Supreme Court Rejects Shalit Deal Petitions
Israel’s Supreme Court rejected on Monday evening the petitions that had been filed by families of terror victims against the exchange of 1,027 terrorists held by Israel in exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.
The three judges, Dorit Beinisch, Hanan Meltzer, and Eliezer Rivlin, wrote in their ruling that the decision on questions of security considerations regarding the released terrorists should be made by the Israeli government. They added that at this time “the fate of Gilad Shalit hangs in the balance and any changes to the deal also could endanger Gilad’s life.”
By rejecting the appeals, the court officially gave the green light to implement the exchange deal. The implementation is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning.
The court heard arguments pertaining to the petitions on Monday afternoon. State attorneys argued that the Shalit deal was strictly a political decision and had no bearing on the legal system.
“The court has refused, time after time, to interfere with the release of prisoners as part of a deal reached through political negotiations,” the state said. "The decision was made after authorized professionals made a detailed examination of the request during negotiations.”
Gilad Shalit’s parents, Noam and Aviva, also submitted a brief to the court. Noam personally arrived at the Supreme Court to respond to the appeals, where a young man who lost his parents and siblings in the 2001 bombing in the Sbarro restaurant confronted him.
During the hearing, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said the deal brokered by the Netanyahu government meant “the cancellation of legal decisions which established that these people should be behind bars.
“The moral and legal difficulty is laid out before us...we are sitting among our own people. There is no need to explain the painful history and the very difficult dilemmas we face,” Beinisch added.