Mashaal 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Tuesday night called the deal to exchange Gilad
Schalit for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners a “great achievement.” “We are
happy with this great achievement and we thank our God for that. But our
happiness is mixed with sorrow because we were not able to gain the freedom of
all prisoners,” Meshaal said from Damascus, speaking in a televised
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Hamas presented the prisoner exchange agreement as a “historic
victory,” saying Israel has accepted all the demands of the captors.
Obaida, spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam, said the
agreement includes prisoners from east Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs and all the
women and minors among the security prisoners.
He also pointed out that
two-thirds of the prisoners who would be released in return for Gilad Schalit
are serving lengthy terms in prison.
“This is an historic deal,” Abu
Obaida boasted. “Hamas will remain faithful to the cause of the prisoners and
will continue to work toward securing the release of all of them.”
officials revealed that the agreement was achieved with the help of the
Egyptians. They said that the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service,
Murad Mawafi, was personally involved in the negotiations.
the officials, Ahmed Ja’bari, Izzadin Kassam’s overall commander, visited Cairo
two weeks ago to oversee the final details of the exchange.