Bennett calls for kidnapping Arab terrorists for prisoner exchange

Israel should kidnap Arab terrorists in order to use them for prisoner exchanges and avoid deals involving the release of Palestinian prisoners, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Thursday in an interview with Radio Darom.

Bennett said he has firmly opposed all prisoner exchanges and he is against releasing any terrorists in return for the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. He said it was important for Israel to instead create assets.

“We should do what the State of Israel once did,” he said. “What we once did in such situations was we would go and kidnap from the other side, and create new leverage against the other side, rather than releasing more and more terrorists.”

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Bennett’s spokeswoman stressed that he was suggesting kidnapping terrorists, not civilians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers have been under pressure from the Goldin and Shaul families to make a deal to bring their bodies for burial in Israel. Hamas has demanded that 50 security prisoners be released in return for the two bodies.

Netanyahu has resisted the pressure but has said he will continue to work to try to bring about the release of the bodies, as well as Avera Mengistu, a mentally ill Israeli who crossed into Gaza on his own and is thought to still be alive.

The prime minister asked Ethiopian leaders for help in bringing about Mengistu’s release on Netanyahu’s visit to the country on Thursday.

The Ethiopians responded that they were concerned about Mengistu’s fate.

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