December 31, 2006

ALL ROADBLOCKS LEAD TO DAMASCUS:

Hamas cites breakthrough in deal over Israeli soldier (STEVEN ERLANGER, December 31, 2006, International Herald Tribune)

Those involved in holding an Israeli soldier who was captured in late June said today that there had been significant progress toward a prisoner exchange that would release him.

A spokesman in Gaza for the military wing of Hamas said "there is a breakthrough" in the prisoner issue "and we hope it will be concluded very soon." The spokesman, Abu Ubaida, suggested a deal could be close for the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas and two other militant groups during a raid into Israel on June 25.

A spokesman for the larger Hamas movement in Gaza, Fawzi Barhum, confirmed today that "there has been progress," while Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said last Thursday that the Israeli soldier would be freed soon.

The Egyptians have spent months trying to broker a deal, but their efforts have been stymied by the refusal of Hamas leaders in exile, in particular Khaled Meshal, who heads the Hamas political bureau, to sanction a deal that would send Corporal Shalit home before the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.


While Israeli attacks on Palestine and South Lebanon are counterproductive, they could do themselves a world of good by taking out the regime in Syria and those it provides safe harbor.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2006 2:25 PM
Comments

Let the Israeli's start the new year with a bang by taking out Syria first and see what develops. It's long past due.

Posted by: erp at December 31, 2006 5:54 PM
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