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Bennett: Terrorists Should be Killed, Not Released

Economy Minister says he will vote against release of terrorists ahead of peace talks.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/28/2013, 5:12 AM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Saturday night that he would vote against the release of 104 terrorist prisoners, a demand by the Palestinian Authority in order to start peace negotiations.

Bennett said that he has also instructed all the ministers from the Bayit Yehudi to vote against the release as well. The ministers will vote on the release on Sunday morning.

“Terrorists should be killed, not released,” wrote Bennett on his Facebook page. “All my life I fought towards fulfilling the two parts of this sentence. Tomorrow I will vote against.”

He said, "I am the last one who needs to be convinced not to release murderers. I’ve instructed the Bayit Yehudi ministers to vote against.”

Meanwhile, it was reported on Saturday night that Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman has told ministers from his party that they will be allowed to vote according to their conscience.

It is believed that the move will have a majority in the Cabinet.

In advance of the resumption of the peace talks, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to release 104 terrorist murderers who committed their terrorist crimes before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. The number is up from the previously discussed number of 82.

The terrorists to be released from captivity will include Israeli citizens. The list of names will be approved by Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Internal Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Perry, who was chosen because of his past as the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

Netanyahu took the rare step Saturday evening of publishing a long missive to the Israeli public. In it, he explains why he has agreed to release the terrorists as a "gesture" accompanying talks with the Palestinian Authority. He also states that the talks need to last at least nine months.

"This is a tremendously difficult decision to make. It hurts the bereaved families, it hurts the entire nation of Israel and it hurts me very much,” he wrote.

"It collides with an exceedingly important value – the value of justice.

"It is a clear injustice when evil people are released before the end of their sentences, even if an absolute majority among them have served over 20 years in jail.

"The decision is doubly personally difficult for me, because I and my family know personally the price of bereavement from terror. I know the pain well. I have felt it on a daily basis for the past 37 years.