Although nearly half of the 13,000 terrorists Israel has released since 1985 have returned to the battlefield, Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing Israel to free more imprisoned militants in the hope of bolstering Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Israel Hayom reported
Israeli authorities say the high terrorist recidivism rate is because many of those released have long had a strong ideological belief in violence, and that this is reinforced by a culture of officially sanctioned anti-Israel incitement in both the West Bank and Gaza.
Earlier this month, for example, terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis received certificates of citation at a cultural event hosted by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
They were released from prison several months ago, according to veteran Israeli journalist Nadav Shragai, author of the Israel Hayom piece.
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Footage of the event depicts a gun battle in which members of Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah organization unite to kill a group of “Israelis” opposing them.
Many Israelis who oppose further prisoner releases cite the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner deal in which a kidnapped Israeli soldier was freed in exchange for about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
During the last two years, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency has intercepted at least 80 attempted terrorist attacks in the West Bank that were masterminded by Gaza-based Hamas operatives freed in the Shalit deal.
One individual involved in these operations was Omar Abu-Sneina, who mailed a computer disk drive from Gaza to his family in the West Bank with detailed instructions on carrying out a kidnapping.
The Shin Bet intercepted the mailing.
Even as Washington has urged Israel to free additional prisoners with Israeli blood on their hands, it unsuccessfully opposed the Israeli government’s decision to release Othman Omar Mustafa, a Palestinian convicted of the 1989 murder of Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a former Marine and U.S. citizen, according to Israel Hayom.
Rosenfeld was stabbed to death by Mustafa and two other men who befriended him as he hiked near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the Daily Beast reported
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