It appears that Abbas has ‘won’ the release of the first group of ‘important’ prisoners/hostages (150 or more). We can now predict that in a few weeks time Hamas will get another 300-400 released (less prominent hostages) in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, or some such arangement.
A small wager on Marwan Barghouti being released on August 25th anyone?
On the bigger picture there is still time for the ‘big breakthrough’ required to end the war for greater Israel this year. It really is only Israeli leadership weakness that is holding up the agreement. If Barghouti walks free on August 25 this will indicate indicates that the deal is effectivly done. The Israeli argument against it until recently, has been that releasing him would be counter productive because once freed, Barghouti would take a more militant stance to demonstrate that he had not sold out to them.
We will see on August 25!