Terrorists Released From Jail Murdered 15 Israelis; U.S. Should Not Press Israel For Additional Releases
September 12, 2003

Shin Bet: “Terrorists Who Are
Set Free Often Attack Again”

NEW YORK- The Palestinian Arab terrorists who carried out this week’s suicide bombing had previously been jailed and then released by Israel, and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to change its policy of pressing Israel to release imprisoned terrorists.

In recent months, the Israeli government released hundreds of imprisoned terrorists as a “gesture” to the then-prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The Jerusalem Post reported on June 13, 2003, that “the [Bush] administration supports Abbas’s demand that Israel release terrorists from prison and is pressuring the government to do so in order to strengthen Abbas.”

Israel Radio reported (Sept.11, 2003) that the two bombers who attacked in Jerusalem and Rishon L’Tzion this week, murdering 15 Israelis and wounding dozens more, “had been released from [Israeli] administrative detention around half a year ago.”

A former division chief of the Israeli Security Services (Shin Bet), Menachem Landau, told Israel Radio on July 6, 2003 that “many of the terrorists released in the past engaged in terror after their release.” Another former division chief for the Shin Bet, Isaac Levy, told the Jerusalem Post on May 9, 2003: “There’s no doubt that a number of those released return to a life of terror.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Releasing terrorists is not the way to fight terror. A significant number of terrorists released by Israel later commit more terrorism. The 15 Israelis murdered this week are proof that releasing terrorists is a deadly mistake. We urge the Bush administration to reconsider its policy of pressing Israel to release terrorists.”

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