Skip to main content

Israel's failed prisoner release policies

Israel's policy of expelling released prisoners outside the West Bank has only encouraged them to resume terror activity.
Hamas militants take part in a march through the streets of Gaza City, marking the anniversary of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, October 18, 2012. Last year, Israel freed more than 1,000 jailed Palestinians in a swap for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held in Gaza. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANNIVERSARY) - RTR39A0Z

It took the Israeli Shin Bet only three weeks to arrest the members of a terrorist cell suspected of having carried out the June 30 attack near the Alon Shvut settlement in which Malachi Rosenfeld from the settlement of Kochav Hashahar was murdered and three others were wounded. It was apparently also that same cell that fired shots at an Israeli ambulance in the area of the West Bank Beit El settlement two days earlier.

When the members of the cell were arrested, two facts came to light, pointing to Hamas’ current modus operandi in the West Bank. The first one is that the fingerprints of Salah al-Arouri, who set up a Hamas headquarters in Istanbul, are repeatedly present. The second one is the current involvement of many prisoners released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, who have resumed their terrorist activities under Arouri’s baton.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.