Opposition to Prisoner Release Grows

YERUSHALAYIM -

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett joined the Almagor Terror Victims organization on Sunday to express opposition to a proposal to release terrorist prisoners in order to facilitate a revival of peace talks with the Palestinians.

“Not one murderer can be let out. This isn’t a gesture; it’s a disgrace,” Bennett told Army Radio, responding to a report that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was considering such a concession.

Bennett asked, “Why should we have to give over murderers in order to receive the dubious privilege of being able to negotiate with Abbas? I don’t believe that Netanyahu will release murderers just so he can start negotiations,” he added.

Almagor launched a campaign in recent weeks to prevent the government from agreeing to a prisoner release. The organization’s director, Lt. Col. (res.) Meir Indor, has been lobbying ministers and other political leaders, presenting them with a list of the 120 terrorists Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas requested be released, and the names of those the terrorists killed.

On Sunday, ministers received a phone call, ostensibly from Palestinian Prisoners Minister Issa Karaka.

“I want to praise your prime minister. It’s important for him to have a meeting with our leader, but for that meeting to happen, our friends have to return home,” the recording says.

“It’s true that they killed and murdered, but it was for our goal, for our country, Palestine. So they killed a few Jews. What’s the big deal? All they want is to return home with a college degree. What are we asking for? Just a few — 120, no fewer. Thank you, Netanyahu.”

The pre-recorded call, sent by Almagor Terror Victims, featured an actor impersonating Karaka.