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      Yaalon Slams Ministers for Shalit Deal

      Deputy PM and Minister of Strategic Affairs says the Shalit deal could result in tens or hundreds of Israeli deaths.
      By Gavriel Qeenann
      First Publish: 10/13/2011, 11:47 PM

      Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon slammed the cabinet's decision to release 1,027 terrorists in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

      "I am stunned because we are dealing with cases involving murder," Yaalon told Channel 10 on Thursday.  "My heart says yes, but my head says no. In this discussion we are not only dealing with the Shalit family and their great hurt, but also with and families of terror victims."

      "Should we confirm this decision we release of over 1,000 terrorists. Our experience has made clear to us the terrorists we are releasing today will murder tens and perhaps hundreds of Israelis tomorrow, "Ya'alon added.

      Yaalon said, "the deal is a great victory for Hamas, and a a defeat for us in that we are capitulating to terror. The deal will bring significant damage to our deterrence. We are committed to the life of Gilad Shalit, and returning home, but we must also remember our commitment protecting the lives of Israeli citizens."

      Yaalon was among three ministers who opposed the deal along with Avigdor Lieberman and Uzi Landau.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Thursday there was no way to ensure released terrorists would not haunt Israel by striking at the Jewish state in future.

      "There are countries that don't negotiate with kidnappers and you can talk about it with regard to the future, but this situation was inherited from the previous government and we had no choice."

      Critics say, however, the simple fact that Netanyahu is leading a new government is alone sufficient to justify a change in policy and note he is in no way legally or morally bound by the decisions of his predecessor.