Almagor: Israelis Now Paying Price of “Restraint”

Almagor: Israelis Now Paying Price of “Restraint”

Israel National News


Terror victim association Almagor responded to this morning’s brutal massacre at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood.

“You cannot continue to wage a low-intensity battle in the face of a third intifada which is patterned after the Islamic State beheadings and stabbings. Israeli citizens are now paying the price for the containment and restraint policies opposite violent demonstrations that keep escalating into bigger and more extreme terror attacks,” they said.

Lt. Col. Meir Indor, head of Almagor, said “Israel should announce a second defense shield in Samaria, Judea and eastern Jerusalem, and within its framework, should effect the arrests of the 80 Palestinian Authority and Hamas representatives within these neighborhoods. The lists of their names exist—the decision [to take action], no.”

Terror Victims’ Advocate Takes Security Cabinet to Task

Ari Yashar

Terror Victims’ Advocate Takes Security Cabinet to Task

Lt. Col. Indor, Director of Almagor terror victims group, asks hard questions exposing government’s numerous security failures.

Israel National News


Meir Indor (Flash 90)

Lt. Col. (ret.) Meir Indor, Director of the Almagor terror victims organization, raised numerous security failures in a sharp letter to the Israeli Security Cabinet on Tuesday.

In light of two fatal terrorist attacks that occurred on Monday in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion, Indor presented “a compilation of failures and proposals for putting an end to the present deterioration, curated from discussions with officers in the field and terrorism experts who advise Almagor.”

The first point raised in the letter is the fact that the attack in Gush Etzion on Monday in which Dalia Lemkos HYD was murdered took place at a bus station near Alon Shvut, which was “located 50 meters from the station where three young men were abducted this past June.”

“Pursuant to the recent series of automotive terrorist attacks, the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) regional command ordered the placement of barriers at transit hubs, especially those in the Gush Etzion area. Why were they never set up?” asks Indor.

Likewise, he asked, “why were the forces assigned to guard the intersection where the attack took place removed from it?”

Noting the limitation of Arab travel through Judea and Samaria imposed via roadblocks during the 2000 terror war or “Second Intifada,” Indor asked why the government has not taken similar steps in light of the recently escalating security situation since June.

“Why has travel not been restricted, at the very least, along the central artery along the communities of Gush Etzion? Why should Palestinians be permitted to travel freely along this route when it has virtually no relevance to them?”

The hard questions continued, with Indor noting “in the past, terrorists’ bodies were not returned to their families, but buried in a cemetery for terrorists in an undisclosed location. The government thus did not turn the terrorists into role models for young people by allowing massive funerals. Why is the government doing so today?”

Don’t Contain Violence—Fight It

Indor also called for a reconsideration of the management of internal security when faced with rampant terrorism, suggesting that “field commanders” be assigned to lead the efforts instead of the Israel Police, whose experience is in fighting the criminal world.

Noting that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other officials have accused Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of incitement for terror, Indor asked “why has a general curfew not been imposed on Judea and Samaria to combat open incitement?”

Combating the notion of “lone terrorists,” Indor noted such attacks are the product of organized incitement, which lead to demonstrations and result in “lone terrorists.” He called to put an end to the violent demonstrations and riots so as to prevent further escalation.

The Almagor director also criticized the “low-intensity warfare” doctrine guiding Israel’s attempts to contain violence instead of fighting it—”for instance, surrounding rock-throwers instead of confronting them.”

Indor called for more aggressive means to be taken, and likewise noted “authorities have failed to close Palestinian television and radio stations that engage in incitement as they did during Operation Defensive Shield.”

In a particularly troubling note, Indor added “security forces have not yet arrested Fatah and Hamas’ 80 inciters and organizers in eastern Jerusalem, who are financing and organizing the current terrorist activity. Precinct commanders have the list. Though most of the list was compiled by the ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet), preventive detention and restraining orders have not been employed.”

He added that this lack of action is “unlike the case of a Jew from the Neveh Ya’akov neighborhood whom the commander of the Home Front ordered expelled to Eilat for inciting his neighbors against Arab youths’ entry into the neighborhood.”

Nip Terror in the Bud Before It Kills

“Why is the unit of the Ministry of Justice responsible for acting against incitement not fighting for the arrest of those publishing the anti-Jewish incitement now pervasive online? Why is the cyber crime unit of the Israel Police not acting against this incitement?” asks Indor.

“Had the two aforementioned agencies acted promptly and decisively, two terrorists who published incitement would have been arrested before they had the chance to commit yesterday’s attacks,” he added in a reference to the Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion attacks.

Indor noted that the Arab terrorist who committed the murder in Gush Etzion on Monday was released from prison after only a few years for throwing an incendiary bomb, asking “why are terrorists who throw incendiary bombs—a clear case of attempted murder—sentenced to 5 years in prison instead of 20? What is their goal in throwing incendiary bombs if not to murder?”

Regarding breaches of security fences, by which the terrorist who committed the attack in Tel Aviv was able to illegally enter Israel, Indor asks why regulations are not being enforced at the fence, and why forces are not given orders to shoot those infiltrating illegally.

Finally, Indor asks why additional deterrent measures have not been launched, remarking “a terrorist who embarks on an attack knows that if he is caught, he will only spend a few years in a five-star prison, then be freed as a hero with a salary from the Palestinian Authority. Even if the terrorist is killed and becomes a shahid (martyr), he knows that the Palestinian Authority will give his family a monthly stipend.”

“The government must rectify these two failings by enacting measures to truly worsen imprisoned terrorists’ living conditions and by destroying terrorists’ families homes and expelling them to Jordan, Lebanon, or Gaza,” demanded Indor.

After Call for Violence, Barghouti Sent to Solitary Confinement

Itsik Saban; Israel Hayom staff

After Call for Violence, Barghouti Sent to Solitary Confinement

Jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti, serving five life sentences in Israeli prison, receives seven-day stint in solitary confinement in wake of letter he sent to Palestinian leaders in which he called for a resumption of armed struggle against Israel.

Israel Hayom


Jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti (Photo credit: Reuters)

Jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti, the former leader of Fatah’s Tanzim military wing who is serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for involvement in terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, has been sent to a seven-day stint in solitary confinement after calling on Palestinians to resume armed struggle against Israel. Barghouti also received a fine.

Earlier this week, Barghouti sent a letter to Palestinian leaders in which he wrote, “The Palestinian leadership must reconsider its policies regarding the unarmed popular struggle and allow the Palestinian people to return to armed struggle against the occupation.”

Barghouti also called on Palestinians to “immediately halt security cooperation with Israel and stop the coordination between the occupation security forces and the Palestinian security forces.” Barghouti is considered to be a candidate to succeed Abbas as chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

Following the letter, the Almagor Terror Victims Association called for Barghouti to be stripped of some of the rights granted to Palestinian prisoners.

Terror Victims’ Organization: Prosecute Barghouti

Ido Ben Porat; Elad Benari

Terror Victims’ Organization: Prosecute Barghouti

Almagor organization calls for measures against arch-terrorist who advocated “armed resistance” from his jail cell.

Israel National News


Marwan Barghouti (Flash 90)

The Almagor terror victims’ organization on Tuesday called on Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to take legal and administrative measures against arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, following his letter in which he called for “armed resistance” against Israel.

In the letter to mark 10 years since the death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Barghouti said that “choosing global and armed resistance” was being “faithful to Arafat’s legacy, to his ideas and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs.”

“It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier,” he wrote.

Responding to the letter, Almagor said that after being sentenced to six life sentences for murdering Israelis in terrorist attacks, Israel must make clear that Barghouti is not immune from further punishment and the imposition of additional penalties.

“As an immediate measure, he should be isolated from any contact with outside visits and any contact with other prisoners, so that he is blocked from issuing inciting letters from prison,” the organization said.

Barghouti, who is widely believed to have masterminded the second intifada, which exploded across Israel from 2000 to 2005, wrote the letter from his cell in Israel’s Hadarim prison.

Barghouti is widely perceived as a popular choice to replace Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office expired several years ago.

From his jail cell, he has threatened Israel in the past with a third intifada, albeit an unarmed one, and has declared he “would not give up and I claim that the right of return is a sacred right of the Palestinians.”

He recently accused the PA of neglecting the issue of terrorist releases and called for all Palestinian Arab terrorist groups to put his release on the top of the agenda.

Abbas: Israel Leading Region Toward “Bloody Religious War”

Daniel Siryoti; Israel Hayom staff; agencies

Abbas: Israel Leading Region Toward “Bloody Religious War”

Jerusalem is our capital and there will be no concessions, says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on 10th anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death • Jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti calls for renewal of armed struggle.

Israel Hayom


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses supporters in Ramallah during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death, Tuesday (Photo credit: AP)

The Palestinian Authority marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday, with thousands of Palestinians attending a rally in Ramallah at which PA President Mahmoud Abbas delivered an inflammatory speech in line with Arafat’s legacy.

Abbas accused Israel of leading the region toward a “religious war” and claimed Israel was responsible for the escalation of violence at the Temple Mount and in east Jerusalem.

“Leaders of Israel are mistaken if they think they think they can rewrite history, establish facts on the ground and divide the Al-Aqsa mosque in terms of prayer times and prayer sites, as they did at the Cave of the Patriarchs [in Hebron],” Abbas said, to applause from the crowd.

“The leadership in Israel apparently does not realize that it is leading the region and the world to a bloody religious war that will bring destruction to the entire region. The Muslim and Christian worlds will never accept Israel’s claims that Jerusalem belongs to it. Jerusalem is our capital, and there will be no concessions. The Jerusalem that was captured in 1967 is our Jerusalem, and our responsibility is to protect and defend the holy places.”

Abbas’ words drew a sharp response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Abbas was making matters worse.

“Instead of calming tempers, he is inflaming them,” Netanyahu said. “Instead of educating his people for peace, [Abbas] is educating them for terror attacks.”

In his speech, Abbas also attacked Hamas, accusing the terrorist group of undermining Palestinian reconciliation efforts after a seven-year rift. Fatah and Hamas agreed in June on the formation of a unity government, but Hamas, which violently seized Gaza in 2007, continues to control the coastal enclave.

Abbas accused Hamas of carrying out a series of bombings on the homes of Fatah leaders last week that led to the cancellation of what would have been the first Arafat memorial ceremony in Gaza since 2007. He also said the group was blocking post-Operation Protective Edge reconstruction efforts.

“For whose interest are they blocking the reconstruction?” Abbas said. “The only losers are our people, while you sit in your houses and hide out.”

Meanwhile, jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti, the former leader of Fatah’s Tanzim military wing who is serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for involvement in terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, called on Tuesday for Palestinians to resume armed struggle against Israel.

In a letter he sent from jail to Palestinian leaders, Barghouti wrote, “The Palestinian leadership must reconsider its policies regarding the unarmed popular struggle and allow the Palestinian people to return to armed struggle against the occupation.”

Barghouti also called on Palestinians to “immediately halt security cooperation with Israel and stop the coordination between the occupation security forces and the Palestinian security forces.” Barghouti is considered to be a candidate to succeed Abbas as chairman of the PA.

Following the letter, the Almagor Terror Victims Association called for Barghouti to be stripped of some of the rights granted to Palestinian prisoners.

Almagor to Open Database of Released Terrorists

Lahav Harkov

Almagor to Open Database of Released Terrorists

The initiative comes a week after Mu’taz Hijazi, a terrorist released from Israeli prison, attempted to assassinate Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

The Jerusalem Post


A man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the October 22 terrorist attack at the Ammunition Hill light rail stop in Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Almagor Terror Victims Association is preparing a database of released terrorists so businesses can look up potential employees, accusing the Justice Ministry and Israel Police of negligence for not doing so themselves.

The initiative comes a week after Moataz Hejazi, a terrorist released from Israeli prison, attempted to assassinate Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

Hejazi worked in Terasa, the restaurant in the museum, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other senior officials have dined. Terasa’s management said after the attack that they did not know Hejazi had been in Israeli prison for multiple stabbings and murder attempts.

“We checked, and the police and Justice Ministry do not have any system of warning workplaces,” Almagor director Meir Indor explained, demanding that they establish one to limit terrorists’ easy access to Israelis.

Families of terror victims have already begun voluntarily providing the organization with details about the terrorists and whom they killed or injured, and requested that the ministry provide them with information about the terrorists’ locations.

Indor pointed out that the justice minister does give information about pedophiles freed from jail.

As to whether prisoners should be rehabilitated in prison and have the chance to start a normal life when released, Indor said the academic theories on the matter do not apply to terrorists.

“These aren’t just criminals; they’re terrorists,” he said. “All of the theories on rehabilitation that are taught in social work departments in universities don’t work with the Muslim motivation to wage a terrorist war against Israel.”

Indor accused the government of not “connecting the dots” after Wednesday’s two vehicular terrorist attacks, saying they were avoidable and raise serious questions.

The Almagor chairman pointed out that Ibrahim al-Aqari, who perpetrated the first attack, was the brother of a terrorist released in exchange for then-captive soldier Gilad Schalit.

“This one saw his brother the murderer become a local hero and released from prison, and then followed in his brother’s footsteps,” he said. “How is it that [the government] failed to arrest the terrorist who committed the murder despite his publication of incitement and praise of murderers?” Indor called for the immediate arrest of the dozens of persons known to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) who live in east Jerusalem and incite violence and organize the “ongoing intifada” in the capital.

“The current of violence is an organized campaign orchestrated by the Palestinian Authority and its president, precisely as stated by Israel’s prime minister—but the prime minister is not a commentator. His government’s job is not to make declarations but to take action!” he said.

The Justice Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Jerusalem Terrorist’s Mother: “Praise Allah He’s a Martyr”

Shimon Cohen; Ari Yashar

Jerusalem Terrorist’s Mother: “Praise Allah He’s a Martyr”

Rioting and family refusal highlight burial of Hamas terrorist, after he “brought honor to family” by murdering baby and 22-year-old.

Israel National News


Family of terrorist Abdelrahman Shaludi (Sliman Khader/Flash90)

The mother of Abdelrahman Shaludi, the Hamas terrorist who last Wednesday murdered three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun HYD and 22-year-old Karen Mosquera HYD with his car in Jerusalem, is a “martyr” according to his mother.

Shaludi’s family raised a ruckus after police limited the number of attendees at the terrorist’s Sunday night funeral at the feet of the Temple Mount to 20, and had the burial be held late at night.

The steps were taken to avoid violent Arab rioting, which occurred before the funeral in any case, as Arab residents of the Shiloach (Silwan in Arabic) neighborhood where Shaludi hails from clashed with police outside the dead terrorist’s home, as the family then refused to begin the funeral.

In the end, the family and the police agreed to let the funeral take place with a reduced number of participants, and the funeral of the Hamas terrorist was held in the Israeli capital without additional attacks on law enforcement forces.

During the funeral, Shaludi’s mother said she was proud of her son who gave honor to the family when he became a “shahid” (martyr), adding repeatedly “praise to Allah.”

The praise and lionization of the terrorist echoes statements by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, which pledged “loyalty” to Shaludi, and PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who justified the murders Shaludi committed. Likewise, a senior aid to Abbas was quick to praise the terrorist murder of the three-month-old, calling the terrorist a “hero.”

The Almagor terror victims’ organization had protested returning the body of the terrorist, who was shot as he tried to flee the Ammunition Hill light rail station where he plowed his car into a group of pedestrians.

The group pointed out that there are two fallen IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul HYD, whose bodies are still being held by Hamas after the last operation, and being used to negotiate the release of hundreds of terrorists.

Meir Indor and Dr. Aryeh Bacharah, heads of Almagor, argued that Israel should have placed a condition on the return of Shaludi’s body, demanding that the bodies of its fallen soldiers be returned in exchange for the body of the Hamas terrorist.

Anger after Rivlin “Compares” Jerusalem Attack to Kfar Kassem

Gil Ronen; Shlomo Pitrikovsky

Anger after Rivlin “Compares” Jerusalem Attack to Kfar Kassem

Terror victims’ group slams president for mentioning Jewish baby’s murder at memorial for Arabs shot in 1956.

Israel National News


Reuven Rivlin (Flash 90)

Terror victims’ organization Almagor is angry at President Reuven Rivlin for invoking the murder of baby Chaya Zisel Braun—who was run over by an Arab terrorist Wednesday—at a memorial ceremony for the Kafr Kassem massacre of 1956.

At the ceremony, Rivlin called for an end to “the cycle of bloodshed.”

“On Wednesday night, I was present at the funeral of a new born baby, just three months old, Haya Zisel, who was cruelly murdered by an Arab terrorist, a resident of East Jerusalem. This abhorrent murder of a child shakes and disgusts all those who have a heart. This murderous act of terror, marks another difficult moment in the painful history of the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy.”

Bereaved fathers Ron Kerman and Aryeh Bachrach, leading activists in Almagor, accused Rivlin of drawing an unjustified parallel between the events.

“There is no comparison between a single act in Kafr Kassem, which occurred many years ago, and the ongoing terror from the Arab side. Nor is there equivalence between the Jewish side, which prosecutes and denounces the isolated acts of revenge, and the support of the Arab leadership for terrorists, whom they call freedom fighters,” the fathers said.

The presidential visit itself was a bad idea, said Kerman and Bachrach.

“It would have been better if this visit never took place,” they added. “No one will think better of Israel because of it. It will serve Palestinian propaganda the world over as a reminder of an isolated incident about 60 years ago, and meanwhile, the Palestinians celebrate the terror acts they have been perpetrating against us ever since Zionism began.”

President Reuven Rivlin spoke at an annual memorial ceremony for the victims of Kafr Kassem, which he called a “serious crime” and a “horrible deed.”

“The Justice Ministry Is Harming Terror Victims”

Benny Toker; Ari Yashar

“The Justice Ministry Is Harming Terror Victims”

Bereaved father of teen murdered by Shalit deal terrorists says ministry refusing to give info on released terrorists.

Israel National News


Terrorist released in 2011 Shalit deal (file; Flash 90)

Yossi Tzur, bereaved father of 17-year-old terror victim Assaf HYD, slammed the Justice Ministry for refusing to share a list of which of the 1,027 terrorists released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal have returned to terror.

The topic is particularly pertinent to Yossi, as the terrorists who planned the suicide bombing on a Haifa bus on March 5, 2003 that killed his son Assaf along with 16 other Israelis was freed in the Shalit deal.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, the bereaved father and member of the Almagor terror victim organization’s bereaved parents’ forum said that Almagor intends to hold its third memorial of the Shalit deal next week.

“This day for all of us turned into a day of self-examination, an evening of memory and drawing conclusions from the awful deal,” said Tzur. “We asked the Justice Ministry for orderly information, and to our surprise for over a month they are refusing to give it to us, claiming the request was transferred to the freedom of information committee.”

As victims of terrorists who were released, Tzur argued the ministry under the leadership of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) should not treat those making the request as private individuals, but as representatives of the Israeli public.

“The Justice Ministry needs to show sensitivity, this angers us; we aren’t regular citizens but rather the victims of crime. For most of the families the day of the release has turned into an awful day—the experience of the terror attack returns to us,” Tzur explained.

Detailing his personal feelings ahead of the memorial of the release, Tzur noted “in my case the three terrorists who were sentenced for the murder of my son were released; don’t I deserve to see this information?”

In response to an inquiry, the Justice Ministry noted its close contact with Almagor before claiming it had not refused the group’s request for information. It confirmed that the office of the director general of the ministry had received the request and passed it to the freedom of information department to deal with the issue in accordance with the law.

The Ministry added that the request includes access to information on a vast number of released prisoners, while promising to handle the request with understanding and sensitivity.

Numerous terrorists released in the Shalit deal have already returned to terror, most notably Ziyad Awad, who murdered police Chief Superintendent Col. Baruch Mizrahi HYD in April while aided by his 18-year-old son Az a-Din.

Yet another terrorist released in the deal was arrested in August after trying to smuggle drugs from Jordan.

There are around 63 terrorists freed in the deal who have been re-arrested; according to reports the terror group Hamas may be on the verge of sealing a terrorist swap deal to have them and hundreds of other jailed terrorists released in exchanged for fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul HYD, as part of the Cairo truce talks.

Calls for Death Penalty Against Repeat Terrorist Murderer

Yoni Kempinski; Ari Yashar

Calls for Death Penalty Against Repeat Terrorist Murderer

Arutz Sheva speaks to family of superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, as trial starts on his murderer—a terrorist freed in the Shalit deal.

Israel National News


The military court at Ofer on Wednesday morning opened proceedings against the father and son terrorist duo that killed police Chief Superintendent Col. Baruch Mizrahi in April, as he drove to Kiryat Arba for a Passover seder meal with his pregnant wife and three of his children.

Mizrahi’s murderer was Ziyad Awad, one of 1,027 terrorists freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal. In carrying out the attack the terrorist from the town of Idna, located to the west of Hevron, was aided by his 18-year-old Az a-Din who gathered up evidence after the shooting.

Members of the Almagor terror victims organization arrived at the court in the name of the bereaved family, and demanded the death penalty against the terrorist.

Given the nature of the crime and the fact that Awad returned to terror, Almagor argued he was deserving of the death penalty, and likewise called for life imprisonment for Az a-Din.

In the attack Mizrahi’s pregnant wife Hadas was wounded, and a child in another car was also lightly wounded.

“I was unable to enter the discussion and so I stayed outside,” said Hadas, noting that she was unable to look at the “monsters” who murdered her husband in cold blood. “I hope that the state of Israel will change its stance and rule the death penalty against the murderer.”

Talking about the experience of her family since the brutal murder, Hadas noted “this is a huge difficulty that is impossible to describe. The children go to kindergarten and school without their dad who so wanted to accompany them for the first time. It’s very hard for the family. We hope to rehabilitate, we will get up and try to be a happy family, despite the enormous difficulty.”

If Israel Used the Death Penalty, Mizrahi “Would Be Alive”

Security forces demolished the home of the 42-year-old Awad in July, after a court overruled a petition against the move.

The judges noted that Az a-Din was involved “up to his neck” in carrying out the attack, and that Awad’s wife was also well aware of the weapons stored in the home.

Police investigations revealed that Awad told his son Az a-Din that his motive for murdering Mizrahi was religious, and that “according to the religion of Islam, everyone who kills a Jews goes to paradise.”

Awad was previously jailed for murdering Palestinian Arabs suspected of cooperating with Israel, before being released in the Shalit deal.

Hadas noted that if the terrorist had been handed a death sentence her husband, head of the Technology Division in the Sigint Unit, would still be alive today.

“Had they not had a bargaining chip, and had they not known that they can be freed – Baruch would have been alive,” said Mizrahi. “A death sentence is the solution and we would like to hope that the state of Israel will give terrorists death sentences, not a prison sentence that is a five-star hotel and not a university for training for the next terror attacks.”

Reenacting the event, a tearful Hadas said “we were driving to the seder in our car when (the terrorist) shot at us, he hit Baruch in the head, I managed to hide our children.” Hadas was able to regain control of the car and prevent it from crashing despite being shot in the back.

Almagor on Hofi: We Salute Him

Almagor on Hofi: We Salute Him

Israel National News


Members of the Almagor terror victims’ organization expressed their condolences on Monday over the passing of former Mossad chief Yitzhak Hofi.

“Hofi, who headed the IDF’s Northern Command during the Yom Kippur War and handled the fighting against the Syrians in a calm manner, received the Mossad and led a relentless struggle against terrorism,” said the organization. “As modest as he was, he did not hesitate to speak positively about the value of extracting revenge against terrorists who murdered Israelis, and all those bereaved families salute him on his last journey.”

Almagor: Death Penalty for Shalit-Deal Murderers

Hillel Fendel

Almagor: Death Penalty for Shalit-Deal Murderers

Prominent terror-victims group calls for the death penalty for murderous Palestinian terrorists. Two-thirds of US states execute murderers.

Israel National News


Almagor head Meir Indor (Yoni Kempinski)

Almagor, a prominent terror-victims group that consistently leads the campaign against the release of murderous Palestinian terrorists, has called once again for the death penalty. The latest call is prompted by today’s news that the kidnap-murder of the three youths several weeks ago was masterminded by a terrorist released in the Gilad Shalit deal nearly three years ago.

The Walla! news agency reported today, quoting Palestinian Authority security sources, that Mahmoud Ali Kawasmeh, a Hamas terrorist expelled to Gaza in the Shalit exchange, initiated the abduction and murder of Gilad Sha’ar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19) on June 12. Kawasmeh is still at large, though his brother Hussam was arrested last week for participating in planning the attack. A third brother, Marwan, is said to have actually carried it out, together with an accomplice.

“The convoy of politicians and Shalit-deal publicists dashed towards the release of over 1,000 terrorists practically with glee,” says Almagor Chairman Meir Indor, “while we begged them to stop before they reached the cliff. The heavy price we have paid for that mistake must be rectified with deeds, not with bombastic declarations. The State Prosecution must demand the death penalty for every terrorist freed for Shalit who commits another murder—including the murderer of Baruch Mizrachi.”

Mizrachi, the father of five and the head of an important police department unit, was fatally shot by Ziyad Awad this year as he drove with his family to a Passover Seder in Kiryat Arba. Originally jailed for murdering Arabs he suspected of collaborating with Israel, Hamas member Awad was one of the 1,027 terrorists released in exchange for Gilad Shalit’s freedom.

“Everyone involved in the Shalit deal must now make his way to the cemetery in Modiin,” says Dr. Aryeh Bachrach of Almagor, “and ask forgiveness on the graves of the three youths who were abducted under the orchestration of this terrorist freed in the Shalit deal. Along the way, they can also stop at Mt. Herzl and similarly ask forgiveness from Baruch Mizrachi.”

Murderers are executed in nearly 2/3 of the 50 states of the U.S.—even if the murders are not motivated by terrorist hatred. Between 1976 and mid-2011, the state of Oklahoma put 111 criminals to death, the country’s highest per-capita rate, while Texas had the second highest rate and the largest number of executions: 515.

Dr. Aryeh Bachrach: Ban-ki Moon Needs a Psychiatric Referral

Dr. Aryeh Bachrach: Ban-ki Moon Needs a Psychiatric Referral

Israel National News


Dr. Ayreh Bachrach, of the Almagor terror victims organization, expressed his amazement at Israel’s response—or rather, apology—to the world for its Operation Protective Edge. In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Bachrach said, “Israel is continually bending its knees and lowering its head before the world’s accusations at its actions, promising that it will look into how such-and-such an event could take place. An instance of this is the bombing of the UNWRA schools in the Gaza Strip.”

“Israel’s explanations of its actions have yet to be accepted or believed by the global community. The responses completely disregard the facts, and show that all explanatory or exculpatory evidence is doomed to failure from the beginning.” he stated. Bachrach said that we need to tell Moon that what worries him or doesn’t worry him in terms of Gaza does not concern us, and that we can “refer him to a psychiatrist who deals with this condition, and who can suggest some anti-anxiety meds, of which there are plenty of out on the market.”

“When missiles were found in UNWRA schools and then returned to Hamas, Ban saw it as a grave situation. He wasn’t worried, he wasn’t anxious—he just saw it as serious. And when IDF soldiers were blown up investigating a terror tunnel located in an UNWRA clinic that was set up with explosives throughout the walls and the rest of the buidling, here, too, Moon was neither worried nor anxious.

Calls for Israel to “Use US, EU Flight Bans to Its Advantage”

Yaakov Levi

Calls for Israel to “Use US, EU Flight Bans to Its Advantage”

Dr. Aryeh Bachrach has a novel way to deal with the flight bans declared last week by US and EU authorities.

Israel National News


Tourists at Ben Gurion Airport (Flash 90)

Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, a leader of the Almagor terror victims’ organization who himself lost a son in a terrorist attack, said that Israel could use the flight ban to Israel by American and European airlines to its advantage. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Bachrach said that if the opportunity were to arise again, with US and EU authorities telling airlines not to fly to Israel because of the danger of Hamas rocket attacks, Israel should, instead of seeking ways to convince the officials that there was no danger in flying to Israel, adopt their point of view.

“When the announcement of the flight ban was made, Israel went out of its way to beg American and European authorities to rescind it, and when former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Israel to ‘prove’ how safe it is, the government was overjoyed,” said Bachrach.

Instead, said Bachrach, the government should have declared that the EU and US were correct. “’They are right, it is dangerous,’ is what the government here should have said,” said Bachrach.

“But no nation would allow this kind of danger to persist and allow attacks on its airspace, and the only way to stop it is to hit Gaza hard. Just like any other country would take all steps necessary to protect themselves from gangs of murderers, so too must Israel,” he pointed out.

Bachrach also weighed into the issue of a truce with terrorists in Gaza, saying that Israel does not have the luxury of entering into ceasefires with Hamas.

“Israel should have said that there is only one solution—either bringing about the total surrender of Hamas, or putting it into a position where it would be for a cease-fire. Either way, the terror group would no longer pose a threat to Israel.”

Palestinian’s Death Provokes Israeli Debate on Defining Terrorism

Daniel Estrin

Palestinian’s Death Provokes Israeli Debate on Defining Terrorism



Hussein Abu Khdeir (left), father of slain Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, holds a photo of his son as he meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank earlier this month. Israel has charged three Jewish Israelis with the killing and ruled that it was a terrorist attack. This has drawn criticism from some in Israel. (Mohamad Torokman/AP)

Shortly before the Israel-Hamas fighting began in Gaza earlier this month, two separate killings ratcheted up tensions.

First, three Israeli teenagers were killed, allegedly by Hamas in the West Bank. Israel has arrested many Palestinians, but says it is still searching for the main suspects in the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

Shortly after the Israeli deaths, a 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was abducted and killed. In a courtroom last week, an Israeli prosecutor charged three Jewish Israelis with abducting Abu Khdeir, bludgeoning him with a wrench and burning him alive.

The day the three Israelis were charged in court, Israel announced it would officially recognize Abu Khdeir as a victim of terrorism. By law, that means his family is eligible for Israeli government compensation.

“Crimes committed by Jewish, Christians, Muslims, whatever it is, at the end of the day, they are crimes,” said Jonathan Mosery of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. “So it’s just important to recognize that we don’t discriminate, and that everybody is equal before the law.”

There are still apparent inconsistencies. For example, Israel has ordered of the Palestinians who are suspected of killing the Israeli teens, a punishment it has carried out in many cases over the years. But Israel has not done so with the Israelis accused of murdering Abu Khdeir.

The compensation law, though, has changed. For decades, the law only applied to people attacked by armies or organizations hostile to Israel. Then, in 2005, an Israeli killed four Arab citizens of Israel. It wasn’t the first time Arabs died in an Israeli attack, but the law was broadened to compensate them, and it also now makes Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s family eligible.

This doesn’t sit well with Meir Indor of Almagor, an Israeli organization for Israelis who were injured or whose relatives were killed in terror attacks. If the state grants compensation, it implies Israel as a whole is to blame, he said.

“If I would pay the family, I would admit that we are responsible for what they did,” he said. “I don’t have any responsibility for what the three murderers did.”

He said Israelis in his group have threatened to boycott any memorial services for victims of terror if Abu Khdeir’s name is included on the list of those honored.

Abu Khdeir “was not attacked by the enemy of the state,” Indor said. He “was attacked by brutal, criminal people. Can that person be a part of the memorial of the country? No. Because a memorial day is for those who have been killed by the enemy of the state.”

Another victims’ organization does not make that distinction. The Bereaved Families Forum is a group of Israelis and Palestinians whose relatives were killed in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Every night since the Israeli offensive on Gaza began, Israelis in the group have set up a circle of chairs and a microphone to talk in downtown Tel Aviv.

Dana Wegman, whose father was killed in a Palestinian bombing, agrees with the Israeli government’s labeling of Abu Khdeir’s killing as terrorism. But she holds little hope that Israeli recognition will encourage empathy between victims on both sides.

“Right now everything is so on fire that we need a lot more than that,” she said.

At the gathering in Tel Aviv, some Israeli passersby screamed at the group. One shouted that the group was talking peace when Israelis are being killed by “them.”

While some see Israelis and Palestinians as victims of the same conflict, for others, it’s still a matter of us versus them.

Supreme Court Lifts Gag Order on Lead Alleged Murderer of Abu Khdeir

Yonah Jeremy Bob; Lahav Harkov

Supreme Court Lifts Gag Order on Lead Alleged Murderer of Abu Khdeir

Name made public of Yosef Chaim Ben-David, after court rejects plea to not publicize identity.

The Jerusalem Post


Abu Khdeir (Photo: Reuters)

Yosef Chaim Ben-David, 29, from the Adam settlement, was named as the supposed principal murderer of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.

His name was made public on Sunday night after a final appeal by Ben-David to the Supreme Court failed, when Justice Elyakim Rubinstein rejected his argument that publicizing his name would lead to his family coming under threat.

Ben-David, along with two other Jewish minors, was indicted in the Jerusalem District Court by the Jerusalem district-attorney, for the alleged nationalist revenge murder.

Following the indictment, the Defense Ministry recognized Abu Khdeir as a victim of hate crime, granting his family identical compensation rights to victims of Arab terrorism, such as casualties of suicide bombings (assuming its decision is adopted by the National Insurance Institute).

The names of the minor defendants, a 16-year-old from Jerusalem and another from Beit Shemesh, are to remain under a gag order, but by last Thursday the Jerusalem District Court had ordered the gag order removed regarding Ben-David.

However, the District Court froze its own decision when Ben-David appealed, setting the stage for Sunday’s showdown at the Supreme Court.

The three suspects were charged with murder and kidnapping as well as a slew of other crimes.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein called the murder a “horrifying act,” but praised law enforcement for the swiftness with which they arrested the three defendants.

Abu Khdeir was abducted and brutally murdered by being burned alive on July 2, while waiting to enter a mosque in east Jerusalem. He was targeted because he was an Arab.

Rubinstein accepted the state’s argument that neither the police nor Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) found that Ben-David’s family was in any danger.

In addition, he accepted State Prosecutor Uri Korb’s argument that an alleged incident of the family being attacked with a fire bomb was fictional and that there was no evidence.

Rubinstein rejected the argument that revealing Ben-David’s identity could expose the two minors’ identities—essentially saying that some amount of suffering may be unavoidable for families and codefendants of murder defendants.

The indictment included charges against Ben-David and one of the minors for their attempt to kidnap 7½-year-old Musa Zaloom of Beit Hanina and striking him and his mother with whom he was walking while she pushed another of her children in a stroller.

The indictment has separate charges for multiple attempts by the same two to burn Arab cars in Sur Bahir.

According to the indictment, all three wore non-Haredi clothes to try to mask their identities during the attempts to kidnap Arabs.

Ben-David drove the car, while the minor got out to attack the 7½-year-old, the indictment said.

It alleged that in the case of Abu Khdeir, Ben-David again drove the car, while both minors attacked and threw Abu Khdeir into the vehicle.

The Arab youth tried to call his uncle, attempted to escape and even kicked one of the defendants in the face before they overpowered him.

The indictment said that Abu Khdeir was partially- strangled and struck on the head by the defendants multiple times as Ben-David called out the names of murdered Jews, such as Shalhevet Pass, the Fogel family, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.

Ben-David told the minors to burn his body to erase the evidence and then they doused him with gasoline, burning him alive.

Responding to the Defense Ministry’s recognition of Abu Khdeir as a terrorism victim, Almagor Terror Victims Association director Lt.-Col. (ret.) Meir Indor said his organization would fight the decision, even if it means lobbying to have a law changed in the Knesset.

According to Indor, the law to pay benefits to victims of terrorism was only meant to support “those who were injured or the families of those killed by organizations that are enemies of the State of Israel.”

On July 14, Honenu, a rightwing group representing one of the suspects, said the oldest of the three suspects who had confessed to the murder of the Palestinian teenager may attempt to plead temporary insanity.

Both Ben-David and one of the minors take psychiatric drugs for obsessive compulsive disorder, said the indictment.

Ben-David had been working at a optometrist store in Jerusalem, while the two minors were either both studying in a yeshiva or about to return to their studies.

Following the earlier partial lifting of a gag order on the case, the Shin Bet released a report saying the three suspects had admitted to kidnapping Abu Khdeir, beating him and burning him alive.

The report said the three defendants had confessed that the homicide had been an act of revenge following the slaying of the three teenagers in June.

Police found the teenager’s badly burned remains at 5:20 a.m., approximately one hour after he was reported kidnapped.

Subsequent news coverage of the slaying led to Arab riots throughout east Jerusalem and the rest of the country.

Almagor Protests Designation of Slain Arab Youth as Terror Victim

Lahav Harkov; Yaakov Lappin; Yonah Jeremy Bob

Almagor Protests Designation of Slain Arab Youth as Terror Victim

Defense Ministry recognizes Muhammed Abu Khdeir as victim of hostile action; Indor: “Will his name be on Mount Herzl? Are they stupid?”

The Jerusalem Post


Abu Khdeir (Photo: Reuters)

The Defense Ministry recognized slain east Jerusalem teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, as a victim of hostile action, following an indictment served against suspects in his murder on Thursday.

The decision means that Abu Khdeir’s family will get benefits from the state of Israel and he should be on the list of names on Israel’s Memorial Day for victims of terror attacks, from now on.

Almagor Terror Victims Association director Lt.-Col. (ret.) Meir Indor said his organization will fight the decision, even if it means lobbying to have a law changed in the Knesset.

According to Indor, the law to pay benefits to victims of terror was meant to support “those who were injured or the families of those killed by organizations that are enemies of the State of Israel.

“His killers should be put behind bars, but there is no connection between [Abu Khdeir’s murder] and victims killed on the altar of the State of Israel’s establishment,” he said. “There are Arab victims too, I don’t have a problem with that, but [Abu Khdeir] was killed by a group of criminals. This was a criminal murder.

“Will [Abu Khdeir’s] name be on Mount Herzl? Are they stupid?” he asked.

Indor also said that the decision “creates a narrative of moral equivalency that helps the enemy’s propaganda, that says even Israel [engages in terrorism]” and that “whoever makes the sides equal is an idiot.”

However, Indor called the Palestinians’ culture, in which terrorist organizations become political entities like Hamas and Fatah, “a totally different planet” than a small group of Israelis who murdered the teenage boy.

“In Israel, terrorism isn’t a hate crime, it’s organized by a political force, by our enemy that wants to destroy Israel,” Indor emphasized.

The state indicted the three suspects apprehended in the investigation of the murder of Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian from the east Jerusalem village of Shuafat.

The names of the defendants remain under a gag order. They are a man, 29, from the settlement of Adam, and two teenagers, a 16-year-old from Jerusalem and another from Beit Shemesh.

The three suspects were charged with murder and kidnapping as well as a slew of other crimes.

Life Sentence for Murderer of IDF Soldier Tomer Hazan

Ari Yashar

Life Sentence for Murderer of IDF Soldier Tomer Hazan

Nadal Amar sentenced by military court to life plus 20 years for abduction and murder of off-duty soldier he worked with.

Israel National News


Tomer Hazan HYD (Courtesy of the family)

Nadal Amar, the terrorist who murdered IDF First Sergeant Tomer Hazan HYD last September, was given a life sentence this week by a military court, after being found guilty in May of murder charges, in addition to a 20-year sentence for other offenses.

The IDF Spokesperson Unit reported Wednesday that a military court in Samaria handed down the ruling. The terrorist illegally entered Israel and worked at a restaurant in Bat Yam, next to Tel Aviv, where he met Hazan and deceived him into driving with him to his village, before strangling him to death in an open field and hiding his body in a water hole.

Nadal originally abducted Hazan with the intention to use him to barter the release of his brother Nour Al-din, a Fatah terrorist currently serving a 29-year sentence. Nour Al-din similarly plead guilty and was convicted of being an accomplice in the kidnapping and murder, which he helped plan.

Prosecutor Captain Inbar Ben-Simon commented on the ruling, saying “we must give a message that stresses the sanctity of life so as to stop the phenomenon of abducting people to use them as bargaining chips to free terrorists.”

The cases of Nadal’s two brothers who helped him plan and conduct the murder will soon be heard at a military court in Samaria as well.

Deterrence after the Abduction and Murder of the Three Teens

During the proceedings, the abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Gilad Sha’ar (16) by Hamas terrorists occurred on June 12, and with it widespread celebration among the local Arab populations. The background added to the decision to give a strict ruling to deter future abductions and murders.

“We couldn’t ignore the goings-on in the Palestinian street regarding the abduction of citizens and soldiers and the demeaning of their lives for bargaining,” read the verdict. “The court is obligated to to speak up and be heard in its tight verdict so as to prevent the phenomenon, even when the worst of all has occurred.”

Ben-Simon added “when we see case after case of people trying to abduct soldiers—it was clear to us that this incident is not a lone case. Precisely because of that we asked for the involvement of the court in the verdict and particularly in (setting) deterrence.”

The prosecutor concluded “I hope the verdict will deter anyone from thinking that the solution and tool to achieve his objectives is using people as bargaining chips.”

As noted the life sentence comes in response to the murder charges; the 20-year additional sentence corresponds to charges of kidnapping, being in Israel illegally and disrupting court proceedings.

Last month a new “Life Without Parole” Bill passed preliminary Knesset readings, with the aim of preventing the release of jailed terrorists, whether through peace talk “gestures” or trades to free Israeli hostages.

However Meir Indor, head of the Almagor terror victims organization, noted the bill has several flaws which he argued render it ineffective. A prime problem he noted was that the bill did not cover terrorists sentenced in a military court, such as Nadal Amar.

Almagor: No Moral Equivalency Between Abu Khdeir Murder, Palestinian Terrorism

Lahav Harkov

Almagor: No Moral Equivalency Between Abu Khdeir Murder, Palestinian Terrorism

Terror victims’ association says it’s propaganda to compare killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir to Palestinian terrorism.

The Jerusalem Post


Muhammad Abu Khdeir (Photo: Courtesy)

Comparing teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s murder to Palestinian terrorism is propaganda, Almagor Terror Victims Association director Lt.-Col. (ret.) Meir Indor wrote on Monday in a letter to MKs, ministers and Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.

Indor condemned the murder and called for the government to provide welfare services to the victim’s family.

Indor said, however, “The response should not be comparable to that which the government has to decades of organized, systematic Palestinian terrorism—such as destroying houses.”

Almagor opposes adding Abu Khdeir to the official list of victims of terror in Israel as well as razing his murderers’ homes.

“This is not discrimination between Jewish blood and Arab blood, because we do think that when Arabs are killed by enemy terrorists, they should be part of the family of Israeli terror victims and should be treated the same way as Jews,” the letter reads.

“The vast majority of Israelis opposed the murder of Abu Khdeir, and we see that in the very small number of acts of revenge,” Indor added.

He pointed out that the Palestinian Authority financially supports those who kill Jews and glorifies them with official ceremonies when they are released in deals with Israel. Indor said that terrorism is supported by the Palestinian public.

Conversely, Abu Khdeir’s killers are “lone vigilantes and stray weeds who were condemned and rejected and vomited out from society immediately when the results of the [murder] investigation were publicized,” Indor explained.

Unlike Palestinians, Israeli terrorists are punished as harshly as possible and are not freed in negotiations, the Almagor director wrote.

“Therefore, we need to deter Palestinian terrorists by destroying houses and exiling their families, while [it is not necessary for Israelis, because] murder for revenge is sporadic on the Jewish side,” he stated.

Slain Policeman’s Widow Urges Court to Demolish Terrorist’s Home

Hezki Ezra; Tova Dvorin

Slain Policeman’s Widow Urges Court to Demolish Terrorist’s Home

Hadas Mizrahi tearfully asks the State to reject petition protesting punishment for her husband’s murderer.

Israel National News


Hadas Mizrahi (Hezki Ezra)

Hadas Mizrahi, the widow of slain Commander Baruch Mizrahi hy”d, defended the State of Israel’s decision to demolish the home of her husband’s murderer at a Supreme Court hearing Monday afternoon.

“We are talking about suicide,” she said, referring to a petition to prevent the demolition. “Look at us. We are innocent people who are suffering. We were driving to the [Passover] Seder in our car when [the terrorist] shot at us, he hit Baruch in the head, I managed to hide our children.”

“He ran away,” she said, through tears. “What cruelty is this! We did nothing wrong, we were innocent.”

Mizrahi warned that preventing the demolition from going through would be a missed opportunity to deter future terrorists.

“Maybe demolishing this house will be a deterrent,” she cried. “I am crying to the State of Israel: take care of us. We are your people!”

Mizrahi later explained her speech to Arutz Sheva.

“I came to court today to try to speak to the judge and tell him—’We are talking [about saving] the terrorist’s home, and what about me?’ ” she exclaimed. “I was left with five children, a mother wounded with children who are injured mentally and physically—what, I’m not a part of all this?”

“This terrorist was released as part of a ‘gesture’ and he murdered again,” she continued. “He should have thought twice if he had not wanted to see his home demolished, it is the minimum that should be done.”

Baruch Mizrahi (Flash 90)

Meir Indor of the Almagor terror victims organization agreed.

“It is a fundamental act of justice to destroy the terrorist’s house,” Indor stated to Arutz Sheva Monday. “It cannot be that a terrorist released in the Shalit deal will [just] go back to jail and that the minimum of destroying his home will not be carried out.”

Mizrahi added that the entire experience, overall, was “strange.”

“It’s strange for me to come and ask for [the home to be demolished], as strange as it would be for me to ask for the death penalty,” she said, adding that “it’s obvious he deserves the death penalty.”

“But apparently the State does not understand this, and everyone goes to petition [against it],” she added. “I say to that: Look me in the eyes. Look at me.”

Earlier this week, a petition was filed against the home demolition in the High Court of Justice; the Court rejected the petition “in light of the current security situation” and cited concerns that terrorist Ziyad Awad—who also carried out the attack with his son’s help—will kill again.

“[The terrorist was] released as part of a deal [which] was contingent on not engaging in any terrorist activity,” the High Court noted. “Within a short time he returned to serious terrorism, which also included calling on [the populace] as an imam for suicide attacks against Israeli targets.”

The state also noted that the murder was premeditated, with several “practice sessions,” and that the building had—in any case—been slated for demolition “for years” before the murder.

Mizrahi was driving to Kiryat Arba for a Passover seder meal earlier this year, with his pregnant wife and three of his children, when the terrorist opened fire on the family car. He served as head of the Technology Division in the Sigint Unit, part of the Intelligence Brigade in the Investigations and Intelligence Branch of the police.

Court Implies It Won’t Block Demolition of Alleged Passover-Eve Terrorist’s Home

Yonah Jeremy Bob

Court Implies It Won’t Block Demolition of Alleged Passover-Eve Terrorist’s Home

State commits not to demolish house belonging to suspected murdered of policeman Baruch Mizrahi until at least 12 hours after final court order.

The Jerusalem Post


Border policemen protect an IDF bulldozer. (Photo: Reuters)

Hadas Mizrahi, widow of murdered police officer Baruch Mizrahi, on Monday broke down sobbing at the High Court of Justice hearing on whether to demolish the family home of her husband’s alleged murderer.

She turned to the court, crying, “Look at me! I can’t go on. Enough. We are another family of victims here, more families will be harmed. Maybe this house demolition will be a deterrence. We cry out to the State of Israel.”

The hearing before a three-justice panel of Deputy Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, Justice Yoram Danziger, and Justice Uri Shoham heard a petition by the Hamoked human rights group on behalf of 12 members of suspect Ziad Awade’s family to block the demolition of their home.

The court said it would consider the two sides’ arguments and reach a decision soon, while the state committed not to perform the demolition until at least 12 hours after a final court order.

Hamoked slammed the pending demolition order as a blatant violation of international law. There is a debate whether house demolitions can be considered a military necessity under Article 53 of the Geneva Conventions in order to achieve deterrence or whether they are an illegal form of collective punishment under Article 33. Most countries do not view deterrent demolitions as valid, accepting only demolitions relating to a real-time battlefield situation.

Nevertheless, the hearing focused on Hamoked’s argument that the order contradicted the state’s own 2005 Shani Commission recommendations to cease house demolitions.

The commission had concluded that demolitions are ineffective and create no deterrence of future acts of terrorism, and halted the practice since 2005. However, the commission did leave a window open for reinstating demolitions if the situation radically changed.

The state claimed that the situation had indeed changed and that the demolition is necessary to quash a spike in terrorism in the West Bank since 2013. The state’s brief said there were 1,414 terrorist attacks from the West Bank in 2013 and more than 500 already in 2014, a marked jump from earlier years.

The state also recounted in specific detail eight terrorist attacks between March and June 2014, including three this month alone.

More specifically, the state said there had been a spike in kidnapping attempts over the last year, with seven attempts in the third quarter of 2013, eight in the fourth quarter of 2013, 12 in the first quarter of 2014, and 15 attempts in the last three months.

The state noted that the indictment against Awade describes much of the preparation for his attack, such as shooting practice, taking place in the house which the state wishes to demolish. The state also noted that Awade’s wife and son knew about his attack plans.

In its response to the Awade family’s request to stay the demolition, the state said it would demolish only the part of the structure belonging to Awade’s immediate family and would not demolish a second part where his extended family lives.

Hamoked said that the commission had not analyzed the issue from a statistical perspective, but concluded that sociologically and psychologically no deterrence was being achieved on the ground. The NGO also asked, if the commission reviewing hundreds of demolitions had concluded there was no deterrence, how could it now say that demolishing a single house would achieve deterrence? The NGO added that, even from a statistical perspective, there was no clarity; as the state did not give statistics of terrorist attacks from years prior to 2013 to perform a comparison, merely asking the court to take its word for it.

Moreover, Hamoked submitted an engineer’s opinion that the state’s idea of demolishing only the western side of the structure would endanger the physical integrity of the eastern side, leaving it unlivable.

The NGO also argued that the structure is not even owned by Awade’s immediate family, but by his brother, who it said was unconnected to the attack. The family’s lawyers have said 13 family members occupy the full structure.

Naor noted that the recommendations of a commission, even if state sponsored, do not abolish the state’s statutory powers (such as to demolish houses).

Releasing Terrorists Undermines Security

Yossi Tzur

Yossi Tzur is the father of the late Assaf Tzur, who was killed in a terror attack on the 37 bus in Haifa in 2003.

Releasing Terrorists Undermines Security

Israel Hayom


For years, we at the Almagor Terror Victims Association have decried the release of terrorists. We begged, we pleaded—do not set convicted terrorists free. Do not let murderers roam our streets.

It pains us to say “we told you so,” but we hear how security forces’ reports on the increasing numbers of released Palestinian prisoners who resume terrorist activity were given to the government—the proverbial smoking gun, proving that releasing terrorists costs Israeli lives—but the government opted to do nothing.

Hamas, which should have been crushed and eradicated long ago rather than becoming emboldened by the release of over 1,000 terrorists, continues to provoke Israel by firing rockets and digging tunnels. Any other civilized country would consider missile fire, terror tunnels, abductions and murders a declaration of war. Only Israel chooses to ignore the danger until it harms us.

If security forces were aware of the fact that 50 Palestinians, who were released as part of the Gilad Schalit deal, were in clear violation of their pardon agreement, why did they wait to arrest them? Why did they wait for them to abduct three teenage boys? Why do we always have to wait for the worst to happen before something is done?

If the abduction of Gil-ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel two weeks ago, and the murder of police officer Baruch Mizrahi in late April do not constitute a declaration of war, they constitute, at the very least, a gross violation of the prisoners’ clemency agreements, and Israel should therefore announce it is no longer bound by the deal, and that all of the security prisoners who were released will be immediately re-arrested and jailed.

Prior to the Schalit prisoner exchange, we were told that each inmate included in the deal had to sign a binding legal agreement stating he would forgo all terrorist activity. We asked what would happen if a prisoner refused to sign. The government officials shrugged, saying that there was little they could do, as the prisoners in question were part and parcel of the deal, and no one name could be removed from the list.

The government should now be so kind as to reverse its decision. The announcement that the home of the terrorist indicted for Mizrahi’s murder would soon be razed is too little, too late—as many of the government’s decisions regarding terrorists are.

It should be announced immediately that terrorists will not be released, regardless of the circumstances, and that abductions, attacks and attempts to disrupt normal life will meet a disproportional response meant to crush the aggressor.

The conditions of security prisoners’ confinement must be exacerbated immediately, and no compromise should be made in the war on terror, be it in Judea and Samaria or in the Gaza Strip. We must also promote the proper legislation, to ensure that released terrorists are jailed and prevent similar deals in the future.

The Israeli public understands that releasing terrorists poses a threat, that it undermines security and that it is immoral and unjust. Surveys conducted before and after the Schalit deal have proven that.

Sadly, with sufficient funds and the right PR firms, one can brainwash the public and convince people that releasing terrorists is the only viable option. The prime minister chose to toe that line and release over 1,000 terrorists and hundreds of murderers.

Now is the time to stop, reconsider and regain sanity. You do not release murderous terrorists under any circumstances—it is the only way to fight terror.

Attorney-General Seeks to Jail 10 Terrorists Released in Schalit Deal

Edna Adato; Israel Hayom Staff

Attorney-General Seeks to Jail 10 Terrorists Released in Schalit Deal

Yehuda Weinstein asks Prison Service Parole Board to incarcerate 10 terrorists re-arrested as part of Operation Brother’s Keeper, for violating their release agreements • State: Dangerous prisoners’ sentences were commuted due to Hamas extortion.

Israel Hayom


State seeks to impose prisoners’ release agreements in full. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein (Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has recommended the re-incarceration of 10 former security prisoners who were released as part of the Schalit deal, filing a legal brief to that effect with the Israel Prison Service Parole Board on Tuesday.

The 2011 prisoner exchange, which secured the release of Hamas captive IDF solider Gilad Schalit, saw the release of 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners, including 280 terrorists serving life sentences.

As part of the presidential pardon granted to security prisoners included in such deals, they are required to sign a binding legal agreement stating that they will relinquish any terror activity.

The 10 Palestinians in question were re-arrested as part of Operation Brother’s Keeper, meant to rescue abducted Israeli teens Gil-ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel. According to the state’s brief, all were found to be in clear violation of their release agreements, and should therefore be jailed and made to serve the remainder of their original sentences.

“As part of the Schalit deal, hundreds of dangerous security prisoners, whose sentences were commuted due to Hamas’ extortion of the state, were released. The state seeks to impose the terms of the release, in full, as stipulated in the agreement,” a statement issued by the State Attorney’s Office said.

“We are aware that over the past 18 months there has been a deterioration in the security situation and an increase in terrorist activity against Israeli citizens, including a steady increase in shooting attacks and abduction attempts, and other terrorist activity,” the statement said.

Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, urged the government “to do some soul-searching. It pains us to say we were right, but Almagor has always warned that the price [of releasing terrorists] would be abductions and murders and we got both, ” he said, referring to the murder of high-ranking police officer Baruch Mizrahi in a shooting attack in April, for which Hamas operative Ziad Awad, who was freed in the Schalit deal, was indicted on Tuesday.

The IPS parole board is scheduled to hear the state’s motion on Thursday.

Bill Seeks to Revoke Pardon of Schalit Deal Prisoners

Mati Tuchfeld; Edna Adato; Gideon Allon; Shlomo Cesana; Israel Hayom Staff

Bill Seeks to Revoke Pardon of Schalit Deal Prisoners

Likud MK Zeev Elkin seeks to expedite legislation changing status of terrorists released as part of 2011 prisoner exchange from “pardoned” to “paroled,” to facilitate their reincarceration • “It’s high time we changed the rules of the game,” he says.

Israel Hayom


Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin)

A new bill seeking to revoke the clemency afforded to Palestinian security prisoners released as part of the Schalit deal has garnered the support of MKs from nearly all Knesset factions. The bill is promoted by Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud).

The 2011 prisoner exchange deal meant to secure the safe return of Hamas captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit included the release of 1,027 Palestinian inmates held in Israel, including some 280 terrorists who were sentenced to life in prison for perpetrating terror attacks against Israeli targets.

They were released under a presidential pardon afforded to security prisoners in such cases. Some two weeks ago, the government approved a bill seeking to enable the courts to impose a life sentence on terrorists without the chance of presidential pardon, thus effectively excluding them from any future deal.

Elkin plans to ask the Knesset to expedite the legislation proceedings, to ensure the bill is enacted without delay.

Current Israeli law stipulates that inmates slated to be pardoned as part of a prisoner exchange must sign a legal document limiting their movements and barring them from any future affiliation with a terrorist organization. As they are pardoned by the president, the law further mandates the exhaustion of due process against them, should they violate the terms of the deal.

Elkin’s bill seeks to change the legal status of such security prisoners from “pardoned” to “paroled,” thus allowing the state to revoke their parole and immediately incarcerate them for the duration of their sentence.

“It’s high time we turn the tables and change the rules of the game. Terrorists need to know that heinous abductions result in their imprisonment—not in their release,” Elkin said Thursday.

“Every terror group must be made to understand that carrying out abductions is useless. They have to understand that any released terrorists always risks being imprisoned again.”

Meir Indor, who heads the Almagor Terror Victims Association, commented on the bill, saying, “We shouldn’t need a cabinet decision to uphold a promise given to [terror victims’] families, that any pardoned terrorist who breaks the law would be re-arrested.”

Political sources hedged that given the wide support the bill has garnered it is likely to pass its Knesset readings without much opposition.

A second bill introduced by Elkin on Thursday seeks to limit the president’s ability to pardon security prisoners and prisoners convicted of perpetrating crimes against the state, giving the government the sole authority to pardon such prisoners or commute their sentence.

Elkin noted that the legislation proposal aims to remedy the current situation, whereby the president can issue a pardon on political or foreign policy grounds rather than on the merits of the particular case.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on the Right, led by MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi), introduced a legislation proposal calling for a mandatory life sentence for terrorists who abduct Israeli citizens as part of an armed struggle. Under Israel’s Criminal Code, such crimes are punishable by up to a 20-year sentence.

Support Our Troops

Meir Indor

Lt. Col. (ret.) Meir Indor is the head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association.

Support Our Troops

Israel Hayom


When I first heard about the kidnapping of the teens, I felt great frustration. I was one of the Almagor Terror Victims Association members who led the battle against the freeing of terrorists from prison, knowing that their release would do nothing but set the next kidnapping plot in motion. But our fight failed. We were unable to persuade political leaders to avoid the dark path of releasing terrorists, despite the evidence, both overt and covert, we brought to them showing that the motivation for kidnappings increases after prisoner exchange deals.

The express train barreled past us ahead of the Schalit deal, despite us waving desperately for it to stop. This was followed by the terrible deal under which Israel freed 80 murderers in exchange for merely the right to talk with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. How painful it is to say, “We told you so.” When the Palestinians saw the price Israel was willing to pay, they turned “liberating prisoners” into their top mission.

There is also an operational component to this. It has already been proven that a majority of released terrorists return to their past activities. Among other things, they hatch plots to free their friends left behind in prison. Also, a new generation of terrorists sees that all prisoners have a prospect for release, which enables the recruitment of more young people into the terrorist industry.

The cabinet reports that there have been more than 100 kidnapping attempts just in the past year (where did they hide this data previously?). This is a dramatic number. What will the price be this time? Do we pay it and again encourage further kidnappings? The time has come for an immediate change of direction. Israel must set new rules for the game and adopt the Shamgar Committee report, which includes operational recommendations on how to “correspond” with kidnappers.

The public must not fall asleep on watch, not this time. Pretty soon, “human rights” groups will pop up and begin hounding the IDF and security forces. They will initiate petitions against the searches, checkpoints and arrests. Politicians will also start to lose their nerve. Some have already hinted at this.

“We must not forget that part of Hamas is a political body,” Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah said after the arrest of Hamas leaders in Judea and Samaria. Luckily, former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter was there to correct Shelah and say that Hamas, in Judea and Samaria, is entirely a terrorist group, with no “political” component. But there will not always be someone there to set the facts straight. This means proponents of the current military operation must be ready to take flak, as eventually there will be calls to release terrorists, instead of defeating terrorism.

This is where the public needs to step in. If the Schalit scenario replays itself, the public will be summoned to defend the state from another harmful prisoner release deal. IDF commanders cannot engage in dealing with fire from civilian groups. The public must now establish a “defensive shield.” Ze’ev Jabotinsky already called for this in the 1920s, when he spoke of an “iron wall.” In essence, the public must build a structure of support for the IDF and security forces to go on the offensive on the road to victory over terrorism.

Terrorist Parole Law Is “Practically Ineffective”

Shimon Cohen; Ari Yashar

Terrorist Parole Law Is “Practically Ineffective”

Terror victims org. head rips into law—which doesn’t apply to military courts, or to terrorists convicted until now. And there’s more…

Israel National News


Freed terrorist in Jerusalem’s Old City (Flash 90)

There has been much talk over the new “Life Without Parole” Bill, which passed a Security Committee vote on Sunday, and is slated for a preliminary Knesset reading in the coming days.

The proposed law, presented by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked last December, would allow judges to block the future release of terrorists in a prisoner swap, as a “gesture,” or presidential pardon, by handing down life without parole at the time of their sentencing. Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett praised the bill, saying “today, we end the ‘murder deal’ – a deal which exists only in Israel.”

However, Meir Indor, head of the Almagor terror victims organization, told Arutz Sheva that the new bill has so many legal holes, it is left practically bereft of relevant content.

Indor qualified his criticism by saying that the bill is a positive development, as it shows some consideration by the government for the families of terror victims. But while the bill constitutes a change in the direction of the government, Indor added that its contents cast a great doubt as to whether it can be at all effective in its current wording.

One key shortcoming in the bill according to Indor is that it applies only to terrorists captured and jailed from this point forward.

It does not apply to the thousands of terrorists currently in Israeli prisons, waiting for another deal to free them as occurred in 2011, when 1,027 terrorists were exchanged for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been kidnapped by Hamas.

The new law should apply to all terrorists, including those currently in jail, argues Indor, adding that a judge could assess their legal records and decide if their acts were serious enough to warrant losing the possibility of parole.

While Indor conceded that there is a certain logic to not allowing retroactive rulings, he noted the Yigal Amir Law, passed after the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Jewish extremist Amir, which ruled that the murderer of a prime minister can never be released. The law applied to Amir retroactively, as it did not exist at the time of his sentencing.

Indor gave the further example of a law passed against Nazis five years after World War II ended, and according to which Nazi war criminals Adolf Eichmann and John Demjanjuk were sentenced.

What about Military Courts?

Aside from the issue of jailed terrorists, Indor points out that the bill does not cover terrorists sentenced in a military court trial; currently the bill only addresses civilian courts.

Unless the point is corrected, Indor argues that there are enough sources in the State Attorney’s office who will try to find a legal loophole saving terrorists from the law.

Indor emphasizes that the overwhelming majority of jailed terrorists were sentenced in a military court, thereby rendering the bill irrelevant for them. The reason for that is most come from the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, and hence are not Israeli citizens and therefore cannot be tried in civilian Israeli courts.

Just one example of the weight of the omission can be seen in the Arab terrorist murderers of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, located in Samaria. The murderers were indeed sentenced by a military court, and so in theory terrorists who carry out similar atrocities in the future could still be released without violating the new law.

How Will the Judge Decide?

Another issue Indor raised was the question of the judge’s discretion concerning who is worthy of sentencing without parole. Clear definitions and standards are necessary to prevent judges from ruling based on their own opinion of what sort of act warrants such sentencing, argues Indor.

Indor argued that in a reality in which the public prosecutor’s office has refrained from employing the death penalty despite technically having the option to do so, there is a high likelihood that it will similarly refrain from demanding life without parole. He added that the approach that has been taken until now emphasizes leaving a window of hope open for the “rehabilitation” of prisoners, including hardened terrorists.

Something that Indor would like included in the bill to balance this is a legal mechanism allowing bereaved family members of terror victims to submit an official, recognized legal document, in which they demand the murderer of their loved ones be sentenced without parole.

As an aside, Indor expressed his distress that the bill is being presented as part of a political deal between Jewish Home and Yesh Atid, which has been advancing the latter party’s surrogacy bill. That law has been criticized as an attempt to enable same-sex couples to easily hire surrogates for childbirth, a move raising concerns given the Jewish prohibition on homosexuality.

Indor said that many bereaved parents considered demanding that Jewish Home MKs give up on the parole bill, just to prevent the surrogacy bill. But after some reconsideration, they decided not to go ahead with the call, in order to keep all bereaved parents unified and not to create friction over political or religious issues not directly related to their struggle against terrorism.

Cabinet Okays Bill Curbing Presidential Powers to Free Terrorists

Herb Keinon; Lahav Harkov

Cabinet Okays Bill Curbing Presidential Powers to Free Terrorists

Cabinet approves legislation aimed at limiting presidential pardons, preventing large scale release of Palestinian terrorists in the future.

The Jerusalem Post


Palestinians mark Prisoner Day in Ramallah, April 17 (Photo: Reuters)

The cabinet approved proposed legislation on Sunday to enable courts to sentence terrorists to life in prison without any chance of presidential commutation.

The bill is aimed at preventing the large-scale release of convicted Palestinian terrorists in the future.

The legislation, which received the cabinet’s recommendation by a vote of 15-6 on Sunday and will now go to the Knesset, would allow courts to stipulate in sentencing a clause saying the president will not—as is the case today—have the powers to commute the sentence.

The cabinet also agreed the defense minister will be directed to apply this law to military courts in Judea and Samaria.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen and Health Minister Yael German, all from Yesh Atid, voted against, as did Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, both from Hatnua.

Seventy-eight Palestinian terrorists were set free in three batches of prisoner releases since last August as part of a framework deal that led to eight months of negotiations with the PLO. Israel refused to release a final batch of 26 terrorists when it appeared the talks would not be extended past their nine-month deadline.

Each prisoner exchange sparked heated debate inside the country as to the morality and wisdom of releasing terrorists with “blood on their hands.”

“If Israel can’t stand by basic morality, which dictates that murderers should die in prison, then from now on there won’t be a choice,” he said. “If this law existed earlier, then maybe many murderers would have understood that it doesn’t pay to kill Jews.”

Bennett called the legislation a “Zionist response” to the Hamas–Fatah unity government.

Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked, who co-sponsored the bill with MK David Tsur (Hatnua), said terrorists and people who murder children deserve similar, severe punishments.

“Freeing wholesale amounts of murderers in diplomatic deals makes a mockery of Israeli citizens and shows contempt for them,” she said.

Tsur said the bill does not only apply to terrorists or murderers motivated by nationalism.

“All murder is detestable and there are extraordinary cases … in which we should prevent the murderers from being able to receive a pardon, which is unjust,” he said.

“The bill strengthens judges’ authority by creating an additional level of punishment between life in prison and death sentences, which do not exist in Israel. This will increase deterrence and a sense of personal security for all citizens.”

Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) said the law should be extended to include death sentences for terrorist murders, and that it should apply retroactively to all the terrorists in Israeli jails, including Fatah–Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti.

Peretz said the legislation was meant for PR purposes only and was deceiving the public.

“The bill only applies to future murders and not those who are in prison now. Therefore, it will not bring deterrence. Rather, it will damage Israel’s image and diplomatic standing, because the government is afraid to govern and is giving the responsibility to someone else [the courts],” the environmental protection minister said.

According to Peretz, the government needs to be able to negotiate releasing prisoners, including Barghouti.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called the bill another punishment for the Palestinian unity government, which will tie Israel’s hands in peace talks.

“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu, who less than a year ago preferred a prisoner release to freezing settlements to continue diplomatic negotiations, gave in to the extreme Right and supports a demagogic bill that goes against Israel’s interests,” she said.

Almagor Terror Victims Organization director Lt.-Col. (res.) Meir Indoralso said the bill as it stands does not include thousands of murderers who were already sentenced and could be released in negotiations and as gestures.

To solve the problem, hundreds of bereaved families with Almagor demand to have the bill apply to terrorists who are already in prison, including those who were on the list for the fourth round [of prisoner releases in the last round of negotiations],” he said.

Terror Victims: Pope’s Visit to Memorial Was Necessary

Terror Victims: Pope’s Visit to Memorial Was Necessary

Israel National News


The Almagor umbrella group of terror-victim associations thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday morning for the quickly-arranged visit by Pope Francis to the terror-victim memorial on Mount Herzl, in between the pontiff’s visit to the grave of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.

A statement by Almagor said, “This was a quick but necessary step after the shameful meeting of the pope with the families of murderous martyrs [dead terrorists—ed.] and prisoners in the Palestinian Authority.” The statement added, “The wrong was not corrected but there was a message of an independent and assertive stance by the state of Israel opposite Palestinian propaganda and the anti-Semitic currents sweeping Europe. They have achieved a record of attacks on and vulnerability of Jews.”

Terror Victim Group Blames Livni, Aharonovich for “Price Tags”

Yaakov Levi

Terror Victim Group Blames Livni, Aharonovich for “Price Tags”

Head of Almagor Terror Victims Association says “price tag” incidents are a natural outcome of “ignoring the crimes of the left.”

Israel National News


“Price tag” in Ein Aluza (Flash 90)

If Israel is suffering from a rash of “price tag” attacks, it’s not Jewish youth from Judea and Samaria that are to blame—it’s Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich who must shoulder the responsibility, said Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, head of the Almagor Bereaved Parents’ Forum.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Bachrach said that Livni and Aharonovich ought not be surprised at the disrespect for the state by alienated youth—because they themselves did not protest when far more important individuals condemned the state and its symbols.

“Of course, it’s a basic tenet of proper education to condemn negative behavior,” he said.

“But those who remained silent when figures like Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz or Professor Moshe Zimmerman called IDF soldiers ‘Nazis’ and ‘baby killers’ should not be surprised when teenagers, just like the honored and revered professors, act in this way,” he continued, referring to two prominent left-wing Israeli academics.

“Those who remained silent when Niso Shacham, the police commander who called to hurt the protestors in Gush Katif was not punished, but given an advancement, should not be surprised when kids vandalize property.” Both Livni and Aharonovich were in the government when these incidents occurred, he pointed out.

“We are tired of the hypocrisy,” said Bachrach. “We are tired of these people deflecting the blame onto the settlers and the youth. You, along with the media, are guilty of the hate crimes that these youths commit.”

“You who ignored the crimes of the left are responsible for the crimes of those on the right,” he added.

Palestinian Prisoners Are Smuggling Sperm Out of Israeli Jails So Wives Can Have Babies

Ruth Eglash; Sufian Taha

Palestinian Prisoners Are Smuggling Sperm Out of Israeli Jails So Wives Can Have Babies

The Washington Post


Suad Samir Abu Fayed holds her 10-day-old daughter, Hurryah (Ruth Eglash/The Washington Post)

Suad Abu Fayed and her husband have had no physical contact for more than 11 years. That is how long he has been in an Israeli prison.

And yet on a recent day, Abu Fayed cradled the couple’s 9-day-old baby, Hurriyah—a daughter whose birth earned her a place in an unusual but growing group: infants conceived over the past two years by in vitro fertilization, using sperm from Palestinian prisoners that has been smuggled out of Israeli jails.

The aim of the clandestine process, those involved say, is two-pronged: to help prisoners’ wives have children while their husbands are behind bars and to chip away at one facet of Israel’s control over Palestinian life.

Hurriyah’s father, Samir Abu Fayed, 37, is serving an 18-year sentence for involvement in terrorist activities. He is a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian political movement Fatah, according to his brother. Israel does not allow conjugal visits to Palestinian security prisoners, and carefully screened relatives can meet with them only through glass dividers.

But young children are allowed brief physical interaction with their fathers, and that is how Hurriyah, whose name means freedom in Arabic, came to be. Abu Fayed’s sperm was secretly slipped to one of the couple’s three older children—born before he was imprisoned—during a visit at the Nafha prison in southern Israel, said Suad Abu Fayed, 34. It was immediately transported to the Razan Medical Center in Nablus, which specializes in the IVF treatment that led to her pregnancy.

“I know it won’t be easy raising a baby with a husband in jail, but this is our way of breaking Israel’s siege on us,” she said, referring to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. “We are challenging [Israel’s] occupation and getting something beautiful in return.”

Israeli prison authority spokesperson Sivan Weitzman said Israel is aware of the growing phenomenon, and she acknowledged that little could be done to stop it.

“We have caught some prisoners attempting to smuggle sperm out, and as a consequence we have increased our searches of prisoner’s cells and of their visitors,” she said, adding that Israel has no way of proving that the prisoners are biologically linked to the babies.

The subject of prisoners is central to Palestinian society. Palestinians view those who are locked up as freedom fighters and heroes resisting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip. Their families are not only revered but also receive monthly financial support from the Palestinian Authority. Israel, meanwhile, sees them as terrorists with Israeli blood on their hands.

“This is a great injustice,” Meir Indor, head of the Israeli terror victims’ association Almagor, said of the births. “Those who were murdered by these terrorists will never get to marry, they will never live their lives, while those who commit the murders are in a situation where they can always start a new life.”

The prisoners issue is considered one of the main sticking points in getting Israelis and Palestinians to even discuss possibilities of peace. This month, U.S.-led peace talks sputtered after nine months when Israel, angered by unilateral Palestinian steps toward greater recognition by the United Nations, reneged on its commitment to release a group of prisoners jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Israel suspended the talks last month after Fatah announced a unity government with a rival Palestinian party, Hamas, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.

According to data published by the Addameer Palestinian prisoner association and based on figures collected by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, about 5,000 Palestinians are serving security sentences handed down by Israeli military courts. A 2012 study by the Palestinian prime minister’s office suggested that about 800,000 Palestinian men—nearly 20 percent of the population of the West Bank and Gaza—have spent a week or more in an Israeli jail since 1967.

“Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jail face a true challenge,” said Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraka. He said that smuggling out sperm to enable prisoners’ wives to get pregnant sends a “strong message that the prisoners still think about life while they are in jail.”

Former prisoner Esmat Mansour, who served 20 years for his role in the murder of an Israeli citizen and was released in August, said prisoners often talked about having children while inside.

“The prisoners always discussed how to do it and now, even if [Israel] tries to stop it, it will continue to happen,” he said.

Semen, if healthy, can remain viable for up to 12 hours outside the body, said Salem Abu Khaizaran, a physician who is president of the Razan clinic, which has carried out the majority of IVF treatments for prisoner’s wives.

He said smuggled sperm has arrived at his clinic hidden in all sorts of creative ways—inside medicine containers, the barrels of pens, candy wrappers, chocolate bars and even in the tip of a rubber glove inside a mush of dates. Once at the clinic, the sperm is frozen until the woman ovulates.

The first baby conceived by this process was born in August 2012. Today, about 15 women in the West Bank have successfully given birth in this way and another 15 women are pregnant, Khaizaran said. In Gaza, where another clinic performs IVF, one woman has given birth and local news media have reported that another six women are expecting babies in the coming months.

Khaizaran said that because of the stigma Palestinian wives might face in their conservative society for becoming pregnant without their husbands present, any sperm brought to his clinic must be authenticated by two relatives of the woman and two of the man. All must sign a document saying the sample is from her husband.

“We have worked to raise awareness in Palestinian society and to get the religious authorities to issue a fatwa declaring it acceptable,” Khaizaran said.

IVF treatment in the West Bank usually costs between $2,000 and $3,000, but Khaizaran said he offers it free to prisoners’ wives for “humanitarian reasons.”

“People do not pay much attention to the suffering of the wives,” he said. “We saw so many Palestinian prisoners, some of them newly married, who were sent to prison for a long time, and by the time they came out of prison, their wives were too old to have babies.”

This way, he said, life can go on for the wives even while their husbands are in jail.

Indor, the Israeli victims’ advocate, said the families of Israeli victims feel pained every time the news media report on the birth of a Palestinian prisoner’s baby.

“Palestinian prisoners get to study, eat well and take advantage of the system, and an absurd saga comes about whereby new life is created,” he said.

At the Askar camp, Suad Abu Fayed said she has peaceful hopes for Hurriyah’s future.

“I want to send her to private school so she can become a lawyer and defend our prisoners,” she said. “I really hope that her life will be better and more enjoyable than the life we have now.”

Bereaved Families to PM: Stay Away from Remembrance Day Events

Lahav Harkov

Bereaved Families to PM: Stay Away from Remembrance Day Events

After prisoner releases, ‘we don’t believe anything you say,’ they write to Netanyahu; Sa’ar tells Almagor advocacy group he will vote against freeing terrorists in the future.

The Jerusalem Post


Almagor members meet with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (left) at the Knesset yesterday. (Photo: Knesset spokesman’s office)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not speak at Remembrance Day ceremonies next week because he released Palestinian prisoners during recent negotiations, bereaved parents wrote Wednesday.

“Please spare us and other families of the victims of terror your speech this year. Do not come to the ceremony on Mount Herzl,” Ron Kerman and Yossi Tsur, fathers from Haifa who lost children in terror attacks, wrote to the prime minister. “Since last year’s ceremony, you freed murderers three times on three dates that are etched into our flesh and our hearts.”

Netanyahu is from a bereaved family, after losing his brother, Lt.-Col. Yoni Netanyahu, in the Entebbe mission in 1976.

Still, Kerman and Tsur wrote, “if we were so important and you really felt our pain, you could have prevented our additional, unnecessary suffering.

“We have had enough of your cliches and empty slogans and promises in your speeches.”

“You don’t mean one word that you say,” they added. “Don’t put us and yourself in an awkward situation, because, anyway, your words will fall on deaf ears. Don’t give your speech and let us mourn our loved ones quietly.”

Almagor Terror Victims Association director Lt.-Col. (res.) Meir Indor said views are split among bereaved families as to whether they should support Kerman and Tsur’s initiative.

At the same time, he said: “It’s hard for us to see the parade of hypocrisy in which senior officials stand in Remembrance Day ceremonies to promise that they will catch [terrorists], while they release them.”

Also Wednesday, Indor and other Almagor members visited Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to discuss ways to prevent future terrorist releases.

Sa’ar told the bereaved families that, unlike in the previous three releases, he would oppose freeing terrorists if a fourth one comes to a vote, because it would be likely to include prisoners with Israeli citizenship.

The minister added that even if Israeli citizenship is taken away from the released terrorists, he would vote against it.

“Sa’ar moved to the side of the good, courageous guys,” Indor told The Jerusalem Post.

“I don’t know if he will stand up to the pressure, but we hope he will be strong. Sa’ar is important to us because he is a senior minister who can influence Netanyahu.”

Edelstein opposed releasing terrorists from the start, but the Almagor families discussed with him the possibility of passing laws that could prevent it from happening again.

“We owe this to our families,” Indor said.

“We can’t go to our loved ones’ graves on Remembrance Day while, at the same time, their murderers are on the way to being freed, after 83 were already released in the last year.”

Bereaved Families Tell PM Not to Attend Memorial Day Ceremony

Hezki Ezra

Bereaved Families Tell PM Not to Attend Memorial Day Ceremony

Bereaved families tell PM not to make their pain worse by speaking at ceremony for terror victims after releasing terrorists 3 times.

Israel National News


Bereaved families protest last terrorist release (Flash 90)

Bereaved families called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to refrain from attending the official Memorial Day ceremony for terror victims on Wednesday, in protest over the release of dozens of Palestinian Arab terrorists in the framework of peace talks.

Bereaved parents Ron Kerman and Yossi Zur drafted the letter.

“Please save us and other families of the victims of terror from your speech this year [on Memorial Day],” the letter reads. “Please do not come to the ceremony on Har Herzl and please do not speak.”

“Since last year’s ceremony you released murderers three times,” the letter continued. “Three times that you tore at our hearts and ripped at our flesh! If we were really that important and you really joined us in our grief, you would have had the ability to prevent us from suffering once again for nothing.”

“We’ve heard plenty of cliches, slogans and hollow promises in your speeches,” it fired. “You do not mean a word of it and we no longer believe in you and any word you say.”

“Your words will fall on deaf ears … let go of us and let us unite in peace and dignity with our loved ones,” it added.

Ministers Vow to Vote Against Future Releases—For Now

Meanwhile, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) and Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar also met with bereaved families Wednesday over ongoing rumors of yet another terrorist release.

The families asked the two ministers not to release Israeli Arab terrorists in the event that peace talks return to the national agenda.

The two families asked that if political negotiations agenda and will return to the question of releasing terrorists holding Israeli identity cards they oppose such a proposal.

Sa’ar confirmed at the meeting that he would oppose the release of Israeli Arab terrorists.

“The ongoing negotiations have been called off for the moment and I do not see them returning on the horizon, but when the question of releasing terrorists holding Israeli identity cards will rise again, I will oppose and will vote against it, as I said before,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, Meir Indor, head of the Almagor terror victims organization, took issue with the State’s policies in light of Memorial Day.

“You cannot visit the graves of our loved ones on Memorial Day on the one hand, and on the other continue to release murderers,” he said. “83 murderers were released this year. You cannot do this and use all tools at our disposal to prevent further releases in the future.”

Could a Compromise Deal See Israeli–Arab Terrorists Released?

Ari Soffer

Could a Compromise Deal See Israeli–Arab Terrorists Released?

Official tells Arutz Sheva Bibi taking Jewish Home threats to leave coalition seriously—but would taking the bait cost Bennett dearly?

Israel National News


Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu (Flash 90)

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett provoked mixed responses earlier this month, when he threatened to withdraw his Jewish Home party from the current coalition if Prime Minister Netanyahu gave in to international pressure to release Israeli–Arab terrorists from jail, to revive dying peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

“If a proposal for release of Israeli murderers comes before the Cabinet, the Jewish Home will oppose it,” Bennett declared. “If the proposal will pass, the Jewish Home will resign from the government, which frees murderers with Israeli citizenship. Enough is enough.”

Bennett also urged Israeli Arabs to oppose the move, warning that by allowing the PA to speak for them they would be harming their own position in Israeli society.

Some Likud officials shrugged off the threats, as did the Jewish Home’s more left-wing coalition partners, saying Bennett was welcome to leave if he wanted to.

Others took it more seriously, warning that toppling the current government would backfire for the nationalist bloc and pave the way for a left-wing government willing to make sweeping concessions to the PA.

And that latter concern appears to be the official position of the Likud establishment. According to a government official, who spoke to Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity, a proposal has been tabled by the Likud party to reach a compromise which would see Israeli-Arab terrorists released in order to prop-up collapsing talks and stave-off international pressure – but on condition that they be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and summarily expelled.

It is a scenario which has been floated from time to time, although the PA has thus far rejected such an arrangement.

Hints that Deal Being Considered

Possible evidence that the deal was at least being considered were comments made by Jewish Home MK and Housing Minister Uri Ariel during yesterday’s Ramle Conference.

When asked if he thought the citizenship of Israeli Arab terrorists should be revoked in the eventuality that they were released, Ariel responded: “Even if their citizenship is revoked, they should also be expelled.”

That statement was far from a signal of support for releasing Arab Israel terrorists, and arguably was simply his response to a hypothetical scenario—but the fact that he did not reject the idea out of hand was taken as an unwelcome sign of flexibility on the issue by some, including Meir Indor, who heads the Almagor Terror Victims’ Association.

“So now they can fly abroad and have the time of their lives while their victims remain buried in the ground …?” he asked bitterly.

Politically Costly?

No one from the Jewish Home party was available to comment on the claims, and it should be stressed that it is not clear if they are being seriously considered by the party’s leadership.

The left-wing Labor party has in the past promised to replace the Jewish Home if it bolts the coalition, in order to keep peace talks going and to help promote concessions to the PA from within the government. It is not difficult then to understand why Bennett would seek to find a way to remain in the government and use his position to prevent such an eventuality.

But such a move would undeniably be a politically-risky one for the Jewish Home, which is currently riding high in opinion polls, due in part to its perceived no-nonsense approach to Israeli security issues, including staunch opposition to the release of convicted terrorists.

Bennett has emerged relatively well from previous spats with Netanyahu’s party. But following a pledge to leave the coalition as unequivocal as the one he made prior to the Pesach holidays, and after deriding PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas for making “empty threats” to dismantle the PA if Israel did not give in to his demands, it would be hard to spin such an agreement as anything other than a capitulation.

Terror Victims’ Families Stage Protest Outside US Consulate

Efrat Forsher

Terror Victims’ Families Stage Protest Outside US Consulate

Bereaved families set up full Passover Seder table outside U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, use photos of 183 people who were killed by terrorists paroled as part of three recent stages of Palestinian prisoners’ release as meal’s “guests.”

Israel Hayom


Pictures of the 183 victims killed in terrorist attacks by Palestinian prisoners recently paroled in the Israel-Palestinian negotiations (photo credit: Contact)

Bereaved families and victims of terrorist attacks staged a mock Passover Seder as part of a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem on Thursday.

The families and members of the Almagor Terror Victims Association arranged the table with matzot, wine, food, and Seder plates, but instead of people sitting at the chairs there were pictures of the 183 victims of the terrorists freed in the last three stages of Palestinian prisoners’ release by Israel, as part of the ongoing U.S. brokered negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

At the center of the table was a picture of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whom the bereaved families hold responsible for releasing the terrorists.

“These are the people that will not be at their families’ Passover Seder because they were murdered by the released terrorists. We are here to remind John Kerry, who blamed Israel for the ‘poof’, of the price that was paid by Israeli society for its goodwill gestures to the Palestinians and the false hopes of politicians. Let us remind Kerry that the ‘poof moment’ is done by the murderers with their bullets and not by building a neighborhood in Gilo in Jerusalem,” Almagor Chairman Meir Indor said Thursday.

Almagor is preparing to launch a new campaign next week, calling for the reincarceration of the 80 prisoners paroled during the talks thus far.

Bereaved Israeli Families Stage Mock Passover Seder to Protest Prisoner Release

Bereaved Israeli Families Stage Mock Passover Seder to Protest Prisoner Release



Bereaved families and victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks staged a mock Passover seder as part of a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem on Thursday, Israel Hayom reported.

The families and members of the Almagor Terror Victims Association arranged the table with matzot, wine, food, and seder plates, but instead of people sitting at the chairs there were pictures of the 183 victims of the terrorists freed in the last three stages of the Palestinian terrorist prisoner release by Israel, as part of the ongoing U.S.-brokered negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

At the center of the table was a picture of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whom the bereaved families hold responsible for releasing the terrorists.

“These are the people that will not be at their families’ Passover seder because they were murdered by the released terrorists,” said Almagor Chairman Meir Indor. “We are here to remind John Kerry, who blamed Israel for the ‘poof’ [of peace talks faltering], of the price that was paid by Israeli society for its goodwill gestures to the Palestinians and the false hopes of politicians. Let us remind Kerry that the ‘poof moment’ is done by the murderers with their bullets and not by building a neighborhood in Gilo in Jerusalem.”

As Palestinian Prisoner Releases Debated, a Former Inmate Turned Hebrew Teacher Reflects

Ruth Eglash

As Palestinian Prisoner Releases Debated, a Former Inmate Turned Hebrew Teacher Reflects

The Washington Post


Esmat Mansour, convicted as an accomplice to murder, was one of the first Palestinian prisoners released last year to keep peace talks with the Israelis going. Now he teaches Hebrew—a language he learned during more than two decades behind bars—to Palestinian children.

The U.S.-brokered talks that led to his release are now in danger of collapse, and at the center of the impasse is what to do about other prisoners. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has balked at releasing a final batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners unless the Palestinians agreed to continue talks past the April 29 end date.

The issue is an emotional one here. Israelis see the prisoners as terrorists with blood on their hands and wonder why they must be freed to keep peace talks alive. For the Palestinians, the prisoners are freedom fighters and heroes of the resistance against Israeli occupation.

On a recent day, in the schoolyard of the Greek Orthodox high school in this Palestinian village near Ramallah, where he is now the Hebrew language instructor, Mansour was greeted like a celebrity. Teachers and students rushed to say hello. His teenage pupils said they love learning Hebrew with him, even though it’s the language of their perceived oppressors.

Mansour, 37, was one of the longest-serving Palestinian security prisoners, jailed by Israel for more than 20 years for his part in the murder of Haim Mizrachi, an Israeli from the Jewish settlement of Beit El.

Mansour was 16 when he helped three older teenagers ambush Mizrachi, whom they planned to kidnap. When Mizrachi resisted, the other conspirators, Mansour said, stabbed their victim to death. They later tried to burn his body to hide the evidence.

Mansour said that he does not regret his role in the violence of the past, but said he would never take another life now.

“I understand the pain and sadness of the [Israeli] victims because they have lost loved ones and nothing in the world can repair that. But I do not understand why their anger is directed at the prisoners,” said Mansour, who said he is well aware that Israelis see him as a terrorist.

“I think they need to look at the real reasons why their loved ones died and not take it personally,” he said. “It’s a result of the conflict.”

But that is not a common view in Israel, where key figures in the ruling coalition have threatened to quit the government if more prisoners are released.

“I will not sit in a government that releases terrorists in exchange for nothing,” said Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who has threatened to resign if even one more Palestinian prisoner is set free. Danon is one of the leaders of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Many Palestinians and prisoners’ advocates argue that longtime former detainees typically focus on rebuilding their lives, marrying and settling down—not on fighting.

Israeli security agencies dispute that, saying that about 50 percent return to terrorist activity, while research by Almagor, an Israeli association for victims of terrorism, has found that about 80 percent of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel over the years did so.

In April 2012, for example, two Palestinian prisoners who were among 1,027 released in exchange for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit were rearrested by Israel’s internal security agency—one for allegedly recruiting Palestinians in the West Bank to kidnap Israelis, the other for smuggling weapons.

“The problem is that they all become symbols of the resistance,” said Meir Indor of Almagor. “They become heroes in their society, their crimes are celebrated. The system does not let them get away from that.”

A senior Israeli military intelligence officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of security protocols, said that long-serving Palestinian prisoners who return to the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas, are more likely to support violence. The prisoners who come home to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinian leaders have renounced violence as a tactic, usually do not.

As a condition of their release, former prisoners returning to the West Bank must remain within their municipality for a year, check in with the Israeli army every two months and stay inside the West Bank for ten years.

Mansour, like all the 78 prisoners released in this round of peace talks, was given $50,000 upon release and a monthly salary of $1,725 by the Palestinian Authority.

He said Israelis should stop seeing him as a threat but instead as someone who might be able to make a difference in his society. He learned to speak, read and write Hebrew fluently during his 20 years in prison.

“When we were in prison we became curious about Israeli life and society, we learned Hebrew and we watched Israeli TV,” said Mansour, adding that his years behind bars in Israel helped him better understand the people he once hated enough to kill.

“I don’t feel like my time was wasted. It’s true that it was hard, sometimes violent and that I lost a big part of my life, but I have those experiences now and maybe I can use them to do something that other people can’t do,” he said.

Since his release in August, Mansour said he has taught young Palestinians about their neighbors and helped them learn Hebrew so they can better communicate with the Israeli soldiers at checkpoints and other places across the West Bank.

Mansour said that he makes a great effort to play down his status as a hero to his students, who are now the same age he was when he was first jailed.

“I try to teach them never to use violence,” said Mansour, who wrote three novels while in prison, all featuring uneasy heroes who had to battle their personal demons and weaknesses to survive.

“I don’t feel like a hero because of what I did. Honestly, anyone can kill a person; that is easy. But I do see myself as a hero because I came out of this experience still strong,” he said. “I wrote, studied and managed to deal with the harsh conditions in prison, I left and I still have my sanity.”

Releasing Jew Killers Is No “Poof” for Bereaved Families

Releasing Jew Killers Is No “Poof” for Bereaved Families

Israel National News


Meir Indor, Chairman of the Almagor terror victims association, sent a letter of the members of the US Senate following the expressions made by Secretary of State John Kerry last night (Tuesday).

Indor wrote, “Releasing terrorists who have murdered Jews is only a ‘poof’ for those who feel the lives of Jews are not worth more than a ‘poof’—not to the families who lost loved ones by those terrorists’ hands, and not to the Jewish nation …”

Families of Terror Victims Call on Obama to Free Pollard

Families of Terror Victims Call on Obama to Free Pollard

The Jerusalem Post


Bereaved family members of victims killed by Palestinian terrorists released in connection with the current Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations called on US President Barack Obama to free Jonathan Pollard.

“Mr. President, with a broken heart, we are turning to you and asking you—please release Pollard, in the name of justice, compassion and humanity,” read a letter signed by 22 members of the Almagor Terror Victims Organization.

The organization presented the letter to US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who was requested to pass it along to Obama.

“If all the requests and considerations weren’t enough, please do this as a gesture to us, families who lost those most dear to them, and who were forced to see the murderers of their precious ones freed—so that the end of the Pollard tragedy will offer them at least a tiny sliver of consolation,” read the letter.

JTA contributed to this report.

Relatives of Terror Victims Appeal for Pollard Release

Relatives of Terror Victims Appeal for Pollard Release

Israel National News


Bereaved families who suffered a second time when the terrorists who killed their loved ones were released in connection with the Israel-Palestinian Authority diplomatic process wrote a letter to President Barack Obama of the United States, Sunday, demanding that he release Jonathan Pollard as a gesture to their sacrifice. Pollard has been behind bars for more than 28 years on a life sentence for passing classified information from the U.S. to Israel.

The Almagor umbrella group of terror-victim organizations initiated the letter, which Almagor delivered to the U.S. ambassador in Israel, Dan Shapiro.

Letter by Families of Terror Victims Calls for Pollard Release

Letter by families of terror victims calls for Pollard release



Family members of terror victims killed by Palestinian prisoners released in connection with the current Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations called on President Obama to free Jonathan Pollard.

The letter, signed by 22 terror victim relatives, was delivered Sunday to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to be passed on to the U.S. president, according to the Times of Israel. The letter was circulated by the Almagor Terror Victims Association.

“Mr. President, with a broken heart we are turning to you and asking you—please release Pollard, in the name of justice, compassion and humanity,” read the letter, which detailed their pain and suffering, and their failed attempt to prevent the release of the prisoners over the last eight months.

“Sadly, we did not succeed in our struggle. Close to 80 cold-blooded murderers were freed in the last three releases, and were received with massive celebrations by Abu Mazen while being portrayed as heroes,” read the letter.

Israel released the 80 Palestinian prisoners over the last eight months as part of an agreement made last August to jump-start the peace process. Some 28 other prisoners were set to go free at the end of last month, but Israel postponed their release pending progress in the peace process, or an agreement by the Palestinians to extend the time of the negotiations, which currently are scheduled to end on April 29.

In an effort to convince Israel to release the latest batch of prisoners, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered to release Pollard, the convicted American spy for Israel, currently in his 29th year of a life sentence in a U.S. prison. Many U.S. intelligence officials object to freeing Pollard.

“If all the requests and considerations weren’t enough, please do this as a gesture to the families who lost those most dear to them, who were forced to see the murderers of their precious ones freed, so that the end of the Pollard tragedy will offer them at least a tiny sliver of consolation,” said the letter.