Will an arch-terrorist be granted parole?


The Kahanes' gravestone; Photo credit: Eliyahu Ohayon

Thursday, September 15, 2022, 11:12 The Prison Service parole board will consider the request by Nasser Naji Abu-Hamid to be released on humanitarian grounds due to illness. Abu-Hamid was convicted of a series of terror attacks, among them the 2000 murder of Rabbi Binyamin and Talia Kahane, Hy"d, near Ofra, and the 2002 murder of Gadi Rejwan, Hy"d, in the Atarot Industrial Zone. He was sentenced to seven life sentences and an additional 50 years' imprisonment.


Rejwan, Hy"d, and his daughter Ann; Photo courtesy of the family

The date of the hearing, which was scheduled to be held soon, came as a surprise to the families. Yesterday (Wednesday), Honenu Attorney Ophir Steiner wrote a letter to the parole board on behalf of Meir David Kahane, the Kahanes' son, and Ann Rejwan, Gadi Rejwan's daughter, demanding that the hearing be postponed. The families also asked to be a party at the hearing so that they could voice their opposition to the release of the terrorist who murdered their parents. In light of their request, the parole board postponed the hearing that was expected to take place on Sunday. A date convenient for the families will be coordinated with them.


In the letter to the parole board, the families reiterated that the terrorist, Nasser (Bin Muhamad Yusef) Naji Abu-Hamid, took part in a series of attacks and murders, all of them motivated by nationalistic-racist terror. The families stated that the court had found the shocking acts of the terrorist to be extremely serious and ruled: "There is no disagreement that the defendant committed the most serious of crimes, the crime of murder, and not only once, but rather seven times."


The verdict was cited in the letter from the families: "There were several separate acts of murder, not one despicable instance. In this context, the attempts to murder should be regarded as adding up to a series of actions. From the defendant's point of view, his desire and aim were that each act would cause the greatest number of victims. Particularly because the defendant was the leader of others and the acts were carried out according to his instructions and by his order, his accountability is greater."


The court also ruled that "[the defendant] had already been sentenced to life sentences for acts of murder, and it appears that these penalties are insufficient to deter him. Only his being behind bars will prevent him from committing despicable acts." Therefore he was sentenced to seven life sentences and also 50 years imprisonment, all of which he will serve accumulatively.


Regarding the announcement of the intent to consider the release of the terrorist, the letter stated: "This announcement took the families back at once to the blacker-than-black days. The very thought that the defendant might be granted release from prison crushed their hearts." In light of that, Honenu Attorneys Ophir Steiner and Chayim Bleicher requested on behalf of the families that they appear before the parole board to express their opposition to the release.


Rabbi Binyamin and Talia Kahane were murdered near Ofra in 2000. They were driving with six of their children to their home in Tapuah when they were shot. The parents were murdered and five of their daughters were injured. "In such a serious case, it is unthinkable for the State of Israel to be rushed and not to agree to listen to the families who lost the most dear to them and whose lives were unrecognizably changed following the horrific acts of the defendant," stated the letter.


Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: "It is unfortunate that anyone is considering leniency for such a contemptible arch-terrorist or granting him any honor before his death. We will stand with the bereaved families and the orphans, and we will raise a cry against this terrible injustice. Mercy for such an abhorrent terrorist would encourage other terrorists and lead to more widows and orphans in Israel. It must be stated clearly that a terrorist who murdered will end his life between prison walls and is not eligible for any clemency."


Honenu Attorney Ophir Steiner: "The families who lost their loved ones in several murderous terror attacks, all of which were planned and carried out by the arch-terrorist, were shocked to discover that the parole board intended to consider his release. The court imposed seven life sentences and an additional 50 years on him, ruling that he must be removed from society. It is difficult to understand how the request from the terrorist received consideration in the face of the suffering of orphans and widows and could even lead to his parole, which would damage the deterrence factor against terror and the security of Israeli citizens and break the spirit of the bereaved families. We will act as necessary to prevent the release of the murderer. There are no grounds to allow him to experience the taste of freedom."

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