Palestinians originally hoped that Marwan Barghouti, compared by some to former South African prisoner-turned-president Nelson Mandela, would be included in a prisoner swap finalized today.
In an interview on the Jewish Channel cable network, GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Palestinians are an “invented” people. He also said he might grant clemency to Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed today to accelerate reconciliation with Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel, with elections to be held in May.
Quartet envoy Tony Blair held talks today to prod Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table amid concern about a looming UN vote on Palestinian statehood.
Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal were welcomed home in Ramallah amid an unusual display of support for Hamas.