Israel's Supreme Court to hear plea against Schalit prisoner swap

JTA is reporting that Israel's Supreme Court will consider petitions by families of terror victims to prevent the release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in exchange for the return of Gilad Schalit.

The court said Sunday it will hold a hearing before a three-justice panel at noon on Monday to consider a petition filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association against the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The association also asked the court to delay the releases to allow more time to study the list and make objections. Several families have also filed separate petitions against the release of particular prisoners.

Israel's Prison Service late on Saturday night published the list of the 477 prisoners to be released in the first stage of the Shalit deal. According to Israeli law, the names of the prisoners to be released must be made public 48 hours before the scheduled release to allow for appeals against their release.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails near their release sites

Shalit is scheduled to return to Israel via Egypt on Tuesday at the same time as the first set of prisoners are returned to Gaza and the West Bank; some prisoners will also be deported abroad.

On Saturday, Israeli President Shimon Peres began formally pardoning the prisoners who are part of the exchange. He reportedly will attach a letter to the pardons which says that while he is pardoning the released terrorists, "I do not forget and I do not forgive."

Shalit's father, Noam, told Israeli media that the family has not yet received proof that his son is alive. The last proof that he was still alive came in a one-minute video released two years ago.

The German mediator who fashioned the deal has cautioned that it could still go south, especially if Iran objected.

There are mixed feelings in Israel about the swap, as evidenced by the petitions. But many reluctantly agree that the return of every soldier to Israel is precious and that it improves morale in the army who know that the government won't abandon them if they are captured.

JTA is reporting that Israel's Supreme Court will consider petitions by families of terror victims to prevent the release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in exchange for the return of Gilad Schalit.

The court said Sunday it will hold a hearing before a three-justice panel at noon on Monday to consider a petition filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association against the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The association also asked the court to delay the releases to allow more time to study the list and make objections. Several families have also filed separate petitions against the release of particular prisoners.

Israel's Prison Service late on Saturday night published the list of the 477 prisoners to be released in the first stage of the Shalit deal. According to Israeli law, the names of the prisoners to be released must be made public 48 hours before the scheduled release to allow for appeals against their release.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails near their release sites

Shalit is scheduled to return to Israel via Egypt on Tuesday at the same time as the first set of prisoners are returned to Gaza and the West Bank; some prisoners will also be deported abroad.

On Saturday, Israeli President Shimon Peres began formally pardoning the prisoners who are part of the exchange. He reportedly will attach a letter to the pardons which says that while he is pardoning the released terrorists, "I do not forget and I do not forgive."

Shalit's father, Noam, told Israeli media that the family has not yet received proof that his son is alive. The last proof that he was still alive came in a one-minute video released two years ago.

The German mediator who fashioned the deal has cautioned that it could still go south, especially if Iran objected.

There are mixed feelings in Israel about the swap, as evidenced by the petitions. But many reluctantly agree that the return of every soldier to Israel is precious and that it improves morale in the army who know that the government won't abandon them if they are captured.

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