Residents of Ramallah are preparing for the customary celebrations as Israel releases 26 terrorists from its prisons.
About 1,500 Palestinian Authority Arabs gathered at the Muqata in Ramallah on Tuesday night, waving PLO flags and PA flags, as they anticipated the return of the terrorists.
Of the 26 terrorists to be released, 21 will be released to PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and the remaining five to Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Once the 21 arrive in Ramallah they will be personally greeted by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the Almagor organization and by the families of victims of terrorism against the release of the 26 terrorists.
The judges stated that the government has the authority to determine the appropriateness for release of each of the prisoners, and that "it has been this way in the past and so it is in this case."
The head of the Almagor organization, Meir Indor, attacked the Supreme Court's decision to proceed with the scheduled terrorist release, saying, "All the red lines have been crossed this time -- the release of cold-blooded killers. The bereaved families and the Almagor organization believed that the Israeli Supreme Court, which intervened just this month when it came to an explicit law, for the good of African refugees, and stood up to the government, would intervene here as well."
"The High Court has proved tonight that the bereaved families and terror victims are worth next to nothing in their eyes, and they have folded the banner of justice... in the face of terror organizations," he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday that he sympathizes with the families whose loved ones’ killers will be released from prison in Israel’s latest “gesture” to the PA – but that the government has a responsibility to the ongoing diplomatic talks.
Speaking as he toured near Gaza, Yaalon said, “As someone who fought Palestinian terrorism for his whole life, and who knows some of the prisoners who will be released personally, and knows the blood they have on their hands – it’s definitely emotionally difficult.”
However, he said, “In light of the circumstances, and the heavy decisions we faced, and the long-term strategic view – whether we like it or not, and we don’t like it, we have a responsibility as a government.”
“My heart is with the families, and I definitely sympathize with them. But we as a government have a responsibility to steer the state of Israel according to long-term strategic considerations,” he declared.