Ex-Mossad Chief Slams Shalit Deal

Yair Altman

Ex-Mossad Chief Slams Shalit Deal

Meir Dagan says Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange ‘worse than one turned down by Olmert’



Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan deemed the Shalit prisoner exchange a “grave mistake,” saying its outline is “worse than the deal turned down by the Olmert’s government,” Ynet learned on Monday.

Dagan’s statements were made during a conversation with Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association. The Almagor Association was one of the petitioners against the prisoner swap.

Dagan had told Indor that both he and former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin opposed a very similar deal offered by Hamas in 2009. In a speech made at a Tel Aviv University conference in June, Dagan said that while he supported reaching a deal that would ensure the Gilad Shalit’s safe return, “I oppose the current outline, which demands the release of 450 of the worst murderers the IDF even went after. What blood-price would we have to pay for this release?”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to give a special speech on Tuesday, once the prisoner exchange is completed.

“We are different in the fact that we do not celebrate the release of murderers,” Netanyahu will say. “We are blessed with Gilad’s return to his free country.”

The Israel Prison Service held a situation assessment on Monday ahead of the prisoner exchange, which has been dubbed Operation Beit Hashoeva.

The IPS Nachshon Prisoner Transports Unit will oversee the transport of the 477 Palestinian prisoners slated to be released as part of the first stage of the deal. The transport is expected to be done under heavy guard.