October 17, 2011
Implementation of the Agreement for the Liberation of Abducted Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit – Update and Supplement to the Initial Report 1
1. On Tuesday, October 18, the first stage of the agreement for the liberation of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is scheduled to be carried out: he will be transferred to Egypt and in return Israel will release 450 male and 27 female Palestinian terrorists. They are currently serving extended prison terms for terrorist activity involving the murder of hundreds of Israeli citizens. Israeli and Hamas sources close to the negotiations have reported that the arrangements have been finalized and that no further obstacles remain.
2. Preparations for the exchange (Operation Beit Hashoevah)2 are being made in Israel, Egypt, the Gaza Strip and Ramallah. On October 16 the male and female terrorists were transferred to the Ketziot prison in the south and Ofer prison in central Israel, and from there will be deported. On October 17 the Supreme Court deliberated the appeals to prevent the agreement from being implemented, lodged by organizations representing victims of terrorism and by private individuals. The appeals were rejected on the grounds that the considerations of the agreement were fundamentally political.
Preparations for the Liberation of Gilad Shalit – Israel
3. On October 16 David Meidan, the Israeli prime minister’s special envoy, returned from a last round of talks in Cairo. He met with high-ranking Egyptian intelligence officials and finalized the arrangements for implementing the agreement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and David Meidan after his return from Egypt (Photo by Amos Ben-Gershon, courtesy of the Israeli Government Press Office, October 16, 2011).
4. Based on the agreements reached in Egypt, the IDF completed its plan for the liberation of Gilad Shalit. The plan was presented to the defense minister and authorized on the evening of October 16. It is meant to ensure the coordinated, guarded transfer of the terrorist prisoners from their various locations and the transfer of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to Israel (IDF Spokesman’s Website, October 17, 2011).
5. In preparation for the transfer, on October 16 the terrorists were concentrated in two sites: 430 males to the Ketziot jail in the south and 20 males and 27 females to the Hasharon jail in the center of the country. There they were identified and registered, and met with representatives of the Red Cross who examined them and told them where they would be released to.
The first convoy of Palestinian terrorists leaves Damoun jail on Mt. Carmel north for the Hasharon jail the center of the country (Photo by Max Yelinson, October 16, 2011).
The first convoy of Palestinian terrorists arrives at the Ketziot jail in the south of Israel (Photo by Yehuda Lahiani, courtesy of NRG, October 16, 2011)
6. On the afternoon of October 17 the Israeli Supreme Court deliberated on an appeal from Almagor, an organization representing the victims of Palestinian terrorism, and three independent appeals. The appellants claimed that they did not have enough time to organize and examine the list of terrorists, that the agreement was not proportional and that its implementation would endanger the security of Israeli citizens. The State’s Attorney, however, claimed that the considerations of the agreement were political and security-related and that it was not within the province of the Supreme Court to intervene. The state was joined in its claims by the Shalit family, which claimed that any change in the arrangements for implementing the agreement would endanger Gilad’s life. (Note: On the evening of October 17 the Supreme Court rejected the appeals.
Files relating to the petition transported to the Supreme Court
(Photo courtesy of Israel Channel 2 TV, October 15, 2011)
7. On Tuesday, October 18, the first stage of the agreement will be carried out: So far, Hamas has maintained a media blackout regarding the details. Our information is based primarily on reports in the Israeli media, as follows:
1) In the morning, Gilad Shalit will be transferred by Hamas to Egyptian territory (most probably through the Rafah crossing.) He will be turned over to the Egyptian authorities and International Red Cross representatives, who will confirm that he is alive.
2) Concurrently, the release of the Palestinian terrorists and their transfer will begin. Their destinations are Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, Israel and abroad (through Egypt).
3) Gilad Shalit will be transferred from Egypt to Israeli territory through one of the land crossings (possibly the Kerem Shalom crossing) and from there he will be flown to the Tel Nof Israeli Air Force base in the center of the country.
4) At the base he will be examined by Israeli doctors and then meet with members of his family, the prime minister, the defense minister and the IDF chief of staff.
5) From there he will be flown by helicopter to his home in the village of Mitspeh Hila in the Western Galilee.
1 Supplement to the October 12 bulletin, “The Agreement for the Liberation of Abducted Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit – Initial Report,” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/ipc_e231.pdf
2 The festival of drawing water during the Jewish holiday of Succot (currently being celebrated).