Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

December 24, 2007 Is and Exchange in the Works for Gilad Shalit?

A special meeting is taking place today to review the criteria for freeing Palestinian prisoners.  The major question is defining the parameters of what prisoners have "blood on their hands".  The meeting has raised speculation that a deal is in the works to free Gilad Shalit.  Both Israel and the Hamas deny that a deal is in the works, stating definitively that no significant progress has been made.  Some believe Hamas has no interest in making any deals.  However, it is clear that Hamas are unwilling to modify their demands.  Some Israeli observers believe today’s meeting is being held to try to give Prime Minster Olmert additional wiggle room in his discussions with Abbas.  The number of prisoners Israel is holding has risen from 6,000 four years ago to 10,0000.  The security services are opposed to any change in criteria for releasing prisoners. 
Syria is said to have improved the range and accuracy of its Scud missiles... something additional to worry about.

In the meantime, a study was released on the unthinkable- what might happen if Israel and Iran entered into a nuclear war.  The study concluded that one Iranian 20 kiloton bomb would probably make it through and kill 600,000 Israelis.  On the other hand, Israel would destroy Iran with over 200 bombs, many of the 1-Megaton range.  The study believes that 30 million Iranians would die.  The study concludes that Israel would survive, but Iran would not.  Let’s hope the Iranians read the study, and are somewhat rational actors.