Analyst: Israel Struck Deal to Punish Abbas
While many analysts in Israel see the government's deal to free Gilad Shalit as a surrender to terrorism, at least one defense policy expert paints the move as a well thought out one, designed to punish Fatah by rewarding Hamas.
Writing in the American Thinker, Shoshana Bryen explains the timing of the deal by recounting that Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas recently went to the United Nations and asked one of its bodies, UNESCO, to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a state. This breach of the Oslo agreements angered Israel, she writes, and caused it to strengthen Fatah's rival Hamas by concluding the deal with it.
"Expect the Israelis to hunker down and prepare to defend what they believe they have to defend leaving no hostage in the hands of Hamas," she predicts. "The era of Israel's willingness to make concessions for the sake of the 'peace process' is over."