Ex-IDF Chief: Sometimes Hostages Must Be Sacrificed if Ransom Is Too High

Moshe Ya'alon: When it comes to prisoner swaps, I think we should give away the minimum of the minimum.

Amid talk over a possibly imminent prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah, former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon addressed the topic of prisoner exchanges between Israel and its enemies, saying that sometimes, the ransom paid for Israeli soldiers is much higher than the cost of losing them.

"When it comes to the question of a deal, I am one of those people who say that we should give away the minimum of the minimum, and in certain situations I would even say that we should be willing to sacrifice [the hostage] in the face of the price we are asked to pay, because sometimes the price of the ransom is much higher than the cost of losing the hostage," Ya'alon said.

The former chief of staff added that "this is a very complex dilemma, and each case should be examined individually. Of course if there is the option to secure the [hostage's] release in a military operation, as we have tried many times before, sometimes successfully, we must take it. If it was possible, we would have done so a long time ago with the current hostages."

Ya'alon made his remarks in during a conference on leadership at the Tel Hai Academic College in memory of fallen commander of the paratrooper special forces Eitan Balachsan.