Officers and soldiers from one of the Israeli army's top reserve infantry brigades sent a letter to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday insisting that he not permit the exchange of jailed Palestinian terrorists for any of them should they be captured by the enemy in future military operations.
Israel Channel 2 News reported on the letter just one day after the publication of a letter purportedly written by an Israeli soldier being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza increased calls for Israel to free whomever it must to secure the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit.
Shalit was abducted nearly two years ago, and Israel has ever since been inching ever close to meeting Hamas' demand that it free hundreds of hardened terrorists in exchange for the young soldier.
In their appeal to Ashkenazi, the reservists said they were "willing to sit in the enemy's prison as long as it takes," so long as killers dedicated to Israel's demise were not set free. They also insisted that Israel not offer any concessions whatsoever for the return of their bodies should they be killed in action and their remains captured by the enemy.
The crack brigade would be one of the first sent into the Gaza Strip should the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decide to authorize the large-scale incursion military experts have been recommending for months.