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(photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
Bereaved parents spoke out severely against Noam Schalit, father of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, on Thursday, a day after Schalit publicly charged that his son was "the only sucker" to pay the price for the failure of the IDF to thwart the kidnapping and demanded that the government seal a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas.
In a statement released by the Almagor terror victims organization the parents said that "For the first time since the Second Lebanon War they are aligning themselves with Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] and rejecting Schalit's demand that convicted Palestinian murderers be released in exchange for his son."
"The writing was on the wall even before the kidnapping, which could have been avoided," Schalit had said during an awareness conference at Bar Ilan University. "Why was Gilad the only one to pay the price from amongst the entire chain of command?"
Later, Olmert responded, asserting that "The government is doing everything it can to bring Gilad home." Turning to Schalit, however, he added: "It is not appropriate for us to debate each other in the media."
The statement quoted a letter to Schalit written by an anonymous bereaved parent in which Schalit is accused of demanding that other people lose their lives for the sake of his son's well-being.
"Your son is not the only sucker in the country and isn't the only one who pays the price for its security," the bereaved father wrote. "Our son Aviad fell in Gaza while pursuing terrorists and I am willing to trade places with you at any moment. Give me back my son and I'll promise that I won't demand that others be murdered for his sake."
The letter goes on to warn that any prisoner exchange deal that included the release of prisoners "with blood on their hands" would "not only hurt the bereaved families but will lead to more bereaved parents and more parents of kidnapped soldiers."
The letter claimed that "Previous such deals have caused the killings of 180 Israeli citizens over the past five years."