Hamas on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the Gilad Schalit deal – in which the captive IDF soldier was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – by releasing a 45-minute film describing the kidnapping and including interviews with terrorists who took part in the abduction.
The video, produced by Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, depicts military preparations for the operation, maps of the area in which Schalit was captured, the tunnels through which his captors accessed him, and what appears to be a reenactment of the mission itself. It also includes some of the first footage of Schalit after his release.
At a conference following a mass march in Gaza in honor of the anniversary, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Schalit deal should serve as a “road map” to free other Palestinian prisoners, according to Israel Radio.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted Izzadin Kassam head Abu Obaida as saying that “the release of the detainees is our top priority, and the resistance will always work to achieve this goal.”
He vowed that “this swap deal will not be the last. We will always act in order to secure the release of all detainees.”
Many of the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners released in the Schalit exchange were responsible for the death or injury of hundreds of Israeli civilians.
Tawfiq Abu Naim, who chairs a group representing released Palestinian prisoners, told Ma’an that Palestinians called on Hamas and other terror groups to kidnap more Israeli soldiers and secure the release of more prisoners.
According to Abu Naim, all Palestinians supported Schalit’s abduction.
In an interview with Channel 10 aired Wednesday, Schalit described his more than five years in captivity, detailing everything from his sleeping patterns to his feelings upon release.
“I was scared people would forget me,” he said.
At the end of the broadcast, he said he would send his children to the IDF.
“In the end, the state saved me from that place. It fulfilled its part in the prisoner exchange. It paid the price. I will certainly send my kids to the army,” he said.