Hundreds of youth to Netanyahu: Don't release terrorists in prisoner swap

Some 500 Israeli youth send letter urging PM not to advance a prisoner swap with Hamas that includes the release of terrorists.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul
Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul
Flash 90

Some 500 Israeli youth signed a letter sent Thursday to Prime Minister Netanyahu urging him to not advance a prisoner swap with Hamas that will include the release of terrorists.

The letter was organized by the pro-Israel group Im Tirtzu's Youth Division following reports of a prisoner swap that would see the release of Hamas terrorists in exchange for the bodies of captured IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin and the return of two Israeli civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayyed.

The youth wings of the Likud, New Right, Jewish Home, National Union and Zehut political parties all endorsed the letter.

"We are very concerned that such a deal would endanger us, our families, and the people of Israel," wrote the youth.

"We have a moral duty as Israelis and Jews not to leave any soldier or civilian behind…but at the same time, with all of this sorrow, we need to look at the reality. Israel is surrounded by enemies seeking its destruction and such a deal would endanger our future."

The youth warned of the consequences of such a deal: "Some 40% of the 1,027 terrorists released in the [Gilad] Shalit deal returned to their terrorist ways and were involved in the murder of at least ten Israelis while injuring dozens more."

"The Shalit deal is a case study from which we must learn that the mass release of terrorists can lead to another wave of terror, weaken Israel's deterrence, and endanger the people who we will soon be protecting when we enlist in the IDF.

Eliyahu Friedman and Maayan Cohen, the heads of Im Tirtzu's Youth Division, said: "The way to get back our captured soldiers and civilians is by applying forceful military and economic pressure on Hamas. Releasing murderous terrorists is madness, and our government must prevent it at all costs."