Olmert gov't slammed over prisoner release policy

Monday, December 24, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Olmert government came under intense criticism from members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday over plans to reassess Israel's policy of not releasing Palestinian terrorists who have succeeded in murdering Israelis.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the committee that Israel needs greater flexibility in offering concessions to the Palestinian Authority, which says it will not sign a peace deal with Israel until all 10,000 jailed terrorists are released, regardless of whether or not they have taken lives.

Right-wing committee members warned that the government would only encourage more terrorism by taking such a step, while an extreme left-wing committee member insisted that Israel must understand that to the Palestinians, terrorists who have killed Israelis are celebrated "freedom fighters."

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