The Price of Compassion

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS when you refuse to countenance the death penalty for even the most heinous criminals.

Musab Hashlemon, a Hamas operative from Hebron, who received 17 life sentences for his role in facilitating a 2004 double suicide attack in Hebron. Sixteen civilians were murdered when suicide bombers dispatched by Hashlemon detonated themselves on two city buses.

In January 2004, Hashlemon — at the time a minor Hamas operative — was released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizballah. He will be deported to Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Also on the list is Nasser Yataima, involved in planning the March 2002 suicide attack on a Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in which 30 people were killed and 140 wounded.

Another is Abd al-Aziz Salaha, who participated in the October 2000 lynching of two IDF reservists who mistakenly drove into a mob of Palestinians in Ramallah. Salaha was photographed holding his blood-soaked hands out of the window.

Ahlam Tamimi, a female Hamas terrorist convicted of participating in the August 2001 bombing of a Sbarro’s pizzeria in Jerusalem in which 15 people were killed and 130 wounded. She has previously declared that she does not regret her role in the massacre.

Ibrahim Jundiya, who sent a suicide bomber to blow up a bus in Jerusalem in 2002, killing 11 people, will be deported to Hamas-ruled Gaza, as will Fadi Muhammad al-Jabaa, who plotted the 2003 suicide bombing of a Haifa bus, where 17 passengers were killed. Walid Aqel, who founded Hamas’ military wing, the Izzedin al-Qassam Military Brigades, in the 1990s, will be released from prison and sent to Turkey.

Somebody in my hearing quoted somebody else they remembered saying, “When you punch somebody, you hurt your fist.” I think of that whenever I call for the IDF to start at the Green Line and perform a curettement of Gaza and/or the West Bank. The soldiers who would have to perform that task would bear it to their graves. Not a thing to ask of young men and women. But… better that they should die at the hands of howling madmen? That their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers should die at the hands of mad dogs who would offer no quarter in return?

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