30 MKs lobby Netanyahu to cancel Palestinian prisoner release

Letter to PM signed by lawmakers from Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas, UTJ says peace talks can't go on amid terror.

Ayelet Shaked 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Ayelet Shaked 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must cancel the planned Palestinian prisoner releases, 30 MKs wrote in a letter sent to the prime minister Tuesday morning.
“In light of the horrific murders in recent days, we ask you to cancel the release of terrorists, planned as part of negotiations with the Palestinians,” the letter, initiated by Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked and Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov, reads.
Lawmakers from Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism signed the message to Netanyahu.
“It cannot be that a government that wants life will release murderers and that terrorism will continue as negotiations are ongoing,” the letter continues.
Shaked took to Facebook to declare that when the Knesset winter session begins in two weeks, she will demand that the government vote on the issue again.
“We will act to stop the moral distortion of a wholesale release of murderers,” Shaked wrote.
Hatnua MK David Tsur’s name was accidentally included in the list of signatories.
Tsur clarified that he signed a different letter, calling for Netanyahu to release the Shamgar Committee report on negotiations that involve prisoner releases.
Although Tsur is against the prisoner release as a condition for peace talks, he respects the government’s decision and does not want to tie its hands.
The MKs’ letter came a day after ministers wrote to Netanyahu asking for a new meeting and vote on prisoner releases.
Netanyahu’s associates said he would not accept a request from seven ministers led by Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett to reconsider prisoner releases due to the murder of two IDF soldiers.
Only one of the ministers who wrote the letter, Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, voted in favor of releasing terrorists from prison.
Bennett said he was sure that if there would be a revote, he could persuade enough ministers to change their minds and oppose further prisoner releases. He said it was “delusional” that Israel continues releasing terrorists while terrorists continue murdering Israelis.
“It sends a message to the terrorists that they should kidnap soldiers because they will get something for it,” Bennett said.
“Our policy must be changed or there will be more kidnappings.”