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Palestinian prisoners swapped are criminals, unlike Israeli hostages

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Palestinian prisoners swapped are criminals, unlike Israeli hostages



As of Sunday night, around 40 Israelis taken hostage by Hamas are due to have been released, with the third group being released Sunday night, with approximately three times as many Palestinian security prisoners being released in return – in addition to the temporary ceasefire between the sides.

But because the vast majority of the Palestinians being released are women or minors and all of the Israelis being released are women or minors, many in the global media have lost sight of the fact that the Palestinians have all been convicted or charged of violent crimes, many of terror crimes.

In addition, some of the Jewish minors are as young as babies and toddlers, whereas the youngest Palestinian due to be released as a teenager and most are above the age of 16.

The terrorists traded for innocents

Ragah Abu Kias of the West Bank, and connected with Fatah, was arrested when he was 16 on July 2, 2021 for opening fire on Jews. Because he did not succeed at killing anyone and was a minor, he was given a lenient sentence of five years and two months in jail, before Israel added him to the list of releases.

Released Palestinian prisoners react after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, near Ramallah in the West Bank November 26, 2023. (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

Saadi Abu Adi of the West Bank and connected with Hamas, was arrested when he was 17 on April 2, 2023 and will turn 18 in March of 2024. His arrest was for opening fire on Jews as well as throwing rocks, and breaking traffic laws. He was in pre-verdict detention pending the outcome of his trial.

Marah Bechir of east Jerusalem and connected with Hamas, was arrested in October 2015, at age 16, after she stabbed a border policeman, who survived. She was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.

Another prisoner to be released is Ahmed Marzouk, 18, arrested four months ago for assaulting police, arson, possession of weapons, and other charges.

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Next, Amani Heshim, 37, was arrested in December 2016 and charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, armed with knives and daggers.

Further, Walela Khaled Fozi Tangi, 26, arrested in August last year was charged with attempted murder and possession of weapons and explosives.

A review of these releases and the other prisoners due to be released which will reach 150 at the end of the first four days, and could reach 300 if the ceasefire is extended by several days, finds that a significant minority committed crimes which could have killed people, while the remaining majority supported or were involved in a terror group in some less immediately dangerous way.

The oldest Palestinian on the release list is a 59-year-old woman.

The prisoners were released from Damon, Megiddo and Ofer prisons.

The Justice Ministry published the list last week in anticipation of the deal with Hamas playing out. Besides Hamas and Fatah listed above, other prisoners are affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.)

Those to be released were tried or charged in military and civilian courts depending on whether they were residents of the West Bank or east Jerusalem.

Joanie Margulies contributed to this report.





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Preparing for war: Haifa mayor describes city’s infrastructure changes tensions in North escalate

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Preparing for war: Haifa mayor describes city’s infrastructure changes tensions in North escalate



Haifa mayor Yona Yahav spoke this past Monday with Lior Rosenfeld on Radio North 104.5FM about the escalation of the war in the North and his entry into political office amidst the security situation.

Yahav began, “I cannot speak on behalf of the North as I don’t know exactly what’s happening there. No one updates me, as if we are not the largest and most important city in the North. Tomorrow, the Home Front Command is coming to see us for the first time, and we will see what they have to say. We are doing everything to ensure that the city itself and our residents are safe and know what to do in case, God forbid, missiles fall on us. They are more accurate than those in 2006.”

Yahav also discussed the city’s preparations for a war in the North.

“We are now changing the entire method of building public structures,” Yahav said. “We are preparing them for prolonged stays. The minimum will be four consecutive days in shelters and such buildings, which require preparation. For example, installing toilets, which we don’t have today, and we have given instructions to build them in places close to where new houses are being built. This has been fully understood, and developers have begun to understand that the talk about evacuation and reconstruction has undergone drastic changes in light of the security situation. For example, road width needs to be maintained for the sake of evacuating residents on these roads. These are things that were not considered until now and must now be taken into account.”

Yonah Yahav (credit: ASLAN ABGANA)

Yahav’s plans for the success of Haifa’s future

Yahav then discussed his appeal to the transportation minister to stop the Highway 23 Carmel Tunnels’ toll charge.

“We called on the transportation minister to stop the discrimination. Haifa and the North are always discriminated against compared to central Israel, and there’s no reason for this. There are huge tunnels dug in Jerusalem that do not cost residents any money to pass through. There’s no reason why the tunnels dug in Haifa should include a toll. I speak on behalf of Haifa residents, and we are preparing to petition if we do not receive an answer.”

Regarding his entry into his mayoral role about three months ago, Yahav said, “I found a completely ruined city. They destroyed the municipality, and it’s very difficult to move things around. I don’t understand how residents sat idly by and kept quiet. We are trying to go to government offices to fix relations, to get funds, to move projects to bring in fees – and we are doing all this in a short time.

“The ministers are acting openly and with the goodwill to help. I am now waiting for the money on the table. The casino building in Bat Galim will be a luxurious hotel on the Bat Galim seashore. This neighborhood will undergo a complete transformation and will be the most beautiful neighborhood in the country. It will also be the only neighborhood facing a recognized beach. We came to make a change, and we will succeed.”

In conclusion, he touched on the issue of wild boars: “You won’t be able to follow them because soon you won’t see them anymore.”





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‘Psychological operation’: Turkey condemns FM Katz social media post depicting toddler Erdogan

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‘Psychological operation’: Turkey condemns FM Katz social media post depicting toddler Erdogan



Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement on Sunday condemning a social media post made by Foreign Minister Israel Katz, in which Katz presented Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as a toddler on the lap of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

Katz, in a Sunday post on X, wrote “Erdogan @RTErdogan finances and arms terrorist organizations of Hamas to carry out attacks and murder against Israelis. The General Security Service captured a squad of students from Bir Zeit who were employed by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey to carry out murder attacks in Israel, through training and weapons and tens of thousands of dollars provided to them.

“Erdogan turned Turkey into a state that supports terrorism and subjects Turkey to the Iranian axis of evil in the name of extreme ideology and blatant anti-Semitism.”

Katz’s comments were made in reference to a recently thwarted terror attack planned by the student Hamas cell in Bir Zeit University, north of Ramallah. The attempted attack, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said, was directed by Hamas’s base in Turkey. 

TURKEY’S PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in Istanbul, earlier this month. Reports in the media suggested that this meeting was the result of a breakdown in relations between Hamas and Qatar. (credit: Turkish Presidential Press Office/Reuters)

Turkey condemns the social media post

The Turkish ministry responded “The Israeli Foreign Minister is trying to hide Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians behind a series of lies, slander and disrespect.

“Israel’s dirty propaganda targeting Türkiye and President Erdoğan, and psychological operation attempts will not bear fruit.

“The members of the Netanyahu Government, who have killed nearly forty thousand Palestinians in Gaza and are now trying to start a regional war in order to stay in power, will be tried in international courts and held accountable for their crimes.

“Türkiye will continue to speak the truth and defend the right of the Palestinian people to live in justice and peace.”

The ministry cited data provided by the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians. 

Additionally, Turkey has repeatedly asserted that it does not categorize Hamas as a terrorist organization – despite its western allies acknowledging it as such and its proven attacks on Israeli civilians. 





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ICJ: Settlements in West Bank, east Jerusalem are illegal

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ICJ: Settlements in West Bank, east Jerusalem are illegal



The International Court of Justice said on Friday it can give a non-binding advisory opinion on Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories, rejecting calls by Israel and a handful of other countries to refuse to give one.

The decision is expected to address the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as a single entity. 

The ICJ claimed that Israel’s settlement policies and exploitation of natural resources in the Palestinian territories were in breach of international law.

 





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