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Israel's plan to free Palestinian prisoners is foolish – and illegal

No nation has the authority to pardon violations of international law.

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Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert intends to free 230 Palestinian prisoners Monday – a "gesture of goodwill" toward the Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinians. We shouldn't worry, we're told, because the men belong to the "moderate" Fatah, not Hamas or Islamic Jihad, are "without blood on their hands," and must sign a commitment not to return to violence.

Make no mistake: These outlaws are, to all intents and purposes, terrorists bent on Israel's destruction. And, if past is prologue, Israel can expect more terror as a result of this appeasement.

A formal agreement from terrorists not to terrorize is a silly document. Likewise, the presumption that a Fatah-led "Palestine" would be better for Israel is plainly wrong. Fatah's present statements may be moderate, but its past and its hoped-for future tell a different story. In its bloody history of violence against Israelis, Fatah is essentially indistinguishable from Hamas. And a glance at official Palestinian maps of "Palestine," which encompass all of Israel, shows what it really thinks of the "two-state solution."

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