Now that the first phase of the prisoner swap is complete and Gilad Shalit is home, Hamas is preparing for the deal’s second phase – the release of an additional 550 Palestinian prisoners, of Israel’s choosing.
Abu Obeida told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an that the prisoners Israel is supposed to free are prisoners jailed for anti-Israeli activity, not mere criminals. He that prisoners with only little time left on their sentence will also be excluded.
In addition, priority will be given to old and infirm prisoners and to prisoners behind bars for over 20 years. According to the Hamas spokesman, these conditions are stipulated in the agreement signed by Israel and Hamas, and it is Egypt’s duty as mediator to make sure that both sides uphold their end of the deal.
Meanwhile, the celebrations and receptions held in honor of the prisoners released in the deal’s first phase continued Wednesday. A terrorist who had been en route to execute a suicide attack and was released as a part of the swap met with Gaza schoolchildren Wednesday, and called on them to follow in her footsteps.
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