A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 26, 2007 Opposition to Prisoner Release from Israeli Right -
For a change, it was a nice quite day in Israel today. The usual opponents have come out against freeing the Fatah prisoners that Prime Minster Olmert promised to release. I heard MK Gideon Sa'ar of the Likud being interviewed and his major reason was that it weakens Israel to make any concessions without getting anything in return. Considering the thousands of prisoners that are held in Israeli jails, it is really not very sensible.
Israel is trying to achieve a strategic goal by making this concession. It would seem that Olmert decided on the prisoner release after the security establishment vetoed any other concessions, such as removing road bocks. Olmert's instinct, which I believe is right, was that if he did not do any more than release the Palestinian money, it would further weaken Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas. It helped that Olmert was able to keep the projected release a complete secret, so it appeared to be a real achievement of the summit in Sharm el-Sheik.