Photo: Haim Zach

Releasing prisoners a mistake, says Netanyahu

Speaking in Jerusalem conference, opposition leader says Olmert's proposal to free 250 Palestinian prisoners would harm PA and weaken Abbas

The prime minister's proposal to release 250 Palestinian prisoners is erroneous and harmful, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.


"This would send a wrong message, and instead of strengthening the Palestinian Authority it would only weaken it," The Likud chairman said during a Jewish Agency conference in Jerusalem. "I don't think it would help, it would only harm and weaken Abu Mazen; giving them guns and freeing prisoners is a mistake."


Netanyahu refused to comment on the issue of releasing kidnapped Israeli soldiers Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, saying that he the issue was too sensitive.


He stated, however, that "in our opinion, the release of prisoners would be crossing a red line.. some prices can be paid, and some can't. I respect this situation and do not plan to intervene."


Referring to the Qassam fire on the western Negev and Sderot, Netanyahu said that Israel must "send a firm message to Hamas that we plan to collect a price, and that they don't want to be in such a position... the government fails to do so, which is why this is what's happening."


Netanyahu also refuted rumors that his party intended to join the coalition.


פרסום ראשון: 06.26.07, 12:08
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