Ehud Olmert on Gilad Shalit: I Don't Know if It Was an Abduction or He Handed Himself Over

'As a combat soldier he was expected to do more than he did,' says former general.

Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, Gilad Shalit and Noam Shalit, October 18, 2011.
Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert questioned the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in a television interview, parts of which were broadcast on Monday evening.

During the Channel 10 television investigative program “Hamakor” (“The Source”), to be broadcast in its entirety Tuesday, Olmert hinted at his criticism of Shalit’s actions during the incident, in which Hamas took him prisoner.

“The kidnappers almost left and then someone popped up from the tank,” Olmert said. “If I know whether to call it an abduction or handing himself over? ... Something there was strange that has not been figured out yet.”

The show is about the decisions made behind the scenes concerning the deal in which Shalit was released in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Later in the program, former general and national security advisor Giora Eiland, who headed the committee that examined the abduction, criticized Shalit’s actions too: “I agree with the description that as a combat soldier he was expected to do more than he did.”

Shalit was captured in June 2006 and released in October 2011. In 2012, a commission headed by former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar recommended that only a few security prisoners be released in such deals in the future, and not dozens or even thousands, in return for a single Israeli captive, in order to avoid such deals in the future.