UPDATE 7 pm Israel time Wednesday:
We have seen another 24 hours of intense attacks on Israelis in Judea and Samaria–too many to be put into the israelsteet breaking news ticker in the right hand column of this page.
During the night Palestinian terrorists erected barriers of “rocks” and nails on the roads near Talmonim and Elon Moreh and assaulted motorists as they were forced to slow down as their windows were smashed and their tires were punctured.
There were several cases of attempted kidnappings as the terrorists attempted to pull Israelis out of their cars–most notably at Elon Moreh.
Many more motorists were attacked on Road 443 between Modi’in and Jerusalem. In the early morning, Arabs hurled two IEDs at the police in Abu Dis. The West highway bridge near Hebron was yet another focus of the “rock” throwers attention.
Remarkably in all of these attacks, as well as the attacks on the Israeli school bus yesterday, there were no physical injuries–but who can even begin to imagine the traumatic stress suffered by all of those who were attacked.
As you undoubtedly know, dear reader, Israel is now under intense pressure from the United States to release even more Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons (and PM Netanyahu, in yet another sop to the PLO, has apparently agreed). Your humble servant thought it might be interesting today to take a look at a few prisoners who have been released in recent years to see what paths they have followed.
*First we have the case of Saleh Jahalin, a 54 year old former Palestinian security officer who was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to nine years in prison for smuggling weapons to terrorists in Judea and Samaria. Jahalin signed a pledge not to return to terrorism and was released in the Gilad Shalit exchange.
On Monday night, Jahalin’s body was found on the shore of the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side. On his back was a bag of “weapons”. In what sounds remarkably like a line out of the movie Casablanca, the Jordanians announced yesterday that they haven’t decided whether Jahalin drowned from the weight of the weapons or was shot by Jordanian soldiers as he swam in Jordanian territorial waters.
Whatever the case, by this morning, Jahalin has already been proclaimed “The Martyr of the Dead Sea” by Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO (aka Palestinian Authority).
*Samir Kuntar was back in the news today.
You may remember that Kuntar is the hideous Lebanese Druze terrorist who butchered two members of the Haran family (including 4 year old Einat Haran whose head he smashed repeatedly against a rock) and two policemen in Nahariya in 1979. He was sentenced to four life sentences in prison only to be released as part of a deal with Hezbollah in which Israel received the bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
Kuntar now lives in Lebanon and is an ardent supporter of Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashir Assad (who honored Kuntar with Syria’s highest medal in 2009). Last August, he attended a conference in Tunis where he declared his support for Assad with remarks that so enraged those in Tunis that he was chased from the conference hall by a club-wielding mob–but he managed to return safely to Lebanon.
Why was he in the news today? While Kuntar was in prison in 1992, he married fellow prisoner Kifah Kayyal–an Israeli Arab activist from Akko sentenced to life in prison for her terrorist activities with the Palestine Liberation Front (upon Kayyal’s early release from prison she incredibly received a monthly stipend from the Israeli government as the wife of a prisoner–can you believe this?).
In any case, Kuntar has hilariously not seen Kayyal since his release. Yesterday Kayyal was granted a divorce from Kuntar by a Sharia court in Ramallah in what was proclaimed by Kayyal as “a great victory for Palestinian and Muslim women” because the divorce was granted without Kuntar’s approval (all Muslim divorces must be approved by the husband involved).
*The last case today is the continuing absurd case of Samer Issawi, another Palestinian terrorist who was released in the Gilad Shalit deal–only to re re-arrested for violating the terms of the promise he signed not to return to terrorism.
Issawi, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison (read about his case in this previous israelstreet blog “The Palestinian Prisoner Canard”), has now managed to get the pusillanimous Israeli authorities to release him in just eight more months.
And how did he do this? By simply going on a hunger strike. The craven Israeli government has decided that if Issawi had continued his hunger strike, he might have died, and if he had died, there would possibly have been a third intifada in Judea and Samaria (which there already is).
In obtaining his release via hunger strike, Issawi has followed the example set by three other Palestinian terrorists who similarly gained their release by threatening to starve themselves to death. Why the Israeli prison system allows itself to be so ludicrously manipulated is beyond the comprehension of your humble servant.
In fact, why should any terrorists be captured and tried at all? It is a sad but true fact that most of the worst terrorists get early releases anyway and return to their lives of terrorism as quickly as possible.