More Praise for German Intelligence (from Hamas)

Posted by John Rosenthal

A Monday report from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) contains high praise for the role being played by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, in the ongoing negotiations for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Praise from Hamas, that is. FAZ correspondent Hans-Christian Rößler writes:

Hamas has much praise for the agents of the German BND who since June have been involved in the efforts to obtain Shalit’s release. “They have achieved what other mediators up till now could not,” Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef appreciatively told this paper, referring to the recent exchange [of 19 Palestinian prisoners for a video recording of Shalit].

Rößler notes, furthermore, that the sticking point in the current negotiations is the fate of “several dozen” Palestinian prisoners who were directly involved in “terror attacks with many Israeli victims.” According to Rößler, the Israeli government is not prepared to release these prisoners in the West Bank, but only “in Gaza or in foreign exile, if at all.”

Moreover, the idea of the convicted terrorists being released into foreign exile is apparently not unappealing for Hamas. Thus, Rößler continues:

Many observers in Gaza regard a temporary foreign banishment as not a bad solution: in foreign exile they would be at less risk than in the West Bank of being captured again or of a targeted assassination attempt on the part of the Israeli security forces or of the [Fatah-led] Palestinian Authority.

Hardly surprising, then, that (as reported in Haaretz) Hamas chief Khaled Meshal recently threatened to capture ”another Shalit…and another Shalit and another Shalit.”

For background, see my “Germany’s Murky Role in the Shalit Negotiations” on Pajamas Media.

(Source: “Zuversicht in Gaza, Fortschritte in Kairo,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 October 2009)

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