Israeli authorities, acting upon the request of bereaved families, ordered residents of the Israeli Arab town of Baka al-Gharbiya to remove a large roadside mural which paid homage to four convicted terrorists who could be released as part of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Army Radio reported on Monday.
The mural depicts the images of the four Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship – Walid Daka, Rushdi Hamdan Abu Mukh, Ibrahim Nayef Abu Mukh, and Ibrahim Abdel Razek Bayadseh - who in 1984 abducted and murdered IDF soldier Moshe Tamam. The four men, who had offered the hitchhiking Tamam a ride, were operating as part of a terror cell run by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
According to Army Radio, residents of Baka al-Gharbiya, which is located in the Wadi Ara region, hung the mural in anticipation of their release. They were due to be freed as part of the fourth and final batch of Palestinians convicted of terrorist acts whom Israel pledged to release in a bid to advance the peace process
. “Today, it is you, tomorrow it will be all the rest of the prisoners,” the mural reads in Arabic.
After passing by the mural on the highway, the Tamam family protested to the attorney general, the state prosecutor, the public security minister, and the interior minister. According to Army Radio, the family argued the mural constituted a violation of incitement to terror laws.
“They hung road signs praising four terrorists and calling them heroes,” Oren Tamam, Moshe Tamam’s brother, told Army Radio. “Those who want to release them are stabbing us in the heart, and those signs are like turning the knife even more.”
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar instructed his inspector’s to remove the murals, which were hung illegally.
“We understand the feelings of the bereaved families,” said Samih Abu Mokh, a resident of Baka and a relative of two of those slated to be relased who also heads the village’s popular council. “On the other hand, there is joy because there are people who are returning to their families after 30 years.”