Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
on Tuesday morning received a third appeal in three days to re-discuss the release of Palestinian prisoners
as part of an Israeli gesture for the renewal of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Twenty-eight deputy ministers and Knesset members signed a letter calling on the prime minister to immediately cancel the upcoming prisoner release.
The letter joins a similar initiative
launched by ministers from the Habayit Hayehudi
and Likud Beiteinu
parties, and the public call
issued by Ministers Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Katz on Sunday following the murders of Sergeant Tomer Hazan
and Staff Sergeant Gal Kobi.
The letter was initiated by Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked, chairwoman of the Habayit Hayehudi faction, who was joined by all members of her faction as well as lawmakers from the Likud, Shas
and United Torah Judaism
"On the backdrop of the horrifying acts of murder which took place in recent days, we are asking you to cancel the planned release of terrorists as part of the negotiations with the Palestinians," the letter said. "It's unthinkable that a life-seeking country will release prisoners and that terrorist activities will continue at the same time, in the middle of negotiations."
According to MK Shaked, "It turns out that today terrorists are better off having their murder recognized as terror attacks rather than as criminal acts. That way they'll be freed faster.
"The wholesale terrorist release policy implemented by Israel's governments in recent years have led us to a situation in which an individual terrorist can get the State of Israel
down on its knees. It's time for the prime minister to put an end to this lawlessness."
MK David Tsur (Hatnua),
whose name is included in the letter as one of the signatories, told Ynet he did not sign the document and that it was a misunderstanding.
"In principle I am against releasing terrorists, but I will not go against a government decision which has already been made. We shouldn't tie the government's hands. I think that before entering negotiations we should not release terrorists."