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50 Palestinians serving life sentences in Israel

Official PA TV program Giants of Endurance, interview with Association of Released Prisoners in Bethlehem representative Muhammad Hmeideh

Association of Released Prisoners in Bethlehem representative Muhammad Hmeideh: “I want to remind the prisoners that in 2011 there were 800 life sentence prisoners, and in 2014 they had become 500 prisoners. There were 73 life sentence prisoners from Bethlehem, and today we have 50 life sentence prisoners. Therefore, we say the prison gates are not closed on anyone. There have been life sentence prisoners who returned home… Our message to our prisoners: Stand firm and victory is another hour of resolve, Allah willing. Their family members are doing well, they always have hope… and so too our prisoners, and Allah willing they will soon be released and we will rejoice in them and welcome them like we welcomed prisoners Khaled [Salah] (i.e., terrorist who attempted to shoot at Israeli soldiers), [and] Samir Sarsawi [after] 30 years (i.e., terrorist who threw hand grenade and had his life sentence reduced to 30 years in 2012; see note below)…

The prisoners who have returned home – who were life sentence prisoners – have all gotten married, had children, and started a new life. Allah willing, [the prisoners] will also be among us soon. We will give them a nice welcome.”

Khaled Salah – Palestinian terrorist who attempted to shoot at Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint, traded in weapons, and participated in kidnapping a Palestinian he suspected of collaborating with Israel. Salah was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 10 years; he was released in 2018.

Samir Sarsawi – Israeli Arab terrorist and Fatah member who threw a hand grenade on Nordau St. in Haifa in 1988. Sarsawi was sentenced to life for the grenade throwing and his involvement in other terror attacks, but Israeli President Shimon Peres reduced his sentence to 30 years in 2012, and Sarsawi was released in November 2018.