Voting for Terror Prisoner Release ‘With a Heavy Heart’
At least two Ministers say they will vote with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to free 104 Arab terrorist prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands to talk with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In advance of the resumption of direct final status talks between Israel and the PA, 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, to include terrorists who are Israeli citizens.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told journalists Sunday morning he would vote “with a heavy heart” in favor of the decision to release the PA Arab terrorists, all of whom have murdered Jews.
However, Ya’alon added a caveat to his support, saying he would not support the release of Israeli Arab terrorists. “Mahmoud Abbas does not represent those,” Ya’alon said.
Abbas has expressed happiness at the killers’ imminent return to society, telling reporters to expect “joyful news” on Sunday.
“There is a heavy price to be paid in the decision to release terrorists, in terms of justice, law and deterrence,” Ya’alon noted. “I wish we were not facing this dilemma.”
The defense minister is not the only one to have expressed that thought – or to have made the painful decision to support Netanyahu in his determination to free terrorists serving life sentences for murder.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz also told his fellow ministers at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, “I will support the prime minister’s proposal, not because I think it’s a fantastic idea – to say the least – but because I think that in an international view, the Israeli government cannot be seen as one that rejects entering negotiations.
However, Steinitz stood together with Ya’alon in his rejection of freeing Israeli Arab terrorists.
“When a citizen commits terror against the people of his own country, it’s completely different,” he noted.