Israel is set to free a third set of Palestinian prisoners as part of an agreement Secretary of State John Kerry brokered earlier this year to restart long dormant peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
To prepare for Monday’s release, the Prisons Authority has published a list of those who are going to be released and the crimes for which they were convicted.
Families of those killed by the convicted terrorists are blasting the government for agreeing to release the 26 before they have completed their sentences.
According to the Times of Israel, all of the prisoners besides three “were convicted of murdering Israeli civilians, soldiers or Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.”
Among the prisoners set to be freed are those who stabbed, shot, and strangled their victims, including at least two elderly Israelis.
Some examples include: Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal who was convicted of stabbing to death 76-year-old gardener Shlomo Yahya whom he ambushed in a public park in 1991.
Abu al Rub Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal and Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad were convicted of murder after killing 20-year-old Israel Defense Forces soldier Yoram Cohen. Ali Ahmad “was also convicted of kidnapping, torturing and murdering 15 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel,” the Times of Israel reported.
Sawafta Sudqi Abdel Razeq Mouhlas was convicted of stabbing Israeli Yosef Malka to death while trying to rob his home in Haifa in 1990.
Mahmud Muhammad Salman was convicted of murder after strangling his victim, Shai Shoker, with a shoelace in 1994.
Barham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser was an employee of Morris (Moshe) Edri. That didn’t stop Nasser from stabbing his former boss in the back, literally, killing the 65-year-old in 1993.
Though Muhammad Yusuf Adnan Elafandi in 1992 stabbed two youths in Jerusalem, an Israeli woman saved his life when a lynch mob targeted him.
A court ruled that Abu Hadir Muhammad Yassin Yassin had shot 24-year-old Yigal Shahaf in the head when Shahaf and his wife were walking toward the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal was convicted of murdering 48-year-old Steven Friedrich Rosenfeld, who was born in the U.S. and lived in Israel. “Damra and several others accosted Rosenfeld outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel, grabbed the knife he was carrying, and stabbed him to death with it. His body was found on the following day by a Palestinian shepherd," the Times of Israel reported.
Also set to be released are Muammar Ata Mahmoud Mahmoud and Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim, who were convicted of murdering 64-year-old Menahem Stern. Stern was a history professor and a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize and was stabbed to death while walking to work in 1989.
The bereaved families of the victims and their supporters have been holding demonstrations for the past week to protest the government’s plans to release the terrorists.
A Jerusalem Post reporter wrote that at a Saturday night rally in Jerusalem, they held up photos of those killed and signs that read, “You should be embarrassed. Only in Israel are killers freed.”
Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri said, “It was not easy to get them into jail or to prove that they had killed. I know each one of them. But a democratic state that has signed on an agreement has to honor it. It is hard it is tragic, it is painful and it raises questions, that I myself do not even know how to answer.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited with families of the victims protesting in Jerusalem on Sunday. "The Israeli Nation has, and is, paying a heavy price as a result of this decision to release the prisoners," he said.
After they are released, the convicts will be driven to the Palestinian Authority government compound in Ramallah where a celebration is planned with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Jerusalem Post reported.