Archive for Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hamas, Israel strike surprising deal

October 1, 2009


— In a surprise deal announced Wednesday, Hamas will give Israel a videotape providing a first glimpse of a captured Israeli soldier to prove he is alive in return for the release of 20 Palestinian women held in Israeli prisons.

It marked the first tangible sign of progress in more than three years of talks aimed at a larger prisoner exchange, and it could lead to an end to a crippling blockade of the impoverished, war-torn Gaza Strip, which is ruled by militant Islamic Hamas.

Israel said the video-for-prisoners exchange would take place Friday.

Up to now, the only signs of life from the soldier, Gilad Schalit, were several letters and an apparently carefully scripted audio tape, released just months after he was captured in June 2006. Hamas-linked militants tunneled under the Gaza-Israel border, attacked an Israeli army base from the rear, killed two soldiers and hauled a bleeding Schalit off into captivity.

Hamas is demanding the release of as many as 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the soldier, including many convicted of deadly attacks against Israelis. Israel says it will not ease the blockade until the soldier is freed.


jaywalker 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't know which is more sad:

A. That the conclusion of the reporter was the exchange of a video tape "could lead" to much of anything between these two.

B. That I'm so pessimistic.

jaywalker 8 years, 8 months ago

I 'spect I wouldn't be so skeptical if the 'exchange' were 20 women prisoners for the captured soldier himself rather than simple proof he's alive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

Jaywalker-- Israel has literally thousands of Palestinian prisoners, while to my knowledge, Hamas only has one Israeli (and certainly not many more than that.) I doubt that they'll give him up that cheaply.

jaywalker 8 years, 8 months ago

20 for 1 doesn't sound bad to me, bozo, and it would be a better start toward more releases than a video tape, at least I think it would. The fly in the ointment, though, is only one side wants peace. And at this point, even if Israel was to give back portions of the land or pull back to previously agreed upon boundaries, I don't believe the violence would stop. The enemies of Israel don't wish to co-exist in any fashion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

"The fly in the ointment, though, is only one side wants peace."

The majority of both sides want peace. But powerful minorities on each side think that God is exclusively on their side, and won't compromise on anything because of their wacko superstitions.

A US policy pretending that Palestinians are the only hindrance to peace won't allow anything to change.

jaywalker 8 years, 8 months ago

"The majority of both sides wants peace."

True, however only one side has a ruling party hell bent on the other's annihilation. And calling other's religious beliefs "wacko superstitions" is moronic, even by your standards, bozo. 95% of the world believes in a Higher Power, bully for you if you don't, that's your perogative. Doesn't make you right or wrong, but giving voice to a belief that the overwhelming majority of the world must all be crackpots and you're of the select few who knows 'the truth' only reveals a deep, myopic arrogance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

"and you're of the select few who knows 'the truth' only reveals a deep, myopic arrogance."

Sorry-- I must have inadvertently stepped on your turf.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

"And calling other's religious beliefs “wacko superstitions” is moronic, "

Moronic? Let's see, they base their lives on fairy tales straight out of the bronze age, the Israelis murder Palestinians by the thousands, and Palestinians murder Israelis by the dozens, and this is somehow "justified" by their superstitions. But according to you, I'm a "moron" for calling it wacko?

As long as they stop killing each other, I'm perfectly content with their practicing whatever superstitions they want, but I reserve the right to call it for what it is. And if that means you think I'm a moron, well, I can live with that.

jaywalker 8 years, 8 months ago

Well done, bozo. Heap hyperbole on top of your myopic, arrogant outlook, then reiterate. Every time I think porch person might wrest your title as Village Idiot away, you speak up.

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