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PA daily: Shalit deal shows that kidnapping Israelis is the only way to release Palestinian prisoners

In October 2011, the Israeli government agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.
PA daily columnist Hani Al-Masri on the exchange deal:
Headline:
"Legitimate questions concerning the prisoner exchange deal"
     "Israel downplayed the importance of the price that it paid in the Shalit deal, and therefore 26 [government] ministers supported it and only 3 were opposed. Nevertheless, it paid a heavy price, not only because of the number of those released, and especially those sentenced to lengthy prison terms, but also because of [the deal's] basic significance: in concluding the deal, Israel conveyed a message which has harmed it all along the line – [that] it understands only the language of force and resistance, and will release prisoners sentenced to lengthy prison terms only through [prisoner] exchange deals. This strengthens the resistance option, weakens greatly the bilateral negotiating option, and turns the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers into the only option for releasing Palestinian prisoners… Before concluding this article it is necessary to address the opinions of those who said that the price for Shalit's imprisonment was very heavy – which goes hand in hand with the explicit or implicit call to uproot the resistance because it has 'destroyed us'. Meanwhile it is thanks to the resistance in all its forms – despite the heavy price which it entailed – that the Palestinian cause is still alive and the Palestinian people is still standing, despite the bitter suffering. This [resistance] has prevented the achievement of all the Zionist aims, which sought to establish Israel on the entire land of Palestine, by expelling all of the Palestinian people out of Palestine. Were it not for the resistance, with all its achievements and mistakes, the situation would be far worse than it is."
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