Katz on Talks Breaking Down: I Told You So
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud Beytenu) on Thursday said that Israel should re-arrest all the terrorists it freed in three previous “gestures” to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Katz spoke as Israel officially cancelled the fourth planned release of terrorists, after the PA violated the conditions of the peace talks by unilaterally turning to the United Nations and requesting to join 15 international conventions.
It is not surprising, Katz said, that the PA had made a unilateral move and torpedoed the talks.
"Tzipi Livni is astounded? I am not surprised. When I voted against releasing terrorists, I warned that this would happen. The terrorist murderers would be released, the negotiations would explode and the threats will come back to the table," he said.
Katz added that Hamas’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are “like [Hamas leader Ahmed] Yassin and [former PA Chairman] Arafat.”
“One wants to destroy us by force and one wants us to commit suicide voluntarily," he said, calling for the terrorist murderers who were released as part of the negotiations to be re-arrested.
"Time to announce that the released terrorist murderers are wanted individuals and capture them,” declared Katz.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the PA imposed seven new conditions on peace with Israel. According to chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, these conditions are:
1. A written letter from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he gives a commitment that the Palestinian state will be established and that its capital will be eastern Jerusalem.
2. The release of 1,200 terrorists, which the PA says was agreed upon when Ehud Olmert was prime minister. These include multiple-murderer Marwan Barghouti, PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat, and Fuad al-Shubaki, who was responsible for the attempt to smuggle a huge amount of arms into Gaza on board the Karine A.
3. Implementation of the agreement on checkpoints and removal of the siege on Gaza.
4. The return of the Church of Nativity expellees.
The IDF besieged the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem April 2 to May 10, 2002, as part of Operation Defensive Shield, after 39 terrorists had holed up there. The terrorists took shelter in the famous church, and used about 40 priests and nuns as a shield, knowing Israel would not take a chance on inadvertently hurting priests and nuns. The siege was ended through an agreement that involved exiling the terrorists to other countries.
5. The granting of full Israeli citizenship to 15,000 Palestinian Arabs in a process of family reunification.
6. A halt to construction in eastern Jerusalem and the reopening of PA institutions there which have been closed down by Israel.
7. No more entry by IDF forces into areas under PA control, no more arrests and eliminations, and the handing over of Area C to PA control.
Responding to Erekat, Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page, “You wanted a commitment? Here it is: Eastern Jerusalem will never be your capital.”