Thursday, July 25, 2013

25-Jul-13: Handing over murderers to prime some negotiating pump? A losing strategy, and enraging

Click here to view this article on the JNS website
The syndicated article below was posted on July 24, 2013 by JNS.org

Bereaved families angered by plan to release Palestinian prisoners


(JNS.org) Families of terror victims are harshly criticizing the Israeli government's plan to release 85 Palestinians imprisoned prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority ahead of renewed peace talks.

Arnold Roth—whose 15-year-old daughter, Malki, was murdered along with 14 others when a suicide bomber struck the Sbarro pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001—told JNS.org that Israel “conceded to the U.S. administration,” which “had to deliver this,” by agreeing to the prisoner release.

“From the standpoint of simple negotiating theory, what Israel has done, even if Israel never actually delivers, is a losing move,” Roth said. “Even if there were a case for saying Israel ought to concede to a list of pre-negotiating demands from the other side, freeing terrorists ought never to have been one of them.”

Ahlam Tamimi, a Palestinian woman who transported both the bomb and the bomber to the Sbarro restaurant, was freed from prison in October 2011 as part of the deal in which 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were exchanged for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who spent more than five years in Hamas captivity.

“I am emphatically not political, and it does not come naturally to me to be speaking against something the government in its wisdom decided to do,” Roth said. “But the idea to hand over murderers in order to prime some sort of negotiating pump simply enrages me.”

Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Avraham Bromberg died at 20 four days after being attacked on is way home from a Golan Heights base by Karim Younis and his cousin Maher Younis in November 1980, but Israeli President Shimon Peres commuted their sentence in August 2012, making them eligible for parole in 2023. The Palestinians now the demand that the Younis cousins be included in the upcoming prisoner release by Israel.

“It is inconceivable that the state can ignore the bereaved families like this,” said Bromberg’s son, Avi, according to Israel Hayom. “President Peres and the government are grateful to Abu-Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) for the difficult concessions he agreed to for the sake of the negotiations, and we will be left to pay the price. We didn’t even get a phone call. The government’s conduct is a disgrace.”

[JNS is an independent, non-profit, business resource and wire service covering Jewish news and Israel news for Jewish media throughout the English-speaking world]

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