One would have thought that Shalit's captivity would be considered a "positive" card by Netanyahu, since he could then continue to claim that Abbas is powerless against Hamas and therefore negotiations with him are a waste of time. But ultimately, two MORE "positive" considerations got the edge: 1. Netanyahu's public standing was weakening and Shalit's release will help. 2. Abbas' public standing became very high recently because of his UN tactic. With Shalit's release, Hamas will gain much popularity, reducing Abbas by comparison. You get TWO PR considerations "for", and only ONE REAL consideration "against". Who wins? Just read the news.
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from the article: Israeli stubbornness saved Shalit, but at a price