Israel rethinking position on prisoner swaps

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2012 6:19 AM
Israel rethinking position on prisoner swaps

Israel is rethinking its policy on prisoner swaps to avoid the kind of lopsided deals that saw Israel recently trade more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a lone Israeli soldier.

A government-appointed panel submitted its recommendations in a secret report Thursday and details were not divulged. But Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel has "no choice but to overhaul the rules" now that Sgt. Gilad Schalit has been freed after five years in captivity in Gaza.

Barak told Israel Radio, "We have to get off the slippery slope we ventured on 25 years ago."

Over the past three decades, Israel has carried out a series of wildly uneven prisoner swap deals. In some cases, the freed prisoners returned to violence against Israel.