Israeli politicians demand halt to peace talks after killing
Published Friday 11/10/2013 (updated) 12/10/2013 14:11
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel called on Friday for an end to direct negotiations with the PLO, claiming that they would not bring peace.
Instead, he argued, "the Jewish people are the ones paying the price," for the negotiations, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.
Uri Ariel called for an urgent meeting of Israeli government officials to reconsider the decision to release some Palestinian prisoners as part of negotiations, as had been previously discussed. Ariel is a representative of the far-right Jewish Home party, and is himself a settler who lives in an Israeli settlement illegally built on Palestinian land.
Ariel suggested that releasing prisoners and continuing direct negotiations would lead to an increase in Palestinian "terrorism," particularly given the Palestinian leadership's "silence" concerning such operations.
Uri Ariel's declarations were made immediately following the killing of a retired Israeli army colonel in the Jordan Valley Friday morning. A few Palestinians broke into the illegal Israeli settlement of Brosh in the northern West Bank, where the colonel lived, and bludgeoned him to death.
The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Ze'ev Elkin, called for end negotiations with the Palestinians immediately and called on the government not to release the Palestinian prisoners, arguing that operations like the attack on the Israeli settler by Palestinians are the result of "incitement" by the Palestinian Authority and its leaders against the State of Israel.
Member of Knesset Moti Yojab also spoke out again the release of Palestinian prisoners, stressing that the killing of three Israelis in the last few weeks confirms the increasing number of Palestinian operations against Israel. This requires the Israeli government not to release "murderers," he argued, and called upon Israeli security to "deal firmly" with these operations.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law. The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.