As though there was ever any doubt,
Meantime, during the present crisis, ostensibly designed by Ehud Olmert to win the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit, we hear insipid and toothless comments from USG spokespeople calling on
Among the detainees were Omar Abdel Razek, the finance minister, Khaled Abu Arfeh, the Jerusalem affairs minister, and Naef Rajoub, the brother of senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub. All the detentions were carried out in the occupied West Bank, where Israel maintains a large military presence.
Israel insisted it would not have taken the Hamas members had it not been for the kidnap of Corporal Gilad Shalit on Sunday in an operation in which Hamas participated.
At the same time, however, the Israeli government denied that it was holding the officials as bargaining chips for his release. “We are responding,” said the foreign ministry’s spokesman, Mark Regev, about the detention of Hamas members. “There was a period when they held back from terror and we left them alone. But over the last few weeks they have returned to their traditional way of doing things.”"