1,027 Palestinian Prisoners Released for Gilad Shalit Do Not Have Names

Posted on October 19, 2011

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Gilad Shalit's parents, Aviva and Noam, are seen here with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. It is not known whether any of the Palestinian prisoners released have parents.

EP: Jerusalem – Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas  since 2006, was released on October 18th in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who have no names. At a press conference in Gaza city, a number of the recently released prisoners addressed the issue in front of a handful of reporters. “We realize that by giving us names, the media will ultimately turn us into human beings” said prisoner #254, “and we understand that releasing us and recognizing our humanity is probably too much to ask for all at once.”

Other prisoners were less understanding of their portrayal in the media. “They can broadcast interviews with Shalit’s mother and all they can show of us is a man with a face mask waving a gun? Could someone please interview my mom?” asked Prisoner #498.
While there remains no effort currently underway to learn the name of any of the Palestinian prisoners, a subset of the group have been described in more detail as either “militants” or “murderers.” Andrew Jones, a staff writer for the New York Times covering the Middle East, believes this only further demonstrates how Israel values life, and how Palestinians are mired in a cult of death. “You see, the Israelis are willing to let out these murderers just to save one life, whereas the Palestinians can do nothing but murder people” Jones explained.

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