Be´er Sheva Suicide Terrorist Had Been Freed by Israel

The terrorist who blew himself up in Be'er Sheva a week ago, seriously wounding two guards, was released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange with the PA - over the protests of right-wing groups.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 12:07

The terrorist, Iman Hasin Muhammed Zakik, had been serving a 52-month sentence for smuggling weapons when he was released. Under the terms of the internationally-brokered exchange, Israel released over 400 Arab prisoners in return for hostage Elchanan Tenenbaum and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers murdered by Hizbullah.

The Terrorism Research Legal Center, which released the information, and the Almagor Terror Victims Association filed a court petition against the exchange at the time. Their appeal was rejected.

Zakik was freed six months before his term was to expire, thus that he would have been out of jail in any event by now. But, sources at the Center explain, the "revolving door" policies that allow for the quick release of terrorists from prison encourage terrorists to return to their ways, and detracts from Israel's deterrent power against them.

This was not the first attack perpetrated by a terrorist who was freed from Israeli prison. Almagor has documented many cases of terrorists who were released in similar exchanges who returned to their terrorist ways. "There were four big terrorist releases," said Atty. Ze'ev Dasberg, representing Almagor, "and each one caused another calamity to the country."




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