Haim Ramon, a member of the Ministerial Committee on Security Prisoners, said yesterday regarding negotiations with Hamas over the freeing Hamas terrorists from Israeli jails that two-thirds of Hamas prisoners released in the past had returned to terror and murdered many Israelis. (Israeli Minister: Two-Thirds of Freed Hamas Prisoners Returned to Terror and Murdered Israelis Voice of Israel Radio Hebrew, March 19, 2009, translation courtesy of the
Col. Meir Indor, the Director of Almagor Terror Victims Association (ATVA), disclosed in April 2007 that 177 Israelis killed in terror attacks in the previous five years had been killed by Palestinians who had been previously released from Israeli jails on the basis that they were without blood on their hands (Jerusalem Post, April 10, 2007). Also at that time, the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee Chairman, Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) said that 35 Israelis had been murdered by prisoners
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Haim Ramons disclosure is but the most recent confirmation of the fact that it has proved to be a tragic mistake for Israel to agree to release of jailed terrorists, especially those with blood on their hands, something outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his predecessors said they would never do in return for the return of Israeli servicemen captured or kidnapped, living or dead.
The ZOA has always argued that the criterion no blood on their hands was a false one to guide us as to the danger of releasing terrorists. The Israeli government has defined a terrorist without blood on his hands as including those convicted for attempting to kill, planting or throwing bombs or shooting at Israelis in attacks that happened to prove non-lethal. It is clear that prisoners the Israeli government is defining as not having blood on their hands often fall into that category simply because their terror plans failed, or because others pulled the trigger or detonated the bomb. This makes them attempted murderers or accessories to murder.
We are fooling ourselves if we believe releasing such people will not lead to further murder and maiming of innocent Israeli men, women and children. However, bad as it is to release such people, it is even worse to releases terrorists who have murdered Jews and who have been celebrated in their societies for having done so.
I want to make it clear, as I have on previous occasions, that the ZOA deeply sympathizes with Israeli families when their sons are kidnapped by bloodthirsty terrorists. We would support virtually any efforts to bring them home safely. But when the record clearly shows that prisoner releases bring only more terror, more murder and more kidnappings of Jewish people, we must painfully accept the fact that we will save more Israeli lives by not rewarding kidnappings through prisoner releases.