'Netanyahu less likely to negotiate after Schalit deal'

Now that prime minister has negotiated with Hamas, he will prove his toughness by not negotiating with Fatah, PA, 'NY Times' writes.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 19, 2011 10:22
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu at home 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is less likely to return to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority after that prisoner swap deal that freed Gilad Schalit, The New York Times wrote in an editorial on Wednesday.

The editorial said it shared in the joy of Israelis over Schalit's release, but that it feared the deal would further isolate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and cause the resumption of negotiations to become more elusive than before.

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The editorial questioned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's willingness to negotiate with Hamas after threatening to cut aid to the PA five months earlier due to Fatah's attempted reconciliation with the Islamist group in Gaza.

The New York Times wrote that both Netanyahu and Hamas were looking for a political win after Abbas successfully stole the "international spotlight" at the United Nations, where he lobbied last month for an independent Palestine.

The Schalit deal, the editorial explained, successfully challenged Abbas's authority and credibility. The best way for the PA president to bounce back, it continued, would be to create an independent Palestinian state through negotiations with Israel.

Turning to Netanyahu, the editorial insisted that his refusal to return to negotiations will not be related to his inability to compromise or "make tough choices," as he clearly did when he agreed to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Schalit.

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Instead, the prime minister will shun the negotiating table because he feels he must prove his "toughness" after signing a deal with Hamas, a position the editorial said was dangerous for Israel.

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