Accused killer was freed in Shalit swap

In a stark manifestation of a fear expressed by many Israelis, one of two West Bank Palestinians charged in the fatal shooting of an Israeli police official on the eve of Passover had been released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, it was announced June 23.

On April 14, gunmen firing at civilian vehicles traveling near Hebron killed Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi. The attack also critically injured his wife and wounded a child traveling in a second car. The shooters fled the scene.

One of the suspects is Ziad Awad, 42, of the Idhna village, a Hamas operative who has been jailed previously for the murder of Palestinians who were believed to be cooperating with Israeli security forces. He was released along with 1,026 others in the deal that brought captured soldier Shalit home in 2011.

His son, Az Al-Adin Hasan Awad, 18, has admitted under questioning that his father had shared with him his intentions to execute a terror attack against Israelis on Passover, Israeli officials said. The son led police to the weapon used in the attack.

After the news broke, Yuval Diskin, a former head of the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency, tweeted that the percentage of those released in such deals who return to terror has “always been very high.” — jta & the media line