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550 Shalit Deal Terrorists to be Freed Sunday

The second group of 550 PA terrorists due to be freed in the second phase of the Hamas-Shalit swap deal are scheduled for release today.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/18/2011, 9:32 AM

Terrorists are released (archive)
Terrorists are released (archive)
Flash 90

The second group of 550 Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists due to be freed in the second phase of the deal that led to the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit are scheduled for release today (Sunday).

On Thursday, the soon-to-be freed terrorists were interviewed and checked by doctors. This morning they are to be released to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria via the Beitunia checkpoint, or to Gaza.

Among the group, none of whom are members of Hamas and which the government has in the past insisted does not include any with "blood on their hands," are 43 security prisoners -- who according to the Almagor Terror Victims' Association do indeed meet that criteria.

Appeals against the release of this second group until their records can be examined more meticulously are set to be filed Sunday in the Supreme Court by the family members of those they have harmed.

The Shurat HaDin legal rights group has already filed its petition with the Supreme Court, requesting a delay in the release of the group, which comprises the other half of the 1,027 terrorists who are to be freed in the deal.

There was time enough "to conduct this arrangement in a democratic manner and not keep information hidden," the group said in its petition, filed by attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner. "In a proper democracy citizens have the right to bring their concerns to the authorities in order to affect the decision."

The names of the terrorists to be released were made public last week on Wednesday, barely allowing time for attorneys and families to prepare petitions and file objections, let alone be heard in court.

Several of the terrorists being released were involved in the killing of wounding of U.S. citizens during a 2002 terrorist attack on King George Street in Jerusalem.

Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas-allied terrorists in a raid near the Kerem Shalom Crossing across the border from Gaza on June 25, 2006. During the attack, another IDF soldier was killed and several others were badly wounded, as Gilad Shalit was dragged away into a smugglers' tunnel dug near the border especially for the purpose.