Initial euphoria over Gilad Shalit prisoner swap fades (video)
As details emerge of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, in which 1,000 Palestinians will be exchanged for one Israeli soldier, Palestinians are disappointed with who won't be released while Israelis worry about renewed violence.
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The initial euphoria is fading among both Israelis and Palestinians over the trade of kidnapped Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Shalit for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, with qualms and frustration rising as the specifics of the deal trickle out. Palestinians are disappointed that the deal does not include some of the most high-profile Palestinian prisoners, while Israelis are wary of the fallout of releasing scores of people who have been linked to or charged in connection to violence against Israelis.
Ecstatic Palestinians initially fêted Hamas over the prisoner swap (as described in an account from Gaza by The New York Times). But now Hamas is facing accusations that it did not fight hard enough to secure the release of several key Palestinian leaders. Among them are senior officials of Hamas's armed wing and Marwan Barghouti of the Fatah party, Hamas's secular rival.
Fatah members have accused Hamas of doing little to get Mr. Barghouti released – a criticism that Hamas has fought, citing its inability to get some of its own leaders out as proof that it was not prioritizing Hamas prisoners over others, Haaretz reports. Making the release of Barghouti and others a requirement for the deal would have killed it, Hamas officials said.
RELATED: Q & A on Gilad Shalit
Hamas was also criticized for not yet disclosing the full list of prisoners. According to one official in Gaza interviewed by Haaretz, the list is being withheld to stymie backlash from the families of prisoners not included in the agreement. Hamas rejected that claim, saying it was "purely out of technical reasons" and to prevent Israel from making any changes.
Egyptian negotiators made more than 20 proposals before they hit on one that both Hamas and Israel would agree to, according to a translation from The Jerusalem Post of Arabic language newspaper Al Hayat. Hamas received 60 percent of its demands, one negotiator said.