An Israeli soldier who has been in prison in Gaza for 5 years without so much as a visit by the Red Cross.
Apparently a deal has been reached for his release.
The terms are not yet known, but the Israeli cabinet is voting on it tonight (Israel time).
Updates to follow:
Haaretz and other news sources are confirming the deal:
Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that “a brief window of opportunity has been opened that would possibly lead to Gilad Shalit’s homecoming,” adding: “The window appeared following fears that collapsing Mideast regimes and the rise of extremist forces would make Gilad Shalit’s return impossible.”
Netanyahu is holding a press conference right now, and confirming via Twitter:
Report from Al-Jazeera English is that the deal involves 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
And more details are coming out which will be hard for Israelis to hear, but the list includes killers like expert bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti (who built the bombs used in several high profile terrorist attacks killing 90 Israelis), Ibrahim Hamed (the chief of Hamas’s military operations in the West Bank,) and others with blood directly on their hands. One has to wonder how many Israelis will die in the future at the hands of the prisoner’s being released.
Israel television says released prisoners have 1200 Israeli vistims on their hands.
Israeli officials are denying that Marwan Barghouti is on the list (he’s not part of Hamas).
And, via Ynet:
All Palestinian female prisoners held in Israeli prisons are included in the
list of 450 including Amina Mona, a young woman who lured a lovestruck Israeli
teenage boy by the name of Ophir Nahum to a Palestinian city over the Internet,
only to have him killed by waiting terrorists.
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There are so many peculiar things happening. Bibi has always said he would not negotiate with terrorists. What has happened that he would put aside his convictions and negotiate with Hamas? Found a plausible explanation at Haaretz
“…Perhaps the most ominous story coming out of today’s news, is this report by a well-placed, well-regarded Israeli journalist, Alex Fishman, who says the reason that Bibi did the Shalit deal now, is that he has something really big up his sleeve. Read on:
All Because of Iran
Bibi Netanyahu is dying to clear the table [“clean house”] and redecorate in preparation for something different, something bigger, something more important.
…If you’re looking for the things that worry Netanyahu and Barak they’re always connected to Iran. This appears to be the background for the prime minister’s decision to back down from his previous position and to pressure the senior ministerial committee not to interfere and to close the Shalit deal.
Whatever’s happening regarding the Iran chapter [of this story] isn’t clear. But it’s clear that this is the next hot subject and it’s important that Israel comes to it with the image of a moderate, pragmatic state prepared to compromise. The Europeans will applaud us. This is no less important: this will strengthen the international consensus and the image of the prime minister in the face of the next challenge.
The article details all the compromises and back pedaling Bibi agreed to in sealing this deal, all the retreats he made from previous red lines he’d drawn. Fishman says there has to be a reason for Bibi capitulating to many Hamas demands he’d been loathe to do before. The answer: something’s cooking with Iran:
From Bibi’s point of view this deal is a default setting. In his view, not completing it would’ve caused far more damage in light of the preparations for the battle with the great enemy [Iran] to come…”
So was the press conference yesterday about Iran and the plot to assassinate a Saudi, just Eric Holder’s attempt to keep his job or was it something else–sinister? An assassination of a foreign dignitary on U.S. soil is an act of war, isn’t it? But why did they wait so many weeks after the plotter was arrested last September to announce it? And the plot was known since last May? Will this news jeopardize Galid Shalit’s release?
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