Shortly after the funeral of Sergeant Gal Kobi and a number of days after Tomer Hazan was murdered by a terrorist seeking to free his brother, 7 ministers sent a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister.

Don’t free prisoners

Don’t free prisoners Photo Credit: Reuters

Given the background of the murder of soldiers in recent days, today seven ministers wrote a shared letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling upon the government to discuss again the release of prisoners.

 The letter was supported by Ministers Bennett, Katz, Orbakh, Ariel, Landau, Landver, and Shamir.   “In recent days, we witnessed two acts of horrendous murder that took the lives of two Israeli soldiers.  Sergeant Tomer Hazan and Sergeant Gal Kobi of blessed memory,” wrote the seven in the letter.  “In light of the above, we request that you convene a governmental plenum as soon as possible, in order to discuss the states continued release of prisoners in light of the recent developments.”  

 “It was a mistake to commit to freeing terrorist murderers as a precondition for negotiations,” Minister Katz said in an interview on the television Program “Six with Oded Ben Ami” after the letter was published.  “Until this moment, Abu Mazen did not criticize these murders.  He finances the man who murdered in order to free his brother in jail.”

 He said that the Palestinians will know that if Israelis are hurt, there will not be any gestures towards them.   “Let’s say that it was decided to free terrorists for humanitarian reasons, but the Palestinians saw this as weakness and wanted to exploit this,” added the minister.  

 Opposition leader MK Shelly Yachimovitch said that along with the eradication of terror is Israel’s duty to negotiate.  “Netanyahu surrendered to a group of Knesset members from the national right.  I agree with Katz about the freedom of prisoners, but not about the necessary step for a settlement construction freeze,” Yachimovitch said.   

 Earlier on, Minister Bennett called out at the funeral of Sergeant Gal Kobi of blessed memory that was murdered yesterday in a shoot-out at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, for there not to be a prisoner release.   “The tears in Bat Yam, Hebron and Haifa will not be abstained, sons.  The barbarian murdering of children and babies will not continue.  We must stop the feeling that Jewish blood is cheap in the Middle East,” Bennett said, declaring, “Murderers will not be freed.”

In the framework of resuming negotiations, the government must release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four stages.  Last month, Israel released 26 prisoners from prison and there were celebrations throughout the Palestinian Authority.  

 Last week, a Palestinian murdered Israeli soldier Tomer Hazan in order to use his body as a bargaining ship to free his brother Nur Al Din Omer, a Tanzim activist imprisoned since 2003 for being involved with suicide bombings.