Carl in Jerusalem
20 December 09
This was expected. The Obama administration is demanding that Israel release Fatah terrorists to shore up Abu Bluff's standing in the event that it releases Hamas terrorists in exchange for kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit. As a result, the price for releasing IDF Shalit from Hamas' custody has just doubled. And apparently, that's even giving the government second thoughts.
A senior official in the U.S. administration told Haaretz that if the deal for Shalit's release is completed, the U.S. would be interested in seeing Israel releasing Fatah prisoners as well, in addition to other gestures to bolster's Fatah's status compared to Hamas. "We are telling the Israelis that [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas' situation needs to be mitigated," the U.S. official said.