Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Cabinet to vote on wording for deal to free Shalit, Gaza truce

Posted by gaetanoditommaso su 16 febbraio, 2009


16 February 2009

By Amos Harel, Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Raphael Ahren

Israel’s political leadership decided on Sunday to prepare the text for a cabinet decision on a deal with Hamas for captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit and a renewed cease-fire.

Shalit was captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006. Hamas has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons in exchange for Shalit.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak opted to prepare a document for possible presentation to the cabinet on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a source at the Prime Minister’s Bureau said that “efforts to gain the release of Shalit have been significantly accelerated and they will be intensified even more.”

But the prime minister’s declaration Saturday that there will be no cease-fire agreement or the reopening of the border crossings into Gaza without the release of Shalit stands in stark contrast to Hamas’ position. The Islamist group is demanding that the two issues be kept separate and wants the crossings to be reopened before any prisoner exchange.

Egyptian officials are now busy on a formula that would allow both sides to claim that their stance was accepted.

However, in Israel some observers are pessimistic that Cairo’s efforts will bear fruit, and some sources expressed concern that Hamas may toughen its stance in the belief that this will improve their hand.

Another key issue is the identity of the Palestinians that each side is willing to see freed. Hamas has demanded a large proportion of the prisoners on its list of 350 to 450 names. Significant progress has been made, and Israel now opposes only several dozen names.

A spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeida, said Sunday that the group insists on the release of three senior figures: Ibrahim Hamed, the leader of the military wing in the West Bank; Abdullah Barghouti, responsible among others for the bombings at the Sbarro pizzeria and Cafe Moment in Jerusalem; and Abbas al-Sayed, mastermind of the Park Hotel massacre in Netanya.

On the other hand, there seems to be support in Israel for the release of Marwan Barghouti, the jailed leader of Fatah’s more militant Tanzim faction.

Hader Shkirat, attorney for Barghouti, told Haaretz on Sunday that there will be no deal for Shalit without the release of Barghouti.




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