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      Rabbi: Shalit Deal Will Strengthen Hamas and Iran

      Freeing terrorists for Shalit would strengthen Iran and Hamas, says Rabbi Fruman. “Public interests are more important than private interests.”
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 12/2/2009, 12:48 PM / Last Update: 12/2/2009, 12:53 PM

      Israel news photo

      Freeing terrorists for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit will strengthen the hand of Hamas and Iran, according to Rabbi Menachem Fruman of Gush Etzion, who has close ties with Arab leaders.

      He told Arutz 7 that Israelis, especially Shalit’s father Noam, must adopt the principle that the “public interest is more important than private interests.” The rabbi also urged soldiers to sign petitions stating, "We did not fight in the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in order to free Marwan Barghouti,” who is serving five life prison terms for overseeing and planning attacks that killed dozens of Israelis. Barghouti is said to be one of the prime terrorists whose release Hamas is demanding for Shalit.

      Rabbi Fruman fears that if terrorist are freed, Hamas will gain control of Judea and Samaria as they did in Gaza nearly three years ago.

      Freeing Terrorists Would Aid and Abet Iran
      “I know Hamas leaders very well,” Rabbi Fruman added. “I understand the significance of a decision to free terrorists. I have no doubt that a deal like this will be a tremendous victory for Hamas. Iran calls for the destruction of Israel, and Hamas is going in the same direction. Freeing them would aid and abet the Iranian agenda.”

      He also is worried that the nationalist community’s concern over the building freeze for Jews in Judea and Samaria will reduce their efforts to prevent the government from freeing terrorists.

      A resident of the eastern Gush Etzion town of Tekoa, which also is affected by the freeze, Rabbi Fruman said, “We have to fight against this freeze, but diverting our full attention to it might allow the government to quietly approve the proposed deal for Shalit."