Hamas: Barghouti to be Released In Shalit Deal, Israel Denies
Following the announcement earlier this evening of a deal reached between Hamas and the Israeli government to release captive soldier Gilad Shalit, details are now emerging of the agreement terms.
Israel radio reported that the deal would likely involve the release and transfer of 1ooo Palestinian Arab criminals held in Israeli prisons. Hamas elaborated on its website, claiming that among those to be released where terror leaders Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat.
Israeli ministers have denied that Barghouti and Sa’adat are among those scheduled for release.
Barghouti was convicted in May 2004 on 5 counts of murder, including authorizing and organizing the Sea Food Market attack in Tel Aviv in which 3 civilians inside Israel were killed. He was sentenced to five life sentences and an additional 40 years. Sa’adat, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was sentenced in December 2008, by an Israeli court to 30 years in prison for heading an illegal terrorist organization and for his responsibility in the murder of tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
In Damascus, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed that all female inmates will be released, as well as 350 ‘heavy killers.’
Among the female prisoners currently in Israeli custody is Wafa al-Bis who attempted to carry out a suicide attack on the Israeli hospital and doctors that were treating her. This incident was referenced earlier this week by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at an Upper West Side Synagogue where he said that, “Arab Culture Is a Culture of Death.”
Gilad Shalit has been held in captivity since he was abducted by militants in a cross-border raid on June 25th 2006. Hamas has repeatedly refused requests from the International Red Cross to visit him.