U.S. groups back congressional letter opposing Palestinian prisoner release

Two pro-Israel groups are backing a proposed congressional letter that asks Attorney General Eric Holder to intervene in Israel’s planned release of Palestinian prisoners, some who killed or injured Americans.

“The Department of Justice should immediately intercede in this most recent prisoner release proposal and contact the government of Israel and request that they not release any terrorists who have killed or harmed Americans,” said the letter.

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) is circulating the letter in the House of Representatives, looking for signatures. It also asks Holder to seek the extradition of any terrorist involved in the harming of U.S. citizens.

The Endowment for Middle East Truth, or EMET, and the National Council of Young Israel backed the letter in a joint statement released July 29. In a separate statement, the Zionist Organization of America also expressed its opposition to the planned release.

Israel is ready to release 104 prisoners whose crimes predate the Oslo peace process launched in 1993, coincident with progress in the newly resumed peace talks with the Palestinians. — jta