Jibril Agreement

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The Jibril Agreement was a prisoner exchange deal which took place on May 21, 1985 between the Israeli government, headed then by Shimon Peres, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (an organization often known as just 'PFLP-GC'). As part of the agreement, Israel released 1,150 security prisoners held in Israeli prisons in exchange for three Israeli prisoners (Yosef Grof, Nissim Salem, Hezi Shai) captured during the First Lebanon War. This was one of several prisoner exchange agreements carried out between Israel and groups it classified as terrorist organizations around that time.[1] Among the prisoners released by Israel were Kozo Okamoto - one of the perpetrators of the Lod Airport Massacre who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and Ahmed Yasin—a Gazan Muslim Brotherhood leader (and later spiritual leader of Hamas)—who was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in 1983.

The government of Israel faced harsh public criticism for agreeing to release 1,150 security prisoners, among them those sentenced to life imprisonment and responsible for the killing of many Israeli citizens, particularly since the exchange did not include Israelis who were captured in the Battle of Sultan Yacoub. One of the Israeli negotiators resigned in protest against the agreement. All of the government ministers, with the exception of Yitzhak Navon, supported the agreement.

A large number of the Palestinian prisoners released in this agreement later went on to form the backbone of the leadership of the First Intifada, which broke out less than three years after the agreement.[citation needed]

The agreement with the PFLP-GC reportedly took nearly a year to negotiate. The nickname came about as a reference to Palestinian militant leader Ahmed Jibril.[2]

Just shortly after the Jibril Agreement, an Israeli government move in July 1985 involved 331 Lebanese Shias freed from detention. While they stated their release was part of a deal in exchange for 39 foreigners seized on a TWA flight to Beirut, the Israeli administration formally denied that connection.[2]

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  1. ^ See מלחמת שלום הגליל Website of IDF Spokesman and The Committee for the Investigation of the Lebanon War 2006, [1] Final Report pages 502-503.
  2. ^ a b "Timeline: Past prisoner swaps". aljazeera.com. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2014.