Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Zvi Hauser expressed strong opposition to a pending deal with Hamas and warned that it would return hundreds of terrorists to terrorism.
Commenting on a Sunday night report on the main details of a terrorist release deal with Hamas, Hauser, who also serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Captives and Missing Persons, said that by virtue of his position, he has been exposed to all the details of the pending exchange, and he “must say clearly: this is a scandalous deal that breaks the principles of the Shamgar Committee and will return hundreds of terrorists to the circle of terrorism.”
The Shamgar Committee formulated guidelines on prisoner releases and determining principles for conducting negotiations for the release of captives. The 2012 report remains classified, and the guidelines proposed by the committee have not been published.
Hauser called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “withdraw from the dangerous idea” discussed with Hamas and to “draw the necessary conclusions from the disastrous consequences of the Shalit deal in which most of the terrorists released under it returned
Some 40% of the 1,027 terrorists released in the 2011 deal to release captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit returned to terrorism and are, so far, responsible for the death of 10 Israelis and the injuring of several others.
In the meantime, a senior Palestinian Authority intelligence official told TPS that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, who himself was released in the Shalit deal, is interested in advancing the exchange of prisoners and may be willing to compromise, as part of his steps to strengthen his position within Hamas ahead of the upcoming elections to the organization’s political bureau.
The senior official said that while the Qatari camp in Hamas, led by Khaled Mashaal, is working to reconcile with Fatah and strengthen its organizational status, Sinwar is interested in achievements in his fight against the Coronavirus in Gaza and the release of the prisoners, many of whom are Hamas power players.
“Every deal is good for Sinwar in the current situation,” said the intelligence official.
His remarks are in line with the assessment in Israel that proposals for the exchange of prisoners can be promoted with Sinwar.