Global Politics

Israel swaps prisoner for bodies

In Israel the swap is more bitter than sweet. One of the prisoners let go is one of the most reviled men in Israel; five years ago he shot to death by an Israeli man and then killed his four year old daughter. Some in Israel lobbied against the exchange, especially because the soldiers were presumed dead, but the desire to bring them home won out. This spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister says public opinion polls also backed their decision, and that they have an obligation to bring their soldiers home. Still the exchange has raised questions for Israelis: about the overall cost of the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. The Israeli government maintains it made advances in the war, but none of that changes the fact that Hezbollah got what they wanted, says this analyst. The second question is what effect this has on another high profile Israeli soldier being held by Hamas, and today's swap may set a dangerous precedent. Hamas can be expected to up the ante, says this analyst. And the final question is how this exchange affects peace talks. For the Palestinian Authority it may be a discouraging lesson because Hamas and Hezbollah appear to be getting what they want for their illegal actions.

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