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American and Arab pressure sabotage prisoner exchange deal

Diplomatic sources close to Al Jazeera have revealed that American and Arab pressure forced Israel to renege and withdraw its undertakings to the German mediator negotiating for the exchange deal with Hamas. 

Palestinians sources close to the media outlet told Al Jazeera last month that Israel had reneged on some of the most critical undertaking its gave namely the release of Marwan Al Barghuthi and Ahmad Sadat. At the same time it increased the number of prisoners it sought to deport.

It was reported that the US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, and two Arab ministers exerted pressure on Israel to reject Hamas' demands because that would increase its popularity and support.

It is believed Mitchell told Netanyaho that Hamas was desperate for the deal to succeed and if such a gift is granted to the movement it would set back the peace process and weaken Mahmud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

On their part, the Arab ministers assured Netanyaho there were other ways to suppress Hamas and that was to squeeze the territory enough to make it a living hell for its inhabitants, which would lead to Hamas changing its position.

One minister said when all the lifelines to Gaza are choked off Hamas would come crawling on its knees.  He added that Israel could secure Shalit's release at a much cheaper price if they threaten the Hamas leadership in Gaza and Damascus.

Source: Al Jazeera

Middle EastNews
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