Right-wing Israeli lawmakers on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer to set free some 250 Palestinian security prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Olmert made the offer during a four-way summit with Abbas and the leaders of Jordan and Egypt at the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. He stressed, however, that the release would include only members of Abbas' Fatah movement who had not been directly involved in the murder of Israeli Jews.
A senior member of the opposition Likud Party said that Olmert had “sold” the jailed terrorists' freedom for a few lines of good press and a photo opportunity, reported Ha'aretz. He noted that previous releases of Palestinian prisoners had led to many of those prisoners returning to terrorism and successfully killing Jews on their second attempt.
A member of the coalition Yisrael Beiteinu Party said the faction may consider pulling out of the government if Olmert's offer is approved by the cabinet.