In his first comments on political and security matters since he was elected Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi last week, Rabbi David Lau said Sunday that he was worried about reports that the government was planning to release over 100 terrorists from Israeli prisons. “Releasing these terrorists will expose Israeli residents to security dangers and will hurt the feelings of the loved ones of those killed by these terrorists,” he said.
The government is set to vote to release 104 terrorists in Israeli prisons on Sunday. Some of the terrorists have been in prison for several decades, after plotting to or participating in the murders of Israelis. Several of them were given life sentences for their murderous crimes, but the government led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to vote to release them.
Although not specifically stated, the release is tied to the resumption of talks with the Palestinian Authority, after A chief Mahmoud Abbas demanded that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lean on Israel to release terrorists in advance of the talks.
Rabbi Lau said that he trusted Netanyahu to “do the right thing. I know the Prime Minister personally,” he said. “He himself lost a brother and wrote an important book about the war on terror. I am sure he will weigh the matter very seriously and make the right decision for the Jewish people,” he added.
In his opening remarks at Sunday's cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that “there are moments where one must make difficult decisions for the good of the country. This is one of them.”