Peace Now lashes out at Naftali Bennett over prisoner release opposition

Anti-settlement organization says Bayit Yehudi responsible for freeing violent prisoners.

Naftali Bennett peace now poster 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Naftali Bennett peace now poster 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The anti-settlement Peace Now organization has hit back at the Bayit Yehudi leader, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, for his party's opposition to the imminent second round of the Palestinian prisoner release, saying that they are the ones who are responsible for it in the first place.
Israel was given two choices of goodwill gestures at the start of the current round of peace negotiations, to either freeze settlement construction or release prisoners.
Bayit Yehudi's refusal to freeze construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem led to the decision to free 106 Palestinians with "blood on their hands" - a reference to their involvement in the murder of Israelis - and who had been in jail since before the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993.
"The fact is that they are solely responsible for the release of prisoners, that when the question was whether to freeze construction or release prisoners, they insisted on the release of prisoners, even at the cost of harming the interests of the majority of Israeli citizens," says a new campaign by the organization. 
"So when the architect of the prisoner release takes advantage of the public's short memory and condemns the decision, remember that he is the one who forced Israel into the painful process of releasing Palestinian prisoners, and the onus is on him."
Bayit Yehudi, a key member of Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition government, on Sunday sponsored a bill to ban future Palestinian prisoner releases. The bill failed to pass the Ministerial Committee on Legislation by an 8-5 vote.
The Peace Now campaign post on Facebook is accompanied by an image of Bennett holding a prisoner release form that has been daubed with two bloody hand prints. The slogan above the image reads: "Bennett, the responsibility is yours."