Former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Ami Ayalon on Wednesday said that Israel must consider the consequences of not reaching a deal to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and that the Hamas-Fatah unity deal may provide a breakthrough.
"The Gilad Schalit dilemma has 2 sides," Ayalon told Army Radio. "First, the consequences of releasing prisoners with blood on their hands and on the other hand, something we are not dealing with, are the consequences of not releasing Schalit for the past five years. This has great meaning...The captivity of Gilad has strong consequences for the security of of the state of Israel since every IDF soldier serves knowing that the state will not abandon him."
The Hamas-Fatah unity agreement provides a breakthrough in reaching a deal on Schalit, Ayalon said. "We need to see things through a prism of a different reality," Ayalon explained. "This deal may reignite the diplomatic process without us [Israel] saying that Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] only represents fifty or sixty percent of the Palestinian society."
"We need to see this deal as a way of dealing with the PA collectively," Ayalon said.