The Defense Ministry is expected to announce the establishment of a committee to examine the requests of prisoners serving life sentences handed down by Israeli military courts in Judea and Samaria, according to reports on Sunday.
Terrorists convicted in Israeli civil courts and given life sentences are eligible to have their sentences shortened. Now, that policy may be applied to cases tried in military courts.
“As long as I am the defense minister, no terrorist will have his sentence shortened by even one hour,” Avigdor Lieberman wrote on Twitter, suggesting that he would thwart the new committee.
The new policy was revealed during a hearing in Israel’s High Court of Justice regarding a parole request of a terrorist who murdered the late Ziva Goldovsky, an 18-year-old pro-Palestinian Israeli who was beaten and strangled to death, then burned, in 1988.
The man who murdered her, age 25 at the time, was requesting release from prison after serving 30 years of his life sentence. He told the court that his terms of imprisonment were unjust, given that Arabs who kill Jews and are tried by civilian courts can appeal to a parole board, whereas Arabs who kill Jews and are tried by military courts have no board in which to appeal.
In the past, Palestinians sentenced to life in military courts have been released early as part of prisoner-exchange deals or special agreements made by the ruling administration. In multiple cases, those prisoners who were released later committed additional acts of terror, including murder.