Monday, October 02, 2006

Prisoner exchange rejected by Hamas

Initially, we knew that Israel would reject the idea of a prisoner swap when Shalit was kidnapped. I mean, if Israel release 500 prisoners for one soldier, it would only encourage more kidnapping. On the same token, Israel has freed hundreds of prisoners as part of a swap (including dead soldiers) throughout recent history.

Then you have thousands of people demanding a prisoner swap, especially Shalit's family, and the pressure continues to build - what to do?

As historically proven, Israel is capable of giving into certain demands.

However, we now see that Israel has indeed been talking about a swap, and Hamas rejected an offer.

"Hamas turned down an Israeli offer to free between 900 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit said Monday.

"Egypt succeeded in securing a swap deal with Israel to free [Palestinian] women, children, elders and those who have been serving long prison terms in exchange for the soldier," Abu Gheit told Al Arabiya television.

"A deal that could have guaranteed freeing 900-1,000 prisoners - but sadly they have decided to keep holding him [Shalit]," said Abu Gheit."

So what happens now? Nobody knows. All we can hope for is the safe return of Shalit sooner rather than later.

Read the article here


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