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Israel-Palestinian Peace Process:
Israel Releases Palestinian Prisoners in "Confidence-Building" Measure

(Updated January 2014)


Peace Process: Table of Contents | Oslo Accords (1993) | Annapolis Conference (2004)


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In August 2013, the Israeli Cabinet agreed on a four-stage process to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in a "confidence-building" measure aimed at boosting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. All of the prisoners slated for release were convicted of terrorism against Israel, most before the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993. Majority of the prisoners were directly involved in murder and many were serving life sentences.
On August 13, 2013, the names of the first 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released was made public (Table 3). On October 27, 2013, the second round of prisoners was also released (Table 2). On December 31, 2013, the third round of prisoners were released (Table 1).


Table 1: Palestinian Prisoners Released December 2013

Prisoner *
Date of Arrest
Crime
Muhammad Yusuf Adnan Elafandi
May 13, 1992
Attempted murder of two youths in Jerusalem
Farid Ahmed Shahade
February 16, 1985
Murder of Yosef Farhan, a suspected collaborator, in Jaffa.
Muhammad Ouda Ramadan Yakoub
April 1, 1993
Murder of Sara Sharon (37) in Holon
Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad Afana
April 1, 1993
Murder of Sara Sharon (37) in Holon
Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal Abu al Rub
September 25, 1991
Murder of IDF soldier Yoram Cohen (20) in Jenin; charged with manslaughter in four deaths of suspected Palestinian collaborators
Awad Ali Ahmad Kamil
September 29, 1993
Murder of IDF soldier Yoram Cohen (20) in Jenin; Murder of 15 suspected Palestinian collaborators
Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal Damara
June 19, 1989
Murder of Friedrich Rosenfeld (48), a US-born immigrant, in Ariel
Khaled Ibrahim Jamal Abu-Mohsin
October 4, 1991
Murder of Shlomo Yahya (76) in Moshav Kadima
Rushdi Muhammad Sa’id Tamimi
November 9, 1993
Kidnapping and murder of Hayim Mizrahi outside Beit El
Khaled Kamel Osama Silawi
February 16, 1993
Murder of Motti Biton; Murder/Manslaughter in the deaths of four suspected Palestinian collaborators
Sudqi Abdel Razeq Mouhlas Sawafta
March 9, 1991
Murder of Yosef Malka (Malkin) in Haifa
Fawzi Mustafa Nasser Barham
December 20, 1993
Murder of Morris (Moshe) Edri (65)
Yusuf Ahmed Nu’aman Al-Shalvi
May 13, 1992
Murder of three suspected Palestinian collaborators
Mahmad Anis Aiman Jaradat
April 24, 1993
Murder/manslaughter of five suspected Palestinian collaborators
Mahmad Naim Shawmra Yunis
March 14, 1995
Murder of Police sapper Yosef Hayun in Moshav Shekef
Mahmud Muhammad Salman
May 6, 1994
Murder of Shai Shoker outside Tira
Ahmed Ibrahim Jamal Abu-Jamal
May 24, 1994
Attempted murder
Mahmoud Ibrahim Abu-Ali Faiz
August 10, 1994
Murder of Roni Levi
Zaki Rami Barbakh Jawdat
October 7, 1994
Murder of Yosef Zandani
Mustafa Ahmed Khaled Jumaa
November 23, 1992
Aggravated Assault; was slated for release in February 2014
Muhammad Yassin Yassin Abu-Hadir
January 1, 1988
Murder of Yigal Shahaf (24) in Jerusalem's Old City
Muhammad Mahmoud Muammar Ata
February 24, 1992
Murder of Menahem Stern (64) in Jerusalem; Murder of a suspected Palestinian collaborator
Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim
July 9, 1992
Murder of Menahem Stern (64) in Jerusalem; Murder of  Eli Amsalem; Murder of a suspected Palestinian collaborator
Lutfi Halma Ibrahim Taqtuq
March 3, 1989
Murder of IDF soldier Benjamin Meisner in Nablus
Ahmad Yusuf Bilal Abu-Hassin
December 20, 1988
Murder of a suspected Palestinian collaborator
Da’agna Nufal Mahmad Mahmoud
March 16, 1993
Murder of Sara Sharon (37) in Holon


Table 2: Palestinian Prisoners Released October 2013
Prisoner *
Date of Arrest
Crime
Mahmoud Ibrahim Nasr
May 11, 1985
Murder of IDF soldier Aharon Avidar (29) in Ramallah area
Rafi Farhoud Karajeh
May 20, 1985
Murder of IDF soldier Aharon Avidar (29) in Ramallah area
Mohamed Ahmed al-Sabbag
January 23, 1991
Torture and murder of Hassan Katabia and Lutfi Sa'adi, two Palestinian men suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Hazem Kassem Shbair
March 30, 1994
Murder of Isaac Rotenberg
Hilmi Hamad al-Amawi
December 29, 1993
Murder of Yigal Vaknin
Mohammed Ahmed Sa'ad Damouni
September 24, 1990
Murder of IDF reservist Amnon Pomerantz in the Gaza Strip
Mahmoud Youssef Awwad Masalha
September 25, 1993
Murder of David Rueven and Yigal Vaknin
Atik Sharif Hassan Abu Dhailah
May 19, 1992
Murder of Avi Osher, his Israeli employer at a Jordan Valley farm
Mahmoud Mustafa Amar Gnimat
July 16, 1985
Murder of Meir Ben-Yair and Michal Cohen while they say in a car in the Judean foothills
Muhammad Ziad Mahmoud Gnimat
July 16, 1985
Murder of Meir Ben-Yair and Michal Cohen while they say in a car in the Judean foothills
Hadar Razek Ali Salah
Juny 7, 1993
Murder of Guy Friedman
Nufal al-Afo Musbach Shakir
July 24, 1986
Murder of Akiva Shaltiel
Mahmoud Muayad Salim Hijja
June 1, 1992
Murder of Yosef Shirazi
Najah Mohamed Muqbel
July 10, 1990
Murder of Yaakov Shalom
Haza'a Haza'a Mahmoud Yosef
July 28, 1985
Murder of Yosef Eliyahu and Leah Elmakayes, two hikers trekking in the Gilboa mountains
Abed el-Rahman Yousef al-Haj
February 21, 1992
Murder of Gania Friedman
Kasam Ahmed Said Abdel Aziz
February 10, 1993
Murder of Moshe Biton, who was shot and killed after entering a convenience store. Also shot Biton's wife.
Udia Osama Zakariah Abu-Hanana
October 28, 1992
Murder of Moshe Biton, who was shot and killed after entering a convenience store. Also shot Biton's wife.
Suleiman Mahmoud Yousef Turkeman
October 28, 1992
Murder of Moshe Biton, who was shot and killed after entering a convenience store. Also shot Biton's wife.
Gavril Issa Namer Abed al-Raba
October 22, 1984
Murder of Revital Seri and Ron Levy while they were hiking
Halil Muhammad Musbah Ashour
May 27, 1985
Murder of taxi driver David Kaspi
Ragev Amer Issa Masoud
May 19, 1993
Murder of lawyer Ian Feinberg by brutal hacking; also convicted of murdering three suspected Israeli collaborators
Ahmed Khaled Daoud Azraq
February 14, 1991
Murder of Shimon Cohen
Mahmoud Othman Abdallah Beni-Hassan
July 27, 1985
Murder of Yosef Eliyahu and Leah Elmakayes, two hikers trekking in the Gilboa mountains
Kaliv Israr Mustafa Samarin
August 5, 1992
Abduction and murder of IDF soldier Tzvi Klein
Musa Musa Azat Kar'an
August 5, 1992
Abduction and murder of IDF soldier Tzvi Klein


Table 3: Palestinian Prisoners Released August 2013

Prisoner (Age) *
Date of Arrest
Crime
Fayez Khur (51)
May 10, 1983
Murdered Menahem Dadon in the Gaza Strip, and was involved in the murder of Salomon Abukasis in the Gaza Strip on February 14, 1983. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Salah Mugdad (47)
June 14, 1993
Murdered Israel Tenenbaum, a guard at the Sirens Hotel in Netanya. Sentenced to life imprisonment, which was then commuted to a 32-year sentence.
Samir Na’neesh (46)
February 14, 1989
Murdered a soldier, Binyamin Meisner, by throwing a building block at him in the Kasbah in Nablus. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Yusef Irshaid (45)
June 15, 1992
Took part in the murder of a Druze Israeli citizen, Mufid Cana’an. Also took part in the murder of three Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel. He also planned a car bomb attack in Afula and made attempts to kidnap a soldier. Sentenced to five life imprisonments.
Mustafa al-Haj (45)
June 17, 1989
Stabbed Steven Frederick Rosenfeld to death with a knife close to Ariel. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Salameh Musleh (44)
May 20, 1991
Took part in the murder of Reuven David in Petach Tikva, when he and his accomplice beat him to death. Sentenced to life imprisonment, which was then commuted to a 30-year sentence.
Atiyeh abu Musa (42)
March 29, 1993
Murdered Isaac Rotenberg with an axe on a building site in Bat Yam. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Salah Mukled (40)
March 29, 1993
Stabbed Yeshayahu Deutsch to death with a knife in the hothouses of Kfar Yam. In that same year, he also carried out shooting attacks. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Mohemed Sawalha (40)
December 2, 1990
Took part in a stabbing on a bus in Ramat Gan, in which Baruch Heisler was murdered and three other passengers were injured. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Atef Sha’ath (49)
March 12, 1993
Collaborated in the murder of Simcha Levy. Sentenced to 29 years imprisonment.
Yusef Abed al-Al (42)
April 18 & July 3, 1993
Took part in the murder of Ian Feinberg in the Gaza Strip. Later he murdered a Palestinian who was suspected of collaboration. Sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
Midhat Barbakh (38)
January 21, 1994
Stabbed his employer, Moshe Beker, a citrus grower from Rishon Letzion, killing him. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ali Rai (56)
January 21, 1994
Murdered Morris Eizenstat in Kfar Saba. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Mohamed Nashbat (52)
September 20, 1990
Took part in the stoning and lynch of a soldier, Amnon Pomerantz, in al Burej in the Gaza Strip. Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
Samir Murtaji (42)
1993-1994
Murdered four Palestinians who were suspected of collaboration. He was also involved in kidnapping other Palestinians suspected of collaboration. Sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Hosni Sawalha (39)
December 2, 1990
took part in a stabbing on a bus in Ramat Gan in which Baruch Heisler was murdered and three other passengers were injured. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Faraj Rimahi (48)
June 6, 1992
Murdered Avraham Kinsler and planned to murder more Israeli citizens. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ala Eddin Abu Sitteh (43)
December 31, 1993
Took part in the murder of Haim Weizman and David Dadi in Ramle. After stabbing them both to death with knives, the murderers desecrated their victims’ bodies. Sentenced to two life imprisonments.
Ayman Abu Sitteh (42)
December 31, 1993
Took part in the murder of Haim Weizman and David Dadi in Ramle. After stabbing them both to death with knives, the murderers desecrated their victims’ bodies. Sentenced to two life imprisonments.
Esmat Mansour (36)
October 29, 1993
Aided the terrorist cell that murdered Haim Mizrahi in a chicken farm in Beit El. He led the murderers to a hiding place behind the chicken coops, brought rope to tie up the victim and helped them load the dead body into the trunk of the car. Sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
Khaled Asakreh (41)
April 29, 1991
Murdered Annie Ley, a French tourist in Bethlehem. Sentenced to life imprisonment.
Nihad Jundiyeh (40)
July 14, 1989
Took part in the murder of Zalman Shlein in Gan Yavne. During questioning, he admitted to planning two more attacks that were not carried out: a stabbing in Gan Yavne and forcing a bus off a cliff. Sentenced to 25.5 years imprisonment.
Mohamed Hamdiyeh (41)
July 14, 1989
Took part in the murder of Zalman Shlein in Gan Yavne. Sentenced to 25.5 years imprisonment.
Jamil Abed al-Nabi (50)
October 25, 1992
Involved in planning and carrying out the shooting in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. In the attack, an IDF soldier, Shmuel Gersh, was killed and another soldier wounded. Sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.
Taher Zaboud
September 22, 1992
Took part in a shooting near the settlement Gadish. He was also involved in an unsuccessful attempt to murder a police officer in Umm al-Fahm. Sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.
Borhan Sabiah (42)
Convicted of murdering six suspected collaborators. Sentenced to six life imprisonments.

Sources: Israel Prison Service (August 2013; October 2013; December 2013); JTA (August 14, 2013); Jerusalem Post (October 27, 2013); Times of Israel (December 29, 2013)

* - Names were transliterated phonetically from Hebrew, may not be properly spelled

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