The swap and the pain

The wrenching images of today’s prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah – in which the Regev and Goldwasser families learned that their loves ones were dead while Israel handed over Lebanese murderer Samir Kuntar to Hezbollah – commanded the attention of all of Israel today.

Israeli media anticipated and reported on the event with a combination of pain, anger and resignation:

Media Line’s David Harris, in Ynet: “The poster on the Lebanese side of the border said it all: Israel sheds tears of sorrow, Lebanon sheds tears of joy.”

Ma’ariv has an interview with the man who captured Samir Kuntar (Hebrew): “After 29 years, Rami Salmon recalls the capture of the terrorist and tells of the thought that still bugs him: Would he have changed history if he shot him?”

Ha’aretz editorial: “The cabinet’s approval of the prisoner swap with Hezbollah, despite the ‘blatantly unsatisfactory’ report the organization delivered on the fate of Ron Arad, requires the cabinet to now act urgently to free Gilad Shalit.”

Jerusalem Post editorial: “The Lebanese people and government – and those others in the Arab world, including among the Palestinians, so delighted by Kuntar’s release – might want to ask themselves whether this monster is worthy of such glorification. Is he the kind of man they want as their idol? And if so, what does that say about them?”

JTA’s Dina Kraft has a piece in The New York Times on the old wound the swap deal reopened for the Israeli family whose life Kuntar destroyed.

Keshet TV has video footage of Goldwasser and Regev in happier times, on reserve duty in 2004.

Lebanon declared a national holiday Wednesday to welcome home Kuntar and the other terrorists released from Israel (Channel 10 and Ha’aretz): Watch video.

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