Hamas has enjoyed a double benefit over the Shalit issue. First of all, they have shown that they are able to withstand everything that Israel was able to throw at them and still stand firm. This is a big deal, even though Israelis will minimize it. Secondly, they have shown a light on the many thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. They enjoy no legal rights and are imprisoned at the whim of some IDF officer. Most of them have committed no crimes. An additional beneift to Hamas is all the bickering, protests, and discomfort which the case has caused in Israel. Hamas isn't trying to negotiate the best offer they can get for Shalit. It is in their interest to demand a price which will cause Israels response to be, "Shalit is not worth that price. You can have him".
- 11:46 AM