Israeli prisoner exchanges
Over the last 30 years, Israel
has released about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners
to secure freedom for 19 Israelis and to retrieve the bodies of eight others. A number of diplomatic efforts have been made to secure the release of Israeli IDF
personnel following their capture by enemy forces.
In 1985, Israel released 1,150 prisoners in exchange
for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon. Then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin
defended the deal. "When no military option exists," he said, "there is no choice but to enter negotiations and pay a price."
In June 1998 the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) brokered an exchange of prisoners
and prisoners and remains among Israel
, and the South Lebanese Army
(SLA). In exchange for the remains of an Israeli sergeant who was killed in a military operation in Lebanon in September 1997, Israel and the SLA released 65 prisoners, and returned the remains of 40 Hezballah guerrillas.
The most recent case where Israel obtained a live prisoner in return came in October 2000 on Shebaa Farms
, when Hezbollah
captured three IDF
soldiers who were killed either during the operation or in its immediate aftermath. Hezbollah sought to obtain the release of 14 Lebanese prisoners in exchange, together with Palestinian prisoners. A prisoner swap was carried out on 29 January 2004: in... Read More