Sources on the political right expressed outrage Friday over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to simultaneously release 26 terrorist prisoners, among them convicted killers, and approve the construction of hundreds of new homes in Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria (Shomron).
A senior figure on the political right told Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu’s goal appears to be to embarrass the “settlers” and the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.
“Netanyahu knows that it will be hard for the settlers to forgo hundreds of housing units, even with the release of hundreds of murderers,” the source said. The entire country is experiencing a housing shortage, and communities in Judea and Samaria, which have an unusually high rate of growth, have been particularly hard-hit.
However, he declared, “We’re telling the Prime Minister – we are giving up the housing units. Don’t release even a single murderer.”
“The [Jewish] public in Judea and Samaria has very clear principles, and cannot be enticed with bitter candy,” he continued. “My suggestion to Netanyahu is that he give up these dangerous deals.”
“Many freed terrorists return to terrorism. An apartment in Judea and Samaria is not worth a terrorist attack,” he added.
Jews in Judea and Samaria should not be facing the choice implicit in Netanyahu’s offer in the first place, he said angrily. “No country on earth frees murderers or freezes construction for Jews. It’s time to wake up,” he said.
The government is expected to free terrorist prisoners next week as part of a previously agreed-upon series of prisoner releases that will continue until mid-March. The names of the terrorists to be released have not yet been made public.
The first in the series of prisoner releases saw Israel set free several convicted murderers, to the chagrin of their victims’ surviving relatives.