Yuval Diskin 311.
(photo credit: Sivan Faraj )
Israel should stop agreeing to prisoner-exchange deals with terror
organizations, former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin said
on Wednesday, in his first comments on the Gilad Schalit swap with
“I wasn’t involved in the details, and I don’t want to hand out
grades to the current Shin Bet head,” Diskin said during a speech to the Ayalim
Association, which promotes the development of the Negev and the
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“These deals aren’t good for the State of Israel, and the state
would do well to stop them,” he added.
Diskin was replaced by current
Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen in May.
Cohen had stated that the exchange
deal with Hamas was manageable, noting that most of the released terrorists
would be banned from returning to the West Bank, where they could have
reactivated terrorist networks. The 55 released prisoners released to the West
Bank and east Jerusalem are under close watch by security forces.
his speech on Wednesday, Diskin criticized the government for failing to hold
diplomatic talks with the Palestinian Authority, saying that this was “harming
our legitimacy in the world.”
He added that talks with the PA could go
ahead in a secure way, and warned that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was getting
weaker vis-a-vis his Islamist rival, Hamas.
Abbas “opposes terrorism, not
because he loves Jews, but because he thinks it damages the Palestinian
interest. Fatah is in a painful and problematic period, and Hamas is getting
stronger,” Diskin warned.
Noting that Abbas is not in very good health
and is suffering from exhaustion, Diskin said that should the PA president
conclude that he cannot move forward towards Palestinian statehood, he would
quit his post, resulting in a security deterioration for the area.
does not have a natural successor from within Fatah ranks at this stage, Diskin