Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the Shalit deal, in which Israel released more than 1,000 terrorists in exchange for the return of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, as “a crime” in an interview with Kan 11 television.
“This issue of prisoner exchange – it’s a crime. I have no other word. I was really upset when I saw it,” Olmert said.
He noted the considerations that led him not to make a similar deal when he was Prime Minister. “Let there be no misunderstanding, I really wanted to free Gilad Shalit. But the endurance of a nation is measured precisely in those moments when the national interest stands against this tremendous passion of you wanting to bring your warrior home.”
Olmert criticized the decision to release 1,025 Palestinian Arab terrorists in exchange for Shalit, saying, “I saw this as a surrender to considerations that have no connection whatsoever to the national interest.”
The program for which Olmert was interviewed dealt with the “Hamas construction bureau”, most members of which were released in the Shalit deal. The bureau was established with the goal of creating a breakthrough weapon for a war against Israel: submarines, assault drones, and missiles which can bypass the Iron Dome system.
Many of the terrorists who were released in the 2011 Shalit deal resumed terrorist activities after they were released.