The High Court has canceled the temporary injunction against freeing nearly 250 terrorists, who will be released as proposed by outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a goodwill gesture to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The transfer to their homes is scheduled around noon.
The court has not yet detailed the reasons for canceling the injunction, which was in effect after it agreed to hear a petition by the Gush Etzion Reginal Council and a legal research center. The government presented its answer to the petition at 7:45 Monday morning, and the court, as in the past, accepted its response.
The Legal Center to Investigate Terrorism and the Gush Etzion Regional Council filed the appeal after the court rejected an earlier petition by the Almagor terror victims association. The court in the past has rejected all petitions against freeing terrorists, ruling that it does not involve itself in security issues.
The terrorists were scheduled to be released Sunday morning. Instead, Justice Elyakim Rubenstein told the government to present its response to the appeal by 7:45 a.m. (00:45 EST). The petitioners argued that several of the terrorists "have blood on their hands," contrary to claims made by the Olmert government, and that several of them planted bombs and shot at soldiers and civilians.
Justice Rubenstein originally denied the request for a delay but reconsidered his opinion. Nonetheless, Monday's petition was rejected by the High Court.
Attorneys for the Gush Etzion council told Voice of Israel government radio Monday morning that the government did not give the public enough time to examine the files of the terrorists. One cell of terrorists scheduled to be freed staged a shooting attack in the Gush Etzion area.