Fatah Tanzim faction leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison will not be among the terrorists released by Israel in a deal to bring Gilad Shalit home, according to Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. Shalom earlier in the week rejected statements released by BBC Arabic quoting him as saying Barghouti was going to be released.
While Shalom remains adamant, at least to the media in Israel, Hamas officials have a different spin, telling the press on Wednesday that either Shalom is not informed, or he just feels like telling the press something that is simply untrue. Hamas maintains that Barghouti’s name leads the list and without his release, there is no deal.
Barghouti’s wife was quoted in the media stating that her information points to her husband’s release in a prisoner release deal for Shalit.
Hamas officials in Damascus on Wednesday are expected to respond to the German mediator, if the current formula for a release agreement is acceptable. The message will then make its way back to Cairo, and at that time, there may be a clearer picture as to the possibility of completing a prisoner exchange agreement at this time.
Opponents of any deal involving the release of murders explain that since the Ahmed Jibril prisoner exchange deal in May 1985, at least 177 Israelis have been murdered by terrorists released in one prisoner exchange deal or another, returning to their murderous ways.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)