Second stage of operation to return SFC Gilad Shalit completed

505 prisoners were transferred to Judea and Samaria, 41 to the Gaza Strip and the rest to Jordan and East Jerusalem

Date: 18/12/2011, 10:20 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

At 22:15 today (December 18, 2011), the second stage of the operation for the return of SFC Gilad Shalit was completed. During the course of this stage, 550 prisoners were conveyed to the Judea and Samaria Region, Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The International Red Cross Committee assisted in the process of conveying the prisoners.

505 prisoners were transferred to the Judea and Samaria Region through a crossing near the Ofer Prison, due to operational considerations and the rioting that took place near the Beituniya Crossing. 41 prisoners were transferred to the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shlaom Crossing, two were transferred to Jordan via the Allenby Crossing and an additional two were transferred to East Jerusalem.

GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, has declared the area surrounding Kerem Shalom Crossing a closed military zone from today, (Sunday) December 18, 2011, through Monday, December 19, 2011. The warrant was enacted to accommodate the transfer of the prisoners. 

The warrant forbids the entrance of anyone who is not a resident of the area unless they possess a permit provided by a body authorized by the GOC of the Southern Command, as detailed in the warrant. The warrant does not apply to IDF (Zahal) soldiers and policemen who are required to enter the area for work purposes.

Detailed copies of the warrant and detailed maps of the closed areas are available at GOC Southern Command’s offices, his legal advisor’s offices, and entrances to the region.

In response to the release of the prisoners, approximately 400 Palestinian participated in an illegal and violent riot near south of Ramallah. The Palestinian rioters threw rocks at security forces, lightly injuring an IDF (Zahal) soldier. The rioters also lit tires on fire and threw explosives and rocks at security forces, who responded with non-lethal riot dispersal means.