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Ayalon: We Cannot Release Terrorists for Bodies

Minister Without Portfolio Ami Ayalon on Sunday expressed his adamant opposition to a deal including the exchange of Samir Kuntar and other live terrorists for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

Ayalon is of the belief that the two soldiers are not among the living, the conclusion reached following a comprehensive investigation of the July 2006 northern border attack in which the soldiers were taken captive.

Ayalon, a member of the Labor Party, stated that such a move sends a [most unwanted] clear message to Hizbullah, that from Israel’s perspective, it makes no difference if captive soldiers are kept alive or not.

Responding to the minister’s statements, Eyal Regev, Eldad’s brother rejected the assumption, stating that if the two were indeed presumed alive, the terrorist organization would be demanding the release of hundreds of terrorists at least. Therefore maintains Eyal Regev, the terrorists are well-aware it is always to their benefit to keep captive soldiers alive.

Eyal added if Israel is seeking to “educate Hizbullah” to new rules of engagement, then the government should not have permitted Samir Kuntar to obtain a university degree and to marry during his 30 years in prison. Eyal explained that a decision was made, and the government as a matter of policy has decided not to conduct itself as Hizbullah, and therefore, we are held to a different standard.

Eyal Regev in a Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) interview on Sunday morning called on cabinet ministers to approve the proposed deal to exchange Kuntar and a handful of other terrorists for the two soldiers or their bodies, adding that at the end of the day, while data does support the theory that they are no longer alive, we do not know this to be the case with absolute certainty.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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