The government of Israel and representatives of Hamas, the militant Palestinian rulers of the Gaza Strip, have announced a plan to exchange the freedom of 1,027 Palestinians jailed in Israel for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held hostage in Gaza since 2006. Do not expect the trade to go off without any hitches.
One day after the announced swap, officials of the Palestinian Liberation Organization—which is locked in a blood fued with Hamas—were questioning the absence of several high-profile PLO prisoners from the deal. In Israel, crowds cheered news that Gilad Shalit would be freed after five years in captivity, but emotions were mixed over the lopsided exchange negotiated with Hamas.
If the deal does go through, it will resolve one of the most emotive and seemingly intractable issues between Israel and Hamas.