woensdag 24 juni 2009

Berichten over vrijlating Shalit ontkend; commissie stelt richtlijnen op voor gevangenenruil

Als de nieuwe richtlijnen voor gevangenenruil straks zijn vastgesteld, moet men wel een kopietje naar Hamas sturen. Die kan dan inschatten of het nog loont om Israeli's te ontvoeren en uit te ruilen. Wordt het een soort legeskostenverordening? Per levende, gezonde soldaat 500 Palestijnse gevangenen, waarvan 50 van het zwaar-terroristische kaliber? Per dode soldaat slechts 100 Palestijnen, alleen lichte gevallen? Hangt aan ontvoerde burgers straks een hoger of juist lager prijskaartje dan aan soldaten? Zijn bombardementen bij de prijs inbegrepen?
Van het jarenlange gesteggel over Shalit en de eindeloze lijst vrij te laten Palestijnen kun je wel cynisch worden.
Hamas, Israel deny Schalit release rumor
Hamas and Israeli officials on Tuesday evening both denied a report by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit would be transferred to Egypt in a matter of hours. Later Tuesday, the news agency updated the report, taking out the time frame but still claiming that Schalit's release was imminent.

The report, quoting unnamed Egyptian sources, cited an unscheduled visit to Tel Aviv by Egyptian general Muhammad Ibrahim, saying he had made the trip to discuss prisoner swap arrangements to be made after Schalit's transfer to Egypt.

According to Palestinian reports, Israel had conveyed a message to Hamas through former US president Jimmy Carter in which Jerusalem expressed willingness to release most of the prisoners that Hamas is demanding be released in exchange for Schalit.

"Israel is awaiting the letter of reply from Gilad Schalit to the letter transferred to him by his parents, Noam and Aviva, in order to verify that he is still alive," Palestinian sources said. "Afterwards Israel will agree to advance the negotiations for Schalit's release and end the affair."

The sources claimed that the Israeli government was eager to see Schalit return and had therefore agreed to release many of the prisoners on the list, including senior Hamas members.

The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the report.

Meanwhile, former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar denied reports that a committee set up by Defense Minister Ehud Barak had set a new price tag for future prisoner exchanges.

Tuesday's report in Yediot Aharonot claimed that the committee, formed by Barak in the wake of the 2008 prisoner exchange with Hizbullah to set guidelines in the event of future abductions, had recommended that Israel refrain from releasing large numbers of prisoners in exchange for abductees, and avoid releasing live prisoners in exchange for bodies.

While Shamgar did not rule out such a conclusion, he told Army Radio that no decision had yet been made.

"Until now, all of the committee members have avoided publicizing anything to anyone, and I don't want to comment on what was said in the [Yediot] story - we have yet to make up our minds and we have yet to file a report," he said.

Shamgar added that any recommendations made by the committee would not affect a deal for the release of Schalit and would only pertain to future cases.

The committee is chaired by Israel Prize-winning ethicist Asa Kasher and also includes former Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron.

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