Israeli Police have arrested on Monday a Palestinian man convicted of terrorism on charges of illegally working in the country, after being released five years ago, along with more that 1000 other Palestinians, as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange with Hamas.
Qawareiq Hindawi, aged 27, was serving a sentence of six years in jail for membership in an illegal organisation and for criminal possession of weapons, when he was released in 2011. According to the terms of the prisoner swap, Hindawi was forbidden to enter the territory of Israel, but he was found working illegally in the central Israel city of Ra’anana, at a construction site. Seven other illegal workers were detained by the authorities at the same spot.
When asked why he returned to Israel, knowing he will break the terms of his release, Hindawi told the police: “This is our land. When we want to, we enter. With all due respect, this is our land. You are the first to say I need a permit.”
1.027 Palestinians were released in 2011 in exchange for the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Since then, at least six Israeli citizen lost their lives in attacks perpetrated by some of the freed Palestinians.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped from an IDF army post during an infiltration op in the early hours of June 25 2006 by militants from the al-Qassam Brigades which crossed into Israel through a tunnel from the Gaza Strip. During the attack, two Israeli soldiers were killed and two more, apart from Shalit, were wounded. The attackers took two casualties.
Shalit was released in October 2011, under a prisoner swap which saw the release of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners, among them some convicted for acts of terror against the state of Israel. According to Israeli officials, those released were collectively guilty of the deaths of more than 500 Israeli citizen.