Deputy Minister Threatens to Resign Over Terrorist Release
Deputy Defense Minister, MK Danny Danon (Likud), met bereaved mothers Wednesday and demanded that the fourth tranche of the release of terrorist murderers be canceled, vowing to resign otherwise.
"In the last few weeks,” said Danon, “the mask has been removed from the face of Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], and it Is clear that nothing will come of the negotiations. I will not sit in a government that releases terrorists in exchange for Tzipi Livni's fantasies,” he declared. “There is a limit to how much we can pay like suckers, in return for the smiles of Livni and Erekat.”
Justice Minister Livni is the head of the Israeli negotiating team in talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), while Saeb Erekat heads the PA delegation.
"Despite my opposition in the past,” Danon explained. “we released terrorists in exchange for sitting around the negotiating table, in the hope that this would lead to Palestinian concessions. But the Palestinians have us wrapped around their little finger and are proud of it. They take advantage of our sincere desire for peace, while uttering threats of boycotts, in order to release terrorists from jail. I will stop assisting this.”
MK Danon said that he has sent a letter to the prime minister, demanding to cancel the final release of terrorists that is planned for next week. The PA published the names of 30 terrorists who it says are to be freed. It includes 14 Arab citizens of Israel and four residents of east Jerusalem.
Minister Naftali Bennett said that no Israeli Arabs will be released.
"Now that it is clear to everyone that there is no advance in the negotiations – all there is is the firing of missiles [from Gaza] and an escalation by Abu Mazen on his side – I think it is time for the Cabinet to discuss the matter of the fourth tranche in order to try and find the logic [in a release] when Abu Mazen is already saying – 'I just want the terrorists and then I will derail the negotiations.'”
"So, we will give him terrorists just so he can derail the negotiations? What is the logic in this?”
A senior diplomatic source told Voice of Israel public radio Tuesday that if it turns out, in the coming days, that talks with the PA have reached a dead end, Israel will reconsider the release of the fourth and last batch of terrorist murderers that it is planning to free as part of pre-agreed “gestures” toward the PA.