Netanyahu: Shalit deal among my hardest decisions

In a personal letter to bereaved families, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote, "I understand and recognize your pain.

The day before kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is due to return home, following approval of swapping him for 1,027 security prisoners responsible for many terrorist attacks in Israel, creating many bereaved families in the process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a personal letter to these families.

"Dear families, I write to you with a heavy heart. I understand and know your pain. I belong to a bereaved family of the victims and fallen of terrorism. By brother was killed in the operation to rescue the Entebbe hostages.

"I know that you have a heavy heart and that your wounds have been opened anew these past days; that your thoughts are not at ease. Numerous misgivings accompanied me throughout the negotiations on the agreement to return the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. You were always in my thoughts.

"The decision in the matter of the release of Gilad Shalit was among the most difficult that I have ever made. It is difficult for me for the same reasons that it is difficult for you, dear families.

"In the decision to return Gilad home, I was faced with the responsibility of the Prime Minister of Israel to bring home every soldier who is sent to protect our citizens. I also, when I went off to fight in the name of the State of Israel, knew always: The State of Israel does not abandon its soldiers and citizens.

"Opposite the strong desire to return home a captive soldier, was the need to limit the heavy price that the State of Israel would have to pay upon the abduction of Gilad Shalit over five years ago.

"I know that the price is very heavy for you. I understand the difficulty to countenance that the evil people who perpetrated the appalling crimes against your loved ones will not pay the full price that they deserve. During these moments I hope that you will find solace that I and the entire nation of Israel embrace you and share your pain."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 17, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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