Arab Prisoners Freed in Exchanges Committed More Terrorism, Group Says

May 31, 2007 - 8:18 PM

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Scores of Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists who were imprisoned in Israeli jails for terrorist activity and later freed as a result of deals worked out through the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a terror victims' group said here.

The Israeli Terror Victims Association -- Almagor (which means "no fear" in Hebrew) -- released the information ahead of a three-way meeting between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, scheduled for Monday.

In the past, meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders have resulted in Israeli "confidence-building measures" often including the release of Palestinian "security prisoners."

Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisen, said the Israelis would definitely not be offering any gestures to the Palestinians at Monday's meeting.

Israel has in the past repeatedly said it would not release imprisoned Palestinians who have "blood on their hands" - those who have been involved in terror attacks in which Israeli lives were lost.

But there's no guarantee that those who have committed lesser offenses in the past won't, if freed, carry out worse attacks in the future, the Israeli Terror Victims Association says.

Meir Indor, who heads the group, said at least 173 people have been killed since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000 by Palestinian terrorists who were freed because they had no "blood on their hands" but later carried out more serious attacks.

Many of the releases had occurred as confidence-building measures or in prisoner-release deals connected with the peace process.

The organization released a report giving details of some such attacks.

Nasser Abu Hamiyad was released as part of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that began in 1993.

In 2000, he was photographed desecrating the bodies of two Israeli army reservists who lost their way and ended up in the West Bank city of Ramallah where a mob lynched them.

Hamiyad was also involved in two shooting attacks in 2002, in which three Israelis were killed and 41 others wounded, the group noted.

Iyad Sawalha was released as part of the Wye Agreement - a subsequent Israeli-Palestinian accord in 1998. In 2002, he planned a bus bombing near Megiddo, in which 17 people were killed and 42 wounded. Later that year, he planned a bombing in which a jeep was detonated next to a public bus, killing 14 and wounding another 42.

Abbas Muhammad Alsayd was released from prison in 1996. In 2001 and 2002, he played a major role in three Netanya suicide bombings that claimed a total of 38 lives, including the killing of 30 mostly elderly Israelis celebrating a Passover dinner at a hotel in the coastal city.

Indor told Cybercast News Service that in the light of the investigation carried out by the organization and its findings, no country would surely dare to release terrorists in prisoner deals that might result in future attacks.

He said the organization was mounting a campaign to try to prevent the further release of terrorists. Keeping them in prison would likely save Israeli lives and save the army the trouble and danger of having to recapture the terrorists in the future, he said.

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