Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Gilad Shalit Deal - Something Stinks

I don't believe that Gilad Shalit has only now, after five years, been released simply because of the so-called Arab spring and because of improved relations between Egypt and Hamas. I think that Shalit has been released because Hamas are unhappy with Mahmoud Abbas' attempt to push for UN recognition of a Palestinian state, and this is an attempt to boost Hamas' popularity and relevance. Israel, similarly unhappy with Abbas, isn't really troubled with the release of over a thousand Palestinians held in its prisons, especially when it can round them all back within 48 hours if it so wished.

Am I expected to believe that Shalit, after spending five years as a captive in Gaza, is now to be released simply because of some 'breakthrough' in negotiations? And so soon after Abbas tried to get a Palestinian state recognised? Perhaps we can compare this to the Syrian regime's allowing a 'spontaneous' demonstration on the borders with the Golan Heights to cross the dividing line at the same time that Syria is facing unprecedented wide spread revolt against Assad's rule. Like Assad, Meshaal can announce from Damascus that the deal is a massive 'victory' for the Palestinian people, and that they have obtained most of their demands. We are then supposed to accept that this is all just a happy coincidence.

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