Govt Reviews Next Prisoner Release Amid Wave of Terrorism

YERUSHALAYIM -

Following a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks in recent days, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday that the government will have to review Sunday’s scheduled release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“We will discuss it and decide whether to change the decision, and who to release,” Yaalon said.

However, media reports indicate that the government will go ahead with the third in a series of four prisoner releases, totalling 104, many convicted murderers, as a gesture of Israeli goodwill in the peace process.

The Almagor terror victims association began a protest vigil opposite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s home on Wednesday morning.

In addition, Yaalon said  during a Givati Brigade drill on Wednesday that Israel is preparing for the possibility of an escalation in the South, and warned that “if there is not peace on our side, there won’t be peace in Gaza.”

The IDF deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system near Sderot, a precaution against possible rocket attacks.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened the diplomatic-security cabinet on Wednesday morning to discuss the ongoing wave of terrorist attacks, especially along the Gaza border.

And, a development that may or may not be related to the prisoner release issue, Netanyahu is expected to announce new construction in Yehudah and Shomron and east Yerushalayim next week.

According to an Israeli media report, it is Netanyahu’s personal decision, after his coalition partner Jewish Home decided that it would not push for building in exchange for releasing prisoners, which drew sharp criticism in the previous release phase.