Yossi Tzur is the father of the late Assaf Tzur, who was killed in a terror attack on the 37 bus in Haifa in 2003.
Releasing Terrorists Undermines Security
For years, we at the Almagor Terror Victims Association have decried the release of terrorists. We begged, we pleaded—do not set convicted terrorists free. Do not let murderers roam our streets.
It pains us to say “we told you so,” but we hear how security forces’ reports on the increasing numbers of released Palestinian prisoners who resume terrorist activity were given to the government—the proverbial smoking gun, proving that releasing terrorists costs Israeli lives—but the government opted to do nothing.
Hamas, which should have been crushed and eradicated long ago rather than becoming emboldened by the release of over 1,000 terrorists, continues to provoke Israel by firing rockets and digging tunnels. Any other civilized country would consider missile fire, terror tunnels, abductions and murders a declaration of war. Only Israel chooses to ignore the danger until it harms us.
If security forces were aware of the fact that 50 Palestinians, who were released as part of the Gilad Schalit deal, were in clear violation of their pardon agreement, why did they wait to arrest them? Why did they wait for them to abduct three teenage boys? Why do we always have to wait for the worst to happen before something is done?
If the abduction of Gil-ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel two weeks ago, and the murder of police officer Baruch Mizrahi in late April do not constitute a declaration of war, they constitute, at the very least, a gross violation of the prisoners’ clemency agreements, and Israel should therefore announce it is no longer bound by the deal, and that all of the security prisoners who were released will be immediately re-arrested and jailed.
Prior to the Schalit prisoner exchange, we were told that each inmate included in the deal had to sign a binding legal agreement stating he would forgo all terrorist activity. We asked what would happen if a prisoner refused to sign. The government officials shrugged, saying that there was little they could do, as the prisoners in question were part and parcel of the deal, and no one name could be removed from the list.
The government should now be so kind as to reverse its decision. The announcement that the home of the terrorist indicted for Mizrahi’s murder would soon be razed is too little, too late—as many of the government’s decisions regarding terrorists are.
It should be announced immediately that terrorists will not be released, regardless of the circumstances, and that abductions, attacks and attempts to disrupt normal life will meet a disproportional response meant to crush the aggressor.
The conditions of security prisoners’ confinement must be exacerbated immediately, and no compromise should be made in the war on terror, be it in Judea and Samaria or in the Gaza Strip. We must also promote the proper legislation, to ensure that released terrorists are jailed and prevent similar deals in the future.
The Israeli public understands that releasing terrorists poses a threat, that it undermines security and that it is immoral and unjust. Surveys conducted before and after the Schalit deal have proven that.
Sadly, with sufficient funds and the right PR firms, one can brainwash the public and convince people that releasing terrorists is the only viable option. The prime minister chose to toe that line and release over 1,000 terrorists and hundreds of murderers.
Now is the time to stop, reconsider and regain sanity. You do not release murderous terrorists under any circumstances—it is the only way to fight terror.