Since the beginning of 2013, terrorists have attempted dozens of kidnapping attacks, and their motivation to abduct soldiers remains high. The goal of their efforts is clear: to trade IDF soldiers – captured dead or alive – for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
On October 18, 2011, Israelis everywhere celebrated the release of Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit after five years in terrorist captivity. On that day, Hamas terrorists freed SFC Shalit – an IDF soldier whom they kidnapped in 2006 – in exchange for about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Despite the overjoyed reaction in Israel, the threat of kidnapping has remained high ever since. Until today, Palestinian terrorists view the capture of SFC Shalit as a key accomplishment, increasing their determination to kidnap Israelis and trade them for Palestinian prisoners.