Monday, January 29, 2018

29-Jan-18: Freeing unrepentant terrorists and the horrors it has brought

New York Times, October 18, 2011
We haven't been shy about expressing the deeply negative feelings we have for the catastrophic 2011 Shalit Deal and for the decision-making and consultation with members of the community of victims of terror (of which there was none) that led Israel's government to enter into it.

Before the October 2011 mass release, we said this:
This deal is a disaster,” he [Arnold Roth] said of the exchange for the Israeli soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, as he sat with his wife, Frimet, on the balcony of their Jerusalem apartment. “Some of these people will go back to murdering. They pose an existential threat to all of us” ... “This is not a political issue for us,” he said. “I am not some raving right-winger. We too share the joy of the Shalit family. But the victims are being marginalized. We object on principle. We see ourselves as agents of the children who will be killed by the graduates of this release.” ["In Israel, Swap Touches Old Wounds", Ethan Broner in the New York Times, October 14, 2011]
"...She's got a life [referring to Ahlam Tamimi, mastermind of the Sbarro massacre] that's being handed back to her as a result of this transaction... Many hundreds of convicted murderers are going to be released for no other reason that the Government of Israel saw no alternative. Obviously, everyone in this country is delighted if this is going to produce a healthy and well Gilad Shalit, but that's not the whole deal - and the parts of the deal that involve allowing terrorists back on the streets are a recipe for a terrible outcome." [Arnold Roth interviewed on Lateline/Australia's ABC, October 13, 2011]
"With today’s decision to free the terrorists, prime minister Netanyahu, a savvy politician to the core, conveys to us his disdain for the lives of ordinary citizens like my Malki; his disrespect for Israel's justice system; and his lack of regard for the soldiers who faced death in order to apprehend the terrorists about to be freed. Which rational soldier or police officer is going risk his life in the future to defend us from the monsters like Tamimi, sworn to murder still more Jews? The prime minister is quoted this morning saying that his "heart goes out" to Israel’s many terror victims. His actions and those of his cabinet suggest otherwise. How can they sleep at night, knowing the peril they have brought onto their people?" [Frimet Roth - "A mother's statement", October 14, 2011]
[The] murderer of our daughter and of 14 other people, the majority of them women and children, is on the release list as we feared for years she would be... Has our government taken into account what the release means to families like us, and we are in the thousands, who have suffered the worst possible loss and now see the perpetrators dancing and prancing in the arms of their supporters? Everyone wants Gilad Shalit home, safe and well. If we were his parents, we might have done what the Shalits did. But this is not the same as deciding, as prime minister or as the cabinet, what is good for the country, for the people of Israel. The jubilation emanating from the two Palestinian Arab governments tonight, the Hamas and the Abu Mazen regimes, should make clear to Israel's friends everywhere that something dreadful has happened tonight. We may come to bitterly regret this transaction for years to come... [From Frimet and Arnold Roth's statement to an Australian newspaper, October 12, 2011]
and many dozens of similar public statements, interviews and op eds.

Nadav Shragai, a respected veteran of Israel's brand-name media, and for years a correspondent at Haaretz, has a lengthy analytical article in the English edition (which is published online only) of the high-circulation Yisrael Hayom daily. (Amos Schocken, the publisher of Haaretz, is quoted on Wikpedia saying that Shragai was a journalist with clear opinions with which he largely disagreed, but "his opinions never influenced his news reporting, which was always professional".) Datelined January 26, 2018, it's entitled "Warning – abductions planned". Not surprisingly to anyone paying attention to terrorist attacks on Israelis these past six years and in light of what he writes, our statements were painfully accurate.

In our words, some of Shragai's revelations (direct quotes from his article are in italics):
  • No fewer than 420 of the 1,027 let loose in the Shalit Deal are again engaged in the satanic work of doing more terror. 210 of the 1,027 have already been re-arrested by the IDF. Some 100 are currently back in the Israeli prison system.
  • "Terrorists freed in the Schalit deal have directly or indirectly been involved in the murder of seven Israelis, including the three teens abducted in Gush Etzion in June 2014, as well as Rabbi Michael Mark and Baruch Mizrahi."
  • Shragai, referring to reports from the Palestinian Authority, says Shalit Deal releasees are currently "working to carry out attacks in various parts of the West Bank and their main goal is another abduction of an Israeli". 
  • The Gaza operations of Hamas are now led by graduates of the Shalit Deal who are keeping Gaza relatively quiet while they "rebuild themselves [and] hatching plans for terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, all while continuing to shake up the regime of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • One of those is Yahya Sinwar of whom we wrote recently ["13-Feb-17: Another Shalit Deal milestone: Four terms of life imprisonment but this murdering jihadist now heads Hamas in Gaza"]. He is aided by Tawfiq Abu Naim [we mentioned him in 2012] and Zuhair Jabarin, another Shalit Deal graduate. Sinwar, while serving a term of four life sentences for planning terrorist attacks and before being freed by Israel, was involved in planning the lethal kidnapping of a young IDF service man, Nahshon Waxman.
  • In the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Shalit Deal beneficiaries play a major terrorist role as well. A Jordanian with close ties to Iran, Maher Obeid was put in charge of Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks in the West Bank in late-2017 [see this Ynet backgrounder] after Saleh al-Arouri, who was freed prior to the Shalit Deal, was promoted in October 2017 to become the deputy head of Hamas. 
  • al-Arouri has been the focus of several of our posts. One of the founders of Hamas, he is a veteran of Israel's prison system where he spent 15 (some say 18) years. On release in 2007, he was expelled to Syria. Hamas' offices in Syria were shut down in 2012, at which point he and several terrorist colleagues were welcomed to Turkey. He appears in several of ours posts: "22-Dec-15: Has a Hamas terror insider just been thrown out of Turkey?"; "11-Dec-15: The price of the Shalit Deal and the countries that help it keep rising"; "27-Nov-14: Hamas terrorist ring is busted; Israel says the handlers operate from Turkey; Qatar is involved"; "30-Sep-14: Martyrs and monsters"; "11-Sep-14: Freeing terrorists: The price in human lives lost and in justice perverted keeps getting clearer".
  • Three Shalit Deal graduates now report directly to Obeid: Abdel Rahman Ranimat (also written as Abed a-Rahman Ghaminat) [a central figure in this post of ours: "11-Sep-14: Freeing terrorists: The price in human lives lost and in justice perverted keeps getting clearer"] is in charge of the Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho regions. Abdullah Arar [profiled in "01-Jan-18: Another reason we call it the catastrophic Shalit Deal"] controls Jerusalem and Ramallah. Forsan Khalifa runs what we call Samaria, the northern part of the West Bank.
  • Dozens of terrorist attacks, including many that were thwarted, over the past year were initiated by this leadership and by other Shalit Deal releasees.
  • They have also been instrumental in so-called smaller Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks in which firebombs (otherwise known as Molotov Cocktails) were the weapons of choice rather than guns, rifles, knives and vehicle rammings. These have risen greatly in number over the past few weeks: 84 in November 2017, but then 249 in December 2017. Shragai notes that another Shalit Deal releasee was the driver of the wave of such attacks in the area of Dura until he was sent back to prison.
Other prominent Shalit Deal releasees mentioned in the Yisrael Hayom article because of their revived active terrorism roles:
  • Hussam Badaran who "oversaw an attempt by Hamas operatives from Hebron to commit terrorist kidnappings of Israeli civilians or soldiers". We have much more to say about this terrorist: see "13-Jun-13: Little-known sides to the post-Shalit careers of unjustly released killers"
  • Hashem Abdel Kader Ibrahim Hijaz "tried to launch terrorist abductions near Ramallah, using a local Hamas operative.
  • Mazen Fuqaha, another leader of Hamas' West Bank command who was killed in Gaza in March 2017, also devoted his energy to preparing a massive abduction. Fuqha was responsible for the suicide bus bombing at the Meron junction in 2002 that killed nine people. Sentenced to nine terms of life imprisonment, he served only nine years before being freed in the Shalit Deal.
  • "The Hamas cell that planned a series of terrorist attacks to be launched at the train station in Binyamina, the central synagogue in Zikhron Yaakov and the bus station in Wadi Ara, was also planning a kidnapping. The cell, which consisted of two residents of the village of Bani Naim near Hebron and an Israeli Arab from Wadi Ara, was funded by a group of terrorists freed in the Schalit deal. They kept in touch via Facebook."
  • Ruhi Mushtaha "another senior figure in Hamas who is close to Sinwar, had been assigned seven life sentences for his involvement in the Waxman abduction, was also released in the Schalit deal. Mushtaha was involved in assembling the list of prisoners Hamas wanted to be released. Since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, he has also been in charge of the Hamas prisoners portfolio."
  • Mohammad al-Sharatha, "a member of the terrorist cell that kidnapped and murdered IDF soldiers Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon in two separate abductions in 1989."
All of them, back in the same lethal business that long prison sentences ought by rights, and by reason of justice, to have terminated.

Image Source: FBI
Shragai doesn't mention her but Ahlam Tamimi deserves a place in the gallery of monsters. 

We have written frequently about her; she's our child's unrepentant murderer. The Shalit Deal enabled her to walk free, return to Jordan where she was born and where most of her family lives, to marry in a widely-watched celebration - to another Shalit Deal murderer/releasee, to start a family, to host her own TV show and present it to a global audience for nearly five years, to become a celebrity guest at guilds, colleges, schools and universities in several Arab countries and especially in Jordan, and to be a media-smart spokesperson for the deeply bigoted jihadist mission personified by Hamas.

The strikingly undeserved peace and quiet she has found in Jordan despite (full credit to the Hashemite regime and its ruler - "26-Jul-17: We listened carefully to Jordan's foreign minister and we have 10 questions") being on the run from the FBI is one of the many reasons we hold, and will continue to express, strongly critical opinions about the process that handed her freedom back to her and to many hundreds of additional loathsome murderers.

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