Shalit Deal to Set Free Perpetrators of 2000 Lynching of IDF Reservists

Abed el-Aziz Salha and Rami Ibrahim will both be released in the first stage of the prisoner swap agreement, despite being sentenced to life, 40 years, respectively.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Two Palestinians who participated in the 2000 lynching of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers in Ramallah will be released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal, an official prisoners list indicated on Sunday.

Israeli reservist Vadim Norzhich and Yosef Avrahami were killed in October 2000, at the start of the intifada, after they mistakenly drove their car into the West Bank city.

At the Ramallah police station in which Israeli army soldiers were lynched in October 2000.Credit: AFP

Both reservists were arrested and then beaten to death by Palestinians who stormed the police station where they were being held.

On Sunday, an official list of Palestinian prisoners due to be released as part of the Shalit swap deal indicated that two of the lynch's perpetrators were to be set free as part of the Israel-Hamas agreement.

Abed el-Aziz Salha, who was 20 at the time of the lynch, was arrested in 2001 and was sentenced to life in prison. He became infamous following an image taken during the lynching, in which he waved his bloody hands outside the Ramallah police station in which the attack took place.

Salha arrived at the police station once he heard the soldiers were held there, entering the structure through the window. He then proceeded to go from room to room. He then saw Vadim Norzhich as he was lying on his stomach with a knife sticking out of his back, and 15 people kicking him.

Salha then proceeded to remove the knife from the IDF reservist's back, only to stab him another three times, at which time he proceeded to wave his bloodied hands outside the window.

The other lynch perpetrator due to be released is Rami Ibrahim, who was convicted of kicking one of the soldiers in the shoulder and of inciting others to enter the Ramallah police station.

He was arrested in November of 2006 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Ibrahim has only completed 10% of his prison term until now.

The Palestinian police officer who led the IDF soldiers to the police station, Ra'ad Sheikh, will not be released as part of the Shalit deal. Sheikh was convicted of hitting Norzhich's head with an iron rod. Two of the three presiding judges sought the death penalty for Sheikh, but he was eventually sentenced to life in prison.



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