Swapping Live Terrorists for Dead Soldiers

[Los Angeles Times ] Benny Morris - For the first time, Israel has agreed to exchange live terrorists simply for dead men, to be brought back to Israel for mourning and burial and to bring definitive closure for the families. Among the terrorists who will be freed is one Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese gunman who participated in the murder of an Israeli family, including two toddlers, in a 1979 raid in Nahariya. Also to be released are four Hizbullah fighters held by Israel, a number of bodies of terrorists and infiltrators, as well as an as-yet-undetermined number of live Palestinian security prisoners. The deal will certainly motivate the fundamentalist Hamas, which is holding prisoner another Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in its Gaza fiefdom, to raise its price - about 500 "high-quality" terrorists is the figure currently mentioned. What's more, it will encourage all the region's terrorists to take Israelis hostage. The writer is the author of many books about the Israeli-Arab conflict including, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War.

2008-07-02 01:00:00

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