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August 2, 2013 6:31 am

How to Block Israel’s Prisoner Release

avatar by David Bedein

Email a copy of "How to Block Israel’s Prisoner Release" to a friend
Israelis protest the Cabinet's decision to free 104 prisoners, with "blood on their hands." Photo: Tazpit News Agency, Screenshot.

Israelis protest the Cabinet's decision to free 104 prisoners, with "blood on their hands." Photo: Tazpit News Agency, Screenshot.

This week, if you followed newscasts in Israel, you would have been convinced that Israel has already freed 104 convicted murderers in accordance with the Israel Cabinet decision of July 28, and that nothing can to be done to stop it.

That is not the case.

Over the past few days, I interfaced with social work professionals from the Israel Prison Service system, who confirmed that, according to Israeli penal law, there is no such thing as “automatic” clemency, pardon, or commutation for someone who has been convicted of murder or attempted murder.

There is a “security risk” form that the Israel Prison Service must submit concerning each convict, known as “HaArachat Misukanut,” which is binding upon the decision as to whether or not a convict can be released.

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Most recently, a Jew convicted of attempted murder of Arabs – and sentenced to 15 years in jail – was refused commutation of his sentence.

Professionals who prepared the “HaArachat Misukanut” in his case would not recommend a change in the sentence.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Following the Israel Government decision to recommend release of 104 Arabs, the Israel Prison Service awaits a mandatory request for a “HaArachat Misukanut” in each case from the government of Israel.

If the convict does not pass the test of the “HaArachat Misukanut,” Israeli law will not allow the convict out of jail.

With widespread anger festering against the release of convicted murderers, the focus of protests should be to demand that Israeli government ministers act in according with Israeli law.

The demand must be made that Israeli government ministers who voted to free those convicted of murder must follow the “HaArachat Misukanut” procedure.

In previous releases of Arab murder convicts, lives of Israeli civilians and soldiers hung in the balance. This time, no life of any Israeli hangs in the balance.

The only people in danger are the people whom these convicts might harm in the future.

The time has come to demand that the Israeli government act according to Israeli penal law.

E-mails and fax numbers and phone numbers of every member of the Israeli Knesset Parliament and Israeli government are listed, in Hebrew and in English, here.

David Bedein runs news investigations that are privately funded. More details here.

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