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“Something important has happened”

I don’t think we’ve commented on the deal Israel reached with Hizbollah over the weekend. It sounds like a huge victory for Hizbollah, one that Israel will have cause to regret conferring. As Caroline Glick describes it:

In exchange for the bodies of two dead soldiers – Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser – Israel. . .will release six murderers from prison and send them to Lebanon for a hero’s welcome. It will give Hizbullah the bodies of 200 terrorists. . . .Israel has agreed to provide Hizbullah with information on four missing Iranian “diplomats.” And it has agreed to release an unknown number of Palestinian terrorists from prison.

The meaning of this deal is not lost on Hamas. Its leader, Mahmoud Zahar, has said that Israel’s decision to free the Lebanese prisoners in the context of a prisoner exchange with Hizbullah will pave the way for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners “with blood on their hands.” Nor was Hamas alone. According to the Jerusalem Post, other Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip also expressed hope that the deal with Hizbollah signals a change in Israel’s policy of not releasing prisoners who were involved in killings. But Hamas’ Zahar put most clearly when he explained:

Something important has happened, and there’s no ignoring the fact that [the cabinet decision] is a major development. Israel has agreed to release prisoners who it says have blood on their hands. We must therefore seize the opportunity and seek the release of our prisoners. There should be no difference between the case of Schalit [the Hamas terrorist Israel is holding] and the case of Kuntar [an about-to-be-released Hizbollah terrorist]“

Terrorists may not know much, but they know weakness.

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