Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a celebration in Ramallah in honor of the second set of 26 Palestinian terrorists released by Israel as part of Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, calling the prisoners “heroes” despite their violent history.
According to the list published by the Israeli government, many of the prisoners have an extremely violent history. With several of them involved in murder of civilians, often at close range, including Palestinian Kassem Hzem Shabir, who murdered Holocaust survivor Yitzhak Rotenberg with an axe; Issa Abed Rabo, who murdered Israeli students Revital Seri and Ron Levy near a monastery south of Jerusalem in 1984; and Rahman Abdel Hajj, who stabbed to death Genia Friedman as she was walking with her father and friends in 1992, Haaretz reported.
At the Ramallah celebration, Abbas told the crowd, “We welcome our brothers the heroes coming from behind the bars to a world of freedom and liberty.”
“No permanent peace agreement would be signed as long as there is one single prisoner in Israeli jails,” Abbas said.
Every released prisoner will receive a special grant and monthly stipend from the PA, between $710-$1,280, Israel Hayom reported. Despite the celebration held by Abbas, Palestinians seemed largely apathetic about the prisoner release.
“Anyone walking in Ramallah wouldn’t feel that it’s a special day, that prisoners are being released and there are celebrations,” Ramallah resident Yusuf Jaber told Maariv.