Haaretz reported All groups in Gaza, including Hamas, would now accept a cease-fire deal with Israel which would include releasing Gilad Shalit, according to the Palestinian Agriculture Minister, who also heads the coordinating committee of Palestinian organizations there. Ibrahim Al-Naja said the factions were ready to stop the Qassam rocket fire if Israel's ceased all military moves against the Palestinian factions in Gaza. They are also ready to release Shalit in exchange for guaranteeing the future release of Palestinian prisoners.
This is good news, but if they stop the rocket fire, what will they do next. Send suicide bombers through tunnels? Or will they really do something unexpected, and form a state of their own, living in peace with their neighbor?Hamas leaders did not confirm this report on Monday, but if it is true, then this is the first time that Hamas has indicated its acceptance of the Egyptian proposal to solve the crisis.
CQ blogged It remains to be seen whether the Palestinians will honor such an agreement. It could, after all, just provide a cover for their "triangle offense", where a couple of groups announce a cease fire while another continues to attack until Israel responds -- and then the other groups blame Israel for violating the cease fire. Islamic Jihad ran most of these rocket sites; will they agree to stop attacking Israel? We'll see, but at least Israel has made plain the response they can expect if they do not.
Assuming the Palestinians adhere to the cease-fire, the Israelis get a cessation on rocket attacks and their soldier returned to them, as well as the elimination of one front in their war. In return, all they concede is the promise to release minors and women at some later date, moves which they wanted to make before the kidnapping took place anyway. The agreement also abandons Hezbollah to their own political devices, and points to a split between Iran and the Palestinians that might hold some cause for optimism.
OTB blogged While this looks at first glance like a victory for Israel, it’s mostly a sign that the terrorists have gotten all they can hope for in this conflict and wish to regroup. All Hamas and company can do is ensure that there is a deep-seated hatred of Israel, to perpetuate the war against their enemy, and plenty of suicide bombers and foot soldiers ready to take them on. They’ve achieved that. As a bonus, their jihadist comrades-in-arms, Hezbollah, are currently killing Israelis and Israel is stoking the anger of other states in the region. Hamas might as well try to get a breather at this point.
Dan Riehl blogged If I had my druthers, I'd like to see Israel continue until they crushed both Hamas and Hezbollah. They are not political entities. They are militaristic religious zealots who came to realize whatever political power they presently enjoy through force of arms, terror and intimidation. The next few decades would be a great deal better if we rid the planet of this particular brand of vermin now while we have the chance, instead of waiting for the next opportunity - after we've once again paid a significant price through some terrorist act.
KnightHawk blogged I would say no dice! Give Israel back Shalit in return for cessation, anything else just puts Israel back to where they were before all this happened and gives the Palestinian factions just what they wanted in the first place, all their terror buddies released. This “offer” is no different then their position the day after the kidnapping. Israel should reject any pressure put on it to accept such an “offer". If those in Gaza want hostilities brought to an end they continue to have the option of releasing Shalit from captivity, if they seriously desire and end they can exercise that option at any time. Agreement to any other terms represents a win for terrorists around the world and an open invitation for another repeat of current events.
Jay Currie blogged If this is true then Hamas has capitulated….for the moment. The key part is the willingness to end the rockets. The return of Shalit is important; but the end of the rockeets would be the first step to an actual peace.
BlueCrab blogged Simply put, if the Palestinians stop attacking, Israel has no need to target the terrorists. Eventual release of prisoners can mean when they die of old age the bodies will be sent back. This could very well mean the Palestinian terrorists have folded. If this is true, Israel just won a major victory.
Sto the ACLU blogged I’m sure the left will hail this as a fair compromise, but I must say that I disagree. Israel should not accept this deal. The only reason the terrorists are even going this far is because they are losing. Why should Israel release any of their terrorist buddies? Isn’t that what the terrorist demanded from the very beginning? Wouldn’t an acceptance of this deal be a victory for terror, giving in to exactly what they wanted?