Israel Frees Killer of US Citizen in Prisoner Release

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The murderer of an American citizen was freed as part of the Israeli prisoner release.

Mustafa al-Haj, who stabbed American Frederick Rosenfeld to death in 1989, was among the 26 Arab prisoners Israel released as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority for the resumption of direct negotiations.

Jeff Daube heads the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) offices in Israel. He told CBN News he wants to see American laws upheld and justice served.

"The ZOA, Zionist Organization of America, is particularly concerned about let's say the family of Freddie Rosenfeld, who was killed in 1989 by Palestinian terrorists. One of his two killers was released as part of this first batch and that family now, an American family, is suffering," Daube said.

"There are a number of laws…. that explicitly calls on the U.S. government to pursue, to capture, to bring to justice, if need be extradite, terrorists, murderers of American citizens overseas," he said.

Daube said the FBI has never initiated an investigation of Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists. He said many Israelis are upset about the release.

"They thought that justice was being served, but somehow it has escaped them," he said. "This is not something as far as most Israelis are concerned that should be needed in order to bring the other party to the negotiating table."

Shrouded in secrecy, talks resumed in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is leading a delegation of Republican congressmen on a fact-finding mission to Israel. He said freeing terrorists was a difficult decision for Israel to make.

"It is inconceivable, I think, that any other government would be expected to do something like that, and it underscores the need for a cultural shift on the part of the Palestinians, where we see them celebrating in the streets of Ramallah and elsewhere on the release of terrorists with blood on their hands," Cantor said.

Cantor is no stranger to terror. His 16-year-old nephew, American Daniel Wultz, was killed along with 10 others in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in 2006.

"That is the problem, I believe, in the whole prospect for peace here in this region," he said. "There has to be a willingness on the part of both sides to respect one another's right to exist."

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

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