It should not have happened.
We received two coffins with the remains of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser (seen on the left and right, respectively, below).
Hezbollah received five live terrorists in return , including the infamous Samir Kuntar. It is believed that our soldiers were kidnapped in the first place precisely because Hezbollah sought the return of Kuntar in exchange.
Included in the exchange, as well, were the remains of a number of terrorists, including Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian woman who lived in Lebanon, and was associated with Fatah; she led a 1978 terrorist attack on a bus traveling the coastal road that claimed the lives of 36 people, including 13 children. She has long been venerated as an icon for terrorists — I believe the first such woman terrorist.
It should not have happened.
No one for a moment minimizes the pain , the anguish of the Goldwasser and Regev families. As there was no official government declaration that the soldiers were dead — although it was clearly understood by the government for some time that they were dead — the families, being human and loving their lost soldiers, held out hope that perhaps, perhaps, they would be returned alive.
When the remains in the coffin were identified , and the certainty of their deaths became clear, there was the moment of final shock. Military funerals will be held tomorrow.
And please, mark this well:
Palestinians not just in Gaza, but also in Judea and Samaria, took to the streets to celebrate the return of Kuntar. PA president Mahmoud Abbas — our “partner” in peace negotiations! — sent greetings to Kuntar on his return home, and his party organized a celebration in Ramallah.
Ahmed Abdel Rahman, an advisor to Abbas, crowed, “This is an historic victory over Israeli arrogance.”
He referred to Mughrabi as a “martyr who led one of the greatest freedom fighters’ operations in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” On this “important” day, he declared Fatah “salutes Hezbollah and its leaders and fighters.”
Meanwhile, in Gaza, Haniyeh of Hamas said that Hamas was seeking an “honorable” deal that would see the release of “thousands” in return for Shalit.
Hamas representative in Lebanon , Osama Hamdan, said that the release of Kuntar, “who killed Israelis,” was a significant precedent that would be used in the Shalit negotiations.
“The release of Kuntar will pave the way for the release of a large number of our prisoners who, according to Israel, have blood on their hands. This means that those who killed Israelis will also be released.”
Representatives of Hamas’s armed wing declared that Shalit “would never see the light until all our just demands have been met” For them, the deal with Hezbollah proved that the “option of jihad and resistance” was the most effective way to deal with Israel.
It should never, ever have happened.
Please, see the commentary by Dr. Aaron Lerner , director of IMRA, regarding how to secure Shalit’s release and regain Israeli deterrence: