Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Israel And The Palestinians to Trade Gilad Shalit For 1,000+ Palestinian Prisoners

I will be happy to see Gilad Shalit return home to Israel safely after so many years, but I fear for the (continued?) precedent it sets; invade Israeli soil, kidnap a citizen, wait long enough and get a thousand plus terrorists/criminals freed. It creates perverse incentives that could lead to more Israelis ending up like Gilad Shalit. There is a likely near certainty that at least one, and probably more, of the freed prisoners will be implicated in a future strike against Israel. What are you supposed to say to the victims their families of those attacks?

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won overwhelming cabinet approval for the lopsided exchange at a special night-time session, has been under constant public pressure to bring Shalit home. He said the soldier would be reunited with his family "in the coming days."

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip greeted the agreement, brokered by Egypt and a German mediator, with celebratory gunfire. Hamas confirmed that it only remained to conclude technical arrangements for the trade.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said Israel would release 1,027 prisoners in two stages. Within a week, 450 will be swapped for Shalit and the rest will be freed two months later. Twenty-seven women are among those due to be freed.


It was not immediately clear how many of the prisoners had been jailed for attacks that caused Israeli casualties. Under Israeli law, opponents of their release have at least 48 hours to appeal to courts to keep them behind bars.

Yoram Cohen, head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security service told reporters 110 of the prisoners slated for release in the first stage would return home to the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Another 131 would go to the Gaza Strip, where they reside. Six Israeli Arabs were also on the list.


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