Israel’s diplomatic initiatives

The World

The Israeli government confirmed reports that a ceasefire with Hamas would start tomorrow morning; France announced Syria’s President would attend a Paris conference to negotiate with Israel; and there are reports of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. Israel offered its most public call for negotiations with Lebanon by mid-morning. Some Israelis have been very taken aback by these activities, and this analyst considers talks with Hamas to be most problematic of all the developments. US State Department officials also voice some skepticism. In the past, Israel has been involved in talks with these groups, but not all at the same time. Some accuse these talks as mere distractions from Olmert’s corruption and political problems. But this analyst says the Israeli public would welcome these developments. Even some who support the contacts say the chances of success are slim, but you never know.

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