The Most Notorious Names in the Shalit Prison Swap

GiladShalit may now be reunitedwith his family,but the controversy surrounding the 477 Palestinianprisonersswapped for the captive Israeli soldier this week has not died down. SomeIsraelis are ambivalent,concerned, or downright angry about the release of men and women whocarried out deadly terrorist attacks in Israel. And some Palestinians are upset about therestrictions Israel has placed on the movement and activities of the releasedprisoners. Israeli authorities, for example, relocated the most dangerous prisonersto countries like Turkey, Qatar, Syria, and Jordan, and sent over a hundredmore to the Gaza Strip, where travel restrictions and a security wall may makeit harder to carry out attacks against Israelis. Many detainees will have tocheck in regularly with Israeli officials, and fifty-five signed documentspromising not to return to terrorist activities, according to the ChristianScience Monitor.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most notorious prisoners that Israelreleased, based on information from Israel’s PrisonService and reports circulating in the media.

Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images


The 49-year-old Gaza native, who is generallyconsidered the most senior prisoner released, helpedestablish Hamas’s military wing in Gaza — including an internalsecurity network that killed Palestinians suspected of collaborating withIsrael — and was serving four life sentences for his involvement in the 1994 kidnapping andmurder of Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman. Is it a coincidence that,according to AlJazeera, Sinwar’s brother, Mohammed, may have helped engineer Hamas’sabduction of Gilad Shalit? Upon returning home to Gaza (see picture above), Yehya Sinwar stated that capturing Israeli soldiers was the best way tofree Palestinian prisoners. “For the prisoner, capturing an Israeli soldier isthe best news in the universe, because he knows that a glimmer of hope has beenopened for him,” he declared, per the NewYork Times.

 Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images


The31-year-old Hamas operative was serving a staggering 36 life sentences forhis role in suicide bombings at Jerusalem’s Café Moment (11 killed) and the Rishon LeZion pool hall (16killed)in 2002 during the Second Intifada. The conditions of his release require Anajasto be relocated abroad rather than sent back to his home in the West Bankcity of Ramallah.


The Hamas military leader helped plan many ofthe deadliest suicide bombings of the Second Intifada, including 2001 attackson a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem (15 killed) and a disco near the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv (21 killed), and 2002 attacks on a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya (30 killed) and the Matza restaurant in Haifa (15 killed). Israeli authorities have decided to relocate Badran, who was servingover 17 years in prison, abroad rather than return him to the West Bank.


The 30-year-old former television reporter helpedplan and carry out the Sbarro pizzeria bombing, driving the suicide bomber tothe restaurant. Frimet Roth, the mother of a 15-year-old victim, wrote aneditorial in Haaretzover the weekend criticizing the Israeli government for releasing Tamimi, who expressed noremorse for participating in the bombing in 2006 andhas since vowed to carry out a similar attack if she has the chance (Ynet says Ahlam Tamimi was “always proud of the fact that she was the firstfemale Hamas combatant”). Tamimi received 16 life sentences andis pictured above returning to her native Jordan.

Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images


In 2000, a 20-year-old Salha arrived at aRamallah police station where two Israeli reservists had been taken and beatenby a mob after they mistakenly drove their car into the West Bank city. As Haaretztells it, Salha removed a knife from the back of one of the soldiers andstabbed him three more times. He then proudly waved his bloodied hands outsidethe window in what The Guardian calls one of the “most horrifying and resonant” images of the SecondIntifada. He was sentenced to life in prison and will be relocated to Gaza


Posing asan American, the Palestinian activist struck up a romantic relationshiponline with a 16-year-old Israeli high school student named Ofir Rahum andarranged to meet him in Jerusalem in 2001, only to then drive him to alocation near Ramallah where Palestinian gunmen shot and killed him.Awana, who was in her mid-20s at the time of Rahum’s death, was sentencedto life in jail and will not be allowed return to her home in the WestBank. According to Israel’s Ministry ofEducation,Awana said she was inspired to carry out her plot by the 2000 mob murder of Israeli soldiers in Ramallahmentioned above. But Awana’s mother insists her daughter didn’t intend forRahum to be killed, according to the AP. Accordingto Ynet,Awana, pictured above in 2001, had reputation for being cruel to her fellow inmates in prison.

Getty Images


The 54-year-old Hamas commander led an elite fighting unit that kidnappedand killed two Israeli soldiers in separate incidents in 1989. He’s returningto his home in Gaza. In 2009, an accomplice, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, recountedpicking up one of the soldiers as a hitchhiker in an interview with Al JazeeraArabic. “As we were going on the highway to Majdal, [fellowHamas militant] Abu Suhaib turned back and shot [the soldier], took his weapon,we had sharp knives and I had a gun, I wanted to shoot him but Abu Suhaib wasfaster than me,” Mabhouh recalled. After more than two decades in jail, Sharathawill be returning to his home in Gaza.


During the First Intifada in 1989, Ghanimgrabbed the steering wheel of a bus en route to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv andsteered it into a ravine, killing 16 people on board. He received 16 lifesentences — one for each victim — but he’ll now return to his native Gaza. “Idon’t think there’s any justification for sending him home,” the sister of oneof the victims told the Toronto Star. “He hasn’t paid his price yet. He’ll return a hero.”


The West Bank native received 29 life sentencesfor planning the bloody Passover bombing of the Park Hotel in Netanya thathelped trigger Israel’s reoccupation of the West Bank. He’ll be relocatedabroad.


In 1992,the Gaza resident stabbed a 15-year-old Israeli girl named Helena Rapp todeath on her way to school in the city of Bat Yam. He’s returning home.


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