Attorney Ami Palmor of the Justice Ministry clemency unit has confirmed a deal is in the works between the state and prisoners for the location of a missing IDF soldier. The deal was made between one prisoner, who is serving a life sentence on a murder conviction and a second, who is serving a 16-year drug conviction sentence. According to media reports, the deal involving the Prime Minister’s Office will involve the release of the convicted felons in return for information regarding the burial location of IDF soldier Majdi Halabi, a Druse soldier listed as missing since May 2005. He disappeared heading to his Tirat Carmel base from his home.
There is a third convicted felon involved in the deal, a person serving consecutive life sentences for two murders.
Attorney Boaz King was interviewed on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), confirming he was hired by the prisoners to represent them in the deal, which was signed a number of weeks ago. The state agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of NIS in return for a detailed map with the burial location of the missing soldier.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office denies the identity of the missing soldier involved in the deal, stating there is no certainty regarding the identity of the soldier in question at this time.
Deputy Minister of Negev Development Ayoub Kara, interviewed on Kol Chai Radio on Monday afternoon, 1 Iyar 5772, stated he is pained to hear the media buzz over the deal and mention of the soldier’s name prematurely. “They must open the kever, take and test DNA and then there will be the first factual data as to the credibility of the information. All of this talk is painful for the family and simply out of place”.
Contradicting the IDF spokesman, Kara stated he is willing to confirm that the state believe the soldier buried in the grave is indeed Halabi, but he reminds us that the information comes from convicted felons, and as such, it may be bogus and all of the media hype will prove nothing more than just that.
Kara is escorting the bereaved family, and confirmed state officials have informed them that there may be some news, adding he remains quite skeptical at this time since the convicts who gave the information are not upstanding citizens to put it mildly.
Meir Indor, who heads the Almagor terror victims’ association added that here again, prisoners learned from terrorists, and they are dealing in blood for money and other gain. “They have learned that it pays to kill soldiers and then deal for their body and profit from such a venture”. Indor criticized the Israeli judicial system, which continues to tie the hands of intelligence agencies in its concern for human rights, while failing to protect citizens and soldiers as it should. He was referring to the decisions prohibiting interrogators from shaking terrorists in custody as well as using other means to obtain information.
“In two days we mark Memorial Day and undoubtedly the prime minister and others will speak and express their pain. They know the right words but we pay the price. I would like to add when it comes to ousting Jews from their homes in Hebron, the courts known how to enforce the law,” Indor adds.
The father of Halabi told the media that he does not believe the reports and he is certain that his son is still alive.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)