Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hamas Demands Notorious Killers

Maayana Miskin
Hamas is demanding the release of approximately 1,500 terrorists in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Many of those 1,500 criminals have “blood on their hands,” meaning they took part in attacks in which Israelis were murdered. Channel 2 News examined the crimes committed by five of the terrorists on Hamas' list on Saturday night. Yahye Ibrahim Sanwar participated in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Nachshon Waxman, who was murdered after several days in captivity in 1994. He was also convicted for the murders of two Palestinian Authority Arab men who were accused of cooperating with Israeli security forces to capture terrorists. Sanwar was given five life sentences, and has been in prison for 19 years.

Fatkhi Abu-Sheikh sent a suicide bomber to the Park Hotel in Netanya, where he carried out the notorious “Passover massacre” in which 30 Jews were murdered and 140 wounded, 20 of them seriously. He was given 29 life sentences, of which he has served six and a half years.

Abbas el-Said was the head of Hamas in Tulkarem. He initiated and planned the Park Hotel bombing and a bombing at the Sharon Mall in Netanya. He was sentenced to 35 lifetimes plus 50 years in prison, and has served six and a half years of his sentence.

Mohammed Arman planned three fatal attacks. He planned the attack on the Moment Cafe in Jerusalem that killed 11 young Israelis and wounded 54 others, the attack on Hebrew University that killed four Israelis and five foreign nationals and wounded 85 and the attack on a Rishon LeTzion pool hall that murdered 15 and left more than 50 wounded. He was sentenced to 35 lifetimes in prison and has served six years of his sentence.

Atiya Mohammed Warda sent three suicide bombers to attack Israelis. He sent two of the bombers to the Number 18 bus line in Jerusalem, one in February of 1996 and the other in March of the same year. The first attack killed 26 and wounded 48; the second attack killed 11 Israelis and eight foreign citizens, and wounded seven others. In addition, Warda sent a bomber to a hitchhiking post in Ashkelon, where he murdered one young woman and wounded dozens of others. Warda was given 48 life sentences and has been in prison for six years.

Hamas has refused to reduce its demands during more than two years of negotiations for Shalit's freedom. Negotiations have stopped and started repeatedly. Israeli diplomats recently accused the Egyptian team mediating the negotiations of failing to pressure Hamas into reducing its demands.

A ministerial committee suggested in 2007 that Israel change the definition of “blood on their hands” to include only those who personally murdered Israelis. The change would allow terrorists such as those above to be excluded from the category of “bloody-handed” terrorists and therefore to be released in prisoner exchanges. The change in definition faced opposition from several senior military and intelligence officials.

Despite opposition, Israel's negotiating teams have agreed to release a number of terrorists who were directly involved in fatal attacks. The offer was not good enough for Hamas, which insists that over 1,000 prisoners be released.

Professor Yisrael Aumann, a Nobel prize-winning expert in game theory, issued a highly emotional appeal last week calling on the government not to give in to Hamas' demands. Releasing more than 1,000 terrorists, including those responsible for dozens of murders, would be both immoral according to Jewish law and ineffective according to game theory, Aumann said. He criticized Defense Minister Ehud Barak and others for giving in to terrorists' demands in the past and thus making the negotiation for Shalit's release far more difficult.

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