The Tzohar rabbis' organization on Monday announced its support for the prisoner exchange deal securing the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
In its statement, the organization called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to permit the construction of "hundreds of houses for the residents of Judea and Samaria – the first public which may pay the price for the release of arch-terrorists."
The Tzohar rabbis congratulated the Shalit family on their son's impending release, and the people of Israel for the day in which a soldier who has been gone for five years is being released.
As opposed to rabbis who issued halachic rulings against the deal, the Tzohar organization said that "the issue of the release and the heavy price being paid is very complicated and includes many values, which are not all included in the halachic field of 'redemption of prisoners'. We must trust the government and the security forces on this matter."
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On Sunday, Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu expressed harsh criticism
over the Shalit deal, which will see over 1,000 security prisoners released in exchange for the captive Israeli soldier.
Lior, who is the rabbi of Kiryat Arba and one of the most prominent Judea and Samaria rabbis, issued a halachic manifesto in which he explained the halachic claims against the Shalit deal.
"This isn't a deal, it's a humiliation people of Israel and I don't think anything good will come of it," he said.
During a visit to Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, the rabbi said that the deal contradicts Torah, which forbids the release of terrorists. "Gilad Shalit's blood is dear to us all, and we all love him, but it isn't redder than the blood of other people."