Israel Resource Review 27th June, 2008


UN: A 'Humanitarian Move' : Israel's Decision to Release Terrorists;
Sam Harari , UN Correspondent, The Bulletin in Philadelphia

The recent Israeli decision to release Hezbollah and Lebanese terrorists in a prisoner exchange was hailed yesterday by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as a "humanitarian move."

"The Secretary-General welcomes the progress on the urgent humanitarian aspects of Security Council Resolution 1701 achieved by the recent decision of the Israeli government," commented a senior official at the U.N. "These involve the return of the two abducted Israeli soldiers and the solution of the cases of Lebanese prisoners held in Israel. He looks forward to the signing and the full implementation of the negotiated agreement in the near future."

The senior U.N. official added that "He hopes that the envisaged humanitarian moves will encourage further steps on implementing other parts of the resolution and contribute to further humanitarian moves." Israeli reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were abducted in a cross-border raid in July 2006 carried out by Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization.

The unprovoked attack also killed eight other Israeli troops and sparked the Second Lebanon War. Security Council Resolution 1701 called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as "the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers, that have given rise to the current crisis."."

In response to a question of the status of the reservists, as to whether they were alive of dead, the U.N. official said that their status is unknown.

In a related move, The Bulletin asked how there could be considered progress on the 'urgent humanitarian aspects of Security Council Resolution 1701' if the abducted soldiers were not even confirmed to be alive. She responded, "We just don't know what the status of the soldier is. Israel thought that they should release the Lebanese combatants, and the Secretary- -General welcomes the exchange."

The Bulletin also spoke to a high-ranking official U.N. off the record for an opinion of how the release of combatants of a terrorist organization such as Hezbollah could be considered "humanitarian."

The answer: "Israel occupied Lebanese territory. Hezbollah could be seen as resisting those that were invading a member state."

When pointed out that Israel invaded Lebanon only after Hezbollah attacked Israel without provocation, abducted two Israeli soldiers and launched Kaytusha rockets on Israeli cities, the U.N. official responded by saying that she didn't want to argue this point.

She said, "All I was saying was that there are two sides to every story. Hezbollah was resisting invasion. Israel went in, took combatants, and left. The Security Council condemned the war. Looking at the combatants as resistance fighters, it was a humanitarian action to return them."

Sam Harari can be reached at

This piece ran in the Bulletin in Philadelphia on July 1st, 2008

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"Bodies for Terrorists" Exchange Deal Sacrifices Safety Of Israeli Lives For A Better International Image
David Bedein

One of the mysteries of this accord, from Israel's point of view, revolved around an Israeli policy which openly placed Israeli lives in danger - for two reasons.

The first is that Samir Kantar will now be poised to lead and conduct terror activity, as he remains unrepentant for his actions, 29 years later.

The second reason is that Mr. Kantar's release in exchange for murdered Israeli soldiers carries a message, which is that Palestinian terrorists need not fear any Israeli incrimination if they murder an Israeli POW - the price exacted from Israel will be the same.

Yet the above Bulletin interview with a senior U.N. official demonstrates that there is at least one entity that is ready to praise Israel for trading a live terrorist for two murdered Israeli POWs.

That entity is the U.N. Israel has now achieved the highest possible praise at the U.N., with international admiration lavished upon Israel for freeing a terrorist convicted of a most heinous act of first degree murder. The current Israeli government seems to pursue a better image in the international arena of public relations, even though the risks are obvious.

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