Monday 11 December 2017

Anger mounts in Israel over soldier release deal

Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

FULL details of the heavy price being paid by Israel to secure the release of soldier Gilad Shalit from Palestinian captivity emerged yesterday, prompting outrage among the families of those killed in suicide bombings.

A monument to Yitzhak Rabin, the assassinated Israeli prime minister, was defaced by a man whose parents were murdered in a terrorist attack, as anger spread over the planned release of Palestinian militants involved in some of the region's deadliest bombings.

The monument, in Tel Aviv, regarded as one of the most revered in modern Israel, was vandalised by Shvuel Schijveschuurder (27).

He was caught pouring paint over the square memorial and daubing it with graffiti demanding the release of Mr Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir.

He told police he was protesting against the release of a woman involved in the bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria in 2001 that killed his parents and three of his siblings.

Ahlam Tamimi, who drove the suicide bomber to the restaurant, is one of the 27 female Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody being released as part of the deal that will see Mr Shalit freed. She was serving 15 life sentences -- one for each of those killed in the attack.

For many Israelis, the most one-sided prisoner exchange in their history will bring relief that the ordeal of 26-year-old Mr Shalit, the Jewish conscript held captive in Gaza for five years, is finally drawing to a close. But a sense of betrayal is emerging among those who lost family and friends during the sustained terror bombing campaign of the second Palestinian intifada. In total, 1,027 Palestinians prisoners will be released over a two-month period after a deal was brokered through Egyptian negotiators.

Although Israel will not publicly release the names of those to be freed until tomorrow, officials have already begun informing the families of victims. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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