AG Opposes Release of 'Jewish Terrorist'

Yehuda Weinstein files petition against release of Ofer Gamliel, member of the 'Bay Ayin Cell', who was granted parole last week.

Tova Dvorin ,

Ofer Gamliel being led to a 2009 court hearin
Ofer Gamliel being led to a 2009 court hearin
Flash 90

After dismissing the national outcry over the release of another batch of 26 Arab terrorists last week - most of them convicted murderers - the Attorney General is opposing the release of "Jewish terrorist" Ofer Gamliel, who has been subject of a parole controversy over the past year. 

Attorney General and Legal Advisor to the Government Yehuda Weinstein filed a formal statement of opposition Monday to the Central District Court against the impending release of "Jewish terrorist" Ofer Gamliel. A parole board had granted his release last Monday. 

In 2003, Gamliel and two others from the Bat Ayin Underground laid an apparent explosive device next to a Muslim girls' school. Gamliel claimed that he never intended to detonate the bomb - just to instill fear in the Arab community - but was found guilty and sentence to 15 years on weapons and attempted murder charges. 

The petition stated, inter alia, that the parole board did not take into account the full array of circumstances behind the bomb attempt.

"The commission did not give proper consideration to the extreme circumstances of the offense: the ideological background spurring the crime, the prisoner's negative behavior, the prisoner's failure to complete the full rehabilitative process, [and] the failure [for the prisoner] to take responsibility for his actions, according to senior officials."  

The petition also states that "the parole board did not give proper weight to the decision of the District Court, which annulled the early release of a prisoner, and did not evaluate the situation according to the same parameters outlined by that [earlier] court [decision]." 

Last year, a Prison Services board decided to grant Gamliel parole, as is often done for prisoners who have completed two-thirds of their sentence and who are not considered dangerous to the community.

The board decided on a relatively stringent release program that would have included an employment and education program, psychological treatment, a four-year ban on leaving the country, and twice-monthly check-ins with police. 

Despite Gamliel's cooperation, the Central District prosecution appealed against the decision and cancelled the arrangement. The Court ruled that Gamliel had not undergone enough rehabilitation to be considered less of a danger to the public, and ordered him to undergo further rehabilitation. A petition pushing for Gamliel's release was later rejected.  

In 2008, Gamliel carried out a six-week hunger strike in protest of his lengthy sentence, and dim chances of receiving early parole. Following the hunger strike, he was punished by being moved to solitary confinement.