Cops Who Sought Revenge Against Mobster Freed in Time for Passover

President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman shorten the prison sentence of four policement convicted of planting a bomb targeting an underworld figure; policemen are thankful but have 'mixed feelings' about release.

Four Israel Police officers from Nahariya who targeted a convicted criminal in an act of revenge were released from Shikma Prison Sunday morning, following a decision by President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to truncate their prison sentence.

The four, convicted of planting a bomb targeting underworld figure Michael Mor, were sentenced to one-year imprisonment. The parole board decided to recommend their release after the completion of two thirds of their sentence. Following the decision, President Peres received a recommendation from the justice minister to see the four released, and a decision was made to free them several days early so they could spend the Passover holiday with their families.

Nehariya police - Eliyahu Hershkowitz
Eliyahu Hershkowitz

Upon leaving prison, Eldad Hadad, one of the four convicted policemen, said that they have  "mixed feelings" adding that he and his colleagues are still unsure what they will do now that they have been released. Haddad said that "many doors have been opened for us," thanking Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen for their "just ways".

Another of the no-longer incarcerated policemen, Yaniv Ashur wished "the public security minister, the police commissioner and the entire country a happy holiday."

In 2006 the four placed an explosive device under the car and near the window of a home belonging to Mor, in order to avenge a series of incidents in which grenades were thrown at the homes of police officers and public figures in the city. The case drew divided responses, with some criticizing extrajudicial police behavior and others commending them for defending their families.

A February report by the police was significant, sources told Haaretz, in the early parole of the four because it concluded that the police had been unable to deal with the Mor criminal organization because of lack of manpower, expertise and support.