In an exclusive interview with IMEMC, Uri Avnery, a former Member of the Israeli Knesset and founder of the Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom, warned, "If the Israeli army continues carrying out this operation, the life of the soldier will be in danger", referring to an ongoing Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank that aims to pressure Palestinian resistance groups to release a soldier abducted on Sunday.
Avnery pointed out that a prisoner exchange, which would end the standoff, could be done out of the public eye and such exchanges have been made before. He encouraged third-party involvement to negotiate a non-military solution.
He challenged Israeli official accounts of the current situation and criticized the international media for parroting the Israeli official accounts without question. He said, "There is also a propaganda war. In the international media, they are not showing this ‘abduction’ for what it really is: a military tactic, a guerrilla tactic employed by Palestinian resistance fighters in a field of battle. They are showing it as an act of terrorism, a kidnapping of an innocent Israeli. Not putting it in the context of what has happened before – not mentioning the 20 Palestinian civilians that have been killed in the last two weeks."
Avnery also noted that there are some parallels between the current situation and a 1994 soldier abduction by Palestinian resistance fighters, in which the captured soldier was killed during an Israeli ‘rescue’ operation. He warned the military against ‘playing roulette’ with the captured soldier’s life.
In the 1994 kidnapping, the Israeli soldier was captured by Palestinian resistance fighters who demanded the release of then-imprisoned (later assassinated by Israel) Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. An Israeli ‘Special Forces’ unit, tipped off by a Palestinian informant as to the captured soldier’s location, stormed the house, killing both the soldier and the men holding him captive. Mati Poraz’s son was among those ‘Special Forces’ involved in the ambush and died in an exchange of fire with the resistance fighters inside the house.
Mati Poraz is an Israeli whose son, Captain Nir Poraz, was killed in October 1994 during the failed rescue operation of kidnapped soldier Nachshon Waxman.
In an interview with the Israeli paper Yediot Ahranot, she said, "I can only hope that there will be no rescue operation; that it will end in diplomatic manners …Gilad [the abducted soldier] is obviously being watched and when the rescuers will arrive, there will be a battle and he may be killed. We need to search for different ways to act, but not in a ‘Rambo’ style, certainly not at the cost of more dead soldiers."