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'It's Never Too Late for Military Option'

Israel still has time to stop negotiate with terrorists for Shalit's freedom and start using military means, says former senior commander.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/10/2011, 7:44 PM / Last Update: 7/10/2011, 7:57 PM

Israel still has time to rescue Gilad Shalit without strengthening Gaza terrorists, former police special forces head David Ben Shimol said Sunday in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

“I do not think there needs to be any price for Gilad Shalit's release. The terrorists should pay the price,” Shimol declared. “The State of Israel does not need to negotiate the price with Hamas.”

“Giving in will lead to further kidnappings,” he warned. Terrorist release will also decrease morale, he warned, saying, “Some of my soldiers were killed arresting these same terrorists, what am I supposed to tell their families when they see those prisoners being released?”

Instead of letting Hamas pressure Israel, the IDF should up the pressure on Hamas, he said. “The second an IDF soldier is kidnapped, all pressure should be brought to bear on terrorist groups. The heads of Hamas should be forced to hide in bunkers, terrorist prisoners should have their conditions worsened, there should be pressure on prisoners' families and on the Palestinian Authority. What do we have a security apparatus for?”

Although Israel refrained from taking such action following the Shalit kidnapping, it is not too late, Shimol declared. “Five years have gone by, but there is still much that can be done regarding Shalit's release... I believe that during Operation Cast Lead we should have kidnapped 3,000 Gaza terrorists and freed them [in exchange for Shalit] – it is not too late.”

Hamas has succeeded in creating discord in Israel, as Shalit's plight is portrayed as a political matter, Shimol said. “We must understand that this is not a matter of right or left... The media makes it sound as if [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli government kidnapped Shalit. It was Hamas who kidnapped Shalit and I'm sure we all want to see him safe at home,” he said.

Shimol later stated that he is generally considered a leftist, explaining his views as, “I believe that we should go all the way in war, and all the way in peace... Peace must be with all Arab states in the region.”