Hezbollah congratulated Hamas on Thursday on signing the prisoner swap deal which aim to exchange captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. The terror group said in a statement that the agreement is "a massive victory over the Zionist entity, which proves that the path of resistance is effective."
"Hezbollah is happy and proud of the great victory, which was achieved through Palestinian resistance," the statement read. "(…) Hezbollah congratulates the Hamas leadership, the resistance and the other Palestinian movements for the achievement."
- Report: Hamas 'shocked' over Shalit deal
The organization lauded the impending release of all of the female Palestinian inmates, and expressed hope that "the path of resistance" will make way for the release of the remaining prisoners held in Israel.
Moreover, the group claimed that the deal proves that diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians has failed.
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood praised the measure as well. The opposition movement's leader, Hammam Said, called Hamas head Khaled Mashaal on Thursday "to congratulate him for this achievement."
"This is a great victory for the Arab and Muslim nations," Hammam said in a statement.
The Brotherhood called for a demonstration to be staged on Thursday "to celebrate this event" and to "express gratitude to the heroes of the Palestinian resistance."
Despite the congratulatory remarks and Hamas' own efforts to present the deal as a sweeping success, Palestinian officials both in the West Bank and Gaza voiced criticism over the details of the agreement.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told the France 24 news channel on Thursday that he is disappointed with the deal due to the fact that some of the prisoners will be transferred to Gaza instead of being released to their West Bank homes, while others are to be removed outside the Palestinian territories altogether.
"We are very disappointed by that part of the agreement because we do not want to see any Palestinian expelled from his own territory by a decision of his own people," he said. "In this case, Hamas has decided to accept the expulsion of so many people from their homes in the West Bank and their homes in Palestine in general."
Earlier, Palestinian sources told the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that Hamas officials were shocked that senior operatives in the organization's military wing, including Hassan Salama, Abdullah Barghouti, Abbas a-Sayed and Ibrahim Hamed will not be among those released.
AFP contributed to the report
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