Israel-Hamas prisoner swap brings mixed emotions
It was a jarring reminder that for those whose lives have been torn apart by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, elation on one side often equates with anguish on the other.
"It's a day of victory and pride to have my son back in my lap," cried Om Khalid, who embraced her son Fouad Abu Amrin, 39, for the first time in 15 years as he stepped off a prison bus at the Rafah crossing in Gaza Strip.
Older and grayer than the 20-year-old who was sentenced to life in prison for murder, Amrin was one of 477 Palestinian convicts released Tuesday in the first step of a 1,027-for-1 exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
About 80 miles away in a coastal Israeli city north of Tel Aviv, embittered father Zeev Rapp, 66, sat at home and watched the television in disgust. In 1992, Amrin stabbed Rapp's daughter Helena, 15, in the heart as she was on her way to school. Now, he was now walking free with other smiling prisoners, flashing victory signs and kissing the ground.Continue reading at www.stltoday.com