Killer of Former U.S. Marine Released by Israel in Peace Talks Gesture, State Department Voices Concern
by Zach Pontz
One of the men greeted as a hero upon his return to the West Bank after being released from prison by Israel was responsible for murdering an American citizen, the Daily Beast reported Friday.
Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa was one of 26 terrorists released on Tuesday as part of an Israeli move meant to cajole the Palestinian Authority to return to peace talks. He was convicted in 1991 of killing Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, who the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time of his death reported was a former U.S. Marine and U.S. citizen.
Mustafa was sentenced by an Israeli military court to life behind bars after he and two other assailants murdered Rosenfeld in 1989, 21 years after the former Marine emigrated to Israel.
“The State Department conveyed the administration’s concerns regarding the release of this prisoner to the government of Israel, while recognizing the victim was a dual national of Israel and the United States,” Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told the Daily Beast Thursday.
Harf said the Israeli side “acknowledged our views, but it was ultimately their decision to determine which prisoners to release. This is a very difficult situation for all involved, and further highlights the importance of making these negotiations successful.”