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Shalit deal: Dispute over female prisoners

01/12/2009

A Hamas source tells al-Hayat newspaper 400 names are agreed upon as part of the exchange deal for Gilad Shalit, but a dispute remains over 50 more prisoners, and also three female prisoners  Ahlam al-Tamimi, Qahira a-Saadi, and especially Amneh Muna who lured Israeli teen Ofir Rahum to Ramallah to murder him eight years ago.

Roee Nahmias also reports today that on Sunday the State said at a High Court of Justice hearing that it would release 980 prisoners as part of the impending exchange deal.

The Israeli public opinion is torn up by the decision: is it wise to release all these prisoners for one soldier? Or is the life of Gilad Shalit, who has been rotting in a Hamas jail for more than three years, seeing all his rights denied, more important?

Having myself interviewed most of the prisoners who are going to be released I can say that a large proportion still holds extremist beliefs and violent thoughts towards Israel.

For example I believe Amneh Muna’s actions were not driven by any ideology but by utter self interest and psychopath motives. I’m convinced she would do it again if she could.

But I don’t think that this should be considered reason enough not to go through with this deal. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact that we care for our people, that we will do whatever it takes to release even just one soldier, that as a society we are more human: we protect the rights of our prisoners even though our enemies don’t.

The whole world knows that this is not a fair deal even though it should, but as a nation we are ready to sacrifice a lot for our people, we did it before and we will do it again.