Haim Avraham, father of kidnapped soldier Benny Avraham, whose body was returned to Israel along with the bodies of fellow soldiers Adi Avitan and Omar Sawaid in a prisoner exchange with Hizbullah, said Tuesday that he shares the Shalit family’s joy.
“I am delighted that Israel reached a decision to bring him home but sad that we got our son back dead,” Avraham told Arutz Sheva. “Unfortunately, a heartless and bloodthirsty enemy murdered Benny, Adi and Omar for no reason.”
The three soldiers were kidnapped in October of 2000 by Hizbullah terrorists, who attacked the soldiers as they were patrolling the security fence along Israel’s border with Lebanon. The IDF determined the soldiers were killed either during the attack or immediately afterwards.
On January 29, 2004, the bodies of the three soldiers were returned in exchange for 435 terrorist prisoners. Hizbullah also returned abducted Israeli citizen Elchanan Tenenbaum as part of the deal.
Avraham expressed his hopes that Israel will change its policy on future prisoner exchange deals, in order to prevent the scenes that took place at the Supreme Court on Monday, as families of terror victims appealed to prevent the Shalit deal from being carried out.
“It’s sad that we had to return thousands of terrorists whose hands are stained with the blood of our sons,” Avraham said. “For decades we had to return the same bloodthirsty people in exchange for our children.”
“It’s time to set rules using legislation in the Knesset to prevent what happened in the court yesterday, when there was a confrontation between the bereaved families and the Shalit family,” he added. “I hope that they put into law some rules on how to negotiate and how much to give in return.”