Sunday, June 29, 2008

"If Hezbollah & Hamas can can gain the release of Lebanese prisoners & bring about the collapse of Israel's policy of sanctions...."

Zvi Bar'el, in Haaretz, Here
"....The Palestinian Authority, like the Lebanese government, had nothing to do with these negotiations. They watched from afar how those groups, Hamas and Hezbollah, are taking onto themselves the authority of states and holding negotiations that are not only about the release of prisoners. Every such negotiation has diplomatic and political aspects. After all, if only Hezbollah. not the government in Beirut, can gain the release of Lebanese prisoners, and if only Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian factions have the power to bring about the collapse of Israel's policy of sanctions and opening the crossings into the Gaza Strip - what's left for the state above them to do? ...
....Israel experiences pangs of great pain every time it needs to undertake such negotiations, but could have probably avoided the experience. During the first days of the Second Lebanon War it appeared that Hezbollah was willing to release the two abducted soldiers to the custody of the Lebanese government, so that it would negotiate over them. It is unclear why Israel rejected the offer. In retrospect, we can also say that even before the raid, the abduction and the war that followed, Israel could have negotiated over the release of Samir Kuntar with the government of Lebanon, granting it the political gains or at least the role of mediator...."

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