In the next rounds of release, the prime minister will demand that dangerous prisoners be exiled • Terror victims to appeal releases to Supreme Court • Netanyahu to Kerry: Abbas continues to incite, peace and incitement cannot coexist.
Mati Tuchfeld, Daniel Siryoti, Efrat Forsher, Eli Leon and News Agencies
Bereaved families protest the release of Palestinian prisoners, July | Photo credit:
The special ministerial team for the release of Palestinian prisoners convened on Sunday to approve the release of 26 terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons since before the Oslo Accords of two decades ago. The move is intended to move the peace process forward. This week will see a second round of peace talks, beginning on Wednesday in Jerusalem.
Senior diplomatic sources said on Saturday night that after the release of prisoners this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to demand that dangerous prisoners released in the coming rounds not be allowed to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria but that they be exiled.
After the ministers approve the list of prisoners, it will be presented to the public 48 hours before the actual release to enable submissions of appeals to the Supreme Court.
Aggrieved families along with the Almagor terror victims organization held protests outside the Supreme Court during the time that High Court judges heard the petition the group submitted against the plan to release prisoners.
The state’s representative at the court hearing said that the release of prisoners was conditional on the progress in the peace talks, and that should the talks not proceed, there was an option not to release terrorists.
At the same time, ahead of the renewal of talks, Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night complaining that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his associates were continuing to incite against Israel, despite the renewal of peace talks.
“Incitement and peace cannot coexist,” Netanyahu wrote. “Instead of educating the next generation to live in peace with Israel, education for hatred poisons them against Israel.”
According to a spokesman, Netanyahu’s letter referred to an assertion that Abbas made on July 29 that a future Palestinian state “would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier.”
Netanyahu also cited an official Palestinian television broadcast of a goodwill visit by the Barcelona football club to the West Bank last week, during which a sportscaster said in a voiceover that the borders of a Palestinian state would be from Rosh Hanikrah (Israel’s northernmost city) to Eilat (Israel’s southernmost city). A singer who performed on the pitch said the same.
“Rather than educate the next generation of Palestinians to live in peace with Israel, this hate education lays the ground for continued violence, terror and conflict,” the letter said.
Meanwhile, Kerry met at the White House on Thursday with 15 leaders of the American Jewish community and asked them to support the peace process.
Following the talks in Jerusalem, the sides will also meet in Jericho.