Counter-Terror Soldiers Protest Shalit Deal
Active duty and reserve soldiers from elite counter-terrorism units who risked their lives during previous missions to capture terrorists submitted a petition to the Netanyahu government protesting the wholesale release of terrorists in exchange for the release of kidnapped Gilad Shalit after six years in Hamas captivity.
The organizers write, "We, soldiers past and present, vehemently oppose return of terrorists to their homes, which undermines years of work and raises the overall risk of soldiers being killed in the line of duty,
"We are very hurt by the cabinet's attitude on this matter, and the next time we soldiers are asked to stop terrorists again we will have to think twice about whether it is worth risking our lives to capture killers who will only be released again We the undersigned demand that the State of Israel not release murderers we will only have to risk our lives yet again to capture later in our service,
"We note, that according to the sequence of the deal to release Gilad Shalit, which was revealed today, 450 murderers with blood on their hands will be released, in addition to 550 other prisoners, for the release of one kidnapped soldier."
Underscoring the soldiers sentiments is the promise of more kidnappings by Hamas, the inclusion of terrorists who have killed Israeli soldiers in the deal, and warnings from Israeli security officials who say the deal will likely invite more terror.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon predicted the Shalit deal will result in "tens if not hundreds" of Israeli deaths.