Half of the Terrorists Freed by Israel Have Returned to Terror

Currently, Hamas is holding hostage the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war, along with two mentally disturbed Israeli civilians. Jerusalem is reportedly considering releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the two hostages and the soldiers’ remains. But, argues Nadav Shragai, experience has shown the imprudence of such exchanges:

Since 1985, Israel has released thousands of terrorists as gestures, exchange deals, and in the framework of peace plans. About half of them resumed terrorist activity. Thus far, hundreds of Israelis have been murdered and some 3,500 wounded in attacks committed by these former prisoners. The so-called Jibril agreement of 1985 freed 1,150 terrorists who became the backbone of the first intifada, [in exchange for the release of three soldiers who had been captured during the First Lebanon War]. According to a study the Defense Ministry ran on a sample group of 238 of those prisoners, 114 were confirmed to have gone back to terrorism.

Half or more of the 7,000 terrorists released following the Oslo Accords reintegrated into Palestinian terrorist infrastructure and took part in the second intifada. . . . The former Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen, who supported [the 2011 deal that obtained the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners], stated frankly at the time that, based on past experience, some 60 percent of prisoners released would go back to terrorism and 12 percent would wind up back in prison.

Following Shalit’s release, the Israeli government convened the Shamgar commission to study the issue. It recommended, inter alia, that “a captive Israeli soldier should be freed in exchange for no more than a handful of terrorist prisoners, and that a body of an Israeli casualty should be ‘redeemed’ for one terrorist’s body.” Shragai also cites additional suggestions from the reserve general and Knesset member Uzi Dayan:

The first choice is to free captives and hostages through military means, by force—direct or indirect—[or] if there is an operation in Gaza, even by abducting [senior] Hamas members. . . . That’s what we did in the 1970s when we captured Syrian generals to free three pilots who fell into Syrian captivity.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, Protective Edge

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy