Just 200 of the 500 Palestinian prisoners to be released today under agreements with the Palestinian Authority have served two-thirds of their sentences, the High Court of Justice heard yesterday during a debate on a petition filed against the release by the Almagor organization of terror victims. The court rejected the petition.
The state's representative, attorney Dani Horin, told the court that 120 of the prisoners slated to be released were security detainees to whom the criterion of time served did not apply, while another 180 prisoners had yet to serve two-thirds of their sentences.
The state also told the court that prisoners released in previous deals are not among the 500 to be released today, and that every prisoner who is released will be required to sign a statement in which he will undertake not to play any part in future terror activities.
"The release of the prisoners constitutes part of a comprehensive move in which the government agreed to release Palestinian prisoners so as to bolster the PA and its ability to act against the terror organizations," Horin said. "Therefore, the state believes that the release of the prisoners could prevent future terror attacks and put an end to the cycle of violence."
Horin's statements evoked a response from Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who said that the release of terrorists did not help to combat terror, but merely shows that the PA has made achievements.
The representative for the petitioners, attorney Naftali Wertzberger, argued that the release "undermines the rule of law," adding that "freeing prisoners who have not served even half of their sentences will show that justice hasn't been done."