'Hamas would make a big mistake by accepting Israel's Schalit offer'

Hamas would make a big

Hamas must not accept Israel's latest offer in negotiations for a prisoner exchange deal to secure the release of St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, urged an editorial published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on Wednesday morning. "The biggest error Hamas could possibly commit would be to accept [Israel's] conditions for the release of [Palestinian] prisoners, either to the Gaza Strip (West Bank residents) or to exile in Europe," said the London-based newspaper. Hamas, it said, "must hold firm in its refusal to conditions and pressure exerted by Israel and the West, even if this leads to the collapse of the deal." The London-based paper asserted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was using "tough conditions" to attempt to lure the Palestinian side into making concessions demanded by "angry far-right parties that form the backbone of the [Israeli] coalition." Hamas, stated the newspaper, was aware of the Israeli approach and was therefore "insisting on its position and avoiding the need to make any concessions," both in terms of the number of prisoners released and the conditions for their release.