Saturday, August 3, 2013

Israeli victim of a pre-Oslo prisoner: “If he is released, I will no longer be able to live”


from cif watch

Israeli victim of a pre-Oslo prisoner: “If he is RELEASED I will no longer be able to live”

Below is an op-ed that was published recently in Yediot Ahronot by Adi Moses, who was injured when she was 8 years old in a Palestinian terrorist attack in which her pregnant mother and 5-year-old brother were burned alive. (It was translated into English by Daniel Seaman, and originally posted by Tom Gross, who granted us permission to repost it here.) 
“You know the story of my family. In 1987 a terrorist threw a firebomb at the car my family was travelling in. He murdered my mother and my brother Tal, and injured my father, my brother, his friend and myself. It is a story you know. But… Me, you do not really know. I was 8 years old when this happened.
While my father was rolling me in the sand to extinguish my burning body, I looked in the direction of our car and watched as my mother burned in front of my eyes.
This story did not end that day in 1987. This story is the difficult life I have led since then. I am still 8 years old, hospitalized in critical condition. Screaming from pain. Bandaged from head to toe. And my head is not the same. No longer full of golden long hair. The head is burnt. The face, back, the legs and arms, burnt. I am surrounded by family members, but my mother is not with me. Not hugging and caressing. She is not the one changing my bandages. In the room next door, my brother Tal in lying. Screaming in pain. I call out to him to count sheep with me so he can fall asleep. Three months later, little Tal dies of his wounds. I am seated, all bandaged up, on a chair in the cemetery and I watch as my little brother is buried.
For many months I am forbidden to be out in the sun because of the burns, so I wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to school. In July and August as well. And under the clothes I yet wear a pressure suit meant to [prevent hypertrophic] scarring. It is painful and hot and itchy.
Here I am at 12 years old, entering another operation to correct a scar that limited movement in my leg. And then I am celebrating my Bat Mitzvah. And my mother is not at the celebration. So I cry quietly at night and write to her. I grow older. I don’t like that people in the street stare at me, don’t like it when the cashier at the supermarket asks – “Oh, child, what happened to you?” I don’t like it that every such look and every such question make me run and cry.
I reach the age of 14 and still live in Alfei Menashe. I have a father, an older brother and friends, I am a good pupil. But I also have unbearable scars. I do not have a mother. So I lay in the road and say to myself that if a car comes, whatever happens, happens. But it doesn’t happen. So I pick myself up and return home. All those years of adolescence, my friends preferred activity is to go to the beach. But I don’t go because I have scars. Because I am burnt. And I am ashamed.
Then I am 18 and want to enlist but I am not drafted. The army refuses to take responsibility for my scars. So I volunteer in the military and serve for a year and a half. After the army I study for my bachelors degree. At college I meet new people who, of course, ask me what happened to me. I respond “terror attack”. And they always answer “wow, really? I thought hot water spilled on you when you were little.” And the clothes? The shirts with the long sleeves were replaced with short sleeves but no tee-shirt, not at all, because I have an ugly scar under the left shoulder. Absolutely no short skirts or pants – because I have ugly scars on the legs.
Today I am 34 years old, exactly my mother’s age at the time of the attack. From now on she will forever be younger than me. And still, at least four times a week I answer questions about what happened to me. And sometimes I wonder whether that guy is not interested in me because of the scars. And I always have to explain my scars and tell where they are exactly before I expose myself to a man.
I am 34 years old but the last few days I have returned to being that 8-year-old facing that burning car and waiting for her mother to come out of it. Yitzhak Rabin, who was Minister of Defense at the time of the attack, promised my dad that they will catch the terrorist. And they did. And they sentenced him. To two life sentences and another 72 years in prison. And you cabinet ministers? With the wave of a hand you decided to free him. He who caused all of this story.
And you will not convince me that you understand my pain because you don’t. And no explanations that claim to be rational will help. You are heartless beings and abstruse. With your decision to release the murderer you spit on the graves of my mother and my brother Tal. You erase this story from the pages of the History of the State of Israel. And in return for what?
I beg you to remove him from the list of those to be released. Leave him in jail. That he rot as he should rot. Don’t light again the fire that he lit. Don’t destroy those who are left in this family. Save us. Because if he is released – my father, brother and I will no longer be able to live.”
The terrorist responsible for the attack on the Moses family, Daoud Adal Hassan Mahmad is among the pre-Oslo prisoners reportedly to be released as a pre-negotiation concession to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Who are the 104 Palestinian prisoners Israel will free for peace talks?
The 104 prisoners that will be be released from Israeli prison in accordance with Sunday's cabinet decision, were responsible, all told, for the deaths of 55 civilians, 15 soldiers, one female tourist and dozens of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel., 
Of the prisoners, whose names appear in a list published by the Palestinian Prisoner Society, 25 are from the Gaza Strip, and will be returned there, 55 are from various cities and villages in the West Bank, 10 are residents of East Jerusalem, and 14 are Israeli citizens.,
The list of prisoners the Palestinians submitted to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not include all prisoners from the pre-Oslo era: Palestinian Authority and PLO representatives intentionally omitted all prisoners convicted of killing Israelis for criminal, non-nationalistic motives.,
The Palestinian Prisoner Society's chairman, Qadura Fares, said that in most cases, the prisoners were part of cells comprising several activists, that were involved in killing or wounding a soldier, settler or civilian. Only in a few cases did said cells kill multiple Israelis.,
Fares pointed to the differences between the prisoners on this list and those who were released as part of the Shalit deal, saying the latter included prisoners who were responsible for multiple attacks that killed numerous Israelis.,
Among the 104 prisoners due to be released are the killers of 15 security forces personnel, including soldiers, reserve officers, a Shin Bet agent and a border policeman. The victims in these attacks were Aharon Avidar, Avraham Bromberg, Yoram Cohen, Yehoshua Freidberg, Shmuel Gersh, Binyamin Meisner, Amnon Pomerantz, Yaakov Shaltiel, Moshe Tamam, Nissim Toledano, Shin Bet agent Chaim Nahmani, border policeman Yaron Hen, and the three casualties of the 1992 “Night of the Pitchforks” attack on an Israeli army base – Yaakov Dubinsky, Yori Farda and Guy Friedman. In most cases, all the cell members were convicted of murder even if only one or some of them were directly connected to the actual killing.,
The other prisoners to be released are responsible for the deaths of 55 Israeli citizens and a French tourist. Among them are those convicted of murdering two teachers from Afula, Lea Almakeis and Yosef Eliyahu; and those who, by hurling a Molotov cocktail at a bus in the Jordan Valley, killed Rachel Weiss and her three children, as well as the soldier David Delorosa, who tried to save the family.,
Also to be released are the men who hurled a Molotov cocktail at the car of Ofra Moses and her son, Tal, killing them both; the convicted murderers of Meir Ben Yair and Michal Cohen at the Britannia Park; the murderers of Gush Katif resident Simcha Levy; the murderers of Civil Administration attorney, Ian Feinberg; two Salfit residents who were convicted of the murder of Friedrich Rosenfeld near Ariel; two Nablus residents who were convicted of murdering Baruch Heitzler and injuring others by planting explosives on a bus in Ramat Gan; the convicted murderer of Prof. Menahem Stern in Jerusalem; the murderer of Jamil Hasson of Daliat al-Carmel and Mofied Canaan of Yarka; three Palestinians who were involved in the murder of Moti Biton in a village near Jenin; the man who stabbed to death Shlomo Yihya of Kadima; the man who murdered his employer at the Massoa settlement; and the killer of 84-year-old farmer Avraham Kinstler in Batzra.,
Ten of the prisoners on the list were minors when they committed their crimes. Despite their age, some were sentenced to life in prison - those convicted for the murder of Almakeis and Eliyahu, two teachers. Already in 2003 there was a recommendation to reduce sentences of four of those convicted, but the justice ministers and the president did not carry it out. Unlike these prisoners, the Supreme Court commuted sentences of Zalman Schlein's murderers to 25 from the original 30-year sentence. They are set to go free in 18 months.,
Nine of the prisoners to be released have also killed other Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. One of these, a resident of Jenin, was involved in the murder of 15 suspected Palestinian collaborators., 
The release of convicted murderers of suspected collaborators carries a risk of further bloodshed prompted by a desire for revenge. In many cases, the evidence used to prove their collaboration was inconclusive. Fares said the PLO and the Palestinian Authority would repeat the appeal they made in former cases: "We told [the victims' families] that we must look forward, that there is no legitimization whatsoever to harm anybody, and that revenge is a negative thing.",

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