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Latest prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah

This is not the first prisoner swap that Israel has done. In the past Israel has done this sort of swap many times, even exchanging the live prisoners that it holds for the bodies of its dead soldiers. However, this time was more traumatic for Israel, since it involved sending back a man whom Israel hates with a vengeance, Samir Qantar. Samir Qantar holds a special place in Israel, since he was convicted in 1979 for the killing of an entire family (Wikipedia), while leading a raid. His killing of the young daughter of the family was seen as particularly brutal, and he has been in jail ever since:

Hezbollah handed the bodies of two Israeli soldiers to the Red Cross on Wednesday to be exchanged for Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in a deal viewed as a triumph by the Lebanese Shi’ite guerrilla group. Many Israelis see it as a painful necessity, two years after the soldiers’ capture sparked a 34-day war with Hezbollah that killed about 1,200 people in Lebanon and 159 Israelis.

The fathers of the two Israelis soldiers spoke of their pain at watching the television pictures of their sons’ coffins. “It is not easy to see this, although there was not much surprise to it. But … confronting this reality was difficult, yes,” Shlomo Goldwasser told Israel radio. Zvi Regev said on Army Radio: “It was very moving when we saw it. We couldn’t watch too long. It was a terrible thing to see, really terrible. I was always optimistic, and I hoped all the time that I would meet Eldad and hug him.” Hezbollah’s Safa said Israel had later handed over via the ICRC the bodies of eight Hezbollah fighters slain in the 2006 war, and those of four Palestinians, including Dalal Mughrabi, a woman guerrilla who led a bloody 1978 raid on Israel.

These prisoner exchanges somehow give further belief to the terrorist groups that Israel is weak and will submit to more such exchanges; it has been proved in the past that these groups have taken the policy of kidnapping in order to get their own prisoners released.

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