Netanyahu cited two objections to the past Hamas demands: 1. The most dangerous released terrorists (45 out of 450) will not be allowed to return to the West Bank but should go to Gaza or abroad, and 2. Arch-murderers will not be released. The first objection is of a security nature, but the security professionals don't see the great danger, so it seems like an excuse. The second objection also appears to be phony. Who are those "arch-murderers"? It appears that at least some, if not all, are actually senior POLITICAL leaders, such as Barghouti (Fatah) and Natshe (a founder of Hamas). These people themselves did not kill anybody with their own hands, at most they enabled others, so I wouldn't call them "arch-murderers"; it is misleading. (Barghouti was convicted for enabling the murder of 4 Israelis. This is no arch-murderer.) Let us remember that Netanyahu himself released Sheikh Yassin when Mossad agents were caught in Jordan. Yassin was no arch-murderer in the usual sense and in fact, some of the political leaders Israel holds are even MODERATE. Barghouti and Natshe developed the "prisoners' document" (2006) which enables a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, calling for Hamas and other organizations to join the PLO and for the Palestinians to accept a state in the 1967 borders. Perhaps this is what Netanyahu wants to prevent. He needs enemies, not moderate leaders, in order to delay and reject peace possibilities which would force giving up a part of Eretz Yisrael. Sorry Shalit family, you will probably have to wait until the next Israeli election to see your son.
Four women and a child killed in car crash near Hebron (Haaretz)