UPDATE 6 pm Israel time Wednesday.
3:55 pm: There are heavy exchanges of gunfire being reported on the Gaza border near Kissufim betweeen IDF soldiers of the Golani Brigade and Palestinian terrorists following the wounding of an IDF officer and a soldier by sniper fire from Gaza.
3:49 pm: Shin Bet released information that in the last few weeks, it has broken up three terrorist cells in Hevron: one cell was involved in attacking Israeli motorists with “rocks”, a second was planning a large scale attack at a cargo complex, the third was planning to blow up the fence around Kiryat Arba and kidnap members of the community.
3:28 pm: Border police arrested Palestinian terrorists at the Hawara checkpoint near Shechem (Nablus) with six bombs, a gun, and a commando knife.
You may remember, dear reader, the case of Khader Adnan who fasted for 66 days–only to stop his hunger strike when the Israeli Prison system unbelievably agreed to release him early on April 17th.
On that day your humble servant wrote:
“And in what can only be described as one of the most absurd decisions in the history of the Israeli penal system, Israeli prison officials agreed in February to release Adnan early (today) if only he would stop his hunger strike.
And what is the result? Not only is a violent criminal back out on the streets of Judea and Samaria but also . . . 1200 more criminals have declared an open-ended hunger strike. As Adnan’s wife Randa correctly pointed out yesterday: “He began the first step for the rest of the prisoners.”
So what is Israel going to do now? Release all of these terrorists?”
The answer (we found out two weeks ago) is that no release is going to be made, but once again, Israel has caved in to most of the demands of the hunger strikers.
What are those concessions?
1. Incredibly, Israel agreed to restrict the ability of Israeli military courts to extend the terms of terrorists being held in administrative detention prior to being charged and taken to trial.
2. Incredibly, Israel agreed to end the solitary confinement of 17 of the worst terrorists.
3. Incredibly, Israel agreed to permit family visits for prisoners from Gaza who were captured in Judea and Samaria.
4. Incredibly, Israel agreed to return the bodies of 130 Palestinian terrorists including the murderers of men, women, children in suicide bombings, and the murderers of IDF soldiers in terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.
This morning the transfer of those bodies began to take place with IDF military rabbis supervising the exhumation of the terrorists. What do you think will happen when these bodies are back in PLO/Palestinian Authority possession?
The same thing that always happens. The terrorists will be further revered as heroes, be given reburials as heroes, and have public buildings, parks, and schools named for them.
And yet we had the ludicrous comment from PM Netanyahu’s office this morning that Israel is “watching the exchange closely” and does not want to see “fanfare” or the terrorists accorded “hero status.”
And why, according to this official, did Netanyahu ever agree to this transfer request in the first place–especially in the face of protests from the families of victims that these terrorists murdered? No mention was made of the hunger strikers’ demands; instead we suddenly we have this comment: “We are hoping that this step will increase faith and help foster a renewal of the political process with the Palestinians.”
So here we go again. The Palestinians get something for nothing, the prisoners get what they wanted–and how long will it be until the next group of Palestinians go on a hunger strike? Absolutely pathetic.