PA: Prisoners Aren't Terrorists, but Some Israelis Are
The Palestinian Authority was angry on Monday over remarks by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who condemned Israel’s releasing of 104 terrorists in an attempt to appease PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ahead of peace talks.
In a statement on his Facebook page on Saturday night, Bennett announced he would vote against the release of the terrorists, and wrote, “Terrorists should be killed, not released.”
The PA slammed the remarks, reported the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, saying that the prisoners were not terrorists and suggesting that it is, in fact, certain Israelis who should be called terrorists.
"Terrorists are those who occupy the lands of another people and displace them by force and settle in their place. Palestinian prisoners are strugglers for their freedom and not terrorists," the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement quoted by Ma’an.
The statement added that some Israeli officials were "terrorists."
"The definition of terrorism completely applies to many Israeli politicians who defame Palestinian prisoners especially those jailed before the Oslo Accords," said the PA Foreign Ministry.
Arab MK Taleb Abu-Arar on Monday filed a complaint with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein against Bennett, claiming that he was a “racist,” over comments made by the latter during a heated exchange as the cabinet debated the terrorist release.
In his complaint, Abu-Arar said that he based his charges on a news article in which Bennett was reported to have told National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror that instead of keeping terrorists in jail in order to release them later, “they should simply be killed when they are caught.” Amidror respond by saying that such activities are illegal, with Bennett responding that he had “killed many Arabs and I never had a problem.”
Abu-Arar said that the comments clearly show that Bennett was not only a racist, but an advocate for murdering Arabs. “We cannot tolerate such comments, they must be examined and dealt with in the proper manner,” he said.
Meanwhile, as Israel and the PA prepare to sit down yet again for another round of talks, PA television has been continuing to broadcast anti-Israel and anti-Semitic programs and songs.
In a “music video” first released in 2011 and re-released over the past several days, Israel is called “the snake's head” which needs to be crushed by Arab rifles. It comes only days after another PA program honored arch-terrorist Abdallah Barghouti for his role in the murder of 61 Israelis in a string of atrocities.