The Israel Victory Project placed stickers depicting Palestinian terrorists escaping from tunnels, outside the Israel Prison Service headquarters in Ramle, on Tuesday morning. The action was taken in protest at the lenient conditions of convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons, allowing them to continue to conduct terrorist activities and permitting them to escape relatively easily as witnessed in the recent breakout from Gilboa Prison.
Arab terrorists are seen as heroes in the Palestinian Authority, and their easy conditions and continued activities inspire the next generation of terrorists, placing the lives of Israelis at risk.
“Rather than transforming a terrorist into a defeated supplicant, Israeli prisons permit extraordinary comforts and benefits to its prisoners, and even allow some to carry on their involvement in terror from behind bars, and the continued hope of escape or exchange,” Gregg Roman, Director of the Middle East Forum, the organization behind the Israel Victory Project, said. “Palestinian society views its prisoners in Israeli jails as soldiers on the frontlines of the violent rejectionism that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than a century.”
“Israel should therefore look to its prisons as a possible avenue to break the Palestinian rejectionists’ will to continue fighting. Taking far tougher measures against terrorists in Israel’s prisons will have a deflating effect on Palestinian society, and force the much-needed message that terrorism and violence do not pay.”
The recent escape of six prisoners from the Gilboa Prison, including arch-terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi, former leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Jenin, amply demonstrates how far the system has fallen into disrepute.
Until the recent breakout, many Israelis saw this as a relatively minor issue. However, Palestinian Authority society views its prisoners in Israeli jails as soldiers on the frontlines of the violent rejectionism that has characterized the Israeli-Arab conflict for more than a century.
Arab terrorists sitting in Israeli jails are lionized and paid handsomely for their “sacrifice.” The so-called “pay for slay” stipends to prisoners and their families are seen as vital for the Palestinian Authority.
As Palestinian Authority leaders have repeatedly said, the prisoners are at the forefront of their conflict against the Jewish State. PA President Abbas has said repeatedly: “If We had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners”. In July, he said at a ceremony to honor terrorists in Israeli prisons, that they are “pioneers” and “stars in the firmament of the Palestinian people’s struggle.”
The Israel Victory Project sees the issue and conditions of jailed terrorists as central to its leaders violent rejectionism, the continuation or terrorist activities and the conflict.
The Israel Victory Project seeks to resolve the Israel-Arab conflict by convincing PA Arabs to give up their century-long war against Jewish sovereignty. Only when they end their rejectionism can they build their own polity, economy, society, and culture. The project focuses on decision-makers, opinion-shapers, and publics in Israel and the United States with an eye to reviving victory as a concept.