The Israel Prison Service parole board was set to meet Thursday to consider the option of granting early release to Palestinian Authority terrorist Nasser Abu Khamid.
The terrorist, a member of the “Force 17” terror wing linked to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, murdered Rabbi Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane and his wife Talya in the year 2000, spraying the vehicle with 60 bullets as they were driving near the Jewish community of Ofra.
Kahane, a dual US-Israeli citizen, immigrated on aliyah from New York with his family from New York at age four.
Five of the Kahane couple’s six children were in the vehicle at the time and wounded in the attack, including one with serious injuries. The children were subsequently raised by Talya’s sister’s family in the community of Kfar Tapuach.
In addition, Gadi Rajuan was likewise murdered in a separate attack that took place near the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot.
Abu Khamid is serving seven life sentences plus 50 years.
Several other members of the terror cell involved in the attack were captured in 2001 and 2007 – but at least one of the killers was freed in exchange for captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in the October 2011 prisoner swap with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
The attack, which came amid the Second Intifada, had followed by one day calls for increased attacks against Israelis by Arab followers of the late Palestine Liberation Organization terrorist leader Yasser Arafat.
Abu Khamid requested the hearing on early parole on the grounds of ill health; he is allegedly suffering from terminal cancer, according to a report by Al Jazeera.
Protests by the families of the victims succeeded in delaying the hearing, originally set for last month, but this time it is set to proceed.
The families will, however, be allowed to attend the hearing and state their objections to early release for the killer who ended their parents’ lives.
“Six children were left without a father or mother,” one of the children wrote in a statement. “We were then between the ages of two and fourteen and the terrible trauma can never be erased or forgotten.
“There is no justification for showing mercy to this terrorist after the trauma, loneliness, grief and deep pain that he caused – pain that I carry to this day.”
Another child of the couple wrote that as a child, “I always felt different. I would dream of my parents coming back, waiting for a miracle.
“Childhood experiences were lost in one moment of evil. All the fear and anxiety that followed – and now that I am myself a mother – the sharp pain is even more intensified.
“The thought that mercy could be shown to this despicable terrorist is something I cannot describe; the injustice screams out to the heavens, and this time it (the injustice) is coming from the State of Israel.”
The families are represented by Honenu civil rights organization attorneys Ofir Steiner and Haim Bleicher.