Pardons department head: 82 terrorists to be released to restart talks

Justice Ministry official: Prisoners have blood on their hands.

Palestinians in Ramallah hold pictures of prisoners 370 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Palestinians in Ramallah hold pictures of prisoners 370 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan to restart peace talks will include the release of 82 terrorists – all of whom have blood on their hands and are serving life sentences – it emerged during a meeting of the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee on Monday.
The statement was made by attorney Ami Palmor, head of the pardons department of the Justice Ministry.
This is in keeping with rumors and reports in the Israeli press about the conditions of the prisoner release – an expected precursor to the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Kerry announced last weekend.
The 82 prisoners in question are all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza who were sentenced for their crimes before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Likud MK Miri Regev called the meeting following reports about the push for a prisoner release, of which she said, “Murderers must not be used as a tool in negotiations.”
Col. Yuval Biton of the research branch of Prisons Service presented figures to the committee reading that of the 5,120 security prisoners in Israel, 3,533 have been convicted, 1,589 are imprisoned without bail, and 138 are being held under “administrative detention.”
Of those, 2,550 are from Fatah, around 1,500 are from Hamas, and the rest are from Islamic Jihad and other organizations, he added.
Biton said of the prisoners that 4,269 are from the West Bank, with around 400 from the Gaza Strip, 200 from within the Green Line, a similar amount from east Jerusalem and a few dozen from abroad.
There are 550 prisoners serving life sentences, and of these, 349 are identified with Fatah, 114 with Hamas, 60 with Islamic Jihad, and 27 are otherwise affiliated.
The security prisoners who were jailed for life before the Oslo Accords and are not from inside the Green Line include a number of men involved in some of the grisliest acts of terror in Israeli history.
They include two terrorists involved in the Molotov cocktail attack on a bus traveling from Beit She’an to Jerusalem in October 1988, killing Rachel Weiss and three of her children, as well as IDF soldier David Delarosa who died trying to save the family.
Other terrorists include two Gaza men who stabbed to death David Dadi and his friend Chaim Weitzman after breaking into Dadi’s apartment in Ramle. The two men cut off their victims ears as a keepsake of the crime.