Jibril Rajoub representing PA Chairman Abbas: We salute those who captured Shalit
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.
Ceremony honoring released Palestinian prisoners following the prisoner exchange deal:
Ceremony moderator: "We shall now hear the address by the representative of the President [Abbas], to be delivered by Jibril Rajoub, member of the [Fatah] Central Committee."
Jibril Rajoub, representing President Abbas: "I say in the name of the Fatah movement -- we salute those who dug the tunnel [to capture the Israeli soldier]; we salute those who captured the captive (Gilad Shalit), and salute those who guarded the captive until this deal was completed [Applause] ... I salute our courageous prisoners and I say to you -- [I cannot] describe you, neither as heroes, nor as courageous, nor anything else. There are no words in the Arab dictionary, nor in any other dictionary, to describe you, but this modest reception is [our] utmost honor to you, your history, and your families."
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Note: Jibril Rajoub was himself serving a life sentence for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army truck in 1970. He was released in the "Jibril-Agreement" in 1985, when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine succeeded in releasing 1,150 prisoners in exchange for three Israeli hostages.
In the audience at the ceremony: Hamas Member of Parliament (Legislative Council), Hassan Yusuf; Chairman of the Fatah faction in Parliament, Azzam Al-Ahmad; Deputy Secretary-General of the Popular Front, Abd Al-Rahim Malouh; Deputy Secretary-General of the Democratic Front, Qais Abd Al-Karim; member of Fatah Central Council, Jibril Rajoub; Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Karake; Chairman of the Prisoners' Club, Qadura Fares.
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