Palestinian Murderers, Terrorists to Be Released Ahead of Peace Talks

Israel sets free 26 convicted criminals after pressure from U.S. government

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Israel is set to release this week a group of 26 terrorists, including one who murdered a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel after his family died in the Nazi death camps.

Israel announced early Monday that it would on Tuesday release the first batch of Palestinian terrorists ahead of scheduled peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Israeli government, under pressure from the United States, agreed earlier this month to release 104 terrorists in total, prompting a fierce backlash in the Israeli media and among the families of those killed by these terrorists.

All of the terrorists granted freedom have been found guilty of murder, torture, or terrorism, according to the list.

Among those slated to be released is Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia, a Gaza Strip resident and member of the Fatah party who was convicted of murdering Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenburg as part of an initiation into a Palestinian terror group, according to CiF Watch, an organization that tracks anti-Semitism.

Rotenburg was at work in 1994 when he "was attacked by two Palestinian laborers with axes," according to CiF Watch.

The list of those to be released the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

"Eight prisoners on the list were due to be released in the next three years and two in the next six months," according to the statement. "The prisoner release will be carried out at least 48 hours after the list will have been published. It was emphasized in the aforesaid discussion that if any of the released prisoners return to hostile activity against the State of Israel, they will be returned to continue serving their sentences."

Terrorist Matslah Abdallah Salama, a Hamas member, also has been granted his freedom.

"Together with an accomplice, [Salama] entered 59 year-old Iraqi-born Reuven David’s mini-market, tied him up, gagged him and then beat him to death, before escaping in the victim’s car," CiF Watch reported.

Also on the release list is Barbach Faiz Rajab Madhat, who, along with several accomplices, murdered Israeli business owner Moshe Beker.

"They attacked [Beker], stabbed him to death with a knife and a pair of pruning shears, and fled," according to CiF Watch.

Kour Matwa Hamed Faiz, who helped establish a Fatah terror cell and later murdered 22-year-old Israeli Menahem Dadon, will also go free.

Dadon "had been sent by his employer to purchase building materials in Gaza and whilst in the shop was shot in the head at point-blank range" by Faiz, according to CiF Watch. "He left a pregnant wife and two daughters."

Another Gaza Strip resident, Raai Ibrahim Salam Ali, will also be released.

Ali was serving a life sentence in prison for the 1994 murder of 79-year-old Morris Aizenshtat, who was killed with an ax while sitting on a park bench reading a book.

Tsalah Ibrahim Ahmed Mugdad, who was serving a sentence for beating a 72-year-old Israel "over the head with a steel rod," is also on the list of those to be released, according to CiF Watch.

A group of Israeli victims of terror protested the release of these terrorists during a demonstration on Sunday in Jerusalem.

They blamed the United States for pressuring Israel to release the terrorists.

"Secretary of State John Kerry has an agenda that he wants to promote peace in the Middle East, and I think that he somehow pressured or even blackmailed the Prime Minister of the Israeli government into releasing terrorists," Yossi Zur, a spokesperson for the victims, told the Washington Free Beacon. "They [U.S. officials] have emphasized again and again they want negotiations without preconditions, but they finally gave in and surrendered to this precondition of releasing terrorists."

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week, where he frequently broke national news, Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Politico, among others. He lives in Maryland with his comic books. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.

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