Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Often, a prisoner exchange is an early step in de-escalating a severe, protracted conflict.  It is a mutual recognition of the adversaries’ concerns and a way of easing them, a way to build trust and confidence among them, and sometimes a pathway to more comprehensive  peacebuilding agreements. The question is whether this will prove to be the case with the agreement between Hamas and the Israeli government to release a little more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners, held in Israel, in exchange for the release of the Israeli Staff-Sgt. Gilad Shalit, seized and held in captivity by Hamas. (more…)

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(This post first appeared on May 19, 2011 on the blog INSCT on Security, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University)

With President Barack Obama set to deliver his second major speech on the Middle East today, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled to deliver his own speech to a joint session of Congress next week, the Palestinian National Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent call to the international community to recognize the State of Palestine (“The Long Overdue Palestinian State”, The New York Times, May 17) was timed well. By preempting Obama and Netanyahu, Abbas has compelled both statesmen to address the urgency of Palestinian national aspirations. With Abbas’ formal call for UN recognition, the Palestinians have stated in no uncertain terms that they will no longer wait for this status to be bestowed at some future time at the conclusion of final status negotiations with Israel—recognition of statehood will come this September, whether Israel or the US likes it or not. (more…)

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