Israel arrests 50 former Hamas prisoners freed in swap

Supporters of President Obama’s decision to swap five top Taliban commanders for Bowe Bergdahl like to point out that Israel swapped more than a thousand Palestinian terrorists in exchange for Gilad Schalit. It’s a fair argument to make, but hardly a debate stopper.

For one thing, Israel’s willingness to make one-sided deals doesn’t establish that such deals are good policy. For another, unlike Bergdahl, Schalit was not a deserter.

Finally, there is this — unlike the Obama administration, Israel can be counted on to hold freed prisoners to the conditions of their release.

In fact, Israel has just arrested 50 former prisoners, all members of Hamas, who were freed in exchange for Schalit. The 50 were rounded up, along with 15 others, by the IDF during a search for three kidnapped Jewish teenagers. They are charged with violating the terms they agreed to when they were released.

Even so, the recent kidnapping, which may lead to war in Gaza, helps demonstrate that the Schalit swap was unwise. One of those released in the exchange reportedly was involved in the kidnapping.

But least Israel takes the terms of the Schalit exchange seriously. Will the Obama administration take action against the five Taliban commanders if they violate the conditions of their release and/or return to the battle?

Not likely. Obama is in the process of giving up the fight against the Taliban and hopes to leverage the Bergdahl deal into better ties between the U.S. and the Taliban.


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