Negotiating Balance in the Middle East
With such results as this, can there be any question about why Palestinian leaders take the strategy that they do?
In the first video images since he was captured by Palestinian militants in 2006, Israeli Sgt. Gilad Schalit — looking thin but healthy, his hair freshly trimmed — sent love to his family, appealed for his freedom and held up a newspaper to prove the footage was recent.
Israel freed 19 Palestinian women from prison on Friday in exchange for the video, raising hopes for the young soldier’s release and taking a step toward defusing a key flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.
In the West Bank, jubilant Palestinians cheered and waved flags as the freed women returned home, some with prison-born babies in tow. And in Gaza, ruled by the Hamas militants holding Schalit, the prime minister called the swap a victory for Palestinians.
Nineteen women for a video. And there’s an air of congratulations to the fact that Hamas has kept its prison “healthy” (if thin) and presented him with a haircut, while it’s quickly passed by that the women have clearly been receiving thorough medical care.
Hamas’s next step in “negotiations” is to request the release of 1,000 prisoners, some of them terrorist murderers, for Schalit. And so it goes.