Israeli Cabinet minister blasts prisoner swap deal

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The dilemma in Israel over the charged deal was reflected in Wednesday’s newspapers. Alongside beaming headlines reading “Gilad is Coming Home” and “Homeward Bound” were columns warning if the dire consequences.

“Yesterday was an evening of capitulation, an evening in which Israel got down on its knees in front of Hamas, an evening in which Israeli staying power failed, and faintheartedness overcame the toughness that is required in our neighborhood,” wrote Maariv columnist Ben Kaspit.

Nahum Barnea, Yediot Ahronot’s senior commentator, countered that Israel has no choice but to agree.

“The price is excessive, the risks are great and the precedent is displeasing, but a state that for five years was unable to rescue a soldier from captivity by other means has no choice but to pay the price,” he wrote. “The alternative — to let him die in captivity — is unacceptable. It does not meet the minimum conditions of the Israeli tribe.”

Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City contributed to this report.

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