Panel to recommend end to mass prisoner swaps

Shamgar C’tee expected to submit new proposals to Ehud Barak for handling abducted soldiers.

By
January 5, 2012 01:06
2 minute read.
Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza from Egypt

Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

An end to large-scale prisoner swaps is expected to be one of the key recommendations the Shamgar Committee will make in a report it will submit to Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday, as the government seeks to set guidelines for its response to future abductions of IDF soldiers.

According to Channel 1, the panel will recommend that the government refrain from appointing special mediators to conduct negotiations on its behalf and to set up an official unit instead, possibly within one of the existing intelligence agencies, to oversee such efforts.

RELATED:
Untangling the Web: Covering Schalit's release, online
Editorial: An age-old dilemma
Ex-Shin Bet chief: Prisoner exchanges are bad for Israel

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The panel also said that Israel should avoid conducting large-scale prisoner swaps for abducted soldiers like the one it carried out in October in exchange for Gilad Schalit in which 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel.

The Shamgar Committee was established by Barak in July 2008 after the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned to Israel in exchange for terrorist Samir Kuntar, four Hezbollah fighters and the bodies of nearly 200 Lebanese and Palestinians.

The government held up publicizing the committee’s recommendations until after a deal for Schalit was reached. If accepted and approved by the security cabinet, the panel’s recommendations will limit the government’s ability to conduct such swaps in the future.

In addition to former Supreme Court justice Meir Shamgar, the other two panel members were Tel Aviv University Prof. Asa Kasher and former director-general of the Defense Ministry Amos Yaron.

Barak has said in the past that once Schalit was released, Israel needed to draw up a new policy regarding future swaps, making clear both to the enemy and the Israeli public what price Israel would, and would not, be willing to pay in the future.



Barak has also expressed concern that prisoner swaps undermine Israeli deterrence.

“We need to make it clear to the terrorist groups that abducting soldiers is not beneficial,” Barak has said.

Last week, the IDF Southern Command warned of increased motivation among Palestinian terrorist groups to kidnap another Israeli soldier now that the Schalit swap has been completed.

The IDF said that a number of tunnels being dug along Israel’s border with Gaza could be used one day to infiltrate Israel to kidnap a soldier.

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF