Netanyahu cited two objections to 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 refer to all of them as "arch-murderers"; it is misleading. (In any case, Barghouti was convicted -while refusing to present a defense- for enabling the murder of 5 Israelis. This is no arch-murderer.) Let us remember that Netanyahu himself released Sheikh Yassin when Mossad agents were caught in Jordan. That operation was done with Yahoo's approval so his own precious head was on the line. Some of the political leaders Israel holds are actually MODERATE. Barghouti and Natshe developed the "prisoners' document" (2006) which enabled 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. Note: I am not expressing here my own view of Hamas' demands, only my view of Netanyahu's insincerity.
Syrian troops sieze village above rebel-held parts of Aleppo (Reuters)