NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to indict and extradite a Palestinian Arab murderer of an American, who is being released by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a gesture to the Palestinian Arabs.
The terrorist scheduled for release is Ahmad El-Sukar, who is presently serving a sentence of life imprisonment for a bombing in downtown Jerusalems Zion Square on July 4, 1975, murdering 14 passersby. One of those murdered was U.S. citizen Rivka Ben-Yitzhak, age 35. Among the wounded were three AmericansU.S. tourist Mark Katz and two American young women tourists whose names were not released. (New York Times, July 5, 1975)
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and chairman of the National Executive Committee Dr. Michael Goldblatt have sent a telegram to Attorney General Ashcroft urging: We deplore the Sharon governments reported decision to order the release of a killer of Americans, and we urge you to intervene to ensure that El-Sukar receives the appropriate punishment for his crimes. The United States should indict El-Sukar for the murder of U.S. citizen Rivka Ben-Yitzhak, and request that El-Sukar be extradited from Israel to the U.S. in accordance with the terms of the U.S.-Israel extradition treaty. If the Sharon government is not prepared to mete out justice to this murderer of Israelis and Americans, El-Sukar, then the U.S. government must do so.
The ZOA is also urging the Attorney General to:
* Place Ahmad El-Sukar on the terrorist watch list so that he is not allowed to enter the United States (except to stand trial).
* Assist the family of Rivka Ben-Yitzhak, and relatives of the Americans wounded in the bombing, in filing suit against El-Sukar for violating their civil rights.
* Demand that the Palestinian Authority pledge, in writing, to refrain from providing any financial assistance to El-Sukar or his family (the PAs standard policy has been to provide salaries to released terrorists).
* Demand that the PA provide a verifiable account of how much money it has provided to El-Sukar or his family since his imprisonment, and deduct that amount from the next installment of the Bush administrations annual $150-million grant to the Palestinian Arabs.
* Post warnings in the vicinity of El-Sukars next place of residence, alerting U.S. citizens who live in the area that a killer is about to become their neighborsimilar to warnings that are posted in American neighborhoods when convicted child molesters move into the area.
* Instruct the CIA Station Chief in Israel to monitor El-Sukars travels and inform the Ben-Yitzhaks and the other victims families of his whereabouts at all times.
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More than 100 American citizens have been murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists since the 1960s, 39 of them since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993. Twenty-seven of those 39 were killed since the Palestinian Authority launched the current wave of violence in September 2000.
In response to the ongoing murders of American citizens by Palestinian Arab terrorists, the ZOA is strongly supporting the Koby Mandell Act, which was recently introduced in Congress. The Koby Mandell Act would create a special office within the Justice Department which would: gather evidence against Palestinian Arab killers of Americans; arrange to bring the terrorists to the U.S. for trial; initiate negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for financial compensation for victims families; and maintain a liaison with the families to update them on efforts to capture the killers.
The Koby Mandell Act has been publicly endorsed by AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The legislation has broad bipartisan support in Congress. In the Senate, it currently has 12 sponsors, led by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). In the House of Representatives, it currently has 41 sponsors, led by Representatives Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Jim Saxton (R-NJ). (For a complete list of the sponsors, call the ZOA at 212-481-1500.)
The ZOA recently published a powerful new booklet, The Forgotten Victims: American Citizens Murdered by Palestinian Arab Terrorists. It includes biographical entries on Americans murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists and a Killers at Large section revealing the names and, in some cases, the photos of Palestinian Arab killers of Americans who are being sheltered by the PA. For a free copy of The Forgotten Victims, please call the ZOA at 212-481-1500.