The Chairman of the Almagor Terror Victims' organization, Meir Indor, warned on Monday against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s reported intention to release dozens of terrorists as a gesture to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in exchange for a return to peace talks.
Indor told Arutz Sheva that any sentence given to a terrorist is never final, since any terrorist can later be released because of things such as pressure, gestures by the Israeli government or a deal to release terrorists.
“Every terrorist has a well-oiled system that protects him, backs him and then there is the prisoners' committee which ensures that he is released,” said Indor. “The Israeli public should know that there is no such thing as ‘the legal system has spoken and that's it.’ Everything is conditional.”
He stated that releasing terrorists is a threat to the Israeli public and often brings about serious terrorist attacks, adding that the road to release terrorists is opened each time Netanyahu’s envoy, Attorney Yitzchak Molcho, meets officials in the PA. The same applies, he said, to the recent planned meeting between Abbas and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz that ended up being canceled.
Indor said that such meetings should not be viewed as fruitless and pointless, because they bear fruits for the Arab side in the form of terrorists being released.
“The PA is built from terrorism and therefore demanding terrorists release is their built-in first demand,” he said. “When Molcho goes to meet PA officials we should remember that the process ends with a terror attack.”
Asked whether Israeli leaders are aware of these things, Indor said he believes they are aware, but added, “These people are working according to the theory of crisis management with understood risks. After all, if I open a road in Hevron to Arab traffic it’s clear that there may be an attack, but I'm taking a risk out of a feeling that a country can take a chance on the lives of its citizens and especially on the lives of its soldiers.”
A PA official said on Monday that Abbas had refused the Israeli officer for a staged release of security prisoners from PA enclaves in exchange for returning to peace talks.
Issa Qaraqe, the PA Prisoners Minister, said that Abbas insists that all 123 prisoners held since before the 1994 Oslo agreement be freed in a single release.
Abbas, despite having described Netanyahu as ‘a partner for peace’, has repeatedly continued to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.
He recently warned that he may seek non-member status for a Palestinian state at the United Nations if peace talks with Israel do not resume.