This is the second and final phase of the agreement between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization, brokered by the government of post-Arab-spring Egypt, by which the Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit was freed from illegal captivity.
Shalit is now safely at home. But hundreds more Palestinian Arabs, many if not most of them convicted of terrorist offences, are being bused at this moment to various places: 505 of them to Judea and Samaria via Beituniya Crossing; two prisoners to East Jerusalem via the Atarot army base; two more to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge; and 41 to the waiting arms of Hamas in Gaza.
This lot will join the 447 Palestinian murderers and arch-terrorists who were freed by Israel in the first part of this appalling deal.
Our daughter's murderer was sent to Jordan in October. It's the land of her birth, the country where she spent almost her entire life until she was convicted on fifteen counts of murder, and the kingdom in which her father and siblings live. Yet it's called 'exile'.
Since her arrival there, she has been feted as a celebrity and a hero.
Ynet is reporting that IDF forces and some 400 relatives of the Palestinian Arab prisoners being freed in this transaction clashed tonight at the Beitunia checkpoint near Ofer Prison, a few minutes drive from where we live in Jerusalem. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported that a soldier was lightly injured by a hurled stone.
Here are the questions that keep haunting us. We addressed them to a group of like-minded Israeli and pro-Israel friends some weeks ago, and got no satisfactory answers. We're experiencing another major step by the government of Israel - the wholesale release of convicted terrorists. If it's a bad one, we all get to pay the price.
- Is there some way to rationalize on moral, legal and/or pragmatic grounds the case for Israel handing over several hundred more convicted Palestinian Arab prisoners now that Gilad is safely at home?
- Is there a way to justify keeping our word when dealing with genocidal terrorist fanatics?