The very idea of an exchange of prisoners that will not include Hamas detainees is the most absurd scenario one can imagine. First and foremost, because these detainees have never been condemned or even charged for any kind of crime ; they are administratively detained by an arbitrary political decision of the Israeli government and its security services. Accepting that a Hamas activist should remain behind bars without any due procedure, including even a military procedure as it is usually the case in the occupied Palestinian territories, implies that being Hamas, or being suspected of connections with Hamas, excludes you from the community of human beings, protected by international law and due procedures. George Bush has already excluded from mankind all Al Queda supporters and alleged activists, when he decided to create the category of Guantanamo-detainees. The US Supreme Court obliged him to put an end to such extreme behaviors. The Israeli authorities did the same with the secret interrogation and detention center number 391, which was closed down after Israeli human rights lawyer, Lea Tsemel, discovered its existence and appealed, with several human rights organizations, to the Israeli Supreme Court.
Moreover, Hamas represents the majority of the Palestinian population of Gaza AND the West Bank : excluding Hamas from any kind of political legitimacy means excluding the majority of the Palestinian people from such a legitimacy. What Israeli leaders call, while referring to the Gaza Strip, "a terrorist entity" is actually almost two million men, women and children who have been transferred into an "entity" that should be eradicated, by bombarding civilians and imposing an embargo that provokes hunger and epidemics.
Those who suggested to Abbas to sign a deal without the release of Hamas detainees must be his toughest enemies for, if he would do such a thing, he will definitely lose the remaining support he still maintains among the Palestinian population, as one of the founding fathers of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
Abu Mazen should not forget that he is President of the Palestinian Authority only because Hamas wants it. Without Hamas’ support, he would become no more than a US agent, imposed on the people by the US Security Coordinator, General Keith Dayton. No Palestinian has forgotten that two years ago, Abbas suggested that Israel tighten its criminal siege on Gaza, in order to bring about the fall of Hamas’ democratically elected government. In another political and geographical context, such a leader would have been liquidated as a Quisling.
The fact that the entire Palestinian people are opposed to a civil war explains why neither Hamas nor Fatah are entering the catastrophic path of political assassinations or massive use of arms to impose its leadership. This is why in the Gaza clashes prior to this weekend, which were clearly and loudly denounced by all the Palestinian factions, there exists very little doubt that behind the alleged Fatah aggressions lie the hands of General Dayton, Israeli intelligence offices and a gang of collaborators usurping the name of Fatah.