Three days after the appointment of a new Coordinator of POWs and MIAs, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked addressed the issue of the return of the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers and two living Israeli civilians held captive by Hamas, vowing that as long as Habayit Hayehudi is in the government, no terrorists will be released as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, Channel 2 News reported Tuesday. “Everything that happened in the Gilad Shalit deal will not be repeated, I think everyone knows that today,” she said.
Shaked spoke at the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank, and referred to the yet to be published Shamgar Commission recommendations, issued in 2012, following the much-criticized Netanyahu government’s 2011 prisoner exchange that released some 1,000 terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands in return for a single Israeli corporal named Gilad Shalit. The commission’s report has been kept secret since it was issued in 2012, but cabinet ministers have seen it, and Shaked made clear she had read it.
According to leaked information about the report, it recommended supreme secrecy regarding POW and MIA negotiations, and strict limits on the ability of the families of the missing to influence the outcome of those negotiations. Gilad Shalit’s family was able to run a well-organized, effective propaganda campaign from 2006, when their boy was captured by Hamas, to 2011, when Netanyahu capitulated to the enormous public pressure they were able to drum up.
Despite those recommendations, the Netanyahu government has been publicly courting and enduring a great deal of pressure from the families of the late Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and First Sergeant Oron Shaul, as well as the families of the two Israelis who crossed the border into Gaza, most likely due to psychiatric issues.
According to Channel 2 News, after the resignation of the negotiations coordinator Lior Lotan, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman refused to appoint his replacement, conditioning such an appointment on the open publication of the Shamgar Commission recommendations. But Prime Minister Netanyahu insisted on the appointment of Yaron Bloom, a former member of the Shin Bet who was a senior member of the team that negotiated the Gilad Shalit exchange.
Bloom for his part has already told Channel 2 News: “It is our duty to do everything to bring the boys home […] I was thrilled to accept this important assignment from the Prime Minister.”
Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails – start packing, y’all goin’ home now, hear?