'Israel will target prisoners who return to terrorism'

Hamas didn't agree to stop attacks, so Israel won't refrain from targeting released prisoners who continue terrorism, 'Al Hayat' reports.

October 15, 2011 15:19
2 minute read.
Natenyahu announcing Schalit deal

Natanyahu Schalit meeting 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of GPO)

Israel will target newly released security prisoners if they return to terrorist activity, according to a report published Saturday in London-based pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

The report comes days ahead of the expected release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held in Hamas captivity for over five years, as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

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Despite the success of Israel and Hamas in coming to terms on a prisoner swap, agreement was not reached on all points in negotiations between the two sides.

One such sticking point was Hamas's unwillingness to agree to stop attacking Israelis, Al Hayat reported. The group pledged that Gilad Schalit would not be the last Israeli that it planned to kidnap.

In turn, one of Hamas' requests, to which Israel only partially agreed, was that it not target the newly released prisoners. Instead, Israel agreed that it would only target the released prisoners if they renewed their terrorist activity, the report said.

The newspaper also gave reported details of the negotiation process that led to a deal, in which captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was expected to be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners next week.

The Israeli and Hamas teams did not sit face to face, despite rumors to the contrary, Al Hayat reported. Rather, they sat in separate buildings in Cairo as Egyptian negotiators milled back and forth between the two sides.

While Israel is set to release numerous high level security prisoners, including Yehya Sinwar, Rouhi Mushtahi, Zaher Jabareen and Mohammed Sharatha, and other serving life sentences for killing Israelis, certain terrorists, specifically Marwan Barghouti, Abdullah Barghouti, Ibrahim Hamed and Ahmed Sa'adat will not be released as part of the deal.

Additionally, once Schalit is returned to Israel, the blockade on Gaza is expected to be downgraded, though that is dependent on the actions of the coastal strip's militant organizations in the coming months, according to the report.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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