Let us see first what Israeli goals should be, then judge how the amnesty deal advances it. 1. Israel wants to strengthen Abbas and weaken Hamas, presumable so that Abbas becomes a partner for peace. 2. Israel must want the elimination of all terrorist groups, at least in the West Bank where Abbas is in control, because this is the first step in the Roadmap and, in any case, must happen before the Palestinians can be trusted. How does giving amnesty to 150 wanted Fatah terrorists help? If other terrorists remain on the most wanted list, and if there is no special arrangement with Abbas, it means that Israel will continue hunting operations in the West Bank against FATAH, as well as all the other terror groups. And every time Israeli forces invade an Abbas territory, his stature will be diminished. Moreover, Zubeidi and the other amnestied people will be replaced! The al-Aqsa Brigades is not finished and the high command remains in place. The organization will be weakened for a while, giving credibility to Hamas claims that Fatah is neglecting the mission of Resistance. Instead of doing "good will gestures" Israel should concentrate on what it wants to accomplish in the longer term. All these gestures will be viewed negatively once terror continues, and it will become harder to go through the peace process.
Iraqi police fire tear gas as thousands of protests burst into Green Zone, storm Parliament (AP)
from the article: Fayad: No point in goodwill gestures without negotiations
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