During the coming months, the Israeli Prison Service is expected to decide on the release of 6 Israeli-Arabs who committed murderous terror attacks. The first review is expected as early as September 17, according to a report in Makor Rishon.
Following the Shalit deal, in which 1,027 terrorists were released in exchange for an Israeli IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas, Israeli President Shimon Peres shortened the prison terms of at least 6 Israeli-Arabs, in jail for terror attacks. Two of the terrorists, Mahar Yunis and Karim Yunis, killed IDF soldier Avraham Greenberg in the 1980s. Four others, Ibrahim Biadsa, Valid Daka, Rushdi Abu-Moch and Ibrahim Abu-Moch killed IDF soldier Moshe Tamam, also in the ’80s.
In addition, in February 2014, another terrorist, Halaf Gumah Ahmad, who killed Israeli citizen Hanan Gur, is expected to be released.
These and other pre-Oslo terrorists were on the list that PA President Abu Mazin demanded be released following the Shalit deal.
These six terrorists were originally given death sentences, which were commuted to life in prison.
But a year and a half ago, Peres and the Pardons Department in the Ministry of Justice decided to commute their life sentences to 35 and 40 years – putting them on the fast track to being released.
Relatives of the murdered men met with attorney Emi Palmor, Director of the Dept. of Pardons in the Ministry of Justice, but she couldn’t provide satisfactory answers to the families as to why the men were being released. Israel’s internal security service, the Shabak, has also recommended that these particular prisoners not be released, and the presidential gesture is also being contested by the Netanyahu government, which was bypassed in the decision.
Two taboos were broken when the decision was made to start releasing these particular terrorists. The first one was releasing Israeli-Arabs in order to appease the Palestinian Authority, and the second was releasing terrorists who murdered IDF soldiers.
Some government officials are claiming that the decision to release these terrorists is purely professional. For 25 years they were denied pardons, while other murderers have been released after shorter stints behind bars.
There is still a chance that these six terrorists won’t be released, as they don’t meet the typical release criteria, one of which is expressing regret for their actions, something most of these terrorists haven’t done.