In light of recent comments from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman relating to the release of terrorists in exchange for bodies, "Machon Mishpatei Aretz," a legal research group that investigates the application of traditional Jewish law within the context of the modern Israeli legal system, called not to release terrorists in exchange for dead bodies, and cited leading rabbis who forbade such an exchange.
"Leading religious zionist rabbis - Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Chaim Druckman and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner - established years ago criteria for freeing prisoners. Within that framework, it was established that, despite the 'mitzvah' to bury the dead in a proper Jewish burial, it is forbidden to free live terrorists in exchange for dead bodies.
"This ruling not only reflects halachic [legal] sensitivity for grieving families, but for families that could potentially become grieving ones in the aftermath of freeing terrorists in exchange for dead bodies," the group said.
The declaration comes in the wake of private conversations leaked by Channel 10, in which Defense Minister Avigdor indicated that he would not free terrorists in exchange for the bodies of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.
"By my estimation, the bodies of the soldiers will not be returned to Israel, I don't see it happening. I was also against the Shalit deal in the past, and I don't intend to cut a deal with Hamas in the future," the Defense Minister said, according to Channel 10.