President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman commuted the sentences of seven Israel-Arab security prisoners who have been held in Israeli prisons since the 1980s.
The seven – Samir Sarsawi, Maher Younis, Karim Younis, Ibrahim Biadseh, Walid Daka, Rushdie abu Much and Ibrahim Bin Naif abu Much – were all incarcerated before the Oslo Accords and were sentenced to life in prison. Six of them were convicted of murder.
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Peres and Ne'eman accepted the recommendation of a special parole committee, which commutes life sentences in cases where the court orders life imprisonment without determining the length of the jail term. According to Israeli legal procedures, the president must be the one to commute the length of the life sentences. Such a step is not the same as granting clemency.
The committee members, who recommended commuting the sentences, did not reach unanimous decisions in all of the cases. For many of the prisoners, the committee suggested a range by which to shorten the sentence. The President's Residence stated that Ne'eman and Peres chose the strictest option for each one.
Among the prisoners are Karim Younis, who murdered soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1981 was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and Walid Daka, who was arrested in 1986 and convicted of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.
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