Friday, June 30, 2006

Mubarak, negotiating

You can tell how much Mubarak dislikes Hamas and their leadership by the fact that, at least according to reports in the Jerusalem Post, he's actually taking a moderate, useful stance in the ongoing negotation to diffuse the current Gaza crisis.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak demanded from his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad to deport the Syrian-based Hamas leadership unless it agrees to release kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, Palestinian sources said on Friday.

The demand was made in the context of a compromise that Egypt was attempting to draft between the Israel and Hamas, whose Damascus leader, Khaled Mashaal was demanding that thousands of Palestinian detainees, held in Israeli prisons, be released. Mubarak warned Mashaal that his position was leading the Palestinians to disaster, Israel Radio reported.
Though it's no wonder, with Palestinians, literally, once again battening down the gates - with explosives - at Egypt's northern border with Gaza.

The Captain also weighs in on the implications of Mubarak's stance.

Debka reports that Kemal Mashaal, the Hamas leader living in Syria, has indicated that there would be no compromise right now as Hamas is not in the mood to bend and bow to Israel. But they also report counterindications, apparently from other sources, that "a modest return" might be possible.

According to yet other Debka sources, this time Palestinian, three points have emerged from the Egyptian-Palestinian negotiation"
DEBKAfile's Palestinian sources point to three important points emerging from the Hamas-Egyptian exchange:

1. The tone taken by the Palestinian terrorist group's leaders indicates that Gilead Shalit is alive and in the Gaza Strip, unless, of course, they are cheating.

2. Hamas would prefer to end the episode speedily and accept the token release of a small number of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Mubarak spoke of Hamas accepting Egyptian compromise proposals and accused Israel of holding back its response. An official Israeli spokesman shot back: "Jerusalem has not received any compromise proposals."

3. [Egyptian intelligence chief, Gen. Omar] Suleiman is using his mediation effort on behalf of the Israeli soldier as a lever for negotiations on a long-term, comprehensive ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that would also terminate the Palestinian Qassam offensive from Gaza.


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