'Nasrallah will not die a natural death'

MKs slam prisoner swap as harmful, vow revenge against Hizbullah.

nasrallah kuntar 224 88  (photo credit: AP)
nasrallah kuntar 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
Many eyes in the Knesset were turned to television screens Wednesday morning, and while legislators tried to continue with business as usual, MKs who opposed the prisoner exchange from the beginning continued to argue that the deal had only served to weaken Israel. "This deal could have been made two years ago without a war that resulted in the deaths of almost 160 Israelis," Likud MK Silvan Shalom said. "The release of [terrorist Samir] Kuntar is a mistake that springs from the government's weakness and will make the chances for releasing [kidnapped IDF soldier] Gilad Schalit much more difficult, as Hamas will now demand an even higher price." Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra (Kadima), a former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) assistant director, said: "I hope that now the people of Israel understand that we have an enemy who only understands force, and that the only way of getting to any conclusion with them is force and deterrence. I hope that now the world understands what a cruel enemy stands before us." MK Yisrael Hasson (Israel Beiteinu), who was also a former Shin Bet assistant director, told Jerusalem Radio: "When a Hizbullah representative refuses to say whether they're alive or dead a second before they take out the coffins, this is cruel entertainment. They will pay the price. "None of them will be absolved. Whoever bathed in Jewish blood, whoever attacked the honor and independence of the State of Israel, will not be able to tell their grandchildren anything, because they will never get to that stage. "I have no doubt that Nasrallah will not die a natural death. The State of Israel will settle its accounts with him. He knows that better than we do," Hasson said. MK Arye Eldad (National Union/National Religious Party) called for an immediate attack against Hizbullah. "After the bodies have been returned, Israel can change the victory celebrations in Lebanon to a mass funeral," he said shortly after it became clear that both reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were being returned in coffins. "The IAF can today complete the work that they didn't manage to get done during the war." MK Effi Eitam (NU/NRP) criticized the government for failing to establish clear red lines in its policy, leading to poor decision-making under pressure. But there were also MKs - and not just from the coalition - who expressed their support for the deal. MK Dov Henin (Hadash) called on the government to continue its work and to quickly complete the deal to release Schalit in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti.