Knesset Member Orit Strock (HaBayit HaYehudi) who presented the point of order said: ”This demand (to release terrorists) is horrifying, not just because a negotiation should take place with no early conditions and not just because those terrorists who`ll be released might go back to practicing terror, but also and mostly because releasing terrorists is a huge encouragement of terror and terrorists all over the world. Every release of this sort causes more potential terrorists to make a decision and get to work because they understand they have support.” Strock also asked: ”Is it really the United States that pressures Israel to release terrorists, the same country that has turned fighting terrorism into one of its biggest agendas and that experienced just a few days ago a terrorism act, at its own home?”
According to Strock, some of the terrorists that the United States demands to be released are the same ones who set Amnon Pumerantz on fire and burned him alive in his car in 1990; the terrorists who murdered the tractor driver, Yigal Vaknin in 1993; the terrorist who murdered Sha`aya Deutsh, a 39 year old farmer from Gush Katif in 1993; the terrorists who burned alive Rachel Weiss and her three little kids, Efrain, Netanel and Refael and the soldier David Delaroza who tried to save them in 1998; and the terrorists who, in 1989, stabbed Professor Menachem Stern to death in the Valley of the Cross, as he was on his way to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Halikud Beitenu) promised there was no official decision to release terrorists and the government`s policy contradicts such a decision. He repeated the request of negotiation with no early conditions and stressed that the West Bank is not a military occupied territory but the homeland of the Jewish nation.
The plenum approved unanimously that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will have a full discussion on the matter.