Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sharp Responses to Gov't's Terrorist Release

Hillel Fendel

Right-wing MKs, including Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu, are furious at the Olmert government for agreeing to release 200 Palestinian terrorists - for what Netanyahu said was "nothing in return."The government made the decision at its weekly Cabinet session on Sunday morning. Two of the terrorists to be freed have "blood on their hands;" one of them directly murdered a Jew 15 years ago, and the other dispatched other terrorists who murdered Jews. Their names, and the names of their victims, are to be released Sunday night or Monday.

Government spokesmen explained that the release was a "goodwill gesture" to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, meant to support his leadership as he struggles with Hamas for primacy in the Palestinian Authority.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said he does not think this move will make much of a difference, but "I did not object to it because it creates a good atmosphere." Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni explained, "When Israel releases terrorists only for those who use force against us [such as Hizbullah and Hamas], we broadcast that we cave in to pressures, and that using force against us and kidnapping soldiers are the only way to act against us."

Hasson: Gov't Makes Bad - Worse
Some Knesset Members reacted with fury. MK Yisrael Hason (Israel Our Home), a former Deputy Director of the General Security Service, said, "This government makes sure to 'repair' all the damage it caused by doing something even worse. If it wouldn't have surrendered in its negotiations with Hamas and Hizbullah, it would not have had to give in now to Fatah and release terrorists for nothing in exchange."

Saar: Hamas Will Now Raise Price for Shalit
MK Gideon Saar (Likud) said, "The decision to release over 200 terrorists as a gesture to Abu Mazen crushes the public confidence that terrorists and murderers must face justice. It will hurt the security of Israeli citizens, and will harm the efforts to free Gilad Shalit [kidnapped over two years ago by Hamas-associated terrorists]. We can only imagine how the release of 200 terrorists, at no cost, will affect the minimum demands that Hamas will now present for Shalit."

Eldad: Gov't With Blood on its Hands
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) minced no words: "The blood of the innocent victims who will be killed by the released terrorists will be on the head of this government."

"A government that frees terrorists as a gesture, and not even as part of an exchange, is a government that has no regard for the justice system that convicted them, nor for human life, and has blood on its own hands," Eldad said.

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