It isn’t over until Shalit is back on Israeli soil. One hopes Israel has stipulated that Hamas hand over Shalit first, and only then will the other prisoners will be exchanged. The Palestinian jihadists, for their part, will certainly try to abduct another Israeli soldier. That was believed to be one of the goals in the Eilat jihadist raid earlier this year. “Shalit deal to include 1,027 security prisoners,” from YNet News, October 11:
1,027 Palestinian prisoners will be released in the framework of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas that would bring IDF soldier Gilad Shalit home.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday night, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen said that in the first phase of the swap, Israel will release 450 prisoners. Two months later, Israel will choose an additional 577 prisoners it wants to release.
All Palestinian female prisoners held in Israeli prisons are included in the list of 450 including Amina Mona, a young woman who lured a lovestruck Israeli teenage boy by the name of Ophir Nahum to a Palestinian city over the Internet, only to have him killed by waiting terrorists.
Israel will release 110 prisoners to the West Bank (14 to east Jerusalem) while 131 will return to their homes in the Gaza Strip.
Of the 450 prisoners to be released in the first phase, 280 are serving at least one life sentence.
However, Israel scored a major victory as nearly all top Palestinian terrorists will not be freed in the exchange, including:
Marwan Barghouti who was sentenced to five life sentences for his role in the murders of Israelis during the al-Aksa intifada
Abdullah Barghouti who is serving out 67 consecutive life terms for building the bombs that murdered 66 people
Ahmed Saadat who headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and was responsible for the assassination of Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi
Hassan Salama, a Hamas leader who was convicted of murdering 67 Israeli citizens
Abbas a-Sayed, mastermind of the Park Hotel suicide bombing in which 30 Israelis were killed on the eve of Passover 2002
Ibrahim Hamed, who was found guilty of involvement in terrorist attacks that led to the death of 82 Israelis
“450 is a large number but 300 are leaving the area to Gaza or overseas,” Cohen said.
And they will be given a hero’s welcome in Gaza for their acts of murder.