Terror Victims: Don’t Release Prisoners for Soldier

Roee Nahmias

Terror Victims: Don’t Release Prisoners for Soldier

In letter to prime minister, defense minister, terror victims’ organization Almagor warns of ramifications of freeing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for release of kidnapped soldier; organization’s suggested alternative: Threatening terrorists with death penalty



The Almagor terror victims’ organization on Friday sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, in which it calls on the two officials not to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of kidnapped soldier Corporal Gilad Soldier.

The organization sent the letter in response to recent publications in Arab newspapers, according to which Israel is considering a deal in which it will free prisoners in exchange for the soldier’s release.

“We are concerned over the reports in the Arab press that Israel is about to capitulate to Hamas and offer to release terrorists in exchange for the captive. Past experience shows us that if we don’t act, we will once again witness waves of release that will lead to further abductions and further waves of terror as there is no law,” said Almagor Director Meir Eindor.

Eindor presented the heads of the defense establishment with a suggested alternative.

“We call on the government to pose a clear threat of death penalty to terrorists. If they know this is the alternative and that they may only lose, they will understand that they had better not deal with us,” he said.

Israel rejected the claims published in an interview with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the al-Ahram newspaper, according to which it refused to conditions set by Hamas for the release of the kidnapped soldier. However, Lebanese newspaper As-Safir later reported that Israel agreed to conditions to release prisoners only after the soldier is freed.

“A large part of the acts of terror committed in the past were carried out by terrorists released in the past in release deals in exchange for captives, easing of restrictions, gestures and diplomatic-political agreements. This phenomenon strengthens a law in criminology which says that once the ability to punish and deter is lost, the circle of crime grows,” the letter sent to Olmert and Peretz’s offices read.

‘Abductions Will Become a Key Method’

“According to statements made by security officials in different discussions, 80 percent of the terrorists released returned to the terror circle. Therefore, the Israeli public must know that the release option will only overwhelm us into a chaos of terror and will only create new problems,” Eindor explained.

The organization expressed its concern that releasing prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped soldier will lead terror organizations to turn abductions into a common method.

The letter was accompanied by an inquiry, which presents declarations made by Hamas leaders and heads of other terror organizations, which reveals, according to the letter’s writers, that “abductions will become a key fighting method in the future, and every release convinces them that the method works, and strengthens them in using this strategy.”

“Such a release deal will immediately expose other Israelis to further abductions. Therefore, what is the benefit in one release, when it pushes many civilians into the immediate circle of risk,” the writers asked.

The organization members also claimed in the letter that the feelings of terror-stricken families must also be considered.

“From our experience, the release of terrorists hurts terror-stricken families. When the families see the murderers of their loves ones leaving prisons marking a ‘V’ sign with their fingers, in a situation in which there is no justice and no judge for those who hurt their loved ones, the mental damage is immense,” the letter added.

Death of the Concept

Meir Indor

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

Death of the Concept

What else has to happen before the architects of this catastrophe admit their failure?



The entire new concept of security, based on the notion that Israel should dig in and realign itself behind a fortified wall, crumbled at Kerem Shalom. Once and for all it was proven that there is no substitute for a strong IDF presence in areas where terrorists organize.

The evacuated area has been filled with dozens of sub-groups of terror organizations, and hundreds of armed cells receive weapons, some from “official” sources, some (mostly anti-tank weapons) which move freely across the Philadelphi Route – an additional Israeli mistake which was given over to Palestinian and Egyptian supervision.

Longing for the Old Middle East

The folks who traded IDF soldiers for enemy soldiers and even provided them with guns in the absurd hope they would do our security work
for us have indeed brought a new middle east upon us, one that makes us deeply nostalgic for the old one.

The more we progressed towards this new middle east and plans for “peace” with “yesterday’s” terrorists only caused our security position to worsen. There were 160 deaths by terrorism in the 12 years prior to the Olso Accords; since then, the number stands at 1,350 victims and counting.

The architects of Oslo have recently tried to whitewash the degree of the security catastrophe they caused us. A reminder: If before Olso they had a few dozen guns, now they’ve got tens of thousands.

Add on the money we’ve gotten for them, the basic and advanced military training (could it be that one of Sunday’s attackers participated in such training?) – and you’ve got the equation that led to the dramatic rise in terror attacks. And we’ve said nothing of the propaganda and communications equipment we’ve given them, that have become anti-Israel incitement tools.

No Regrets

More than the underlying concept of the Oslo process – bring terrorists from Tunis to Israel and they will fight their friends on our behalf – has collapsed like a house of cards. The promises made leading up to the Gaza pullout last year – “If they dare, we’ll reoccupy Gaza, confiscate their weapons and that will be the end of the Palestinian Authority” – are nowhere to be found.

But when it all blew up, the geniuses sat together and looked for a solution. Should we dismantle the PA, as promised? God forbid! Even now that we’ve got all the reasons in the world to explain to the international community exactly why the PA ceased to have any right to exist once it was transferred to Hamas control, the architects of this catastrophe refuse to admit publicly that they failed. This would be an unimaginable political catastrophe.

So what do you do? Come up with a substitute concept: Unilateral pullouts and withdrawing behind fortified walls. And once again: “Them over there, us here.”

Useless Fence

The months since disengagement have proven that a fence is no use against high-trajectory weapons, and that they are still “here,” in the living rooms of Sderot and Ashkelon. And Sunday, at Kerem Shalom, it was proved that the wall won’t even stop physical infiltration and direct shooting.

If we wait for them while hiding behind fortified walls, they will come with ladders and tunnels. But Israel is no widower, we’ve always got an answer: Since the tragic events of Sunday morning, government ministers have competed amongst themselves to warn the Palestinians about our “long arm” that would catch the attackers.

In the eyes of the attackers, that arm may have been significantly shortened over the past year. But Israeli society, generously spurred on by the media, continues to buy the product. And as long as there are buyers – there will be sellers.

And in the meanwhile, the terror victims are the ones to pay the real price.

Court Discusses Arms Transfer to PA

Aviram Zino; Ronny Sofer

Court Discusses Arms Transfer to PA

Court holds short hearing on petition by terrorism research center calling to block transfer of weapons to Palestinian President’s guard. Petitioners claim fact State has already transferred arms to PA makes discussion ‘void of meaning’



The High Court of Justice held a hearing Thursday morning on the issue of arms transfer to the Palestinian Authority, following a petition filed by the Almagor organization calling on the government to cease all weapon delivery to the Palestinians.

The petitioners criticized the State for the fact that 950 light arms have already been transferred, thus making the discussion on the appeal “void of meaning.”

The hearing lasted only a few minutes, and judges decided to issue a ruling in the near future. During the discussion, Almagor group members demonstrated outside the courtroom in protest of the weapon delivery.

Attorney Naftali Wertzberger, who represented the petitioners, said in the hearing that “the message to the public should be clear. The arms transfer has already taken place, and so the discussion is merely theoretical. It’s unacceptable that the High Court become ‘impotent’.”

Upon leaving the court, he added: “The government has been disregarding the courts ever since Chief Justice Aharon Barak began his second term in office.” Referring to the Palestinian Authority, he added: “We are aware of the fact that during the day they are officers in uniform, and at night they carry out terror attacks against us.”

Urgent Hearing

The petition was filed last week by the Almagor organization, a terrorism research institute and Shimon Halevi, and demanded that the transfer of Jordanian and Egyptian weapons to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas be blocked.

Judge Esther Hayot, who accepted the state’s position on the petition judge Tuesday, chose not to issue an interim order preventing the
weapons transfer, but called an urgent hearing with a panel of three judges Thursday morning. Simultaneous to these processes, however, the state already began transferring weapons without waiting for the court’s ruling in the matter. The Palestinian Authority has already received 365 light weapons from Jordan. Abbas’ guard has already been armed, and have even used the arms in melees against Hamas forces.

Attorney Naftali Wertzberger, who represents Almagor, told Ynet on Wednesday that “this is a scandal.” The organization in furious that the weapons transfer has already started. Attorney Wertzberger wrote a raging letter to the State Prosecution, in which he wrote, “Even without an interim order, it is not appropriate in the current circumstances to transfer arms in a manner that mocks the petitioners and the court.”

The Justice Ministry responded: “Judge Hayot decided that there is no room to acquiesce to the petitioners’ demand and issue an interim order although she was presented with the state’s response on June 13, 2006, that some of the weapons have already been transferred and more is to be transferred today.”

“The state’s position is that the petition should be rejected outright because the issue pertains to foreign affairs and the security of the State of Israel, and likewise it is clearly on of those diplomatic matters which by law cannot be decided by the court.”

In conversations with reporters in Paris Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expounded on the decision to transfer the guns, saying that the timing was crucial for two reasons: to protect Abbas’ life and tow protect Israel’s people at the Karni crossing.

Petition: Weapons to PA Risk My Kids

Ronny Sofer

Petition: Weapons to PA Risk My Kids

Attorney residing in settlement petitions High Court against government decision to transfer arms to PA, claiming this would put his children’s lives at risk



Attorney Shimon Halevy, a resident of the West Bank Halamish settlement, has petitioned the High Court of Justice for a conditional injunction against the Israeli government’s decision to aid President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement in their fight against Hamas.

“The Israeli government’s decision to transfer weapons to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction in order to strengthen his position against
Hamas is putting the lives of my six children at risk, as well as the lives of many other families living in Judea and Samaria,” Helevy said.

In his petition Halevy, who is the president of the non-profit “judicial forum for Israel” claimed that “this is the case of a civilian who is concerned about his children’s wellbeing, and the safety of residents who are exposed to hostile terror activity near their houses… they are our enemies only because of our religion. A considerable part of those organizations belong to the military wing of the Fatah movement.”

‘Government Actions Not Take in Good Faith’

Halevy also stated that “the government of Israel has a political agenda regarding the future of the region me and my children live in, which is under military rule.”

“In light of Abbas’ declarations and aggressions on the part of the PA against Jews, in particular those who live in Jewish settlements under military control, the petitioners believe that the government’s actions are not taken in good faith and are likely to undermine the personal safety of Jewish civilians living in the military-controlled regions,” he added in the petition.

Halevy requested the court to convene urgently on the matter and prevent the government from transferring arms to the PA. The State has yet to respond to the petition.

On Tuesday the terror victims association “Almagor” has filed a similar petition to the High Court against the government’s decision to transfer weapons to president Abbas’ personal guard. According to the association, the transfer of weapons must be prevented so that arms are not used by Hamas and other groups against Israel.

Petitioners Ask Court to Block Gov’t Decision to Transfer Arms to Abbas

Aviram Zino

Petitioners Ask Court to Block Gov’t Decision to Transfer Arms to Abbas

Petitioners Ask Court to Block Gov’t Decision to Transfer Arms to Abbas



The Almagor Terror Victims Association will ask the Israeli High Court on Wednesday to overturn a government decision to transfer weapons to Palestinian police units responsible for the safety of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The association argues weapons transferred to the Palestinian Authority could end up in the hands of terror groups and used to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians.