Parole board orders release of Shlomi Dvir

Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 16:32 The Israeli Prison Service parole board decided on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, to release Shlomi Dvir who has served approximately 13 years of his 15 year prison sentence. In 2002 Dvir and several other members of the Bat Ayin Underground were arrested on suspicion of planning an explosion at the exit of a Arab girls’ school in East Jerusalem in response to a wave of terror attacks, including an attack on the community of Adora in the Har Hevron region in which four Jews were murdered, one of whom was five year old, Danielle Shefi. Previously when Dvir’s release was discussed by the parole board, the GSS expressed opposition. In light of the release of Ofer Gamliel, also a member of the Bat Ayin Underground, in February 2015, the GSS has now agreed to Dvir’s release. Members of the parole board took into consideration the evaluations done by the GSS and by the Prison Service staff overseeing Dvir’s rehabilitation which concluded that the likelihood of Dvir committing a similar act again is low. They therefore decided that he should be released but the release is being postponed for seven days in order to allow the Attorney General’s office time to consider filing an appeal. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing Dvir, responded to the ruling: “We receive the parole board’s decision with mixed emotions due to the fact that the decision to release him should have been made earlier, immediately after Ofer Gamliel was released. We hope that the Attorney General’s office honors the parole board’s decision and thus brings to an end the harassment of Shlomi Dvir and his friends.” Shlomi Dvir is the last defendant in the case to be released. He and other defendants in the case endured a prolonged process of evaluation before their release was finally granted. For posts detailing the process please see the links here: In May 2012 the Israeli Prison Service parole board met and discussed reducing the prison sentences of Bat Ayin Underground members Ofer Gamliel and Shlomi Dvir by one third. Despite assurances given by the head of the GSS and other high-ranking members of the GSS to public figures, including to the outgoing Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Rabbi Avichai Ronski, that the GSS would not oppose the release of Gamliel and Dvir, the head of the GSS did oppose the release, basing his opinion on that of the Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein. The decision on Dvir’s and Gamliels’s release was postponed several times, see here, here, and here, until October 2013, at which time the parole board decided to release them. In October, 2013 the Supreme Court of Israel upheld the district court’s decision to overturn the parole board’s decision to release Gamliel. The district court also overturned the parole board’s decision to release Dvir. In February 2014 the district court again overturned the decision of the Israeli Prison Service parole board to release Dvir and Gamliel, despite the fact that they have expressed regret for the acts for which they were convicted and also have spoken out in a public appeal to their community to prevent retaliatory acts against Arabs. On Sunday, February 8, 2015, Ofer Gamiel was released after the Attorney General’s office announced that they would not appeal the decision made by the Israeli Prison Service parole board.

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