PA: 'Netanyahu Promised to Free Israeli Arab Terrorists'
Palestinian Authority (PA) official Kadura Fares, chairman of the Prisoners' Affairs Union, claimed Tuesday that Israel obligated itself to release all the terrorists jailed before the Oslo Accords, including those with Israeli citizenship, as "gestures" to the peace talks.
"We received a promise from the beginning," Fares told Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio). "(Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu gave his word to (US Secretary of State John) Kerry, and Kerry passed it on to us."
The statement follows the words of a senior Israeli official on Monday, who claimed Kerry had "deceived" Netanyahu by not relaying his agreement from initial talks to free 82 terrorists, none of them Israeli Arabs, to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas demanded the release of 104 terrorists, including Israeli citizens, a position Kerry tried to push Netanyahu to accept. Reportedly, Netanyahu has declared that the next and final batch of 26 released terrorists will not include Israeli Arabs.
The third batch of terrorist releases was conducted Monday night, and was "appreciated" by Kerry. However Abbas, who greeted the terrorist murderers as heroes, declared there would be no peace until "all prisoners are released."
Former MK Michael Ben-Ari attacked the terrorist release, harshly criticizing the 'nationalist camp' and Jewish Home in particular for being partners in a "government of blood" that frees murderers.
Meanwhile, MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and MK David Tzur (Hatnua) proposed a bill allowing courts to negate the possibility of any future pardoning when sentencing terrorists. The bill obviously would not prevent the ongoing release of terrorists during the peace talks, or prevent the release of currently jailed terrorists.