Gilad Shalit Returns Home to Israel

In the Jewish tradition, we're taught, "He who saves one life has saved the world." To save Gilad Shalit, Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. The first group of 477, released on October 18, were terrorists responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Israel's history. While Israelis agonized over this exchange to secure the safe return of Shalit, Palestinians celebrated in Ramallah and Gaza City. "You are freedom fighters and holy warriors for the sake of God and the homeland," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas exulted, as he welcomed the returning terrorists. Examples of those terrorists who now are in Gaza, the West Bank, or sent abroad, include:

  • August 31, 2004: Mus'ab Ismail aI-Hashlimun had been held and released by Israel once before, when he was among 435 Palestinian terrorists freed in a January 2004 in exchange for Israeli citizen Elhanan Tannenbaum. Seven months later, he sent suicide bombers to blow up two city buses in Beersheba, killing 16 people and wounding 100.
  • March 5, 2003: Majdi Amr, a leader of the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, organized the suicide bombing of Bus 37 in Haifa, killing 17 and wounding 53. A former resident of Hebron, Amr is to be "relocated abroad."
  • March 5, 2003: Maedh Sharakh, a Hamas operative, was also involved in the bombing of the bus in Haifa and other terrorist attacks. According to the terms of the agreement, he will return to Gaza.

  • November 15, 2002: Fadi al-Jaaba was among a group of terrorists who attacked Israelis near the Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 12, and also was involved in the Haifa bus bombing. Under the agreement, he is to be relocated to Gaza or abroad.

  • August 4, 2002: Mazen Muhammad Suleiman Faqha organized the bombing of Bus 361 near Safed, killing nine and wounding 50. A native of the West Bank, he is to  relocate to Gaza or abroad under the exchange agreement.

  • May 7, 2002: Walid Anajas, a Hamas operative, organized the suicide bombing at a club in Rishon LeZion, killing 15, and the cafetria bombing at the Hebrew University Mount Scopus campus on July 31, 2002, which killed nine people, including four Americans, and wounded more than 70. A former resident of Ramallah, he is to be "relocated abroad" under the terms of the exchange agreement.

  • March 22, 2002: Nasir al-Nasser was responsible for the bombing of the 2002 Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, which left 28 dead and 140 wounded.

    A former resident of the town Tulkarm in Samaria, al-Nasser is being "relocated abroad."

  • March 9, 2002: Anajas also assisted with the suicide bombing at Café Moment in Jerusalem, where 11 people were killed and another 54 wounded, many seriously. The restaurant was completely gutted by the powerful explosive.

  • August 9, 2001: Husam Atef Ali Badran organized several attacks, including the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem, which killed 15 and wounded 130.
    Badran was also an organizer of the bombing of the 2002 Passover Seder at the Park Hotel, and the June 1, 2001 bombing at the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv, in which 21 teenagers were killed and 132 wounded.
    Dolphinarium Disco Bombing

    A former resident of Nablus in the West Bank, Badran is to be "relocated abroad."

  • August 9, 2001: Ahlam Tamimi drove the suicide bomber to the scene of the Sbarro bombing. Her only regret was that she "could not kill more than 15 Jews," according to her comments to reporters. She is to return to her native Jordan under the swap agreement.

  • February 14, 2001: Khalil Mohammed Abu Ulbah ran a bus over a group of female soldiers near the Azor Junction, killing eight and wounding 26.

  • January 17, 2001: Amana Muna, a West Bank resident, used the Internet to lure a 16-year-old Israeli high-school student, Ofir Rahum, to Ramallah. where he was shot to death by two Fatah gunmen.

  • October 12, 2000: Aziz Salha gleefully displayed his bloodied hands to a cheering crowd after lynching two IDF reservists, Vadim Nurzhitz (sometimes spelled as Norzhich) and Yossi Avrahami (or Yosef Avrahami), who accidentally drove into Palestinian Authority-controlled Ramallah and were seized by a mob.

  • May 1992: Fuad Amrin, a Gaza resident, stabbed 15-year-old Helena Rapp to death on her way to school in the Israeli city of Bat Yam. He is returning to Gaza under the deal.

  • July 1989: Abd al-Hadi Ghanim, at the height of the first intifada, seized the steering wheel from the driver of Bus 405 on Israel's main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, forcing the bus to descend off a cliff, killing 16 – including two Canadians and one American – and injuring 27. He is returning to Gaza.

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