Palestinian prisoners on a bus before release [file] 311 (R).
(photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)
US Attorney-General Eric Holder has told American victims of Palestinian terror
that Washington is committed to bringing those responsible for killing and
wounding Americans to justice, The Jerusalem Post learned on
Holder made his remarks in a letter sent to members of the
Parents Forum for Justice, a group of US citizens and parents whose children
were murdered or maimed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel over the past
decade. The letter came after the forum called on Holder in January to commence
legal proceedings against terrorists freed in Israel’s deal with Hamas to
release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
According to Parents Forum
leader and Jerusalem resident Dr. Alan Bauer, 54 American citizens have been
murdered and 83 wounded by Palestinian terrorists between 1993 and
In Holder’s letter, a copy of which has been given to the Post,
said the US Justice Department, State Department and embassy in Tel Aviv had
“urged the government of Israel prior to both of the releases in question not to
release prisoners responsible for murdering or injuring US citizens before
serving their full sentences.”
Among the terrorists released in the
Schalit deal were Sana’a Shehadeh and Qahara al-Saadi, two women who helped
perpetrate the March 21, 2002, King George Street suicide bombing in Jerusalem,
which claimed the lives of three people and wounded 86 others. Bauer and his son
Yehonathon, both American citizens, were among those severely
Also released were Ahlam Tamimi, sentenced to 16 life terms for
her role in the Sbarro terror bombing that claimed the lives of eight adults and
seven children and wounded 130 in Jerusalem on August 2001; Walid al-Hadi Anjas,
who received 36 life terms for the July 2002 cafeteria bombing at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, which claimed the lives of nine people; and Fadi
Muhammad al-Jaaba, Maedh Abu Sharakh and Majdi Muhammad Amr, sentenced to
multiple life terms for planning the March 2003 Haifa bus 37 bombing that killed
17 people and wounded 53.
Under the US Anti-Terror Act of 1991, the
United States may prosecute foreign nationals who perpetrate terrorist acts
against American citizens, even if those acts are not carried out on US soil.
However, for prosecution to proceed, that law requires the written certification
of the US attorney- general that the alleged offenses was intended to “coerce,
intimidate or retaliate against a government or civilian population.”
US has not prosecuted a single Palestinian terrorist, Bauer says.
letter, Holder told the Parents Forum that the Justice Department is “committed
to the principle that those who engage in or materially support terrorist acts
against US citizens must be brought to justice, whether in the US or elsewhere,
regardless of where the attack took place.
“Accordingly the Department
remains committed to bringing appropriate charges against the perpetrators of
such acts in the United States whenever such prosecution would be feasible and
supported by evidence in our possession,” Holder wrote.
Bauer said the
Parents Forum welcomed Holder’s response but that the attorney- general had not
addressed the question of why the US has not prosecuted any Palestinian
“We are approaching four months since the Schalit release and
there is no evidence that the US plans to prosecute any of the 18 terrorists
released who have American blood on their hands,” Bauer told the Post
“So, on the one hand, we are told how important our cases are
and how dedicated the Department of Justice is to our cause, but on the ground,
we see that no American terror victim can claim with pride that those who harmed
him or her is in US custody.”
Bauer said he was frustrated by the lack of
“The law is on our side but those responsible for applying
the law do not appear to be equally on our side,” he said.