Gilad Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal: Last 550 Palestinian Prisoners Released

It has been exactly two months since October 18th 2011, when Gilad Shalit ended 1,940 days in captivity. On that day, 477 terrorists where released from Israeli prisons. Today, the second and final part of that swap deal comes to an end with the release of another 550 Palestinian prisoners, bringing the total numbers of prisoners released to a whooping 1,027.

Though the first batch consisted of the most heinous, horrible, despicable kind of terrorists (the kind that pride and joy in killing innocent children, the kind that didn’t even wait 48 hours since their release to encourage children to choose the path of violence and terror), the majority of the second batch consists of Palestinians that were about to be released in the following years to begin with (Unlike Shalit who was captured, Palestinian prisoners withstand trial, sentencing and a definite verdict in Israel). They were mostly incarcerated for criminal activity such as car theft and the likes of it.

An undeniable number of of those released in the second batch are of course terrorists as well. Some only performed “minor” terror acts, Some were caught in the last minute, some were planning to put explosives or send suicide bombers and so on. For instance, among them you can find Talal Nasan who in 2001 confessed to placing explosives and performing a “shooting terror attack”, Darvish Dadar that took part in the 2002 Jerusalem’s King George Street Bombing that killed three people and many more.

The families of some of the prisoners that are to be released tonight, are waiting for them near the checkpoint in Ramallah, at the current time throwing stones at Israeli soldiers (supposedly protesting the release taking place late at night and not in broad daylight).

In the next few hours, the exchange will be completed – 1,027 prisoners have been released in exchange for one Israeli soldier.

And this is also a good opportunity to checkin and see what happened to both Gilad Shalit himself and the region since his release two months ago.
Since he’s release, Shalit has spent most of his time with his family. He underwent surgey in his hand for injuries he sustained during his abduction and was maltreated for. In a short appearance last week, during footage from a meeting with the mayor of Rome (who awarded Shalit with an honorary citizen status years ago), Gilad Shalit could have been seen better – getting more exposure to sun, looking less pale and less skinny. By all [psychical] indications, he’s returning to normal.

Gilad Shalit, a few days after his release. Photographed By Aviaho Shapira

Gilad Shalit, a few days after his release. Photographed By Aviaho Shapira

And as for the region? Same old, Same old. Since Shalit’s release, 88 rockets have been fired at Israel’s population (and caused injures, including one death). Hamas has just last week celebrated the many deaths he is responsible for and called for a joined all-out war of the Arab and Muslim world against Israel. Both Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank have offered grants and announced special buildings and houses by the governments to the released prisoners. The unity between Hamas and Fatah is more farcical than ever (joined release of Palestinian prisoners by these factions are only done in words, never in actions for the time being) and the Palestinian continue in their refusal to sit down or consider negotiations, a peace deal or anything with Israel, until one-sided demands for the negotiations will be met. Like I said – Same old, Same old.

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