ZOA: Israel Is Wrong To Grant Amnesty To Palestinian Terrorists And Release Prisoners
January 31, 2005

New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly taken issue with Israel for granting amnesty to Palestinian Arab terrorists not yet caught and for considering the release of Palestinian Arab prisoners. Mark Lavie of the Associated Press reported that Israel would “end its relentless search for dozens of terrorists suspected of carrying out or planning attacks.” Lavie added that “these fugitives would be allowed to reintegrate into Palestinian society with no fear of Israeli reprisal.”

In addition, Israel’s army chief met with senior officers to discuss the “scope and timing” of a release of Palestinian Arab prisoners. Israel’s defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, also stated that “prisoners who killed Israelis could not be freed in the near term” — but left open the possibility that this could be eased in the future.

ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “It is a serious mistake for Israel to be offering yet another dangerous concession to Palestinian Authority (PA) leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas when he has not yet disarmed or dismantled the terror groups, arrested any terrorists or ended incitement. In the middle of an on-going terror war, how can Israel stop pursuing terrorists before Abbas has not proven himself to be serious about peace.

“In fact, a top Israeli official warned yesterday, “Do not be intoxicated by the new smell of peace in the air.” With respect to the possible prisoner release — hasn’t Israel learned that in previous releases, significant numbers of them became terrorists again. It is also puzzling that Abbas, who proclaims that he wants to build an orderly society at peace with Israel, would want violent criminals to come back into Palestinian Arab society.

“But maybe peace with Israel is not really Abbas’ goal — after all, his cabinet secretary, Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, recently appeared on PA-TV and said, ‘ Within the occupied territories, we can use any means necessary to get Israel out.’ This was just after Abbas condemned Israel for killing one armed terrorist and arresting two others this week.

“The ZOA believes that Israel should make no concessions to the Palestinian Authority until the PA makes serious structural reforms. Otherwise the terrorism can be turned on and off like a spigot.

“The ZOA also urges the US administration to demand that before any Israeli or U.S. concessions are made, the Palestinian Authority must capture and arrest the Palestinian terrorists who killed three Americans several months ago in Gaza.”

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