Livnat freezes proposal on prisoners

Kidnapped soldiers' families influence MK on Palestinian prisoner release.

livnat 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livnat 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In response to pleas from the families of the three kidnapped IDF soldiers, MK Limor Livnat (Likud) withdrew Tuesday a bill she proposed which would require a two-third Knesset majority to authorize the release of security prisoners who come from enemy states in exchange for the kidnapped soldiers. Parents and siblings of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Cpl. Gilad Schalit visited the Knesset earlier in the day to ask MKs to vote against the bill, Noam Schalit, father of Gilad, called the proposal "a death sentence for the prisoner release negotiations," Tzvi Regev, Eldad's father, asked Livnat to consider how she would feel if it were her son that were kidnapped. Before her decision to withdraw the bill, Livnat said that she understood the pain of the captive soldiers' families, but that she had submitted the proposal with the aim of avoiding the bereavement of more families in the future. Releasing child murderers would only increase the motivation for terrorists to kill and kidnap more Israelis, Livnat said. Regev and Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hizbullah along the northern border last July, touching off the summer's war in Lebanon; Schalit was abducted in a cross-border raid near Gaza at the end of June. The families have complained that the government has not been doing enough to secure the release of their loved ones. Many of them have urged the government to release security prisoners.