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Terror Victims' Group Hopes to Block Prisoner Release in Court

The Almagor Terror Victims' group says it will file a petition in court to block the government from releasing 230 PA Arab terrorists.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 12/7/2008, 3:06 PM

The Almagor Terror Victims' Association is hoping to block the government from implementing its decision Sunday to release 230 terrorists as a "goodwill" gesture to the Palestinian Authority. The original list included 250 terrorists, but 20 Gaza-based terrorists were removed.

The list of names of the terrorists who are to be freed were published Sunday afternoon on the website of the Israel Prison Authority.

The Ministerial Prisoners' Release Committee rubber-stamped Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to free the terrorists in another gesture to bolster the government of PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. The release is scheduled to take place during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice.

Almagor Director Meir Indor issued a statement to the media expressing his frustration and outrage in a warning that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was once again embarking on an exercise in futility.

"After repeated gestures to the Palestinian Authority in which hundreds of terrorists were released with no exchange or reward to the Israeli government, Prime Minister Olmert has promised again to release 250 terrorists to the Palestinian Authority," he said.

"According to former Israeli government legal advisor Elyakam Rubinstein, overall, 80% of the terrorists who were released up to 2007 resumed their terror activities," he noted.

More to the point, he said, 180 Israeli citizens have been murdered by released terrorists since 2000. "That number does not include those who were killed during the Intifada, which was led and supported by released terrorists," he said, adding, "These days, hundreds of terrorists are being released every month or two, as political "gestures," or as part of exchange deals, usually as a result of external pressures on the government. Terror organizations see this pressure and use it for their own benefit," he said.

The most recent demand by the Hamas terrorist organization in exchange for the return of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has been the release of 1,400 terrorists, "including those who planned the biggest terror attack during the second Intifada and are responsible for the deaths of dozens," warned Indor. "Right now, the list of 1,400 includes 300 "heavy" prisoners, in the words of the security officials."

The reference means prisoners with "blood on their hands," who have actually committed one or more violent acts against Jews, many of which were outright murders, some of which were multiple terror attacks.

Indor said his group is also working to create a formal lobby in the Knesset in order to pressure MKs into voting against the release of terrorists.