Terror Victims: Don’t Release Prisoners for Soldier
In letter to prime minister, defense minister, terror victims’ organization Almagor warns of ramifications of freeing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for release of kidnapped soldier; organization’s suggested alternative: Threatening terrorists with death penalty
The Almagor terror victims’ organization on Friday sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, in which it calls on the two officials not to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of kidnapped soldier Corporal Gilad Soldier.
The organization sent the letter in response to recent publications in Arab newspapers, according to which Israel is considering a deal in which it will free prisoners in exchange for the soldier’s release.
“We are concerned over the reports in the Arab press that Israel is about to capitulate to Hamas and offer to release terrorists in exchange for the captive. Past experience shows us that if we don’t act, we will once again witness waves of release that will lead to further abductions and further waves of terror as there is no law,” said Almagor Director Meir Eindor.
Eindor presented the heads of the defense establishment with a suggested alternative.
“We call on the government to pose a clear threat of death penalty to terrorists. If they know this is the alternative and that they may only lose, they will understand that they had better not deal with us,” he said.
Israel rejected the claims published in an interview with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the al-Ahram newspaper, according to which it refused to conditions set by Hamas for the release of the kidnapped soldier. However, Lebanese newspaper As-Safir later reported that Israel agreed to conditions to release prisoners only after the soldier is freed.
“A large part of the acts of terror committed in the past were carried out by terrorists released in the past in release deals in exchange for captives, easing of restrictions, gestures and diplomatic-political agreements. This phenomenon strengthens a law in criminology which says that once the ability to punish and deter is lost, the circle of crime grows,” the letter sent to Olmert and Peretz’s offices read.
‘Abductions Will Become a Key Method’
“According to statements made by security officials in different discussions, 80 percent of the terrorists released returned to the terror circle. Therefore, the Israeli public must know that the release option will only overwhelm us into a chaos of terror and will only create new problems,” Eindor explained.
The organization expressed its concern that releasing prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped soldier will lead terror organizations to turn abductions into a common method.
The letter was accompanied by an inquiry, which presents declarations made by Hamas leaders and heads of other terror organizations, which reveals, according to the letter’s writers, that “abductions will become a key fighting method in the future, and every release convinces them that the method works, and strengthens them in using this strategy.”
“Such a release deal will immediately expose other Israelis to further abductions. Therefore, what is the benefit in one release, when it pushes many civilians into the immediate circle of risk,” the writers asked.
The organization members also claimed in the letter that the feelings of terror-stricken families must also be considered.
“From our experience, the release of terrorists hurts terror-stricken families. When the families see the murderers of their loves ones leaving prisons marking a ‘V’ sign with their fingers, in a situation in which there is no justice and no judge for those who hurt their loved ones, the mental damage is immense,” the letter added.