Israel’s Minister of Improvement of Government Services has called on the government to remain vigilant because the prisoner swap deal “does not mean that the war with Hamas has ended”. Speaking to Israel Radio, Michael Eitan claimed that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had rejected a previous prisoner swap deal which would have seen the release of around 1,700 Palestinian prisoners, including all detained women and children, in return for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
According to Eitan, the swap has been made possible because the Israeli government has obtained the approval of the Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security agency].
Shalit was captured while on active duty in 2006. Although born in Israel, he has dual French and Israeli citizenship.