They murdered Israeli men and women as well as Palestinian collaborators and were jailed prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords
or immediately after. Now, 103 terrorists who served between 19 and 30 years in prison are set to be released as part of the resumption of peace talks between Israel
and the Palestinian Authority.
A state official confirmed that the cabinet will vote on the decision on Sunday and that a ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
will finalize the details at a later stage.
Seeking to assuage public qualms about the release, Netanyahu issued a statement on Saturday urging the support of Israelis for what he called a "very painful decision".
"This is an incredibly tough decision. It is painful to the bereaved families, it is painful to the Israeli people and it is very painful to me. It clashes with the value of justice. It is an obvious injustice that criminals, even if most of them spent more than 20 years in prison, be released before they finish serving their sentence.
"Prime ministers must from time to time make decisions that go against public opinion, when it is important for the country to do so. The best answer we give to those murderers is that in the years that they have spent in prison we have built a beautiful country."
The two longest-serving prisoners are Karim and Maher Younis, Arab-Israelis from Wadi Ara who were convicted of the murder of IDF
soldier Avraham Brumberg in 1981. They were sentenced to life in prison. Both had their sentences reduced to 40 years.
Other Arab-Israelis on the list include four Umm al-Fahm residents who murdered three soldiers near Kibbutz Gilad in 1992, and four others who murdered soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984. Their sentences were commuted by President Shimon Peres
Samir Sarsawi from Ibtin is also up for release. He was jailed in 1988 for throwing a grenade in the middle of a Haifa street. His sentence was reduced to 30 years. Another Arab-Israeli on the list is Ahmed Abu Jaber who was convicted of the murder of soldier Akiva Shaltiel in 1985.
Among the Palestinian terrorists up for release according to the Palestinian Authority is Issa Abed Rabo, convicted of the murder of Revital Seri and Ron Levy near the Cremisan Valley in October 1984.
The list also includes Mohamed Dawd from Qalqilya who threw a Molotov cocktail at a car in 1987 killing Ofra and Tal Moses. Other prisoners include Jumaa Adem and Mahmoud Kharbish who hurled a firebomb at a bus in the Jordan
Valley on the eve of the 1988 elections. The attack left five dead: Rachel Weiss and her three kids and soldier David Dolorosa who tried to save the four.
The list includes prisoners who were minors at the time of the attacks. Two Palestinian youths from Gaza murdered Zalman Shlein in Gan Yavne; two other teens murdered Baruch Heizler in 1990.
Other Palestinians on the list murdered elderly Israelis. Jamal Muhsan from Jenin stabbed Shlomo Yehia, 76, in Kadima
22 years. Mahmoud Moamed murdered Israel Prize Laureate Menahem Stern in the Valley of the Cross in 1989.
Another Palestinian tipped for release is Adnan Effendi who stabbed and wounded two 13-year-old boys in Jerusalem in 1992. The incident is bet remembered for a haredi woman who lay on top of Effendi preventing citizens from lynching him.
The list also includes the murderers of Motti Biton who was killed while shopping in a village near Jenin in 1992. Biton's wife shot at the terrorists and hit one of them. Atef Shaath, who dressed up as a woman, murdered Simcha Levy in the Gaza Strip.
Another prisoner who may be freed is Mahmoud Issa, who led the terror cell that kidnapped and murdered Border Guard officer Nissim Toledano in June 1993. Then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
leaders to Lebanon
following the attack.
Among the prisoners jailed after the Oslo Accords are two Gaza residents who murdered Holocaust survivor Izaac Rotenberg, 70, as he was working at a construction site in Petah Tikva.
Elior Levy contributed to this report
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