Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu turned to the citizens of Israel in a letter he released Saturday explaining his decision to release Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority ahead of the renewal of peace talks in Washington next week.
"This is an incredibly difficult decision. It hurts the bereaved families, it hurts all of the Israeli people and it hurts me very much. It clashes with the most important principle, the principle of justice," Netanyahu stated.
Netanyahu addressed the upcoming start of peace talks, saying that "in the next nine months we will determine if across from us is a Palestinian partner that desires a true end to the conflict as we do."
The prime minister stated that such an end to the conflict would have to ensure the security for Israelis and "ensure Israel's essential national interests."