Cabinet Approves Release of Terrorist Prisoners
In the last few minutes the cabinet has approved the third "installment" of the 104 convicted terrorists scheduled for release as a "goodwill gesture" to the Palestinian Authority (PA) during US-brokered talks.
The announcement comes despite protests by the families of victims of terrorist and their supporters, who have held rallies outside of the Prime Minister's residence as part of a campaign to halt the release in light of continued terrorist attacks by Arab groups. Terror victims groups had been picketing the site tonight in a last-ditch appeal to halt the proposed release.
Many prominent political figures had called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to halt the "goodwill gesture" in light of a wave of terrorist attacks in the past week, apparently to no avail.
"I call on the Prime Minister to reconsider the release of terrorists given the recent terror attacks," said Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.
"In a normal country in which a bus blows up on Sunday, a police officer is stabbed on Monday, and a worker fixing the security fence is shot to death on Tuesday, terrorists would not be freed the following week as a 'gesture,'" he argued.
The Prime Minister's Office has said that 26 terrorists scheduled for release all committed their crimes prior to the signing of the failed Oslo Accords in 1993, and were serving prison sentences of 19-28 years. The statement added that any of those who return to terrorist activities will be arrested and will serve out the rest of their sentence.
The full list of those to be freed can be found on the Prison Service's website; those featured on the list will be released after 48 hours. The delay technically allows for citizens opposed to the prisoner release to appeal the decision, but in reality such petitions are never taken seriously by the courts.
Those set to be released included several convicted murderers, such as Muhammed Daud, who hurled a firebomb at the Mozes family, killing mother Ofra and her son Tal.