Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm reported late Wednesday that Hamas moved captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit into Egypt pursuant to the deal brokered with Israel for his release.
Egyptian officials reportedly told the newspaper Shalit was transferred to Egypt through the Rafiah crossing.
According to eyewitnesses, Shalit was driven through the Rafah crossing in a black car that has not undergone any inspection – a common procedure used when moving senior Hamas officials.
Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas six years ago, has been held in captivity as a bargaining chip for the release of terrorists from Israeli jails. He expected to be handed over to Israel as soon as the prisoner exchange begins on Teusday.
His alleged transfer comes on the heels of the government of Binyamin Netanyahu agreeing to release 1,027 prisoners – including some 450 terrorists – from Israeli prisons. Among those to be released are terrorists with soldiers’ blood on their hands and the Sbarro murderess.
Hamas has hailed the deal as a victory over Israel and proof kidnapping is a working tactic for the organization – promising more kidnappings and that the freed terrorists would return to haunt Israel in the future.
While Shalit’s release has been met with jubilant celebrations from his family and the mainstream Israeli media, the terms have drawn sharp criticism from a broad spectrum including the families of terror victims, soldiers involved in counter-terror operations, nationalist politicians, and security officials who predict the move will result in spilled Israeli blood.
Earlier this week Shin Bet Security chief Yoram Cohen described the deal as “tough and difficult,” noting 28 confirmed murderers were among the terrorists being released.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon – one of only three ministers to vote against the deal – said the deal was a “capitulation to terror” which would result in “tens if not hundreds” of murdered Israelis in the years to come.
Hamas proudly summarized the deal saying Israel had promised peace, while they had promised terrorism.