It seems like a prisoner exchange for Shalit is approaching. JPOST reports
a list of Palestinian security prisoners – which includes some with “blood on their hands” – was received just before Pessah, and that Israel was currently reviewing the names.
But sources close to Hamas and Fatah told the Post the list includes at least 1,400 prisoners belonging to all Palestinian factions.
It is time to repeat some of our posts
So Abbas and Haniyeh used the media to turn their loss of face against Israel.
â€œThe ball is in Israelâ€™s courtâ€, said Palestinian information minister Ahmed Barghouti Sunday. â€œIsrael must respond immediately to the demand to release 1,000 in order to free Gilead Shalit.â€
Here is where the distortion comes in. DEBKAfile repeats that there is no way either Abbas or Haniyeh can produce the Israeli soldier â€“ even if Israel accepts the entire list. Not only does the Hamas prime minister have no influence with the kidnappers holding Shalit, but the rift between his faction and the Islamist groupâ€™s military wing, to which some of the abductors belong, is widening. This wing is in opposition to the Haniyeh government and hardly inclined to do him the favor of letting the Israeli soldier go, whatever Israelâ€™s response may be.
Furthermore, Hamasâ€™s co-abductors, the Population Resistance Front and Al Qaeda-Falastin, who are jointly guarding Shalit, have not signed off onto the list handed to Egypt.
There is a further complication: Al Qaeda-Falastin links Shalit with the BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, whom they kidnapped almost four weeks ago in Gaza, and for whom they are demanding a ransom of several million dollars.