Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who has recently joined the Kadima party, said Saturday that navigator Ron Arad's release
could have been bought with money but that it was decided against it "for national reasons."
Addressing the issue of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit during
a Beersheba cultural event Halutz said "we have a bad experience with Ron Arad. We had the chance to buy his release for money and it was decided against it for national considerations. I was a low ranking officer then and I want to reach the same situation where decision makers subsequently regretted their actions."
Halutz, who served as the IDF chief of staff when Shalit was abducted said that "had there been something to do after his abduction we would have done it, but we lacked the proper intelligence at the time." He claimed that the government prevented a more aggressive attack on Hamas.
"It was my belief after the abduction that Hamas should have been attacked until Shalit was returned. It was not made possible due to the decision makers. Sadly we lacked and still lack the necessary intelligence to do anything else."
The former IDF chief also addressed questions regarding Iran and Lebanon and the possibility of a breakthrough with Syria.
"Granted, Hezbollah and other groups are arming themselves but that's no reason to attack. The only exception is Iran. Nuclear efforts have made it different and one has to deal with it differently."
According to Halutz "during the Second Lebanon War the Arab states wanted us to do something about Iran's wing in Lebanon. That support does not serve any operational activity but it still is support."