Monday, December 21, 2009

Fox news: Netanyahu opposes release of terrorists to West bank

(FOX).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reneged on a key provision in the prisoner swap deal intended to release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. That is driving the current troubles in the negotiation. This according to a senior source close to the negotiations.

Netanyahu had earlier agreed to allow some Hamas prisoners, who have shed Israeli blood, to be released to their homes in the West Bank . Now, according to the source, Netanyahu is demanding they be released either to Gaza or be exiled abroad.

The source also says the Netanyahu Government inherited the negotiations, from the government of Ehud Olmert, at a disadvantage. “Our opening position was worse than we had hoped for. We first had to fix the mistakes of the past. It wasn’t possible to fix everything. We have succeeded to achieve a better result than the one achieved by the previous team.”

The current negotiator, Hagai Hadass, appointed by Netanyahu, is on the verge of resigning his post, according to the source. It is feared he will do so, if Israel rejects the latest version of the swap deal.

There has been a flurry of meetings with a group of Senior Israeli Cabinet Ministers, known as the forum of seven, which started Sunday morning. The source tells Fox News this is not a guarantee that a deal is imminent. It is an indicator that ministers in the forum feel pressured to make a decision soon. “Time is of the essence. Every future deal will lead to worse results than the present one.”