Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Netanyahu's dilemma: 'I am torn between freeing hostages n and protecting Israelis'

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday met with the families of fallen IDF soldiers and with relatives of terror victims and told them he is torn about the deal to free abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

"I face two vital principles - the desire to free hostages and the desire to protect Israeli citizens from an attack in the future," Netanyahu told the families.

The families, who met with Netanyahu in wake of the progress being made in the negotiations with Hamas, expressed opposition to the prisoner exchange deal being negotiated with the Islamist group because they warn that convicted Palestinians Israel would release could initiate more deadly attacks.

Netanyahu said he had taken note of the families warning.

After the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, Netanyahu told the families that his meeting with them was important to him on both the personal and national level.