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Prisoner exchange with Hezbollah creates precedent

Hani al-Masri, senior Palestinian leader, writer and political commentator:
Interviewer:
"Hani, in your opinion, will the prisoner exchange deal between Hezbollah and the occupation [Israel] influence a [Shalit] deal between the factions in Gaza [Hamas] and Israel?"
Al-Masri: "Of course it will influence it. Israel, which has released all the Lebanese prisoners and all the bodies of the Lebanese and others, will not be able to refuse the Palestinian demands to release hundreds of prisoners, including heroes who carried out heroic military actions that led to the killing of Jews, soldiers, etc. Israel is trying to hide behind criteria that it calls 'those with blood-stained hands,' so as not to release prisoners, yet this deal includes heroes, such as Samir Kuntar, who carried out heroic actions in which Jews and soldiers died. In addition, this creates a new precedent, which supports the issue and allows the Palestinians to arrive at a deal in which heroes, who were sentenced to lengthy [prison] terms, will be released. We do not want them to remain in prison for long terms, and in deals of this type as many as possible of them should be released."

Note: On July 16, 2008, Israel and Hezbollah concluded a prisoner exchange deal that released Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar from Israeli prison in exchange for the bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, Israeli soldiers kidnapped and killed by Hezbollah in 2006. Kuntar was serving 4 life sentences for murdering 4 people, including four year-old girl Einat Haran.
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