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PA ministry: Palestinian prisoners are not terrorists

July 29, 2013 6:12 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2013 10:35 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Monday slammed remarks by an Israeli minister who said Palestinian prisoners were "terrorists."

"Terrorists are those who occupy the lands of another people and displace them by force and settle in their place. Palestinian prisoners are strugglers for their freedom and not terrorists," the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The ministry was responding to remarks by Israel's Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who has protested the planned release of 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners to coincide with the resumption of peace talks.

Bennet, leader of the Jewish Home party, has called the proposed prisoner release a "disgrace" and said "terrorists should be eliminated, not freed."

The PA ministry responded that some Israeli officials were "terrorists."

"The definition of terrorism completely applies to many Israeli politicians who defame Palestinian prisoners especially those jailed before the Oslo Accords."

At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Bennett said Palestinian "terrorists" should be killed instead of jailed, the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

When told such a policy would be illegal, Bennett responded that he had "killed many Arabs and I never had a problem," the report said.
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