Tuesday, September 13, 2016

13-Sep-16: Could Israel be about to release convicted terrorists in another deal?

Convicted of multiple callous acts of terrorist murder, this 
unrepentant Palestinian Arab was sentenced to 135 years in prison. 
How likely is it that he will end his days behind bars? 
[Details of his background here]
Barter trades involving Palestinian Arab terrorists are sadly in the news again. From a report this afternoon (Tuesday) via Times of Israel:
Lior Lotan, the chief negotiator on Israeli hostages, says the Hamas terror group has turned down an Israeli offer to exchange “the organization’s captives and bodies [of terrorists] from Operation Protective Edge” for the remains of two slain Israeli soldiers held by the terror group, Channel 2 reports. According to the TV report, Lotan also says Israel has offered to release Gazans who crossed the border into Israel and were subsequently arrested, in exchange for the release of Israelis who entered the Gaza Strip and are believed to be held by Hamas. The bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, killed in the 2014 Gaza war, are in Hamas custody. The terror group has also admitted that 29-year-old Avraham Mengistu, and a Bedouin Israeli citizen whose name has not been released for publication, are imprisoned in Gaza.
Over at Israel National News, they offer this additional bit of detail:
Speaking at a conference of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, Lotan said Hamas refused the additional offer of returning dozens of Gazans who crossed into Israel in return for Israelis who crossed into Gaza.
The Hamas terrorists can be counted on, we think, to try to escalate the stakes now by engineering prisoner problems in Israeli jails over the coming days. Getting their terrorist brothers out of Israeli prisons is, and always has been, one of their highest-priority missions.

We have been vocal for years in angrily criticizing exchange transactions by which Israel has released live, convicted, unrepentant terrorists in order to achieve various goals - the freedom of the Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit in particular (but not only). 

In this 2011 video with the now-dormant JewishNewsOne network, we expressed how we felt and feel about the logic of such transactions. (The clip originally appeared in our blog as an embedded video in this post: "25-Oct-11: This is a stunning victory for Hamas".)



Since we recorded that 2011 interview, additional innocent lives have been unforgivably destroyed in acts of Arab-on-Israeli murder executed by Shalit Deal terrorists who, but for the transaction, would have been behind bars and unable to kill. Some (only some) of those acts of lethal terror are documented in this article: "Palestinians freed in Shalit deal killed 6 Israelis since 2014" [Times of Israel, July 20, 2015].

Some 14 months ago, we touched on some of the same issues in "20-Jul-15: Pausing for a moment to reflect on when we lost our collective senses". There, we looked back bitterly on what we still think of as an Israel-wide craziness that brought our government to a transaction "steeped in yet-to-be-shed blood with murderers already mired in evil and hatred". And prior to that, we summed up some of what we felt ought to have been learned from the massive 2011 prisoner release deal with Hamas: "11-Aug-14: Shalit Transaction revisited: At what point does facing up to the cost of a disastrous decision become unavoidable?" Earlier still, we wrote "27-Jul-13: To defeat the terrorists, what one thing must a government never do?"

Let's pray we are not being led down the wrong path again.

1 comment:

Chris Moyler said...

I am convinced that the release of Gilad Schalit was a big mistake. Yes, I get the idea that "no-one is left behind," but at what cost??

How much murder and violence has followed as a direct consequence of unrepentant killers being released to carry on their work of killing and to continue to incite hatred??

Gilad was rescued, but how many died? Was it really such a good idea? I think not.

Very happy for folks to disagree with me and put an opposing point of view.

Thank you and God bless you. Chris