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IDF arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament (and member of Hamas), Aziz Dweik. He spent two years in Israeli prison after he was arrested in 2006 to be used as a bargaining chip for Shalit’s release. This time IDF showed no creativity in thinking up a reason for his detention: he was nabbed simply for association with a terrorist organization. Which of course he is, being a Hamas official.

Dweik was very active in the Hebron area, were Fatah enjoys very limited authority, and Israel arrested him as a favor to the Fatah, which in light of its reconciliation efforts with Hamas, cannot arrest Hamas leaders.

Aziz Dweik

Thailand is now one of the 110 countries that recognize Palestinian independence. That number is close to the 124 countries that recognize Israel, and Palestinians enjoy visa-free travel to more countries than Israelis.

And nothing has happened. The massive international recognition of Palestine has resulted in no pressure on Israel to withdraw from the territories or stop raiding Palestinian towns in search of terrorists. Likewise, UN recognition of Palestinian statehood would change nothing, and indeed could make the whole issue less pressing, as Palestinian demands will be perceived as having been satisfied.

January 2012
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