Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released from Hamas captivity today as part of the high level prisoner swap in which Israel today the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
GlobalPost correspondent Noga Tarnopolsky wrote, “Israel is gripped by a volatile emotional cocktail of barely contained exuberance and lurking dread.”
Though protests in favor of the exchange have been numerous by both the Palestinians and Israelis, the move still has critics — especially from Israelis who lost loved ones in attacks linked to the Palestinian prisoners to be released, according to Haaretz Daily Newspaper.
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Israelis opposed to the deal had submitted petitions to the High Court of Justice early Monday, asking the court to prevent the exchange of 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for one Israeli soldier. The ruling is expected to be announced Monday evening.
There were angry scenes inside and outside the high court where the proceedings were repeatedly interrupted by family members yelling objections to the deal with Hamas.
But according to The Guardian, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to seeing the deal through, though he told families members of those allegedly killed by some of the Palestinian prisoners that he “shares their pain.”
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He added that he “was faced with the responsibility of the prime minister of Israel to bring home every soldier who is sent to protect our citizens.”
To see more of the history behind the prisoner swap, click through the photo gallery above highlighting moments in the fight to free Shalit.