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August 27, 2006
Prisoner Swap Deal In Progress?

Egyptian sources told a Cairo newspaper that a deal to release kidnapped IDF soldiers has been made, and the Israelis will swap Palestinian prisoners in exchange:

The Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram said Sunday morning that according to high-ranking Egyptian sources, an exchange deal is set to take place between Israel and Hizbullah within the next two or three weeks, Israel Radio reported.

The first stage of the agreement would be the release of the two soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah last month, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the report said. The next stage, the sources said, would be Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners a day or two after the soldiers are returned.

A similar deal has been made with the Gaza kidnappers of Gilad Shalit. the newspaper reported. All exchanges will be made within the next three weeks.

If this is true, then Israel has made a big mistake. One of the few real gains of the four-week war in Lebanon and the three-month incursion into Gaza has been the removal of the prisoner-exchance incentives for terrorist kidnappings. The Israeli response to the abductions surprised Hamas and Hezbollah, who assumed that the Israelis would simply toss a few bombs over a couple of days and then negotiate prisoner swaps on the 400:1 ratio normally used. Now the Israelis have undermined whatever deterrence their military response gained them.

Did I say Ehud Olmert would last until Yom Kippur? I may have overstated his popularity, if Olmert coughs up hundreds of Palestinian prisoners after having gone to war over the kidnappings.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 27, 2006 12:48 AM

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» Centanni and Wiig Released from A Blog For All
While the release of Centanni and Wiig is something to be applauded, there are questions over their release, including the payment of ransoms and the culpability of Hamas as they may have had a hand in the kidnappings. [Read More]

Tracked on August 27, 2006 10:35 AM


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