MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud-Beytenu), Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called Tuesday to round up and re-imprison terrorists whom Israel released from its jails in recent years in the Shalit deal and in "gestures" to the Palestinian Authority.
Elkin told Arutz Sheva that the current operation in Judea and Samaria is causing serious damage to Hamas's infrastructure, from the political echelon to the operational forces on the ground.
He explained that the IDF's activity has two goals. First, to reach the abducted youths – a mission he likened to "finding a needle in a haystack" - and second, changing the way the IDF treats Hamas and its men.
This is not enough, however, in his opinion.
"It would be right," Elkin said, "to take all of the terrorists released in recent years – in the Shalit deal, and in the course of the last year, in the tranches – and put them back in jail, so that Hamas understands that when it carries out a terror abduction of children, the price of that will be many Hamas men in jail."
Asked what the international reaction would be, Elkin noted that these terrorists were freed before completing their sentences, to that in terms of justice, they should still be in jail anyway.
The abduction also shows the nature of the Palestinian Authority's unity government, he added. "If anyone had doubts and thought that this government would make Hamas more moderate, here came this criminal abduction and made clear to everyone that Hamas is a terror organization, continues to be a terror organization and intends to act as a terrorist organization."
Elkin said Israel will stand firm. "We are not here because someone did us a favor, but by force of a Divine promise, and therefore we do not intend to leave this place and go to Europe, or be thrown into the sea, or any of the other offers that the PA leadership has made us. And if we stay here, we have to teach the other side that the game will be played according to the rules that we determine, and anyone acting against us will pay as steep a price as possible."
MK Elkin's words echo those of MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home), who said on Monday that the IDF should carry out arrests on a larger scale than those it is currently carrying out, and that those arrested should include terrorists who were freed in various deals and “gestures.” The Palestinian Arabs should be told that these prisoners will not be freed until the three teens are freed, she opined.
Israel must “put an end to this abduction game,” she said forcefully, and terrorists must be made to understand that the only ones who lose at this game are they themselves. “The state of Israel must do what is good for Israel. We cannot continue to be hostages of Palestinian terror. Israel must make clear that the only ones to lose out from abductions will be the terrorists, and never the state of Israel.”
A move like this is more realistic, just and responsible than idea like cutting off electricity to the Palestinian Authority population, and more humane as well.
“In a move like this, we do not act against women, children or sick people, only against terrorists,” she noted.