Conflict & Justice

Gilad Shalit: A retrospective (PHOTOS)


The Israeli cabinet recently voted to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners over two months in exchange for 25-year-old Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, imprisoned since 2006. Here Shalit is seen in a video broadcast by an Israeli news channel on Oct. 2, 2009.


Jonathan Nackstrand

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released from Hamas captivity today as part of the high level prisoner swap in which Israel today the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

GlobalPost correspondent Noga Tarnopolsky wrote, “Israel is gripped by a volatile emotional cocktail of barely contained exuberance and lurking dread.”

Though protests in favor of the exchange have been numerous by both the Palestinians and Israelis, the move still has critics — especially from Israelis who lost loved ones in attacks linked to the Palestinian prisoners to be released, according to Haaretz Daily Newspaper.

More: Gilad Shalit to be freed

Israelis opposed to the deal had submitted petitions to the High Court of Justice early Monday, asking the court to prevent the exchange of 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for one Israeli soldier. The ruling is expected to be announced Monday evening.

The Guardian reported:

There were angry scenes inside and outside the high court where the proceedings were repeatedly interrupted by family members yelling objections to the deal with Hamas.

But according to The Guardian, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to seeing the deal through, though he told families members of those allegedly killed by some of the Palestinian prisoners that he “shares their pain.”

More: Trading with the enemy

He added that he “was faced with the responsibility of the prime minister of Israel to bring home every soldier who is sent to protect our citizens.”

To see more of the history behind the prisoner swap, click through the photo gallery above highlighting moments in the fight to free Shalit.