Skip To Content
Breaking News

Tony Blair Calls Shalit Deal Opening to Peace

The envoy for the Middle East Quartet of peacemakers, Tony Blair, on Tuesday welcomed Gilad Shalit?s release from Hamas captivity, saying that it was a ?moment of great joy? for the soldier and his family as well as for the families of the Palestinian prisoners released as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Blair, who represents the foursome of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia, also said that the moment could prove to be an opportunity to kick start the peace process.

?I hope it also offers us a moment of opportunity, and not simply in respect of Gaza where Hamas are presently in charge, but also for a?revival of credibility in a peace process we really need to prioritize,? he told the BBC.

Meanwhile United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that he expected the prisoner swap to boost prospects for the wider peace process.

?With this release, it will have a far-reaching positive impact to the stalled Middle East peace process,? Ban said at the end of a three-day trip to Switzerland.

?I am very encouraged by the prisoner exchange today after many, many years of negotiation. The United Nations has been calling for [an end to] the unacceptable detention of Gilad Shalit and also the release of all Palestinians whose human rights have been abused all the time.?

For more, go to

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.