The Israeli Authorities released on Sunday Rawda Habib, the last of 20 female detainees freed in exchange for a videotape clearly showing the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is still alive and in a good health. Habib was moved to Gaza via a Red Cross car, and was taken to Gaza where she met Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya.
Israel claims that Habib was arrested in 2007 while on her way to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel. She said that she was on her way to Israel for a medical procedure and carried documents proving her claim.
The deal was mediated by Egypt; on Friday, Hamas released a 2-minute video of Shalit just before Israel released the twenty female detainees. Shalit carried an Arabic newspaper dated September 14.
During Habib’s reception ceremony, Haniyya said that Habib defended her people and paid a heavy price for that.
He added that his government will not abandon its responsibilities towards the detainees, and added the releasing all Palestinian detainees is one of the priorities of his government.
Haniyya welcomed the Egyptian and German mediation efforts to achieve what he described as ‘honorable prisoner-swap deal’.
Israel released on Friday 19 female detainees, including Fatima Al Ziq and her child Yousef. Israel initially wanted to release detainee Bara’ Malky from the West Bank instead of Habib. But the Palestinians demanded the release of Habib as Malky nearly ended her term and is supposed to be freed soon.