Criteria for release: No blood on hands, Fatah members

List of prisoners to be published online; hotline for interested citizens to be set up.

Palestinian prisoners  (photo credit: AP)
Palestinian prisoners
(photo credit: AP)
Justice Ministry Director-General Moshe Gal said on Sunday that the Pardons Department will prepare a list of prisoners to be released in accordance with the criteria it receives from the cabinet. He told Israel Radio and Army Radio in separate interviews that the two fundamental criteria to be applied in choosing the candidates for release were that they did not have blood on their hands and that they were members of Fatah. Gal added that Israel would also not release any prisoner who had already been released before, signed a promise that he would not take part in terrorist activity and been arrested again for such crimes. Asked to define what "blood on one's hands" meant, he said that it included "anyone who was directly involved in the murder of an Israeli or a Palestinian, and others who were in the close circle of decision-makers, and those who provided support for such incidents." He added that beyond the criteria mentioned above, "various institutions would be involved, including the army, the Israel Security Agency, the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) and the police. They will go over the list, and there are very clear criteria, including the potential for harm that a given prisoner poses - all those things that each institution will raise from one point of view or another." Gal added that unlike in the past, when the list of prisoners was published by the Justice Ministry, it will now be published on the IPS Internet site. The list will include the prisoner's name or other means of identification, the crimes he has committed, the date he was supposed to be released and the amount of prison time he has served. The Justice Ministry will also set up a hot line in the Pardons Department to handle calls from citizens wanting additional information. Meanwhile, Meir Indor, head of Almagor, an organization that represents victims of terrorism, demanded that the Justice Ministry give the public more than 48 hours to petition the High Court of Justice against decisions to release given prisoners, so that those wishing to do so would have time to go over the list thoroughly. He said Almagor would petition against prisoners who had wounded victims or conducted terrorist acts after the signing of the Oslo Accords, as well as those in prison for a second time and those whose release appeared to be extremely unreasonable. Indor also called on the Winograd Committee to complete its work so that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would be forced to resign. "At this rate," he said, "until he is fired, Olmert will empty all the prisons of terrorists, and the effort of years to capture them will go down the drain, and the lives of soldiers will be at risk."