Ben-Eliezer calls for Barghouti pardon

Claims move could bring about release of Gilad Schalit; Israel postpones release of prisoners.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, AP
September 25, 2007 11:12
1 minute read.
Ben-Eliezer calls for Barghouti pardon

barghouti prison 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel's planned release of 90 Palestinian prisoners has been pushed back until early next week, the Israeli Prisons Authority said Tuesday, citing "technical reasons" for the delay. Succot begins on Wednesday, and many government offices will be closed. In a statement, the Prisons Authority said the prisoners would be freed on Monday. Meanwhile, National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on Tuesday proposed releasing former Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, saying that Barghouti could be the next leader of the Palestinians. "We need to break the cycle," Ben-Eliezer said in an interview with Army Radio. "Freeing Barghouti could start a process that would succeed in both moving the diplomatic negotiations forward and in freeing Schalit." He added that until now, there have been no positive developments in the Schalit case. Explaining his view, Ben-Eliezer said: "[PA President Mahmoud] Abbas has not delivered anything just yet, and [PA Prime Minister] Salaam Fayad is a well-respected man, but these two gentlemen are just not enough. Releasing Barghouti will help strengthen them." On the other hand, Ben-Eliezer said Barghouti was also "well-respected by Hamas. For us he might be a murderer, but I'd like to remind you that Arafat was no less of a murderer, and we approached him as well." MK Effi Eitam (NU/NRP), however, opposed the idea, calling Barghouti an "arch-murderer" who did not deserve to be freed. "That's great. Let's see you standing in front of IDF soldiers' parents who trust and support us, and tell them how an arch-murderer is now Israel's new hope for peace," Eitam said. "There is nothing more hallucinatory and fraudulent than this." Environment Minister Gideon Ezra brought up the possibility of releasing Barghouti at a cabinet meeting earlier this year, at which time it was decided that because of the political sensitivity of the issue, it would have to be discussed at the security cabinet level. In April, The Jerusalem Post learned that senior Palestinian officials were opposed to Barghouti's release. The Palestinian concern was that Barghouti's release at this stage from prison would spoil his image and foil Fatah's plans to run him at the top of its ticket in the next elections. Barghouti, the Palestinians believed, was extremely popular on the Palestinian street due primarily to his imprisonment.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN