Detainees (illustration)
Detainees (illustration)Israel Prison Service spokesperson

Dozens of Palestinian Arabs being held under administrative detentions were unexpectedly released from Ofer prison on Thursday evening.

They were released, according to sources in the defense establishment, due to the fact that the detention facilities are full. News of the release was initially published on Arab-language media, alongside a video of the detainees who were released.

MK Tzvi Sukkot blasted the release and said, "Tonight I am ashamed of the policy of the government which I support as a member of the coalition. Releasing dozens of terrorists for nothing, hours after an attack, is a crime and fuel for terrorism and the murder of Jews. We must correct the thinking patterns that have taken root in the system and do it as quickly as possible. Very ashamed tonight."

The Torat Lehima organization criticized the move as well and took a shot at the Defense Minister, saying, "In response to the attack, Gallant is making room for more administrative detainees of Jewish origin."

The IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in an official statement, "in accordance with the assessment of the situation by all the security agencies and with an emphasis on the shortage of room in the prisons, it was decided to release administrative detainees who will conclude their detention in the coming month, in order to make room for detainees with a higher threat level."

Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir blasted the move and said in a statement, "The administrative detainees who were released tonight from the prisons were not released due to a lack of space in the prisons - but following the direct instruction of the head of the Shin Bet as a 'gesture' for Ramadan. The Israel Prison Service has no discretion in the matter."

He added, "It is alarming that on the day two Jews were murdered, the head of the Shin Bet chooses to make gestures to the murderers, and this comes one day after the Shin Bet's request to extend for the second time the administrative detention of a Jewish resident."