Eliezer Marom, formerly the head of the Israeli Navy, criticized the Israeli government on Wednesday for releasing terrorists in what he termed as a “political deal”.
Marom, who spoke at a seminar of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, criticized the government for making a connection between the terrorist release and continued construction in Judea and Samaria.
"Releasing terrorist murderers with blood on their hands without a peace agreement to keep together a coalition that would allow construction in the settlements, is in my opinion a worthless move,” said Marom.
He added, "The part that makes me angriest is that this event, the release of the prisoners, is a sort of ‘political deal’. Who releases murderers before having some kind of agreement, and why are they making a deal that we can continue to build in exchange for the release of murderers with blood on their hands? This has never happened before.”
Marom said that even the Shalit deal, which saw Israel releasing more than 1,000 terrorists for the captive soldier and which, he said, was not necessarily the right thing to do, did not cross a line as did the terrorist release.
“One can argue about the Shalit deal, we bit our lips but in the end we agreed. I'm not sure it was the right thing to do, but Gilad Shalit returned,” he said.
MKs from some of the center-left parties in the coalition have repeatedly linked the terrorist release that Israel agreed to as a “gesture” the Palestinian Authority to construction approvals for homes in Judea and Samaria.
The religious Zionist Jewish Home party rejects this link, saying that Israel has a right to build in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria whenever it wishes, regardless of whether it releases terrorists.