Hamas Likely to Reject Israel's Proposal for Prisoner Exchange

Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised publicly for the first time the prospect of maintaining Israeli forces along the eastern border of a future Palestinian state to prevent arms smuggling.

"The problem of demilitarization must be resolved effectively and this entails effectively blocking unauthorized entry, first and foremost from the east, wherever the border is defined," Netanyahu said in a speech to Israeli ambassadors.

"I doubt whether anything except a real presence of the State of Israel, of Israeli forces, can accomplish that," he said, expanding on his vision of a nation with only limited sovereignty.

Netanyahu has said the state Palestinians want to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip must be demilitarized, but he had not made specific reference until now to the stationing of Israeli forces on its Jordanian frontier, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Hamas will likely reject Israel's latest proposal for a prisoner exchange agreement, Palestinian sources in Gaza said Monday.

Sunday Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will insist that terrorists not return to action in the field as part of the prisoner swap deal.

"As of now, there is no deal, and it is not at all clear if there will be a deal. It is clear that if we reach a practical proposal, I will bring it to the cabinet. But we still are not there and I don't know if we will be," Netanyahu told Likud ministers on Sunday, Ynetnews reports.

It was also reported, the Palestinian Authority was investigating Monday whether Hezbollah was behind a shooting attack in the West Bank that killed Meir Avshalom Hai.

Meir Avshalom Hai, who was murdered Thursday in West Bank shooting, laid to rest in Jerusalem. His 16-year-old son Eliyahu says during funeral, 'The difference between us and the Arabs is that we are human beings'

Ynet has learned that a Fatah operative who was arrested on Sunday and is considered a good friend of the three murderers was questioned as to their connection to the Lebanese militant group.

In addition, Ynet has learned that Kais Obeid, one of the links between Hezbollah and Fatah who played a central part in the kidnapping of Elhanan Tannenbaum, called the mother of one of the three attackers on Sunday to comfort her.

Obeid told the mother of Anan Suboh that Hezbollah would assist the family in anything she asked for. The conversation is viewed as possible proof of Hezbollah's involvement in the attack, Ynetnews reports.

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