(As an aside, our computer was “in the shop” from before Sukkot until today. It was nice for the holiday to be “unplugged”, but it is also nice to be able to blog again).
Since we had no computer for the past week and a half, I got my news the old fashioned way – from the radio and the weekend newspaper that we subscribe to – Makor Rishon. I listened the whole day on Tuesday when Gilad Shalit was returned, and had a good cry like almost the entire population in Israel. Tuesday afternoon westbankpapa was walking in our yishuv and happened to look down the slope at the intersection of road which is located northeast of us, and noticed quite a few cars and a huge crowd blocking the way. He came home and called the person in charge of security to ask what was happening, and was informed that one of the 450 terrorists released was on his way home and there were local Arabs celebrating.
As we like to say, “how special”. Joy and fear for the future, all rolled into one.
After reading the whole coverage of the release of the terrorists over the weekend, I was a bit reassured though. It seems that the big “symbolic” terrorists were kept in jail (fame doesn’t help in this situation, I guess.) Of the 450 terrorists released on Tuesday , “only” 110 were allowed to go home to Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, and the Shabak (the Israeli version of the CIA) said publicly that they would be able to keep an eye on all of them. 40 were expelled to different Arab countries. The rest were sent to Gaza.
The IDF did not make any promises that they wouldn’t assasinate these terrorists either.
Which means that now when the terrorists inevitably start sending rockets into southern Israel from Gaza the Israel Airforce will have even more targets to go after. In addition there will be no fear that they will inadvertently hit Gilad.
In addition, in as much as we hate to help Hamas, it is always good to keep things even between them and Fatah – so that they will spend their time fighting each other and not us. Fatah has earned some points lately in the international arena, despite the fact that their work to get recognition for a Palestinian state is going nowhere.
All of this is perhaps whistling in the dark, though, as the statistics show that 60% of terrorists released from prison go on to kill again. Which means that we are all doing the same thing – enjoying the happiness of seeing our soldier returnted to his family, and hoping against hope that we won’t have to regret the price we paid.