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Earlier this morning, Gilad Shalit speaks to his parents for the first time in more than five years.(Office of the Israeli Prime Minister)

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• A member of Hamas’ negotiating team claims that Israel pledged to lift the Gaza blockade as part of the deal, though he attributed this plank to talks with the German mediator—i.e., not the talks that led to Gilad Shalit’s freedom. [Haaretz]

• President Abbas—who has been marginalized by the deal, since he had nothing to do with it—celebrated the Palestinian prisoners’ release, and asked God “to forgive these martyrs.” [JPost]

• In an unusually specific charge, Iran accused the United States of trying to foment strife between it and Saudi Arabia by revealing (or allegedly fabricating) an Iranian plot against the Saudi ambassador’s life. [NYT]

• So Israeli-American Ilan Grapel is next to be freed, right? [NYT]

• The IDF is warning its soliders not to be “another Gilad Shalit,” now that one abduction has gotten results for its perpetrators. [Haaretz]





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