The Hamas Treatment:
While Gilad Shalit is not being hounded by Israeli press, and even had a hugging session this week with President Shimon Peres for a tear-jerking chat, here’s how Hamas is treating their people, recently freed from an Israeli prison.
Ma’an News Agency reports that those sent to Gaza “will stay in hotels for three weeks or until they each get a private apartment, car, and a job.”
Ismail Haniyeh already announced he will give each of the released prisoners $2,000. Ma’an also reports:
“… future income will be gained through jobs provided for each prisoner, said Saber Abu Karsh, a prisoners advocate in Gaza. Haniyeh has ordered that the released prisoners be given all assistance to help them re-enter society, he said. If that’s not enough, the Palestinian cellphone company Jawwal has offered each freed prisoner a mobile phone with a credit of 500 shekels ($140)… “
The Bloomberg Approval:
New York City Mayor Bloomberg defended the prisoner swap on Sunday, saying:
“I just know that the government of Israel had to make a decision and they didn’t walk away from the decision, they made one, and that’s what governing is all about…There’s no simple solutions to complex problems…Israel has a strong tradition of always bringing people back…And I’m sure that is something that all Israelis feel. And I’m not in a position to make a decision for the Israeli government of what they should do in any one situation.”
The Libyan Enticement:
“5,000 unemployed Palestinians have registered over the past week at a Gaza trade union office for jobs they hope will materialize in post-Gaddafi Libya… Hundreds of Palestinians who worked in Libya returned to the Palestinian territories after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years of one-man rule erupted in February.”
In other news, Ma’an reports:
“Egyptian authorities prevented Gazan journalist and author Mustafa al-Sawwaf from leaving the Strip on Monday to participate in a media meeting in Iran.”
The Hamas affiliated journalist was on route to Tehran to participate in a meeting about the formation of a union for Islamic media, a Ma’an correspondent said, but was prevented from leaving Gaza at the Rafah crossing. No reason was given by Egyptian authorities for not granting al-Sawwaf permission to enter via Rafah.
Al-Sawwaf said that he resents the way Egyptian authorities treat Palestinians and called for changes to be made by the Egyptian government at the Rafah crossing to prevent unnecessary humiliation and security procedures, a Ma’an correspondent reported. Al-Sawwaf is a columnist at the Hamas-run Gaza newspaper website Filastin Online. He said that he also holds a great respect for Egypt, pointing out that he has never committed any crime against the country.”