Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inflation Hits The Kidnapped Israeli Soldier Market

It was obvious that it was only a matter of time before Israel would be forced to deal with the consequences of the Kuntar deal. It didn't take long.

Eric Trager writes:
In this vein, Hamas has named an incredibly steep price in negotiations regarding captured IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit. Consider the following: after Shalit was captured in June 2006, Israel arrested a number of Hamas parliamentarians and ministers, intending to use them as trade bait for negotiating Shalit’s ultimate release. Well, according to Hamas’ most recent demands, the release of these officials will only secure Shalit’s transfer to Cairo, where his family would be able to visit him under the auspices of Egyptian security authorities. Meanwhile, the price for finally returning Shalit to Israel is the release of two top Hamas operatives and, most notably, Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti - the most highly coveted Palestinian prisoner, who is currently serving five life sentences for his direct involvement in deadly terrorist attacks during the second Intifada.
As Trager notes, succumbing to a deal like this would exacerbate the situation even further and result in Israel forfeiting its last major bargaining chip. But at this point, can Israel really refuse the deal in a convincing way, or will Hamas just bide its time after seeing that Israel eventually buckled and finally came around to returning Kunar.

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