Late Monday night, the deal that the world has been closely watching finally happened. Hamas captured an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in 2006 when he was 19 years old. Israel spent years negotiating for his freedom while he was being held “incommunicado by Hamas.” Five long and anticipated years later, Israel finally made the deal to free him. In order to get this one prisoner freed, Israel had to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange. Late Monday night, the first 477 inmates were freed shortly before Shalit was handed over to Egyptian security forces. Later, he came home to Israel.
The Israeli Cabinet majority of 26-3 and the Israeli community worldwide backed this deal. Yet, many Israelis are troubled with the amount of prisoners that had to be freed in exchange. What troubles people the most is the fact that many of these prisoners were murderers of fellow Israelis. While the public demanded the deal, many now fear that the recently freed Palestinians will return back to kill more Israelis. But, some of these prisoners are released with strings attached. Some are not ” allowed to leave the country, while others will have restrictions on their movement or be required to report their whereabouts to local police according to Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen.” To easy these worries, these conditions may prevent these prisoners to return back to Israel.
Further, many question how the families of Israelis who were killed by these prisoners will ever seek justice. But, the bigger policy in freeing one of their own should supersede these worries.
The media is asking us, “Is one Israeli worth 1,027 Palestinians?” But, is this the discussion that we should even be having?