Israel May Demand Deportation if Terrorists are Freed
Israel may demand that terrorists, including those behind the Sbarro pizzeria restaurant in Jerusalem and Netanya's Park Hotel suicide attacks, be deported to Syria or elsewhere if a deal is concluded to release them in exchange for the return for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Egyptian government-owned Al-Ahram daily quoted Hamas officials as saying that Israel wants to deport four terrorist leaders convicted for killing dozens of Israelis.
"The dispute between Israel and Hamas has narrowed down to four names... Israel demands that they be exiled from the West Bank and Gaza," according to the newspaper.
One of the four terrorists who Israel has resisted freeing is Ahmed Sa'adat, former leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who was sentenced to 30 years in jail. A military court convicted him of terrorist activities although he was not tried for charges of ordering and planning the 2001 assassination of of Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi.
The other three prisoners are members of Hamas, one of them being Abdullah Barghouti, sentenced to 67 consecutive life terms for planning suicide bombings in Israel that in which 66 Israelis were murdered. He was behind the attacks on the Sbarro restaurant and Cafe Moment in Jerusalem
The other two are Abbas al-Sayyed, mastermind of the Park Hotel massacre in Netanya and sentenced to 35 life terms, and Ibrahim Hamed, convicted of attacking communities in Judea and Samaria.
The London-based Arabic language Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Israel is demanding the terrorists be deported to Syria or Lebanon and not allowed to return to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Egypt, which has been mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas, objects to the demand.
The reported deal for Shalit, kidnapped nearly three years ago, also would include the release of Tanzim terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in prison, plus 40 additional years.
Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to conclude an agreement before a new government takes over. His aides said he told visiting Jewish members of the U.S. Congress that he would bring to the security cabinet on Wednesday a proposal for the return of Shalit and for another truce with Hamas.