The Almagor Terror Victims Organization petitioned the High Court of Justice on Friday to ask that the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit be delayed pending an in-depth examination of the issue.
Among the petitioners were bereaved families of those killed in terror acts, including the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem, perpetrated by several of the prisoners named in an unofficial list released by Hamas.
The families argue that the freed terrorists will go on to kill again, and point to numerous examples from previous prisoner exchanges.
One of the female prisoners that is to be released is Ahlam Tamimi, who is generally identified as “the driver of the Sbarro terrorist.” For example, this is from a recent news article by Sheera Frenkel of McClatchy Newspapers:
Ahlam Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life terms for driving the bombers to the restaurant. A member of Hamas, she’s expressed pride in the attack. The Israelis have agreed to release all 27 Palestinian women they hold.
But she was much more than a ‘driver’. In fact, she played a major role in planning and executing the mass murder. Frimet Roth, the mother of one of the victims, wrote in response to a similar report:
… Ahlam Tamimi did not drive the Sbarro restaurant suicide bomber to his target. She personally transported a bomb weighing 10kg from a West Bank town into Jerusalem, concealed inside a guitar case, and arranged for a taxi to bring her and an accomplice by the name of Al Masri to an Israeli security checkpoint. To reduce suspicion, they were dressed to look like Israelis. It worked. The bomb was not detected, and Tamimi led her “weapon” – Al Masri – to the target carefully selected by her.
The pizza restaurant was selected because it was located in the heart of Jerusalem and on a hot summer vacation afternoon it would be teeming with women and children. Tamimi instructed Al Masri to wait 15 minutes before detonating the explosives to give her sufficient time to flee the scene safely.
Our precious daughter, Malki, who was 15, perished in the ensuing inferno.
The contention that Tamimi was pressured into this barbaric act that took the lives of seven men and women and eight children, and left a 16th woman in a coma until today, is false. Since being sentenced to 16 life terms, she has been interviewed twice. She has repeatedly stated that she does not regret her actions. She smiled to the camera when she learned that she had murdered eight children; she had been under the impression it was fewer.
Tamimi will not be released at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem where she committed her crime. Of the 27 women, Israel is insisting that two of them be deported: Amna Muna, who seduced an Israeli teenager by Internet chat and drove him to a secluded location where he was murdered, will be sent to the Gaza strip. And Tamimi will be sent “outside of Israel.”
Although the families of terror victims, including Malki Roth’s parents Frimet and Arnold, have asked the Supreme Court to stop the exchange, it is highly unlikely that the court will agree, writes “Israel Matzav”:
Under the law, the government has to post the names of those to be released on the Prisons’ Authority website 72 hours before their release (which is why the release is being done on a Tuesday – think about it) and the terror victims can appeal to the High Court of Justice during those 72 hours to stop the release. But it’s a act of futility. Justice Mishael Cheshin said in one of these hearings many years ago that the right of appeal is just to make the victims’ families feel like they have an outlet but the court will never interfere in these decisions because they are strictly political and military decisions.
But it’s okay for them to reroute the ‘security fence’….
It seems to me that one of the horrible parts of this affair (there are so many) is the way it has pitted families against families, people like the Roths against the Shalits.