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Zeevi Expects Olmert to Make Sure Father?s Killers Stay in Jail

Palmach Ze’evi, son of the late Tourist Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, said he expects Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to make sure the Hamas-led PA government keeps his father’s assassins behind bars.
By Scott Shiloh
First Publish: 2/21/2006, 12:48 PM / Last Update: 2/21/2006, 2:01 PM

Ze’evi said reports that the Hamas was planning on releasing the terrorists who murdered his father at a Jerusalem hotel in October 2001, were meant to test Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s resolve against the Hamas.

Palmach Ze’evi said he expects Olmert to take all necessary measures to make sure the PA does not release the assassins who are serving time in a Jericho jail. He noted that Olmert took an active role in the state’s efforts to memorialize his father, and pointed out that Olmert was appreciative of his father’s accomplishments and legacy.

Rehavam Ze’evi (also known by his nickname Ghandi) fought alongside Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the Palmach, a pre-state, elite force that played a pivotal role in the 1948 War of Independence. Later, in the IDF, Ze’evi, was a highly decorated officer who rose to the rank of general.

Ze’evi founded the Moledet party, dedicated to extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and settling those areas with Jews. Moledet, now headed by MK Benny Elon, joined up with other nationalistic parties to form the National Union. Ze’evi became Tourist Minister in Sharon’s first government in 2001.

Ze’evi’s killers, terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were caught by the PA, and following their conviction, were locked up in a Jericho jail.

Israel claimed that the PA deliberately jailed the killers in order to help them evade capture by the IDF. In a deal tacitly approved by the Israeli authorities, the United States and Britain agreed to place monitors in the jail to make sure the prisoners stay behind bars.

Palmach Ze’evi said his father’s killers are treated like VIP’s in the Jericho facility, which he classified as five stars, with all their needs and wants catered to on a daily basis.

He called the situation in which Israel allows the assassins of one of its ministers to live under deluxe conditions in a PA facility, a national disgrace.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) implored Olmert to declare that Israel would seek the lives of Ze’evi’s killers, if the Hamas releases them from jail. "Olmert must declare publicly that if the murderers are released, they will be immediately killed by Israel," said Ariel.