Correction: The terrorist whose release Mr. Sarkozy requested was Salah Hassan Hamouri, and not Ahmad El-Hamuri, who is a candidate for local Palestinian elections. See this article in The Jerusalem Post.
Thanks to Solkhar for emailing us the correction.
A reader in Israel sends the following report, which describes about yet another instance of pressure exerted against the Israeli government to coddle Palestinian terrorists:
My name is Semel, and I’m an Israeli student in Jerusalem. I’m updating you on an annoying affair you probably heard about. Last week a new record of hypocrisy in French foreign policy was reached (as if that’s even possible). My information is taken mainly from the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot.
According to the French and Israeli press, President Sarkozy personally addressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to free a Palestinian prisoner named Salah Hassan Hamouri, as “a gesture of good will”.
A letter from the French minister of foreign affairs was received by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak as well, following last month’s rejection by an Israeli court of Hamouri’s request for early release.
Hamouri is a Palestinian from northeast Jerusalem holding French citizenship. In addition to that he is a convicted terrorist. In 2005 Hamouri was charged with planning several bombings in Jerusalem. He and his friends were also in the final stages of a plan to assassinate Ovadya Yosef, the leader of an Israeli Hasidic movement (personally, I wouldn’t shed a tear; these guys are almost as crazy as their Muslim equivalents). In court, Hamouri admitted all the charges.
Hamouri is an active member of “The People’s Front” (apparently Palestinians do watch Monty Python), an East Jerusalem organization which was charged with the assassination of Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001. After Zeevi’s assassination all leaders of the organization were arrested.
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At that time Hamouri had himself been released from Israeli prison after being arrested for terrorist activity a year earlier. He immediately began organizing the remains of the organization, restoring its former activity, taking orders from its imprisoned leaders. Hamouri was in charge of organizing a network of terrorist cells around the city and planning the exact time and location of the planned assassination. Luckily, these networks went far enough in order to lead back to him, and enable his and his comrade’s arrest before the assassination took place.
Today Sarkozy is asking for his release, saying he believes Hamouri has the potential of rehabilitating in the future if released. What made Sarkozy believe such a baseless theory? According to Le Figaro, Hamouri’s mother is well-connected with French pro-Palestinian organizations. Organizations powerful enough to organize a meeting between Sarkozy’s advisers and Hamouri’s mother, apparently powerful enough to press Sarkozy into doing something he probably does not believe in himself.
That’s the story (that’s how it looks from were I stand anyway).
One more thing — a bit more optimistic — from Israel is this: I believe people in Israel are finally coming to understand they have a good friend in Europe who is growing in power. I don’t have the time to translate the responses to Geert’s speeches lately, but they’re changing in the right direction. The leftist media is, of course, still trying to portray him as an extremist, but people are no longer fooled. We are all so sick and tired of hearing how evil we all are; it’s refreshing to hear something else for a change.
Thank you for your support,