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Israel Faces Legal Hurdles to Free 104 Terrorists

[David Bedein]

Summary ... Although the world is awaiting the release of 104 terrorists by Israel, it seems the Members of Knesset (MK) forgot one small detail when they voted to release these murderers: the law. According to Israel penal law there is no such thing as automatic clemency, pardon or commutation for someone who has been convicted of murder or attempted murder.

This week, if you followed newscasts on the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Israel Defense Forces Radio and nearly all of the Israeli media, you would have been convinced that Israel has already freed 104 convicted murderers in accordance with the Israel Cabinet decision of July 28, and nothing can to be done to stop that process.

That is not the case.

Over the past few days, I wore my MSW hat and interfaced with social work professionals from Israel Prison Service system, who confirmed that, according to Israel penal law, there is no such thing as automatic clemency, pardon or commutation for someone who has been convicted of murder or attempted murder.

There is a "security risk" form that the Israel Prison Service must submit concerning each convict, known as HaArachat Misukanut which is binding upon the decision as to whether or not a convict can be released.

Most recently, a Jew convicted of attempted murder of Arabs — and sentenced to 15 years in jail — was refused commutation of his sentence.

Professionals who prepared the HaArachat Misukanut in his case would not recommend a change in the sentence meted out the Jewish convict.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Following the Israel government's decision to recommend release of 104 Arabs convicted for first degree murder, the Israel Prison Service awaits a mandatory request for a HaArachat Misukanut in each case from the government of Israel.

If the convict does not pass the test of the HaArachat Misukanut, Israeli law will not allow the convict out of jail.

With widespread anger festering against release of convicted murderers, in Israel and outside of Israel, and a protest rally planned in New York planned for Thursday, August 1, the focus of protest should be to demand that Israeli government ministers act in according with the Israeli law.

The demand must be made that Israeli government ministers who voted to free those convicted of murder must give each of names to the HaArachat Misukanut procedure.

In previous releases of Arab murder convicts, lives of Israeli civilians and soldiers hung in the balance. This time, no life of any Israeli hangs in the balance.

The only people in danger are the people whom these convicts might harm in the future.

The time has come to demand that the Israeli government act according to the Israeli penal law.

E-mails and fax numbers and phone numbers of every member of the Israeli Knesset Parliament and Israeli government are listed, in Hebrew and in English, on the Knesset's website.

[Editor's note: Although I hesitate to give too much credit to politicians, could it be that at least a few of the MKs really did know about this procedure and used it in order to restart the peace talks without actually giving into the PA/PLO? We most likely will never know.]

[ Published: August 1, 2013 ]

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