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Shalit Freed

‘I very much hope that this deal will advance peace,’ soldier tells Egyptian TV after five years in Hamas captivity; he’s now safe in Israel

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Gilad Shalit is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tel Nof Airbase in central Israel this morning.(GPO via Getty Images)

After 1,940 days in Hamas custody, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is in Israel this morning, surrounded by the army and with his family and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (here’s his statement). Meanwhile, buses containing Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel in exchange for Shalit’s freedom have started flowing into Ramallah, in the West Bank, where a celebration was already underway.

The only blip in the exchange was Shalit’s appearance in a brief, English-language interview on an Egyptian television network. He seems relatively healthy (you know, considering) if extremely tired, and at one point the interviewer and his translator got into a fight over the fact that Shalit was tired and should be let go. Indeed, the interview strikes this viewer as idiotic, borderline sadistic; it also was pretty clearly put together to trumpet Egypt’s involvement in brokering the deal. It is appalling. The original plan had it that Shalit would be in Egypt for under 15 minutes, and there was no mention of a TV interview. If it turns out Israel did not accede to the TV appearance, whoever forced it upon a soldier who had been in captivity for more than five years deserves all the trouble that’s coming to him. [UPDATE: An Israeli official told the AP, “We are all shocked that a so-called interview was forced on [Shalit].”]

Still, most importantly, Gilad is back. Here he is emerging at an air base in central Israel:

Gilad Shalit Reunited With Family at IDF Base Following Return to Israel [Haaretz]
WATCH: Egypt TV Despicable Interview With Gilad Shalit [Forecast Highs]
Hamas Frees Israeli Soldier as Prisoner Swap Begins [NYT]
Israeli Soldier Is Freed in Prisoner Swap [WSJ]
Hamas and Israel Exchange Prisoners [Al Jazeera]

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JamesPhiladelphia says:

A very good article in The LA Times. Honest. Fair. Balanced. Impartial. Good journalism.

JamesPhiladelphia says:


Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

The interview WAS forced on Shalit by the Egyptians. It was not part of the deal and Israel did not agree to it but was powerless to stop it. The Israeli media — even the lefties — have been roundly condemning the interview since it was broadcast.

Shalit received a lot of praise for his responses, not so much for the one MT cherry picked, but the response to the question if now that Shalit knows what it’s like to be a prisoner for 5 years, would he work for the release of the 4,000 [sic.] Palestinian prisoners remaining in Israeli prisons. His response (and I am writing this from memory) was that he looks forward to when they can be released because they will cease to be terrorist or war threat against Israel.

For most Israelis (at least those of us who still live here) this is a day of very mixed, disparate, and contradictory emotions.


Efrata / Jerusalem

I’m glad this situation as long standing as it was has come to a conclusion, however this whole ugly long extended affair, a swap of one for one thousand reminded me much of what one radical Rabbi once upon a not too distant time decreed what the lives of Arabs were worth in his warped estimation.

Well Jules since Hamas was the party insisting on 1,000 to 1, then perhaps your complaint should be brought up with them.

I’m sure they’ll take your suggestion under review.

Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

A friend of mine told me that a cartoon in the International Herald Tribune (I did not see it myself) depicting the released terrorists entering Gaza, with one terrorist saying to another “I did the math… each of us is worth exactly 0.097% of an Israeli soldier..”

One tidbit that I don’t know if it got any media play outside of Israel: One of the female prisoners being released to Gaza — I believe the one who helped plan and execute the S’barro’s bombing about 10 years ago (~16 killed including 8 kids — she never expressed any regret) — begged the Egyptians to be allowed to remain in Egypt and not be sent to Gaza. Apparently she is relatively secular and feared what might happen to her in increasingly Islamist Gaza. She, and another female prisoner who decided to join her, were granted their request at the last instant.

Given that in her civilian life she masqueraded as a mild mannered journalist for a great Ramallah TV station, she clearly knew of what she spoke. I think it would have been poetic justice to send her to Gaza; too bad the Egyptians had mercy on her.


Efrata / J’lem

Moshe, mine is not a complaint as such but an observation made of people not so much unlike yourself. Shalom.

m. jones says:

what was Gilad going to say with a hamas terrorist standing right behind him? the fact the Gilad was obviously in bad health vs. the very well fed murdering terrorist held by Israel should speak fot itself.

Jules, your response makes no sense. Why must you repeatedly post on this website? You’re coocoo for cocopuffs and, trust me, you’re not advancing your cause. Get a life.

Dave, Jules has to have something to do between posting at Counterpunch and Stormfront.

Dani ben Leb says:

Jules also loves posting @ mondoscheiss. But is seems that their server has crashed. Hence his shitting on the carpet here.


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Shalit Freed

‘I very much hope that this deal will advance peace,’ soldier tells Egyptian TV after five years in Hamas captivity; he’s now safe in Israel

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