‘We Want More Shalits!’ - by Khaled Abu Toameh
“…Some Western leaders and governments had expressed hope that the prisoner exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas would pave the way for a “new era” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Some Israelis have even expressed hope that the deal would lead to peace talks between Israel and Hamas.
In reality, the prisoner swap has achieved the exact opposite. It has once again created the impression understands. Those who see the deal as a sign of Hamas’s “moderation” and “pragmatism” are deluding themselves. And those who think that the release of more than 1,000 Palestinians from Israeli prisons would have a moderating effect on the Palestinians are also living under an illusion.
Those who argue that the prisoner exchange is an indication that Hamas wants to negotiate with Israel are obviously living on a different planet. It is clear by now that it is only a matter of time before Hamas or any other Palestinian group try to kidnap another soldier or Israeli civilian in order to copy the Shalit example. The deal has given them a strong incentive to try once again to snatch a soldier or civilian to achieve that goal.
The deal will only strengthen Hamas’s resolve to stick to its radical ideology and continue the fight “until the liberation of all of Palestine.” If Hamas is going to change as a result of the deal, it will only be for the worse.”