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Shin Bet Chief Says Israel Got Good Deal in Shalit Swap

Shin Bet security service director Yoram Cohen said Wednesday that the prisoner swap agreement reached between Israel and Hamas, with Egyptian mediation, to free Gilad Shalit included the best terms possible for Israel in regards to security.

“”If there was a better alternative, operationally or through negotiations, perhaps we would have chosen it,” Cohen said during a press briefing. “But I think we got the best deal in terms of security parameters.”

Palestinian security prisoners to be released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal between Israel and Hamas include the murderers of kidnapped IDF soldiers Nachshon Wachsman, Ilan Sasportas and Ilan Saadon.

Other prisoners being released include the perpetrator of the Bus 405 Tel Aviv-Jerusalem attack in 1989, the terrorist who killed 10 Israelis in Wadi Harmiyeh north of Ramallah in 2002, the terrorist who brought the suicide bomber to the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, several perpetrators of the lynch in Ramallah in October 2000.

Among these prisoners, those from the West Bank will not be able to return to their homes and will be deported to the Gaza Strip or abroad.

Under the agreement, the release of Gilad Shalit is expected to take place in about a week, along with the release of 479 Palestinian security prisoners.

Of the released prisoners, 96 are West Bank residents who will be allowed to return to their homes. 14 East Jerusalem residents and six Israeli Arabs will also be allowed to return to their homes.

131 prisoners from the Gaza Strip will be released.

27 women, all the women imprisoned in Israel for security offenses, will be released. Two will be deported, one to Gaza and one to Jordan.

About half of the released prisoners, 203, will not be allowed to return to their homes. 40 will be deported abroad and the rest transferred to the Gaza Strip.

165 of the deportees will be allowed to return to the West Bank in 10-25 years. The other deportees will never be allowed to return to the West Bank.

In two months, Israel will release another 550 prisoners that it chooses.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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