Daily Israel Report

Noam Shalit Blames Bereaved Families for Murderers' Release

Noam Shalit says, had bereaved families of terror victims joined his crusade for his son's release, a better deal could have been reached.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 10/17/2011, 8:10 PM

Noam Shalit
Noam Shalit
Flash 90

Noam Shalit implied the bereaved families of terror victims were to blame for the release of their relatives’ murderers on Monday, saying a better deal could have brokered if they had joined his crusade to secure his son's freedom.

"I regret the bereaved families who oppose this deal were not with us at the time we tried to create pressure on the Israeli government to turn leverage on Hamas," Shalit said.

"During that period we asked to stop transfer of money and goods to Hamas, and the buses of visitors to terrorists in prisons, but the state failed to produce any other alternative," he explained.

"We're aware that it is difficult," Shalit said after filing a brief asking Israel's High Court of Justice to ignore petitions by bereaved families to annul the deal. "We would have preferred if Gilad had been released under more palatable terms."

"The deal is not easy, but nevertheless there are some bereaved families with great pain, who support the exchange, including the release of those with blood on their hands," said Shalit.

"Refusing to go through with the exchange won't bring back those killed in the attacks, but will seal Gilad's death," Shalit said, brushing aside concerns the deal was a great injustice to the slain and their families.

Critics of Shalit say his single-minded pursuit of his son's release has not taken into account that success would likely result in more families suffering as his has - or worse - as the bereaved families of those murdered by terrorists have.

They also say Shalit's campaign, which has been a persistent cause célèbre in Israel's media for the past five years, was co-opted by Hamas as leverage during negotiations.

Security officials have said they expect the terrorists-for-Shalit deal will result in more terrorism causing tens if not hundreds of Israeli deaths at the hands of terrorists, who will be emboldened by the exchange.

Hamas, who vowed the released terrorists will return to the 'resistance,' has also promised more kidnappings, saying the Shalit deal is proof positive that kidnapping is a working tactic for the terror group.