The Reasons for Hamas' "Flexibility" on Shalit Swap

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - The framework deal for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit - 1,000 for one - is pretty much the same one the German mediator put on the table two years ago. What changed are some of the key names on the list, and where the Palestinian prisoners will go after their release. Once Hamas took some "mega-terrorists" off the list and agreed that 203 of the prisoners from the West Bank would not be returning home, but instead be deported either to Gaza or abroad, Netanyahu agreed that six Israeli Arabs would be included in the deal, and that all 27 women would be released. At Tuesday's cabinet meeting, the ministers were presented with three reasons for Hamas' "flexibility." The weakened position of Syria, where Hamas has its headquarters, means it needed to start worrying about where it can move. Finding another host country, according to assessments in Jerusalem, might be more complicated as long as it continued to hold Shalit. The cabinet was also told that the changes in Egypt have had a huge impact on Hamas, giving the Egyptians a degree of leverage over the organization that President Hosni Mubarak never had. Egypt pressed Hamas to moderate its position, and Hamas responded. Finally, the cabinet was told that Israel's recent stiffening of the prison conditions for security prisoners also had an impact.

2011-10-14 00:00:00

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