Next week, the state is set to release 26 terrorists who either murdered Israelis or assisted others to do so. The 26 are the first “installment” by Israel of the 104 terrorists it agreed to release in order to conduct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Many Israelis of all political stripes are opposed to the release, and the Almagor terror victims organization has petitioned the High Court to stop the release. On Monday, the court said that Almagor had a good point, and it has ordered the state to show cause why the terrorists should be released.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Almagor director Meir Indor said that the petition had a good chance of being accepted, because it was based on a precedent set by High Court president Elyakim Rubinstein, who said that while the court generally should not meddle in matters of state, the court could examine whether the state's actions were legal.
According to Indor, the state's bid to release terrorists crosses several legal “red lines,” not the least of which are the refusal by previous governments – including that of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin – to release these same terrorists. In addition, the releases are coming before any substantial diplomatic activity, and the state cannot justify them in any way without that activity. In addition, he said, criteria hammered out by a government-appointed committee on releasing terrorists have not yet been approved, so it is reasonable to question why these releases would fit those criteria.
Despite the fact that such petitions have not been successful in the past, Indor said that there was still a value in presenting them. “It's a protest and an educational effort, that makes it clear that we know what is permissible and what is not,” said Indor, who said that his group's efforts were appreciated by many in the IDF and the government.
“A top IDF officer once told me that if Almagor did not exist, it would have to be invented, because there would be many more terrorists released.”