup. All Hamas and company can do is ensure that there is a deep-seated hatred of Israel, to perpetuate the war against their enemy, and plenty of suicide bombers and foot soldiers ready to take them on. They’ve achieved that. As a bonus, their jihadist comrades-in-arms, Hezbollah, are currently killing Israelis and Israel is stoking the anger of other states in the region. Hamas might as well try to get a breather at this point.
UPDATE: KnightHawk hopes Israel doesn’t give in on the prisoner exchange, (correctly) thinking that would be a victory for Hamas.
Dan Riehl would “like to see Israel continue until they crushed both Hamas and Hezbollah.”