NEW YORK- The Palestinian Arab terrorist who murdered a 7-month old Israeli baby and a 27-year old Israeli man on Rosh Hashana had previously been jailed, but was set free after the Bush administration urged Israel to release imprisoned terrorists as a gesture to then-Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.
As a result, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is renewing its call to the Bush administration to change its policy of pressing Israel to release imprisoned terrorists.
The Rosh Hashana murderer, Mahmoud Hamedan, had been serving a prison sentence for planning to carry out an attack, but was then released as part of the gesture that the Bush administration urged Israel to make to Abbas, according to Israel Radio (Sept. 29, 2003). The Jerusalem Post reported on June 13, 2003, that the [Bush] administration supports Abbass demand that Israel release terrorists from prison and is pressuring the government to do so in order to strengthen Abbas.
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: Theres 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 murder of 7-month old Shaked Avraham is proof that releasing terrorists is a deadly mistake. We urge the Bush administration to reconsider its policy of pressing Israel to release terrorists.