With many of the Palestinians released in the prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit going to the West Bank, focus will now be on ensuring that Israeli-Palestinian violence stays at its current low level.
Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal were welcomed home in Ramallah amid an unusual display of support for Hamas.
Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit (c.) is escorted by members of Hamas and Egyptian mediators on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing on Oct.18. Mr. Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel's borders in opposite directions as a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.
Now that Gilad Shalit is back in Israel and the Palestinian prisoners have been released, Israelis weigh the potential cost of the deal and Palestinians examine how it shifts the Hamas-Fatah split.
West Bank Palestinians whose family members are on the list of prisoners to be exchanged for Gilad Shalit are joyful. For those not on the list, it is bittersweet.
Nearly 500 Palestinians are scheduled to be released by Israel Tuesday in an exchange for soldier Gilad Shalit. Here’s the status of seven well-known prisoners (See the whole list here):
Hamas scored a victory with the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli solder Gilad Shalit. But its concessions to Israel show fragility.
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.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas fighters more than five years ago, sparking outrage across Israel. Now he's set to be freed in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was opposed in principle to the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. But his willingness to make an unsavory deal in the end highlights his pragmatism.