Indy’s wild claim that Israel ‘tortures’ Palestinian kids continues to unravel

h/t Gidon Shaviv

We posted on Jan 2nd about a wild accusation at The Independent with the following headline:

The charge that Palestinian kids were tortured by Israel – by being “caged” for “months” during winter – was repeated in the text of the story which was written by Adam Withnall:

An Israeli human rights organisation has accused the government of torturing Palestinian children after it emerged some were kept for months in outdoor cages during winter.

To back up this claim, Withnall cited a report from the NGO PCATI (Public Committee Against Torture in Israel).

Withnall wrote the following:

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) published a report which said children suspected of minor crimes were subjected to “public caging”,

However, as we observed in our original post, when you go to the actual report (open the Word document at the bottom) at PCATI’s site, you learn that the NGO does NOT actually level specific charges that Palestinian children were kept in “cages” or “tortured.  We noted further that the statement by PCATI in question links to a report (in Hebrew) at the Israel Public Defender’s Office (PDO).  Indeed, Withnall actually cited the PDO report, which similarly did not mention anything about Palestinians children.

Withnall wrote:

“During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla,” the PDO wrote on its website.

Upon looking more thoroughly through the PDO website, and reading the entire letter their office sent to the Israel Justice Ministry about such detention methods, we learned that they were only charging that some Israelis arrested in the middle of the night spent a number of hours in outdoor (open-air) jails until they were taken to the court early in the morning.  The PDO statement further clarifies that this practice (which was recently ended) in general – under which detainees sometimes waited in outdoor holding cells for several hours – had existed for a number of months.

Again, there is no mention of Palestinian children.

Following our communication with Indy editors, they minimally revised the passage which falsely claimed that prisoners were kept “for months” in “outdoor cages”, as they evidently realized that the word months only signified the length of time the practice had been going on.

However, upon further investigation by Presspecitva and CiF Watch, it increasingly appears likely that the entire Indy story is untrue. We weren’t able to find any evidence that anyone even alleged that Palestinian children were kept in these outdoor facilities (“caged”), or “tortured”, during transit to court.

In addition to the fact that the Israel Public Defender’s Office doesn’t mention Palestinian children in any context, we checked with the Israel Prison Service, whose spokesperson (Sivan Weizman) told us quite clearly that the entire PDO complaint submitted to the Justice Ministry only refers to Israeli prisoners (some of whom were evidently teens) and NOT Palestinians, yet alone Palestinian kids. Weizman stated emphatically that this had nothing to do whatsoever with Palestinian children, and that the prisoners in question were common criminals, not suspects being held for security (terrorist) offenses.

Finally, it’s quite telling that neither the Guardian nor other British and U.S. news outlets – which typically are not shy about smearing Israel with unsubstantiated allegations – have jumped on the story.  If there was any credible evidence that Israel was “torturing” kids, you’d think the usual media suspects would be all over it.

The Indy hatchet job should never have seen the light of day in the first place, and – barring any new evidence which would justify the original charge – it seems clear that further corrections are no longer sufficient. Indy editors should retract the entire story.

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Unreported by the Guardian: Details on latest Palestinian prisoners to be released (& their victims)

BBC Watch managing editor Hadar Sela was responsible for most of the research and editing in the following post.

On December 28th the Israeli Prison Service published the list of prisoners scheduled for release later this week, representing the third round of four scheduled releases agreed upon by Israel’s prime minister as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to get the Palestinians to resume peace talks.

As we have noted previously, many newspapers (including the GuardianIndependent, and Irish Times) have whitewashed the violent crimes of the prisoners being released and all but ignored the victims.  So, in addition to details about the perpetrators and their crimes, we’ve also included some information on the Israeli (and Palestinian) victims.  

(You can see the complete list of pre-Oslo prisoners to be released – information which was translated, edited and published exclusively by CAMERA – here.)

Below is a translation of the list of the latest 26 prisoners scheduled for release with additional information:

Alefendi Mohammed Yusuf Adnan (born 1971) was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment for attempted murder, having stabbed and wounded two Israeli civilians with a kitchen knife. 

Sh’hade Farid Sh’hade Ahmed (born 1962) was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment for the murder of suspected ‘collaborator’ Yosef Farhan in Jaffa in 1985 and was due to be released in February 2030.  

Yacoub Mohammed Ouda Ramadan (born 1963, member of PFLP-GC) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sarah Sharon. 

Afana Mustafa Ahmed Mohammed (born 1964, member of PFLP-GC) was sentenced to forty years imprisonment for his part in the murder of Sarah Sharon and was due to be released in 2033. 

Da’agna Nofel Mohammed Mahmoud (born 1948, member of PFLP) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sarah Sharon. 

Mother of seven Sarah Sharon (photo right)was 38 years old when she was stabbed to death in Holon on January 20th 1993.

Abu-Alrub Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal (born 1969, member of Fatah) was sentenced to two life terms for the shooting and murder of Yoram Cohen and for beating Mohammed Kamil to death. He was also found guilty of the manslaughter of an additional four Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’. 

Kamil Awad Ali Ahmed (born 1962, member of Fatah) was sentenced to sixteen life terms for the murder of Yoram Cohen and fifteen Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’.

20 year-old IDF soldier Sgt. Yoram Cohen was shot and killed in an ambush on the truck in which he was travelling in Jenin in 1991. 

Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal (born 1969, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the murder of Frederick Rosenfeld. 

48 year-old Frederick Steven Rosenfeld  (photo right) was murdered in June 1989. Rosenfeld was hiking in the hills near Ariel when he came across a group of shepherds who stabbed him to death with his own knife and hid his body. 

Abu Muhsan Khaled Ibrahim Jamal (born 1971, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Shlomo Yehia in 1991. 

Shlomo Yehia (photo left) was born in 1915 in Yemen and immigrated to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. He settled in Moshav Kadima where he worked as a gardener even after reaching retirement age. On September 26th 1991 he went out to work as usual and was stabbed to death in a public park. Shlomo was 76 years old at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and six children.

Tamimi Rushdi Mohammed Sa’id (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Chaim Mizrachi.

Chaim Mizrachi grew up in Bat Yam and Holon, later moving to Beit El. On Friday, 29th October 1993, he went to buy eggs from an Arab-owned farm near his home and was met by terrorists who fled in his vehicle after wounding him and stuffing him into the car’s trunk. The terrorists murdered Chaim, then burned and abandoned the vehicle north of Ramallah. Chaim was 30 at the time of his death, and was survived by his pregnant wife, his parents, his sisters, and his brother. Half a year after his murder, his daughter was born.  

Silawi Khaled Kamal Osmana (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to four life terms for the murder of Motti Bitton and three Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’. In addition, was also convicted of manslaughter of another Palestinian and took part in the violent interrogation of others. 

32 year-old father of three Motti Bitton (photo right) from Ganim was shot and killed whilst shopping with his wife Mali (who was injured in the attack) in a convenience store along the road from Jenin to Jezreel Junction.

Tzouafta Sudki Abdel Razak Muhlas (born 1974, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yosef Ben Ya’akov Malkin (Malka). 

Yosef Malkin (Malka) (photo left) was murdered in his apartment on December 29th 1990 in Haifa by two infiltrators from Jenin. He was 60 years old at the time of his death and worked as manager of the industrial engineering department of a company in Haifa. 

Braham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser (born 1975, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his former employer Morris (Moshe) Edri.

Morris Edri (photo right) was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1928 and immigrated to Israel in 1964 where he settled in Netanya. Morris worked in the pharmaceutical industry until his retirement due to ill-health and then worked in his son’s electrical shop. On November 24th 1991 he arrived at the shop in the morning to find a former employee waiting for him who claimed that he had left some clothes in the storeroom. Whilst Morris was making coffee, the former employee stabbed him in the back. He was 65 at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and nine children. 

Al Shalbi Yusuf Ahmed Nuaman (born 1971, member of Fatah) was sentenced to three life terms for the murders of Jamil Koftan Hasun, Mufid Ali Kna’an and Ahmed Ziud. 

Jaradat Mohammed Anis Ayman (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to four life terms for the murders of Jamil Koftan Hasun, Mufid Ali Kna’an, Mohamed Tawfik Jaradat and Ibrahim Said Ziud. Also convicted of the manslaughter of an additional Palestinian. 

On October 15th 1991 Jamil Hasun (photo left) from Daliyet el Carmel was celebrating his 32nd birthday. An operator of heavy machinery, he went that morning to pick up workers from a village near Jenin. There he was shot at point-blank range by two attackers. Jamil was survived by his wife and two children. 

Mufid Kna’an from Yarka went out hunting with friends near Jenin on January 15th 1992. There he was shot by two attackers. Mufid was 46 at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and six children. 

Shuamra Yunes Mohammed Naim was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yossi Hayoun.

Yossi (Yosef) Hayoun was a police sapper who was killed whilst trying to disarm a bomb planted in Moshav Shekef in the Lachish area in June 1993. 

Mahmud Mohammed Salman was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Shai Shuker.

22 year-old Shai Shuker (photo right) from Herzliya was murdered on February 2nd 1994 near Tira. His attacker strangled him with a shoelace.

Abu-Gamal Ahmed Ibrahim Jamal was sentenced to twenty-two years imprisonment for attempted murder and was due to be released in May 2016.

Abu-Ali Faiz Mahmoud Ibrahim was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Roni Levi. 

Roni Levi (photo left) from Petah Tikva was saving up to get married and worked in marketing for a factory during the week and as a taxi driver at the weekends. On Saturday December 29th 1990 he was working an evening shift when radio connection with his taxi was lost. The blood-stained taxi was found the next day in Tel Aviv, but Roni’s body was only discovered three weeks later in an orchard. Roni was 24 years old at the time of his death. 

Barbach Judat Zaki Raami was sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment for the murder of Yosef Zandani.

28 year-old Yosef Zandani (photo right) was strangled and stabbed to death in his home in Moshav Bnei Aiyish near Gadera on March 30th 1994.

Halaf Juma’a Mustafa Ahmed was sentenced to 21 years and three months imprisonment for aggravated assault and was due to be released in February 2014.

Abu Hasin Ahmed Yusef Bilal was sentenced to a thirty-six year term for the murder of Farouk Raud Abdelhamid Abu Khader and was due to be released in 2027.

Abu Hadir Mohammed Yassin Yassin was serving a twenty-eight year sentence for the murder of Yigal Shahaf and was due to be released in 2016.

Twenty-four year-old student Yigal Shahaf (photo left) from Jerusalem was shot in the head whilst walking through the Old City with his wife on October 10th 1987. He died the next day and was survived by his wife, parents, sisters and brother. 

Tsalah Khalil Ahmed Ibrahim (born 1960, member of Fatah) was sentenced to three life terms for the murders of Menahem Stern, Eli Amsalem and Hassan Zaid. 

Eli Amsalem (photo right) was born in Fez, Morocco and arrived in Israel with his family in 1957, where they settled in Jerusalem. Eli worked as a television technician. On July 28th 1989 he was murdered in his home near the Mahane Yehuda market. 

Muamar Atta Mahmoud Mahmoud (born 1961, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Menahem Stern and Hassan Zaid.

Professor Menahem Stern (photo right) was born in Poland in 1925. He was an Israel Prize laureate and professor of history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was 64 years old when he was stabbed by two terrorists whilst walking to work on June 22nd 1989. Professor Stern was survived by his wife and four children.

Taktuk Lufti Halma Ibrahim (born 1972, member of Hamas) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Binyamin Meisner.

24 year-old reservist Binyamin Meisner was murdered in February 1989 by a group which lured him into an ally in Nablus (Schem) where they had pre-prepared a stockpile of rocks. Binyamin Meisner was killed by a blow to the head with a stone. 

What the Guardian won’t report: Details on 26 Palestinian terrorists to be released (and their victims).

The Guardian hasn’t yet published a report on the second round of prisoners who will soon be freed as part of a US-brokered deal for the resumption of peace talks. However, the Israeli Prison Service published a list (in Hebrew) of those 26 scheduled for release, so we’re posting the following information – translated and edited by Hadar Sela, managing editor of BBC Watch – on both the prisoners and their victims: 

Nasser Mohammed:  born in 1965, a member of Hamas and a resident of Judea & Samaria. Arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Aharon Avidar.

Karaja Rafaa: born in 1962, a resident of Judea & Samaria.  Arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Aharon Avidar.

Aharon (Roni) Avidar was born in Jerusalem and was a computer programmer. He was 29 years old when, in February 1985, he was shot by terrorists whilst on reserve duty guarding a government office in Al Bireh, near Ramallah. Roni was survived by his wife and daughter – his infant son had died some three months before he was murdered. 

Tsabbag Mohamed:  born 1974, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria was arrested in 1991 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Whilst a minor, he tortured and brutally murdered three local residents (Hassan Katbia, Lutfi Sa’adi and one other person) suspected of collaboration.

Shabbir Hazam: born 1974, a member of Fatah and a resident of the Gaza Strip was arrested in 1994 and sentenced to life imprisonment. As an initiation into a terror organization, together with an accomplice released in the previous round, he murdered a work colleague – Isaac Rotenberg from Holon – with an axe. 

Isaac Rotenberg

Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg was born in Poland. Most of his family was murdered in the Sobibor death camp, but Isaac managed to escape and joined the partisans. After the war he tried to make his way by ship to mandate Palestine, but was interred by the British and sent to a detention camp in Cyprus until 1947. After his release Isaac arrived in pre-state Israel and fought in the War of Independence. He continued his work as a plasterer even after pension age and in March 1994 was at his place of work in Petah Tikva when he was attacked by two Palestinian labourers with axes. He died, aged 67, two days later. 

Amawi Halmi: born 1968, a member of Hamas and a resident of the Gaza Strip was arrested in 1993 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yigal Vaknin.

Yigal Vaknin

 22-year-old tractor operator Yigal Vaknin was stabbed to death in an orchard at his place of work in Moshav Batzra on September 24th 1993 (the eve of Yom Kippur), eleven days after the signing of the Oslo accords, when Halmi and an accomplice lured him with a request for help. Yigal, who grew up in Dimona, was survived by his parents and eight brothers and sisters.

Damouni Ahmed: born 1970, a member of Hamas and a resident of the Gaza Strip, was arrested in 1990 and sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the lynching of reservist Amnon Pomerantz.

Amnon Pomerantz was an electrical engineer and scientist and worked in research and development. On September 20th 1990, Amnon left his home in Havatzelet Hasharon for reserve duty in Gaza. Three hours later, he was brutally murdered by a gang of Palestinian rioters after he took a wrong turn on the way to his base and accidentally entered Al Burj Refugee Camp. After they threw rocks at him, they poured gasoline on his vehicle and ignited it with Amnon inside. Amnon was 46 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and three children.

Reuven David

Reuven David was born in Iraq and was the owner of a mini-market in Petah Tikva. In May 1991, together with an accomplice who was released in the previous round, Matslaha entered 59 year-old David’s shop, tied him up, gagged him and then beat him to death, before escaping in the victim’s car. Reuven David left a wife, three children and several grandchildren. 

Abu Dahila Sharif: born 1955, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria, was arrested in 1992 for the murder of Avi Osher and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Avi Osher, aged 40 from Moshav Beka’ot in the Jordan Rift Valley was an agricultural instructor who also managed the date grove at Moshav Mesu’a. In June 1991 Avi was stabbed to death in that date grove by Abu Dahila, with whom he had worked for 15 years. Avi was survived by his wife Eilat and their two children. 

Gnimat Mustafa and Gnimat Ziad: both born 1962, both residents of Judea & Samaria and members of Fatah, were arrested in 1985 and each sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of two Israeli civilians – Meir Ben Yair (33) and Michal Cohen (32) who were sitting in a car in Messu’a forest, near Beit Shemesh.

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Guy Fridman

In December 1990 nineteen year-old Guy Fridman was killed and two other soldiers were injured in Bethlehem when bombs exploded in an ambush. He was survived by his parents and two brothers. 

Shakir Al Afu: born 1964, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1986 and sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the murder of Shaltiel Akiva.

On the eve of Pessach 1985, Sgt. Shaltiel Akiva, aged 21, arrived home from Lebanon to spend the holiday with his family in Rosh HaAiyn. However, he was immediately called back to his base in Samaria. On April 6th he set out to visit his family but en route was kidnapped and strangled to death by a terrorist cell. His body was found two days later near Beit Ariyeh. He was survived by his parents and five siblings. 

Yosef Shirazi

Yosef Shirazi (62) was born in Baghdad and immigrated to Israel in 1950. He resided in Eilat where he had just begun working as a security guard for the Hebrew Unversity’s marine biology research centre when he was shot at close range by members of a terror cell who had swum from Aqaba in Jordan to Eilat with the intention of carrying out a terror attack.  

Mukbal Najah: born 1966, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria, was arrested in 1990 and sentenced to 38 years imprisonment for the murder – together with an accomplice – of Ya’akov Shalom. He was due for release in July 2028.

Ya’akov Shalom was born in Jerusalem in 1949 where he studied law after his military service. In later years he opened a restaurant in Ein Kerem and it was in the flat above the restaurant that he was stabbed to death in May 1990 by two of his employees. 

Yusef Hazaa: born in 1967 and a resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of two civilians

In July 1985, whilst a minor and together with an accomplice, he murdered two Israeli teachers from a school in Afula on a preparatory hike in a JNF forest on the Gilboa mountains. 35 year-old father of five Yosef Elihau was shot at close range and 19 year-old National Service volunteer Leah Almakayis was strangled.

Genia Friedman

Genia Friedman immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine in 1991. She was 41 years old when, in February 1992, she was stabbed to death on a main street in Kfar Saba, where she lived. The terrorist also stabbed and injured her father and two other people. 

Abdel Aziz Ahmed: born 1973, a resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1993 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Motti Bitton. He planned, initiated and carried out the attack in October 1992 which led to the death of 32 year-old father of three Motti Bitton from Ganim and the injury of his wife, Mali Bitton whilst they were shopping in convenience store along the road from Jenin to Jezreel Junction.

Abu Hanana Usama: born 1974, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria. Arrested in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the murder of Motti Bitton (see above) and the injury of his wife by throwing an explosive device at her.

Turkeman Mohamed: born 1973, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria. Arrested in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting and killing Motti Bitton (see above) and shooting and injuring the deceased’s wife who got out of her vehicle to help her husband. 

Revital Seri

Revital Seri (22) and Ron Levy (23) were both students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In October 1984 they were hiking near the Cremisan monastery when they were attacked by Abed Rabbo (whose mother was honored by Mahmoud Abbas earlier this year), tied up and shot to death at close range with a stolen weapon. 

Aashur Mohamed:  born 1960, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1985 and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment (scheduled release date May 2017) for murder and grievous bodily harm.

Together with two accomplices, he shot 33 year-old taxi driver David Caspi in the head whilst he was driving them through the neighbourhood of Shuafat and then dumped his body by the side of the road. David Caspi left a wife and two daughters.

While in prison he was involved in the assault and injury of another prisoner. 

Ian Sean Feinberg

Ian Sean Feinberg was born in South Africa and immigrated to Israel after finishing High School. Having qualified in law before his enlistment, he spent five years serving as a lawyer in the Gaza Strip and was later involved professionally with Palestinian economic development as a legal advisor. On April 18th 1993, during a business meeting in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, terrorists burst into the room announcing that they had ‘come to kill the Jew’. They then murdered him with gunshots and an axe. Ian was 30 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and three children.

Shimon Cohen

Shimon Cohen, who was 71 years old when he was killed in the terror attack on Mahane Yehuda market, was a sixth generation Jerusalemite who was born in the Old City in 1920. After his retirement from the family’s fish stall in the same market, he used to visit friends there frequently. 

Beni- Hassan Othman: born 1966, resident of Judea & Samaria, member of Fatah. Arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Yosef Eliyahu and Leah Almakayis (see above).

Samarin Asrar: born 1969, a member of Fatah and a resident of Judea & Samaria. Arrested in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Tzvi Klein and for attempted murder.

Tzvi Klein

Tzvi Klein was born in 1947 in Czechoslovakia. A mathematician and an educator, he made his home in Ofra, teaching and also active at the pedagogic centre of the Binyamin council.

On the first day of Hannuka 1991, he was travelling from Jerusalem to Ofra when shots were fired at his vehicle. Tzvi was fatally injured in the head, a passenger was also injured and his daughter who was also travelling with him was unharmed. 44 years old at the time of his death, Tzvi was survived by his wife and three children. 

 

Information about Samer al-Issawi not provided by the Guardian

A Feb. 19 blurb in the Guardian’s ongoing series of posts in their ‘Middle East Live’ blog noted that “Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails declared a one-day fast today in solidarity with four inmates whose hunger strike has fueled anti-Israel protests in the occupied West Bank”.

The story then quoted Reuters, thus:

Samer al-Issawi, one of the four Palestinians who have been on hunger strike, has been refusing food, intermittently, for more than 200 days. His family says his health has deteriorated sharply.

The prisoners’ campaign for better conditions and against detention without trial has touched off violent protests over the past several weeks outside an Israeli military prison and in West Bank towns.

In the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Jihad group said a truce with Israel that ended eight days of fighting in November could unravel if any hunger striker died. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which looks after the welfare of inmates and their families, said 800 prisoners were taking part in the day-long fast. 

Additionally, a Feb. 15 edition of the Guardian’s ‘Picture Desk Live’ included a photo of a Palestinian in eastern Jerusalem detained while throwing stones at Israeli police during a protest against the imprisonment of Issawi. Here’s the caption they used:

A Palestinian with marks of pepper spray on his face is detained by Israeli border policemen who suspect him of throwing stones during clashes at a protest in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya. Clashes broke out as residents protested calling for the release of Samer al-Issawi, a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner.

As Issawi prepares to become the latest Palestinian cause celebre (see Richard Millett’s report on a pro-Issawi protest in Trafalgar Square in London) here’s some interesting information about the prisoner recently reported by Tamar Sternthal at CAMERA.

Who is Samer Issawi and why had he been imprisoned?

According to the Israel Prison Service, Samer Issawi of Issawiyeh, Jerusalem was arrested in April 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for attempted murder, belonging to an unrecognized (terror) organization, military training, and possession of weapons, arms and explosive materials. Issawi (identification number 037274735) was one of the 477 Palestinian prisoners released in the first stage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in October 2011. (The Prison Service lists him as Samir Tariq Ahmad Muhammad. Multiple names are not uncommon among Palestinians. The date of his arrest, birth, his sentence term and the terms of his release are consistent with the details provided about Samer Issawi in media reports.)

Here’s additional information on Issawi’s terror activities that Capt. Eytan Buchman, an IDF spokesman, provided to CAMERA:

Issawi was convicted of multiple crimes which included five counts of attempted murder. This included four shootings, between July 2001 and February 2002, in which Issawi and his accomplices fired on police cars and buses travelling between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In one attack, a policeman was injured and required surgery. On October 30, 2001, Issawi, together with an accomplice, fired at two students walking from the Hebrew University campus to their car in a nearby parking lot. In another case, Issawi provided guns and explosive devices to a terror squad, which then fired on a bus. Finally, in December 2001, Issawi ordered an attack on security personnel at Hebrew University, providing a terror squad with a pistol and a pipe bomb. Two of the squad members tracked security personnel but didn’t carry out the attack.

Issawi was re-arrested in July 2102 for reportedly violating one of the conditions of his release.

Sternthal also cited an October 2011 letter to the editor of the Guardian by Amir Ofek of the Israeli embassy in London which criticized the paper for failing to provide information about Issawi’s terror activities in a photo of him they used (in the print edition of the paper).

Ofek wrote the following:

Your centrefold (19 October) carries a double-spread photograph of released prisoner Samer Tareq al-Issawi in a cheering crowd, after being freed under the terms of the deal to release Gilad Shalit. It is important to point out the grave terrorism offences of which Al-Issawi was convicted, including firing a gun at a civilian vehicle in October 2001, indiscriminately firing an AK47 assault rifle at civilian buses, and manufacturing and distributing pipe bombs used in attacks on Israeli civilians.

Since it’s likely that the Guardian (and groups like the Palestinian Prisoners Club) will continue to characterize Issawi as a Palestinian martyr, it’s important to keep in mind that the “hunger striker” is not a ‘civil rights activist’ but, rather, a convicted terrorist who devoted his time attempting to murder Israeli civilians.