As June 25th rapidly approaches, a day that will mark Gilad Shalit’s fourth anniversary in Hamas captivity, Israel on Thursday morning released senior Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Abu Tir, who was arrested along with other Hamas ministers following the cross-border terror attack in which Gilad Shalit was taken captive. Tir and others are held in detention in the hope of using them as bargaining pawns for Shalit’s release.
It appears that Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to release Tir and not renew his administrative detention order. MK (Ichud HaLeumi) Dr. Michael Ben-Ari has sent an urgent letter to Barak urging him to reverse his decision for as long as Shalit remains captive, but the appeal fell on deaf ears.
Members of the Shalit family are reportedly fuming over the announced decision, seeking to understand the government move at this time, as talks towards obtaining Gilad’s release seem to have broken down.
Tir was taken into custody a number of days after Shalit was captured, one of the senior Hamas leaders imprisoned in the hope of using them as negotiating pawns to obtain the soldier’s release. (Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel – Isru Chag Shavuos)