Israel Caves to Hamas

Israel-Hamas truce deal abandons Israeli captive
From DEBKAfile
June 15, 2008, 1:44 PM (GMT+02:00)

Commenting on the truce deal shaping up between Israel and Hamas for the Gaza Strip, DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the Olmert government has given way to Hamas on its two key demands: the incorporation in the package of the Israeli soldier, Gilead Shalit, who was kidnapped two years ago on Israeli soil, and an end to arms smuggling through Sinai for the Hamas war arsenal.

Those sources note the similarity of this case with that of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which halted the Lebanon War two years ago; then too, Israel buckled under outside pressures and failed to obtain the release of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who remain in Hizballah’s hands to this day.

As DEBKAfile reported last week, Israel has essentially accepted Hamas ceasefire terms formulated by Egypt, as Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman will inform a Hamas delegation led by Musa Abu Marzuk from Damascus and Mahmoud a-Zahar from Gaza Sunday, June 15.

Hamas, supported by Cairo, stipulates Gilead Shalit’s return will take place in a separate deal for the list of jailed Palestinians handed Israel some months ago. They include hundreds of hard-case terrorists.

Under the deal, Hamas undertakes to stop its cross-border fire from Gaza and Israel to halt its counter-terror operations for a six-month period, during which Israel will ease its blockade of the territory (reopen some border crossings). Cairo wants to include the Gaza-Egyptian border terminal at Rafah in the deal. If the truce holds up in Gaza, it may be extended to the west Bank.

Hizballah used the 2006 Lebanon ceasefire as a platform for its wholesale rearmament by Iran and Syria and has since denied any scrap of informaton on the fate of the two Israeli soldiers snatched by its gunmen in a cross-border incursion within two weeks of the Shalit kidnap.

The same pattern has developed in Gaza, where the Palestinian clients of Tehran and Damascus are calling the shots with Egypt’s help.



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