Katz: Guidelines must be published
Photo: Gil Yohanan

MK Katz: Publish guidelines for prisoner redemption

MK opposed to Shalit deal says public deserves to know 'red lines' set by gov't for prisoner swaps. Captive's father after meeting Lieberman: We don't feel encouraged or the opposite

Chairman of the National Union, Yaakov Katz, petitioned the High Court of Justice Sunday with the demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reveal the recommendations he received from a special committee on redemption of prisoners.


The committee was formed by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008 to determine guidelines for negotiations on the release of Israeli captives. It handed its recommendations to Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


Katz claims the two are keeping the committee's recommendations secret until the completion of a deal for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, which reports say may happen this week, upon Netanyahu's return from Germany.


The committee is headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar and includes members such as Professor Asa Kasher, who is credited with authorship of the IDF's code of ethical conduct, and Amos Yaron, formerly secretary-general of the Defense Ministry.


So far none of the committee's conclusions have been published. In June Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the committee recommended exchanging live prisoners for corpses, but Shamgar denied this.


Noam Shalit after meeting with FM Lieberman (Photo: Dudi Vaaknin)


The defense minister recently hinted that he supported harsher standards for the release of terrorists in exchange for Israeli prisoners.


"We need to stop Israel from sliding down a slippery slope, which began not with Olmert but 20 years before – with the Jibril deal – and ended with Tannenbaum and the bodies in Lebanon," he said, warning that if Israel did not stiffen its stance it would begin to encourage kidnapping.


Katz and his ilk are the most vocal objectors to the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit. In the petition the MK says he sent a letter to Netanyahu, to which the latter made no reply.


The petition says the Shamgar committee is looked upon by Israeli society as "the ultimate authority on legal, ethical, and defensive reasoning".


"The appointment of the committee and its conclusions provide the Israeli public and decision-makers with a guiding and focusing light, which can lead the government to the proper solution in this case," Katz says.


The MK adds that the committee's conclusions must be published in order to place "red lines before the public, if there are such things". Even if they are only recommendations, Katz says, the committee's conclusions "have a guiding character that cannot be ignored".


Also on Sunday, Shalit's parents met Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem.


"We don't feel encouraged or the opposite. We are still waiting. There is nothing new. We are continuing to meet with government officials and hoping to finish this by the end of the week," Noam Shalit, the captive's father, said after the meeting.


פרסום ראשון: 11.29.09, 11:43
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