Press Releases 

Those who keep 11,000 Palestinians imprisoned refuse to set free even 450 of them

When the Government of Israel starts speaking of "generous offers", it is time to seek shelter and expect harsh times ahead.

Where is the "generosity" when those who keep 11,000 Palestinians imprisoned refuse to set free even 450 of them? Those whose hands are stained with the blood of 1300 Gazans, hundreds of them children – a blood shed less than three months ago – wrap themselves in righteousness and hypocrisy, and refuse to release "prisoners with blood on the hands" from years or even decades ago.

"Generous offers" has become a most terrible expression in our region, the regular cover and pretext for any despicable deed, for occupation, oppression and war. In the name of the "generous offers" are Gilead Shalit and his parents, the Palestinian prisoners and their families, condemned to more years of suffering and pain. And since the government already resolved to make cease-fire on the Gaza border conditional upon an agreement on the prisoner exchange, Olmert's "generous offers" will also ensure continued suffering in Gaza and Ashkelon, Sderot and Rafah, in continuing cross border shooting and bombings by missile and fighter plane – and possibly also in a terrible new big war

A true generous offer would be to implement the prisoner exchange here and now, to reach a complete cease-fire in and around the Gaza Strip and remove the suffocation siege of its population, and go on to ending the occupation and concluding a full peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian People. That is the only way to prevent new attacks on Israeli civilians – not the eternal incarceration of people whose positions were long since filled by others.

After three years spent under the shadow of two unnecessary, murderous and failed wars, Ehud Olmert missed the last opportunity to end his term on a positive and hopeful note. He leaves the stage in deserved infamy, leaving behind a heritage of suffering and pain.

Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson,