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Israeli Human Chain to Block Palestinian Convicts’ Release

On Monday evening, Israel time (noon, east coast time), there will be a protest against the latest Israeli release of convicted Arab Palestinian murderers as part of the “peace process.”

The protest will be held outside the Ofer Prison on Jerusalem’s northern edge, Road 443. Ofer is where the Palestinian Arab prisoners are being assembled in the next 24-36 hours, prior to being released.

The protestors will form a human chain around the prison, to symbolically “stop the release of terrorists.” Bereaved families and government ministers will join the protestors.

On August 26, the first group, which is ultimately to total more than 100 prisoners, was released.  This week another 26 Arab convicts will be released, 21 to be released to the Palestinian Authority in the Disputed Territories, the remaining five will be released to Gaza.

The list of names of those who will be released was posted Sunday evening, Oct. 27.  That posting began a 48-hour period during which people can protest the release of individual prisoners.

All prisoners who are to be released were imprisoned prior to the disastrous Oslo Accords.  They have all served between 19 and 28 years.  All were convicted either of murder or attempted murder.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement asserting that it was releasing the prisoners “pursuant to the Government’s 28 July 2013 decision to resume the diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

A small point was included, which is that should any released prisoner who “resumes hostile activity will be returned to serve the remainder of his sentence.”  That means two things.  One, the sentences have not been “commuted” or dispensed with. , So if a released murderer commits another crime, such as if he murders or is responsible for the murder of another Israeli citizen, he may be sent back to prison.  And once again act as a bargaining chip.

Monday night’s protest is organized by Almagor, the terror victims’ association, the Likud young leadership division, the young leadership of Habayit Hayehudi, and the nationalist faction of the Likud.  Bereaved families and some government ministers are expected to participate.

Just one example of the type of person being released from the Israeli prison system this week is Massoud Issa Rajib Amer. Amer is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.  He was convicted of hacking to death an Israeli Jewish lawyer, Ian Feinberg, who worked in Gaza, seeking to cultivate ties to the local Palestinian community while trying to promote economic projects.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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