Today, we commemorate the anniversary of the first phases of the Wafaa Al-Ahrar Deal, during which 27 female prisoners were liberated from the Israeli occupation prisons. This came after the Al-Qassam Brigades published a video clip featuring Gilad Shalit, the captured Israeli soldier, as part of the agreements reached through intermediaries to ensure that Shalit was still alive.
On the same day the video was recorded, a photograph of Shalit holding a copy of the Palestine newspaper was published. This unequivocally confirmed the recording's recentness. Following this, the first part of the agreement to release the female prisoners was implemented. It was the first sign to everyone that the deal was progressing well, and the efforts of the mediators had paid off.
Later, the Wafaa Ak-Ahrar Deal was implemented, and around 1,220 prisoners were released, including over 400 prisoners with long prison sentences. Many of them had believed they would never leave prison under normal circumstances. Thus, this deal has become a symbol of freedom, allowing these individuals to breathe the air of freedom despite the objections of the occupation.
The Israeli occupation has attempted to impose conditions on who could be released and who could not; however, the Al-Qassam Brigades stood firm and adhered to their demands. Eventually, it complied, even though it violated the terms set by Hamas and Al-Qassam, such as the condition that the released prisoners should not be blood-handed or be re-arrested. Nevertheless, the occupation did not keep its promises to the Egyptian mediator not to re-arrest any of the released prisoners, since approximately 50 ex-prisoners from the West Bank were rearrested.
Today, the Al-Qassam Brigades hold Zionist prisoners, including two soldiers captured in the 2014 Gaza War, as well as others who fell in the hands of the Al-Qassam Brigades. The occupation authorities struggled to mislead the Zionist society by claiming that Hadar Goldin and Shaul Aron were killed. After some time, it was stated that their bodies were being held by Hamas. Only Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades are aware of the truth. The occupation deceived the Israeli public with statements from its political leaders, and they did not take the necessary steps to pressure their leaders to work towards the release of these captives.
Hamas has increased its leverage by captivating the soldiers Hisham Al-Sayed and Mengistu, but this does not have the same impact on the entity as the captivity of soldiers Goldin and Shaul. Simultaneously, the Al-Qassam Brigades maintains their conditions for a new exchange deal based on the terms set by the resistance. However, there is no Israeli leader capable of achieving this deal, as they prioritize their personal interests over the interests of their entity.
Negotiations have often reached advanced stages only to be derailed by the occupation's unwillingness to follow through on what has been agreed upon with the Al-Qassam Brigades through the Egyptian mediator. The negotiation issue remains in limbo, and the occupation continues to evade meeting the deal's conditions as the Al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas desire.
The occupation is well aware that it has no information about the health and conditions of its soldiers Goldin and Shaul, and that their status is known only to Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades. Despite Hamas' release of videos and audio recordings through the media regarding the soldiers Hisham al-Sayed and Avera Mengistu, they have not been able to mobilize the Zionist public to pressure their government to take serious action for their release through a new deal as desired by the Al-Qassam Brigades, similar to what happened in the Wafaa Al-Ahrar Deal (Shalit Deal).
So far, the Al-Qassam Brigades have not presented anything that would compel the Zionist society to mobilize and pressure its political leaders. The Al-Qassam Brigades need to think creatively, providing something that can stir the Zionist public to take to the streets and push their government to reach an agreement that would result in the release of their sons.
The occupation knows better than anyone that its soldiers will not see the light of day before our prisoners inside Zionist prisons are released. Given that the number of soldiers captivated by the Al-Qassam Brigades isn't enough to convince them, then the Al-Qassam Brigades is willing to capture another group of their soldiers and settlers. If the Israeli occupation doesn't respond to that, the Al-Qassam Brigades have the means and methods to liberate Palestinian prisoners from the occupation's prisons.