EXCLUSIVE: State seeks to return to prison 54 Palestinians released in Schalit deal

The 54 are among the over 350 Palestinians arrested in recent weeks by the IDF during ongoing searches for three kidnapped boys.

June 24, 2014 18:06
2 minute read.
Hamas terrorists mark anniversary of Schalit swap

Hamas terrorists mark anniversary of Schalit swap 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)


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The state is seeking to re-imprison 54 Palestinians who were pardoned and released in the framework of the Gilad Schalit prisoners exchange deal, The Jerusalem Post has learned on Tuesday.

The 54 were among the over 350 Palestinians arrested recently by the IDF during the ongoing search and rescue operation for the three kidnapped boys, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.

Of the 54, requests to re-imprison 44 of the former convicts were submitted by the IDF West Bank Prosecutor to a judicial committee affiliated with the IDF West Bank courts, and requests for the detention of another 10 were submitted to a civilian judicial committee in Haifa.

In the IDF courts, the prosecutor must either prove that an offense has been committed to get a maximum prison sentence restored, or to at least show that some aspects of the former prisoners’ pardoning conditions were violated in order to obtain a partial restoration of their sentence to prison.

Of the 10 Palestinians whose cases were brought before the civilian judicial committee, six are east Jerusalem residents and the other four live in the West Bank, according to the Justice Ministry.

Motions to re-imprison these four Palestinians were filed along with those to detain the east Jerusalem residents to the Haifa committee for case-specific reasons.

These include the fact that their offenses were committed in Israel, which led to their conviction by civilian courts and to their pardon being granted by President Shimon Peres.

In contrast, the 44 Palestinians being brought before the West Bank judicial committee were pardoned by the IDF’s Home Front Command, which has responsibility for the West Bank.

The Justice Ministry said that each of the 10 Palestinians to be judged by civilian court violated a commitment not to endanger the security of Israel, which includes a pledge not to return to violence and terrorism.

Lawyer Avigdor Feldman, who represents seven of the former prisoners, said that no evidence has been presented against his clients, that no explanation of the conditions that they violated was revealed, and that the whole procedure is being carried out under wraps.

He said that it is crucial to know which condition is claimed to have been violated, since different conditions lead to separate defense arguments.

Grave accusations, involving return to violence, for example, call for a different defense strategy that less serious accusations, such as leaving the area the former detainee was supposed to remain in.

Feldman said that there is no authority to temporarily arrest any of the former convicts before submitting a request to a relevant committee, adding that all of the motions appeared to be “carbon copies” and were lacking specific accusations against the detainees.

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