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General: IDF to Blame for Not Providing Alternative

Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan blames security establishment over Shalit deal by not providing alternative means of releasing Shalit.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/18/2011, 9:07 AM

Uzi Dayan
Uzi Dayan
Flash 90

Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan says the security establishment is to blame for the deal to release Gilad Shalit by not providing alternative means of releasing the abducted soldier.

Dayan, who served as the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, explained in an interview with Arutz Sheva Tuesday that there is "an unwritten agreement between the state, its soldiers and their families, which says that the soldiers will defend the national home and the state will do everything in its power to bring them back should something happen."

This still would not have led to the Shalit deal, he explained were it not for the fact that "the security establishment failed when it did not offer an alternative way to free the abducted soldier."

Dayan does, however, see the deal as an act of leadership on the part of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, he estimates, was interested in an alternative course of action, but when the security establishment failed to provide one and instead supported the prisoner release deal, "he had no choice but to accept the deal and sign it."

Dayan explains that while the deal is "a great accomplishment for terrorism" and "will cost us dearly," allowing a soldier to rot away in prison for many years is unacceptable, and when the security establishment failed to provide alternatives, Netanyahu had no choice but to approve the deal.
According to Dayan, the IDF should have taken 2,000 Gazans captive during Operation Cast Lead. These captives, he says, should have been held as hostages, to be freed in exchange for Shalit.

The spirit that motivated the IDF in earlier years, when Netanyahu himself was an officer in the elite Sayaret Matkal, is gone, Dayan added.

Finding a way of releasing Shalit "should have been an obsession for commanders and soldiers," he said, but it was not.