Who Are the Palestinian Prisoners Set for Release in Shalit Deal?

New details reveal prisoners include terrorists involved in planning and carrying out attacks at checkpoints, restaurants and army bases.

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The list released by Israel Prison Service on Sunday night comprising the names of the Palestinian prisoners set to be released in exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit shed new light on the identities of those included in the swap.

The list includes a number of prisoners involved in masterminding and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis, including more than 280 Palestinians serving life-sentences.

A Palestinian prisoner being transported from Nafha prison, October 16, 2011.Credit: Ilan Assayag

More than 100 are hardcore militants, serving multiple life-sentences for high-casualty suicide bombings - one life-sentence for each fatality in the attacks they were convicted of helping to plan and implement.

Click here to see the full list of Palestinian prisoners set for release.

Among the prisoners included for release are Nasser Yataima, who was sentenced to 29 life sentences for the 2002 bombing of a Netanya hotel on Passover; Yussuf Dhib Hamed Abu Aadi, who was convicted of stabbing IDF soldier Nir Kahana at the Qalandiya checkpoint in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison; and Nahid Abd al-Rauf al-Fakhuri, who recruited suicide bombers in Hebron and was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

Other prisoners set for release include:

Ayad Musa Salem Abayat – Convicted of being part of a group that killed IDF soldiers Lt. David-Hen Cohen and Sgt. Shlomo Adshina, and assisting the group that murdered Dvora Friedman in March 2003. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

Kamal Abd al-Rahrnan Arif Awd – Convicted of placing a bomb in Netanya in 2001. The bomb was discovered by security forces before it exploded. He also took part in several unsuccessful shootings.Sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Ashraf Khalid Husain Hanani – Arrested in 2006 in Jerusalem's Old City carrying an explosive. The military court sentenced him to 28 years in prison. The judges wrote in their verdict against Hanani that "this is not a passive person who was being played by whoever sent him, but a person who demonstrated great will to carry out the attack, who took part in the preparations, who offered the location of the attack and the route, and who was caught carrying the explosive belt on his way to murder as many as possible."

Lui Muhammad Ahmed Awda – A Tanzim member who tried to organize a suicide attack in Jerusalem in 2003. The suicide bomber was shot and killed by Border Patrol officers. Awda was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Ibrahim Muhammad Yunus Dar Musa - Took part in the attacks in Zrifin army base and the Hillel coffee shop in Jerusalem in 2003 by distributing to the media tapes of the suicide bombers. Sentenced to 17 years for having prior knowledge of the attack.

Amjad Ahmad Muhammad Abu Arqub – Recruited the man who carried out the attack in Carmei Tzur, in which two civilians and a female soldiers were killed. Sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Samir Faisal Sawafita – Active in Hamas operations in the northern West Bank. Hid an explosive belt, and drove two suicide bombers who failed their mission. Was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Ramzi Ibrahim Muhammad al-Ak – Convicted over links to firing toward the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, placing explosive devices, as well as bringing together a suicide bomber and a terror squad in a bombing which resulted in the death of two people. Was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Kabel Sami Mustafa Sha'abl – Aided a suicide bombing in the entrance to the West Bank city of Ariel in October 2002, which resulted in the death of 3 people. Was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The list of names was published on the website of the Israel Prison Service to allow for opponents of the deal to present petitions to Israel's High Court against its implementation, scheduled for Tuesday.

"Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, or someone in Gaza goes nuts, it appears the deal will go through in two days," Yaakov Amidror, national security adviser for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Army Radio.

Israel Prison Service began transporting the prisoners on Sunday morning. 477 prisoners were transferred from 16 different detention facilities to Ketziot prison, near the border with Egypt. The female prisoners set to be released were transferred from Damon prison in the north to Sharon prison. In order to avoid unnecessary attention, the prisoners were transported in several vehicles.

The windows of the vehicles were covered so that the prisoners could not show signs of rejoice, and only once did a prisoner – who was transported from Nafha prison - succeed in signaling the "V" sign to photographers.

The prisoners will undergo a number of identity checks to verify their names, and then an examination by representatives of the Red Cross. After that, they will be handed over to the Palestinian side.

On Saturday evening, the files of the prisoners were delivered to President Shimon Peres' residence so they could be approved for pardons.

Over the next two days, the files will be prepared for consideration by Peres. However, the signing of the pardons won't occur until the outcomes of the appeals against the swap deal are decided.

Ron Kehrmann, whose 17-year-old daughter Tal was killed in a 2003 bombing, said he opposes the swap which would free three militants involved in the attack, as their release could result in more Israeli deaths.

"Is the blood of the next captured soldier or citizen less red than the blood of Gilad Shalit?" he asked.

But other bereaved relatives believe the price is worth paying to free the captive soldier.

"To know your son is alive and not be able to hold him, this is the worst possible thing," said Yosefa Goldstein, whose daughter Sari, 21, died in a 2002 bus bombing.



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