Lieberman reassess, party now opposes release of imprisoned terrorists

Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, says its cabinet members will be directed to reject any future proposal to free convicted & incarcerated Palestinian terrorists.



Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday he will use party discipline to prevent cabinet ministers from Yisrael Beiteinu from approving any future deals to release Palestinian security prisoners. Yisrael Beiteinu cabinet members voted in support of the Gilad Shalit deal, as well as last year’s goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the release of prisoners in four stages. Three of the four stages were carried out.

Avigdor Lieberman.

Avigdor Lieberman. – Photo: Olivier Fitoussi

Speaking to Army Radio on Sunday morning, Lieberman said there will be no more terrorist releases, neither as a gesture or for any other reason.

In cabinet meetings that he attended, Lieberman consistently voted against previous prisoner release deals, including those for Gilad Shalit and Elhanan Tannenbaum.

Lieberman gave the interview despite requests from the Prime Minister’s Office for cabinet ministers to refrain from speaking publicly about Thursday’s abduction of three Israeli teens, last Thursday. He said in the interview that there were three reasons for the decline in security in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

“When Abbas establishes a unity government and claims he has no control over the Gaza Strip, not on firing from there and not over weapons smuggling, and on the other hand allows Hamas to act freely in Judea and Samaria, that’s one reason for the deterioration” in security, Lieberman said.

The second reason, he said, was released Palestinian prisoners “flooding the area” together with the agitation by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. “We must not give in to pressure,” Lieberman said.

He also said that Abbas was to blame for the abductions, because he put prisoners, terrorists who killed dozens of innocent people, at the top of his priorities. In addition, Abbas allows Hamas to operate in the West Bank, Lieberman said.


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