Barghouti, Ze'evi Assassin Among Prisoners to Be Freed

Barghouti, who was a supporter of the Oslo Accords before the outbreak of the second intifada, became a prisoner leader and in 2006 signed a document calling for an end to the internal Palestinian conflict.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

The most prominent name on the list of prisoners to be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit is Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who was arrested in April 2002 during Operation Defensive Shield. He was indicted by the the Tel Aviv District Court on 37 counts of terror in which 28 people were killed. Among his victims were Yosef Habi, Eliyahu Dahan and Master Sgt. Salim Barikat, who were killed in an attack on a Tel Aviv supermarket, Yoela Chen killed near Giv'at Zeev and a monk, Tziboutzakis Germanus, killed after being mistaken for a Jew. Barghouti was sentenced to five life sentences.

Marwan BarghoutiCredit: Archive / Moti Kimche

While in prison, he told a police informer that the purpose of the intifada was to strike at soldiers and settlers. Barghouti, who was a supporter of the Oslo Accords before the outbreak of the second intifada, became a prisoner leader and in 2006 signed a document calling for an end to the internal Palestinian conflict.

His name has come up as a possible successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and some Israelis have called for his release as the only person that can bring about a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Another leading prisoner to be released is Ibramim Hamad, head of the military wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, whose release had been considered a "red line" by the Shin Bet security service.

Hamed was born in 1965 in Silwad in the West Bank, the home town of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal. According to the Shin Bet, Hamed began working for the Hamas military wing in 1989. Initially, he was an aide to the brothers Awad and Imad Awadallah, who were assassinated in 1998. He subsequently murdered the collaborator who led the Israel Police counter-terrorism unit to the Awadallah brothers.

Ahmed SaadatCredit: Archive / AP

He then went underground, and during the second intifada he began organizing terror squads to strike at strategic targets and targets inside Israel. He was responsible for the attacks on Jerusalem's Moment Cafe, the bombing at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, Cafe Hillel, and the soldiers' hitchhiking station at Tzrifin.

The Shin Bet ascribes the murder of 90 Israelis to Hamed.

He was finally located and captured in May 2006. Although he is kept in solitary confinement, the Shin Bet says he continues to plan terrorist acts while in prison, among them an unsuccessful abduction at the Rimmonim junction in the Galilee last year. His trial is still underway.

Another prominent name on the list is Ahmed Saadat born in 1953 in El Bireh near Ramallah. He has been active in terror activity from a young age as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, of which he was appointed secretary general, succeeding Abu Ali Mustafa, who was assassinated by Israel. In revenge for Mustafa's assassination, it was decided to kill Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.

Ibrahim HamedCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

Another prisoner on the list is Ra'ad Sheikh, the Palestinian policeman who in October 2000 stopped two Israel Defense Force soldiers, Vadim Novesche and Yossi Abrahami, who had taken a wrong turn on the highway. He brought them to the police station in Ramallah and gave the signal for a mob to lynch and brutally murder them.



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