The gaunt appearance of Israeli army Sgt. Gilad Shalit after five years illegal detention in Gaza without a single visit by the Red Cross or other international humanitarian organization threw into sharp contrast the full faces and healthy physiques of the Palestinian murderers released from Israeli prisons in exchange for his freedom.

To see and hear the recently released terrorists and their supporters in Ramallah and Gaza vow to commit more kidnappings, murder and violence certainly should make us understand that the price of Mr. Shalit's freedom was very steep indeed.

It was also a reminder that peace will be attainable only when the Palestinians, whether allied with Hamas or the Palestinian authority, acknowledge the right of the Israel to exist.

Elisabeth Shapiro, Pikesville