Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir instructed police to employ “an iron fist” against attempts to celebrate the expected release of Palestinian terrorists as part of the hostages deal with Hamas, a readout from Ben-Gvir’s office said on Thursday.
“My instructions are clear: There are to be no expressions of joy,” Ben-Gvir told Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and Israel Prison Service Commissioner Katy Perry.
“Expressions of joy are equivalent to backing terrorism; victory celebrations give backing to those human scum, for those Nazis,” he added.
The Israeli Cabinet on Wednesday voted to approve a deal with Hamas to see 50 of the approximately 240 hostages held by the terrorist group in the Gaza Strip freed in exchange for a four-day truce. The release of every additional 10 hostages will result in one additional day in the pause in combat.
The first hostages are currently expected to be released on Friday, with Hamas reportedly having agreed to release 12 to 13 hostages each day.
In addition to the ceasefire, Israel agreed to commute the sentences of 150 female and teenage Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli jails. They will be allowed to return to their previous places of residence.
Many of the terrorists set to be released are affiliated with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist groups.
Palestinians in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are preparing celebrations to welcome the terrorists home. Disturbances are also expected in Israel Prison Service facilities.
Among the terrorists under consideration for release is Nafoz Hamed, who stabbed Moriah Cohen as she walked with her five children in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah) in 2021. If released, Hamed will return to his home next door to the Cohens.
In January, Ben-Gvir instructed Shabtai to open a probe into what he views as police failures that allowed public celebrations to be held last week for an Arab terrorist released from prison.
Karim Younis, an Arab Israeli jailed for murdering Israel Defense Forces Cpl. Avraham Bromberg in the Golan Heights in 1980, was freed from jail and received a hero’s welcome upon his return to the northern Israeli town of Ara.
“[These] are celebrations of incitement and explicit support for terrorism, and it’s unacceptable for such events to happen in our home. The State of Israel has no place for [them],” Ben-Gvir said in a statement
“I will do everything in my power to prevent these occurrences until a law is passed on implementing the death penalty for terrorists,” he added.