Pinchas Levi 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The families of two soldiers killed in 1990 say that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lied and misled them in discussions leading up to the transfer of their sons' killers to Jordan, a terror victims' rights group said Thursday.
After a late-night defeat in the Supreme Court, the Lipshitz and Levy families had no further recourse but to look on Thursday morning as the four Jordanian citizens were transferred from Israeli to Jordanian custody.
Meir Indor, director of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, said that Olmert "tried to cheat the families, first to play one off against the other and the second time by telling them that the prisoners would serve their full sentence" despite their transfer to Jordan.
Opinion: Do not free Pini Levy's killer
"A direct line can be drawn between the behavior of Olmert in Lebanon to the scam of releasing terrorists under the cover of passing them on to Jordan. We will still settle the score with the man who tried to cheat the families," said Indor.
Indor said that the Lifshitz family in Ra'anana was told that the Levy family had already agreed to the transfer of the prisoners to Jordan. The truth, Indor said, was that while former Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy - a close friend of Olmert's and brother of one of the two soldiers - did agree to the transfer, Sarah Levy, the victim's mother, opposed the deal.
The four prisoners, Khaled Abu-Ghalyoun, his cousin, Yousef Abu-Ghalyoun, Abdul-Karim al-Sanee' and Sultan Ajlouni infiltrated the Jordanian-Israeli border during two separate incidents in 1990, killing one soldier in each attack.
In February, Olmert announced that he had acceded to a request from Jordan's King Abdullah II to extradite the four to serve the remainder of their sentence in their home country. They are expected to serve an additional 18 months in Jordanian custody before being released, 19 years after the attacks.
After being transferred from the Hadarim Prison to the Jordanian border by the Israel Prison Service's Nachshon Unit, the four crossed the Sheikh Hussein Bridge and entered Jordanian custody. Hundreds of the men's relatives awaited them on the Jordanian side, celebrating their relatives' arrival.
In addition to Olmert, the families were also disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling late Wednesday night that cleared the way for the transfer. "Despite the discomfort that the judges expressed with the situation, and their sympathy for the families, they still served as a rubber stamp for this exercise," said Indor. "The court disappointed because it systematically fails to defend the rights of terror victims when they are challenging the political establishment, which is in direct contradiction to concern expressed by them for the rights of terrorists, of Palestinians, and of terrorists' families."