Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Media are full of information about the release of one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in exchange for 1 027 Palestinian prisoners.

Shalit spent 5 years in an unknown place, in unknown conditions, without being sentenced by a court. He was captured during military service. By the end it was not clear whether he was alive.

Among the 1 027 Palestinian prisoners there are people convicted with a valid sentence, criminals – murderers of innocent Israelis in terrorist acts, as well as innocent activists arrested as a part of repressive actions. The number 1 027 is very significant, because there had to be a criterion that led from Israeli prison to freedom.

One might ask – where is the sense in that?

The exchange, in our definition, is connected with a parity. But here, there is none. In fact, this is not a swap, only an amnesty for the Hamas people. The Israeli government grant the amnesty, being aware of past sins and threats that these people can cause in the future.

Israeli Prime Minister talks about the importance of every Israeli’s life. In accordance with this principle, Gilad returns home. In the past living people used to be exchanged for the remains of killed soldiers. But along the way something special for the future of the Middle East happened. Israel carried out secret but effective negotiations with Hamas, which, as a terrorist organisation, has been so far excluded from any talks.

So, we are dealing with a radically new situation. Either there will be further steps to reassure the border between Gaza-Israel, or released militants, terrorists (delete as appropriate) will join the ranks of fighters. With all its consequences.

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