Terror Victims’ Families: No to Prisoner Swap
Families whose loved ones were hurt in terror attacks assemble outside PM’s Office to contest plans for releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captive Gilad Shalit. Bereaved father: Prisoner swap will cause more Jewish victims
Following military sources’ announcement that kidnapped soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit is alive and Israel may consider releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for him, several families whose members were hurt by terror attacks held an emergency assembly outside the office of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a request to not allow the “prisoner swap.”
Meir Eindor, director of Almagor Terror Victims Association, said: “We are very worried by the Arab media reports, and especially by Olmert’s statements that he wants to release prisoners in any case in order to ‘strengthen Mahmoud Abbas’. His statements reveal that he is planning on preparing the public opinion for the terrorists’ release.”
He further added: “Olmert is kicking dirt in the public’s eyes, because the whole public, aside from Olmert and including the Palestinians, knows that it is a Hamas victory. First, Hamas kidnaps, then it is rewarded by our government for it. The attempt to represent this to the public as a release of terrorists into the hands of Mahmoud Abbas is a way of masquerading a bad act as being good, and not only as a farce that makes the other side laugh.”
’80 Percent of Prisoners Go Back to Terrorism’
Aryeh Bachrach, the father of Ohad who was murdered in Wadi Kelt, joined the protest: “As bereaved parents, we have already paid the price for such suspicious deals in the past, and this is why we want to express our opposition to it.”
“The first intifada began with the Jibril prisoners’ release; and ‘Hizbulland’ is now forming in the northern Samaria because of (Elhanan) Tennenbaum’s prisoners’ release deal. This means that the release of terrorists will cause more Jewish victims.
Bereaved parents: ‘My child was lost in vain’ (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
“It is also wrong from a logical aspect. In the last war, over 100 soldiers fought for the captives’ release. So what have we achieved? If we could have done a prisoners’ swap before the war, what’s the logic in starting it? The statement of the release of terrorists ‘with no blood on their hands’ is cynical and ridiculous. These terrorists have no blood on their hands not because they love the land of Israel, but because they failed on the first try. The government wants to give them a second one.”
Bachrach added that former Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein said that 80 percent of the released prisoners resume terrorist activity after their release.
“This means that the State of Israel is about to release over 1,000 prisoners, 800 of whom will return to terrorism. We are causing our own genocide. This is what we are struggling against,” he said,
Bilha Greenfeld, the mother of Yehuda who was killed during the war in Lebanon, said: “Every time, soldiers are being kidnapped again and again. If one of our captives is worth 1,000 terrorists, then why did we have this war? We have to find other ways. This way proved futile.”
“I understand the mothers of the captives, I wouldn’t like to be in their place, but we will return her son to her, and the son of someone else will be kidnapped. I paid a heavy price for the captives’ release who were not released at the end. I feel as though my child was lost in vain,” she concluded.