The authority of Israel’s chief negotiator on behalf of Israelis held by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group has never been formally established, warns the state comptroller in a new report.
State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman says such official negotiators have operated over the years without the Prime Minister’s Office ever actually establishing the responsibilities, authority, or any detailed framework for the job.
The last top negotiator, Yaron Blum, announced in October that he was resigning after nearly five years in the post. Before him, Lior Lotan served in the position between 2014 and 2017.
According to Englman’s report, the government never implemented recommendations made by the 2012 Shamgar Commission, which set out to determine principles for prisoner releases. One security cabinet meeting in June 2014 discussed the recommendations.
The report says information the PMO has about the negotiator’s work was not handled in an orderly fashion, and the negotiator himself was given “minimal” information about his predecessor’s work.