1024 Palestinian detainees are set to be released in the near future and Gilad Shalit is coming home in a deal brokered between Israel, Hamas and Egypt. Last night in Jerusalem, at the site of the Gilad Shalit protest tent near the Prime Minister’s residence, a spontaneous celebration erupted as people congratulated Shalit’s parents. Approximately 10,000 people in Gaza City also celebrated the deal in one of those rare occasions when Palestinians and Israelis celebrate together. Not everyone is thrilled with the deal though. Three members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, most notably including head of Israel Beitenu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, voted against it. In the past, some Palestinians released in similar deals have been involved in further fatal attacks against Israelis.
I am personally all in favor of the deal. It’s just that I can’t help but imagine that as you read this, someone is walking around Israel right now and they don’t know that they will die some time soon as a result of Shalit’s release. Who is it going to be. It could even be me! But one thing we’ve learned from these swaps. Someone is going to die. Sigh. Welcome home Gilad.