The stupidity of the Israeli government leaves me at a loss for words. That doesn't happen frequently.
Who the Israelis Are Releasing in Return for Hamas’s Hostages
The Palestinian women and children include attempted killers and violent teenagers.
By The Editorial Board, WSJ
Updated Nov. 29, 2023
A Palestinian prisoner is welcomed by friends and family after being released from an Israeli jail, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel/
Hamas continued to release hostages on Wednesday, for a total of more than 100 so far, a bit more than a third of the estimated 240 civilians seized on Oct. 7. In return Israel has freed more than 200 Palestinian prisoners, but nobody should think these prisoners are at all morally comparable.
Hamas is releasing Israeli and foreign women and children abducted in illegal acts of war targeting civilians in their homes. The recently released include grandmothers in their 70s and 80s, Thai guest workers, and more than 20 children under age 12—including preschoolers and a toddler.
By contrast, the Palestinians Israel is releasing were in prison because they were arrested and awaiting trial, or were convicted of violent crimes. Of the 39 Palestinians released Saturday night, Haaretz reports that eight were convicted of attempted murder. Let us introduce you to a couple of them.
There’s Israa Jaabis, a Palestinian woman who in 2015—during a wave of other attacks in Jerusalem—attempted a car bomb that wounded an Israeli police officer. According to the Shin Bet security service, Jaabis yelled “Allahu Akbar” as the officer approached and detonated an explosive device.
Israel also released Maysoon Musa Al-Jabali, who was convicted of attempted murder for her 2015 stabbing of a female Israel soldier; Shorouq Dwayyat, who was convicted of attempted murder after she wrote on Facebook in 2015 of her desire to become a martyr and stabbed an Israeli man multiple times; and Aisha Afghani, who was convicted after an attempted 2016 stabbing attack on Israelis in Jerusalem.
All were adults when they committed their attacks, and all were released this week well before the end of their sentences. Most of the children Israel has released are teenage boys—age 14 and older—arrested or charged in recent years for making explosives or throwing stones or petrol bombs at Israelis.
The Times of Israel reports that data provided by Israel authorities showed that “at least 55 percent of the 117 prisoners released during the first three days of the deal had been being held for violent crimes, including 10 for attempted murder, 13 for inflicting serious bodily harm, 19 for placing a bomb or throwing an incendiary device, seven for shooting at people, and five for assault.” Twenty-one percent were affiliated with a terrorist organization.
Palestinian crowds are greeting them with heroes’ welcomes, while the Western media rarely reports on what they did or why they were in Israeli custody. But they committed criminal acts, and Israel had every reason to arrest, try and imprison them. The Palestinians were accorded due-process rights under a civilized legal system—defense attorneys, juries and appeals—in contrast to Israeli citizens snatched and held for ransom in tunnels by Hamas.
Israel knows from prior swaps that freed Palestinian prisoners often return to the terrorist ranks, and no one should be surprised if those recently released take up arms again against Israelis or others. These are the ugly choices that Hamas’s terrorism and Palestinian violence are forcing Israel to make.