Daily Israel Report

Terrorist Release Gets Green Light as Ministers Nix Law Opposing

A law that would have prevented the release of terrorist prisoners was voted down by the Ministerial Law Committee Sunday.
By David Lev
First Publish: 10/27/2013, 4:17 PM

A law that would have prevented the release of terrorist prisoners was voted down by the Ministerial Law Committee Sunday. The law, introduced by MK Orit Struk (Bayit Yehudi/Jewish Home), would have likely prevented a release of terrorist prisoners set for this week, as the Knesset debated the law and approved it at least on its first reading.

The release of additional terrorists is set for Tuesday and is part of a deal Israel made with the Palestinian Authority over the summer - a “gesture” to tempt the PA to return to talks with Israel. The government is set to release 26 PA terrorists on Tuesday under the terms of renewed peace talks. The first group of 26 terrorists was released in August.

Arutz Sheva has learned that the law was supported by ministers Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach (Bayit Yehudi), and Yitzchak Aharonovich, Sofa Landver, and Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beiteinu). Opposing were all Likud and Yesh Atid ministers, including Yuval Steinitz, Gideon Sa'ar, Limor Livnat, Gilad Erdan, Yair Lapid, Yael German and Yaakov Peri, a well as Hatnua's Tzippy Livni. As a result, the law was shelved.

The ministers opposing the law to prevent the release said that they sided with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who also opposed it, claiming that it would “limit the government's freedom to act on diplomatic issues.”

In a statement, Bayit Yehudi said that it would appeal any decision to release terrorists. The defeat of a law to prevent the release of terrorists, the party said, “is a sad day in the struggle against terror. We will continue to oppose such releases with all our might. We are surprised and shocked that Likud ministers did not support the law to end this disgrace.”

Just before the vote by the Committee, Gaza Arab terrorists fired two mortar shells at Israeli targets. No injuries or damage were reported, as the missiles exploded in an open area of the Negev.