Gilad Schalit 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Shalva)
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will hold a meeting on the
findings of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner releases.
On Wednesday, MK
Yoni Chetboun (Habayit Hayehudi) said his request for a discussion of the
panel’s recommendations, submitted with MKs Hamed Amar (Yisrael Beytenu) and
David Tzur (Hatnua), was approved.
“It cannot be that a year and a half
after the [Shamgar Committee] finished working, Israel does not have a clear
policy about freeing terrorists,” Chetboun said.
The Shamgar Committee
was established in July 2008 by then-defense minister Ehud Barak after the
bodies of abducted soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned in
exchange for terrorist Samir Kuntar, four Hezbollah fighters and the bodies of
almost 200 Lebanese and Palestinians.
The panel recommended that the
government should avoid large-scale swaps for abducted soldiers like the 1,027
Palestinian prisoners exchanged for Gilad Schalit in October 2011. In addition,
it said that the government should set up an official unit within one of the
existing intelligence agencies to oversee negotiations on prisoner
“A civilized country needs a clear policy, certainly in such a
critical matter as freeing terrorists,” Chetboun stated. “It seems like we are
behaving impulsively, as a result of pressure from the US and Europe and a lack
The Bayit Yehudi MK called on the government to compose a
clear policy with redlines for the future.
“Freeing terrorists is a
serious strategic danger that encourages terror,” he concluded.