A different story
The Guardian reports:
Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have agreed to stop firing rockets at Israel and to free a captured Israeli soldier in a deal brokered by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.
The deal, agreed on Sunday, is to halt the rocket attacks in return for a cessation of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, and to release Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured on June 25, in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian prisoners at some point in the future.
An adviser to Mr Abbas told the Guardian that all Palestinian politicians were united on the need to free the Israeli soldier and stop all violence in Gaza, but the obstacles were the Israeli government and the Hamas leadership in Damascus.
Don’t be tempted to see an analogy to the Lebanese case. The Palestinians have a clear agenda: state-building. The capture of Salit was probably an unfortunate mistake. Hamas was caught like a cat with a mouse in its mouth: can’t swallow, can’t spit. In a way, the smoke of Beirut covered their retreat. They can return Shalit, with a modest return, and get on with their job.
Nassralla also has a clear agenda, but quite a different one. Hezbollah leaders have admitted the kidnapping of the soldiers was planned for a long time. Again and again they try to link their campaign to the Palestinian struggle. Somehow, the Palestinians – even Hamas – don’t seem to keen to get into this marriage.
Here’s my theory: Hezbollah’s agenda has nothing to do with Israel, Palestine or the Shab’aa farms. In fact, I even doubt it has much to do with Iranian or Syrian interests. Nassralla is quite an independent thinker. Hezbollah felt threatened by the growing democratic forces in Lebanon demanding its disarmament. If the Cedar revolution could oust Syria, eventually it would reach Bint Gbeil. So, Hezbollah tries to revive its glory days by reigniting the Israeli conflict. It counts on a violent reaction, which will divert anger towards Israel, and rekindle the Lebanese support for Hezbollah.
Sadly, the rookie Israeli government fell for the trick. I just hope the Lebanese are too smart for it. First, they will unite to get Israel off their back, then they will turn back to Hezbollah and pay it duly.