List of Palestinian prisoners to be released includes terrorists convicted of brutal crimes

“The government has betrayed us and we have no one to trust,” says victim’s mother, adding she doesn't believe peace possible.

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)
The 26 Palestinians set to be freed Tuesday in the second stage of a prisoner release by Israel include terrorists who kidnapped, lynched and murdered IDF soldiers and reservists; ambushed and slaughtered unarmed hikers; killed a defenseless young couple sitting in their car in a secluded forest at night; and tortured and executed suspected collaborators.
Like those released in August in the first of four stages, all had been given life sentences for attacks that took the lives of Israeli citizens.
Damouni Saad Mohammed Ahmed will be released to the Gaza Strip this week more than 20 years after he was convicted of taking part in the brutal lynching of IDF reservist Amnon Pomerantz, who took a wrong turn into a refugee camp in the coastal territory in 1990 – he was beaten to death before his car was set alight by firebombs.
Shakir Alifu Musbach Nufal will be released to his home in the West Bank this week, some 27 years after he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the kidnapping and murder of then- 21-year-old IDF soldier Shaltiel Akiva on Passover night in 1985.
Two Fatah terrorists, Samarin Mustafa Kalib Asrar and Kra’an Azat Musa Musa, were convicted in the 1992 abduction and murder of Israeli soldier Tzvi Klein in the West Bank in 1992.
Two men sentenced in the killing of IDF reservist Aharon Avida in 1985 will also be released.
Yosef Mahmad Haza Haza was only 17 when he and a friend murdered hikers Leah Elmakayis and Yossi Eliyahu at a forest on the Gilboa mountain range in 1985. Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa is also set to be released following his conviction for the murder of hikers Revital Seri and Ron Levy in 1984.
Fatah member Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif will be released to the West Bank 21 years after his arrest for the murder of Avi Osher, who employed him for 15 years at his Jordan Valley farm before Sharif beat and stabbed him to death.
Nablus native Muaid Salim was arrested in 1992 for being part of a cell that swam from Aqaba in southern Jordan to Eilat, where they then killed Yosef Shirazi, an unarmed 62- year-old security guard at the Institute for Marine Sciences.
Sabbag Ahmed Mahmud Mahmed was sentenced to life in prison in 1990 for torturing and murdering three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.
The list includes Amer Massoud Issa Rajib, one of those convicted in the murder of Ian Feinberg, who was hacked and shot to death in April 1993 in the Gaza Strip, where he had been working on economic revitalization plans for the area.
Another terrorist involved in that murder was released in the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange.
The list does not include Israeli Arabs. None of the 104 involved in some of the more notable pre-Oslo acts of terrorism – due to be freed at a later stage – were scheduled for release this week, including a Hamas member convicted in the kidnapping and murder of border patrolman Nissim Toledano in 1992 and two terrorists who, in 1988, carried out the firebombing of a bus that left Rachel Weiss and three of her children dead, as well as soldier David Delarosa, who ran on board in a vain attempt to save the family before dying himself.
Sorrow filled Varda Akiva Sunday night, when she received word that one of the murderers of her son was on the list of prisoners to be released this week. Akiva said she was given the news by a female IDF officer who phoned her at home the night before, not long before the official list had been published on the Prisons Service website.
“The government has betrayed us and we have no one to trust,” Akiva said, adding that she was not comforted by the knowledge that the release is part of the diplomatic process; she does not believe peace is possible with the Palestinians to begin with.
Shortly before leaving her Rosh Ha’ayin home for Petah Tikva, where she would board a bus to a demonstration against the release at Ofer Prison, she said that she and her four remaining children have no choice but to be there for one another as the date of release approaches.
A second prisoner convicted for her son’s murder, Israeli Arab Abu Jaber Ali Hussein Ahmed, was not included in the list of 26, although he is among the 104 security prisoners expected to be released by the end of the four-stage deal, after which he will likely return to his home in Kafr Kasim only a few kilometers away.
Varda said she believes he will be among the last released, if at all, but in her voice one could hear a tone of defeat.
“They’ll be released and return to terrorism in a month or two. Someone whose hands are covered in blood will stay the way they are,” she said.