Barak: The prisoner swap must go on

Labor chairman blasts UN resolution 1701 as a "failure;" Netanyahu: Government must be replaced.

Labor chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak defended on Monday the planned prisoner exchange with Hizbullah set to take place on Wednesday, saying that the government had an "obligation" to bring back kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. "Even thought the report on missing IAF navigator Ron Arad was disappointing, we still have an obligation to return Goldwasser and Regev home," Barak said during a Labor faction meeting. "And even when they come home, we can't rest on our laurels; it will be a difficult and long negotiation to bring home Gilad Schalit." Continuing with the topic of Hizbullah, Barak blasted the implementation of UN resolution 1701, and labeled it a complete failure. "UN resolution 1701 didn't work, isn't working, and won't work," Barak said. "UN resolution 1701 is a failure." Meanwhile, Likud leaders came out with harsh criticism on Monday, saying that the behavior of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during the Mediterranean conference in Paris was shameful and called for the government to be replaced. "This government and all of its ministers have lost the faith of the people," Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said during the Likud faction meeting. "In the legal sphere, the legal authorities will have their say; in the public sphere, the people have already said that they demand that this government be replaced." "It is unfortunate that most politicians prefer to keep their seats in the Knesset instead of doing what the people want," he added. Likud faction chairman Yuval Steinitz added his own criticism on the subject. "What happened in Paris yesterday was shameful," Steinitz said. "The prime minister and the foreign minister were both running after the Syrian dictator to try and shake his hand. Their behavior humiliated the state of Israel and the entire Jewish people."