Thursday, September 11, 2014

11-Sep-14: Freeing terrorists: The price in human lives lost and in justice perverted keeps getting clearer

From left: Three murder victims: Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaer,
Naftali Frankel
Regular readers of this blog probably know that, in our eyes, the posts we publish are more than mere reflections on events. 

Beyond the aspect of memorializing our daughter's life, we are engaged here in an impassioned and ongoing cry from the heart against terrorism and those who do it while drawing attention to its impact on the victims. 

None of these matters, we have learned from painful personal experience, is well enough understood. This is especially true of people holding high public office and those who advise them.

For the past several years, a recurring aspect of our writing (and public speaking) has been our efforts to give rational, respectful expression to some of the deep bitterness we feel about decisions taken by a series of political figures on both sides of the Atlantic to free convicted murdering terrorists. (Clicking on articles with the labels PrisonersShalitState Department and Tamimi in this blog will quickly bring up some of the posts we mean.)

Our position can be summed up in a single short paragraph that we wrote here a few months back:
Freeing convicted and unrepentant murderers has predictable and very negative outcomes. No politician should ever again dare to deny this. Nor may they ignore the moral, constitutional and legal consequences that flow from this truth.

In it, we referred to three young Israeli yeshiva students -  Naftali Fraenkel, 16, from Nof AyalonGilad Sha'er, 16, from Talmon; and Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad. Their kidnapping, the search for their whereabouts and for those who snatched them from a hitch-hiking post at night, and the subsequent revelation of their cold-blooded murder, elicited deep concern, energy, unity and prayerfulness on a scale that was almost without precedent in modern Israel's history. 

A journalist, Avi Issacharoff from Times of Israel, had found, and we re-posted, that a central figure in that terrorist outrage, a man called Mahmoud Ali Kawasme is one of the Shalit 1,027. We noted that his premature and unwarranted release, like that of every other terrorist - including our daughter's murderer - freed in that deal at the time, was the result of a monumentally successful act of extortion directed against the Government of Israel. His freedom had been conditional on his being "exiled" to the Gaza Strip, and to his refraining from further involvement in terrorism. Instead, he became deeply enmeshed in the Hamas terrorist organization after walking from prison, eventually taking the role of funder and planner of the attack in which the three Israeli teens unwittingly accepted a ride in a stolen Israeli vehicle in which Palestinian Arab terrorists masqueraded as Jews at one of the roadside stops in the Jewish community of Gush Etzion.

Two Arab men remain as of today the subjects of an ongoing manhunt for the kidnappings and murders. They are Marwan Kawasme - a member of the same clan as the ring-leader - and Amer Abu Aysh. Issacharoff has today revealed further aspects of the same kidnap/murder. 

In a fresh Times of Israel expose ["Hamas higher-up in Gaza pulled trigger on teens’ abduction"] published last night, Issacharoff says that although the Hamas leadership repeatedly denied any involvement in the kidnapping and murder of the three boys, key officials in the military and political parts of Hamas 
knew about the plans in advance and had approved similar activities. Abed a-Rahman Ghaminat, one of the heads of a cell in Zurif [near Bethlehem] was the Hamas military wing’s appointed leader over the Hebron area... [Times of Israel]
Abducted and murdered
soldier, Sharon Edri:
another Ghaminat victim
in 1996
Like Mahmoud Ali Kawasme, Ghanimat (his name is sometimes written as GinatAnimat or Ranimat, and in Hebrew as עבד א-רחמן ע'נימאת) was released from an Israeli prison in October 2011 as part of the infamous Shalit Transaction. He had been sentenced to a lengthy term for his involvement in several murders. Among them:
Newspaper front page: The baby
survived a 1997 attack engineered
by Hamas' man, Ghaminat; the
mother was killed
Issacharoff notes that the killer he calls Ghanimat, like many others freed in the Shalit Transaction, promptly embarked on a fresh phase in his career as terrorist. He:
joined a special office under the Hamas military wing in Gaza, which operated under the leadership of the Turkey-based Saleh al-Arouri, one of the heads of the organization living in Ankara. The office hired several of the exiled prisoners to oversee the terror cells in the West Bank. Working from Gaza, Ghaminat was responsible for the Hebron area, along with another ex-prisoner released under the Shalit deal, Ayed Dodin, a Hamas man and resident of Dura, south of Hebron... Traveling through Egypt, the two also visited Turkey and Qatar more than once in the past two years to coordinate the Hamas schemes with Arouri, as well as with other political heads of Hamas living abroad. According to the Palestinian sources, Mahmoud Kawasme [the other Shalit Transaction graduate we mentioned above and here] worked under Ghaminat (sic) in Gaza. 
Had he remained behind bars (as Israel's legal system had determined he must) and not been given the priceless gift of undeserved freedom in 2011 by politicians, could this brutal man have engineered the murders of the three young men mourned by an entire grieving nation?

Arising out of this, we make two requests
One: to understand how those of us directly impacted by Hamas terror feel our government ought to act, please consider this post of ours: "27-Jul-13: To defeat the terrorists, what one thing must a government never do?"  
And two: if you happen to be the Secretary of State of the United States or work for him (or he works for you), or if you belong to one of the hundreds of houses of worship affiliated with the World Council of Churches or belong to its management team in Geneva, please read this: "30-Jun-14: The message of the murdering terrorists, its logical outcome and the indispensable support that enables it". Everyone else is welcome, even invited, to pass these sentiments - and the posts in which they are expressed - to people about whom they care. 
Those who make large decisions in our lives must know that, on terrorism, they are getting them wrong too often. This, for those paying attention, is getting clearer with each passing day.

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