Israel Won't Free "Mega-Terrorists' in Swap for Shalit

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff - Hamas has not replied to an Israeli offer to release hundreds of terrorists - including more than 100 responsible for murdering more than 600 Israelis - in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, on condition they do not return to the West Bank, but go either to Gaza or to another country. According to government sources, Israel sent the offer through a German mediator six months ago, the Jerusalem Post has learned. The offer includes a willingness to release 450 Palestinian prisoners in negotiations with Hamas, and another 550 prisoners unilaterally as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority - meaning the deal would be one for 1,000. However, Israel has made clear it would not release what it has called "mega-terrorists" - those responsible for some of the worst atrocities, including those responsible for the attacks in Jerusalem at Sbarro restaurant where 15 people were killed in 2001; the Moment Cafe where 11 were killed in 2002; Cafe Hillel where seven were killed in 2003; the Rishon Lezion attack where 16 were killed in 2002; the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv where 21 were killed in 2001; and the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 people were killed on Seder night in 2002. Israel has made clear that these and other mega-terrorists would not be released because they would establish a "terrorist industry" wherever they were sent. Hamas, however, is demanding the release of these megaterrorists. They are also demanding they be allowed to return to the West Bank in order, according to Israeli assessments, to rehabilitate Hamas' military capabilities there. According to Israeli figures, 45% of released terrorists return to terrorism. The number is even higher among Hamas members, of whom 63% return to terrorism. Of the 400 terrorists released to gain the return of Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three IDF soldiers in 2004, 52% of those released returned to terrorism and are responsible for killing 27 Israelis.

2010-06-28 09:58:10

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive