Hamas: We win in swap; Score is 1,027 to 1

A Palestinian woman holds a picture of a relative jailed in Israel during a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners, outside the International Red Cross building on Oct. 14, 2011, in Jerusalem, Israel.
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Late Monday, Israel and Hamas are supposed to begin an elaborate and controversial prisoner swap.

The Israelis will release more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for just one Israeli soldier, Sergeant Gilad Shalit.

The Palestinians are planning big celebrations, while the Shalit family is preparing a quiet reunion.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that to Hamas, the militant Palestinian group which controls Gaza, the prisoner swap deal is being portrayed as a great victory by a lopsided score: 1,027 to 1.

Israel: Politics behind the prisoner swap

They'll get back many of the people who caused a lot of carnage in Israel. Included among the prisoners is: Abdel Aziz Salha, who helped kill two Israeli soldiers who made a wrong turn on the West Bank and were stabbed to death; Nasser Yateima, who planned a 2002 hotel bombing that killed 30 people celebrating Passover; and Awana Jawad Mona, who seduced a sixteen year old Israeli boy over the internet to come meet her. That boy, Ofir Rahum, was shot and killed when he arrived.

In return, the Israeli's get Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was captured more than five years ago when Hamas fighters tunneled into Israeli territory and attacked his army outpost. Such is the value Israel says it puts on its citizen soldiers.

While opinion polls show most Israeli's are prepared to hold their nose and accept the deal, some are not, especially people like Ron Kehrmann and others who lost members of their families in terror attacks and who call the deal a surrender.

Ron's daughter Tal was 17 when she was killed in a bus bombing along with sixteen others. The attack's organizers are among those being freed.

"The government of Israeli government has made the memory of my daughter cheaper," Kehrmann said.

Israeli cities have many -- too many -- monuments like the one marking a spot where 21 young people were killed by a terrorist bomb 10 years ago. The instigator of that attack is about to be set free. Not only that, but of the 280 prisoners with blood on their hands, several say they are unrepentant, have not renounced terror and that given the chance to attack again, they would.

Hamas didn't get everything it wanted. Some of the most hardened high-profile terrorists are not being released, and many of those who are will be sent into exile. But with a score of 1,027 to 1, the price of terror just went up.

  • Mark Phillips
    Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.