In a press briefing held on Sunday evening, the spokesman of Hamas’s military wing, Abu Obeida, welcomed the Shalit deal and called it “an achievement of the Palestinian resistance,” according to a Channel 2 News report.
Abu Obeida then added, “Our wish was and still is to empty the prisons of the occupation of all the heroic prisoners. Our success in this historic deal will not cause us to never abandon our sacred duty to the release our warriors from behind bars.”
Channel 2 also quoted a statement issued Sunday by Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’ military wing, which said, “If we released 20% of our prisoners in exchange for one soldier then such action could be repeated. Hero prisoners, we will continue to work for you, no matter how much we have to pay for it.”
After Shalit was released in October, Hamas terrorists in Gaza promised that there would be more kidnappings of IDF soldiers.
In a huge rally held by Hamas in Gaza on the day the first phase of the deal was completed, thousands of people shouted, “The people want a new Gilad.”
Meanwhile, Meir Indor, head of the Almagor terror victims' group, warned Sunday that the 550 terrorists being released in the second round of the Shalit exchange are not "small fry" who committed light crimes. He said that 220 of the 550 are "heavy cases" and include terrorists who detonated explosives against their targets but failed to kill anyone.
Earlier it was reported that the Israeli government had freed hard core terrorists contrary to its promise that only ”car thieves” would be released in stage two of the Shalit deal.