The latest round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority circumvented the thorny issue of Palestinian pre-conditions, but concessions on the part of Israel to induce the PA to enter into the talks are still rankling many in the Jewish State.
Israel has reportedly agreed to release at least 82 Palestinian prisoners held since before the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. Many of the prisoners were jailed for violent offenses, and the families of the victims of those offenses, as well as the family’s of those murdered in the interim, are voicing their displeasure at the prospect of the prisoners going free.
“This is a humiliation to the families who lost their loved ones and a victory for the terrorists,” Shay Odesser, whose father Mordechai and uncle Shlomo were killed in 2002 by gunmen in the West Bank, told The Algemeiner. “Terrorists should be in jail for the rest of their life with no option to get out.”
Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001, was also displeased with the report.
“Clearly this is not about making a calculated assessment of risk to Israelis versus reward to Israelis but something far more political, and therefore dangerous,” he told The Algemeiner.
“It’s tempting to quote the famous aphorism attributed to Einstein that defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Tempting, but not entirely accurate since it’s not clear to me that the authorities have any clear expectations when they decide to let unrepentant killers of Israelis out of prison. It’s an entirely political process dressed up as something else,” Roth said.
According to Israeli media reports, most of the prisoners are 40 or older, and serving long-term jail sentences – over two decades – without privileges such as conjugal visits or vacations. The list of prisoners was given by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Israel through US State Secretary John Kerry. According to Abbas, their release was promised to him in the days of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
An official source said that the prisoners who are on the list are not a security threat in any way, i24 News reported.
But Roth, for one, isn’t sold on the argument.
“All the talk of them being old, ill, retired and perhaps anxious to get out there to play with great-grandchildren while there’s still energy in those old bones belies what’s actually happening,” he said.
Ron Kehrmann, whose 17-year old daughter, Tal, was killed along with 16 other people by a suicide bomber on a Haifa bus on March 5, 2003 believes that their release will not only embolden future terrorists, but that it hurts any chance at a real, lasting peace.
“This undermines any incentive to find a solution for the conflict. If this was to be the reward after signing the agreement, I will not bless this action but I will be able to understand …read more
Source: The Algemeiner