Hamas leaders are telling Arabic media that Israel agreed to release terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit without a commitment from the terrorist group to stop kidnapping soldiers. Israel tried to get a commitment, but agreed to go ahead without one, according to sources quoted by the pan-Arabic paper Al-Hayat.
Hamas also claimed that they managed to extract a promise from Israel not to harm the more than 1,000 terrorists to be released in exchange for Shalit in any way.
The report contradicts what Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen said about the planned prisoner release. Cohen told journalists that the exchange deal does not include any Israeli commitment regarding released terrorists’ future.
Hamas has portrayed the Shalit prisoner exchange as a victory, and has openly vowed to kidnap more Israelis in order to free more prisoners. Among those who will be released are terrorists who have committed murder, although several senior terrorists will remain in prison.
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon slammed the decision Thursday, saying, “Our experience has made clear to us the terrorists we are releasing today will murder tens and perhaps hundreds of Israelis tomorrow.”