‘Rot and die in prison’ – Outraged MKs, family protest parole hearing for terrorist

“Terrorists should only have one punishment, and that’s the death penalty. There’s no reason for us to feel sorry for him.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Dozens of protesters gathered outside of Maasiyahu Prison in central Israel on Wednesday morning, ahead of a parole board meeting to determine whether a terrorist who murdered an IDF soldier in the 1980s should be granted compassionate release from incarceration.

Walid Daqqa was one of several men who kidnapped and murdered active duty Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984 and has served nearly 40  years of his life sentence.

Daqqa is now terminally ill and his health has seriously deteriorated in recent years. He was granted a parole hearing for early release, which would allow him to die at home, much to the outrage of his victim’s family.

Tamam’s family told Hebrew-language media that they were not informed by the authorities that Daqqa’s request for a parole hearing was granted.

“We found out about the hearing literally by accident,” Ortal Tamam, the victim’s niece, told Channel 14 from the demonstration outside of the prison.

She noted that as a terrorist, Daqqa should have been subject to a specialized, stringent parole hearing in which the Shin Bet and the victim’s family are given an opportunity to present testimony.

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Instead, Tamam said, Daqqa was simply granted a standard parole hearing – in which his chances of release are significantly higher – and the family was not informed about the decision.

Several members of the Knesset joined the Tamam family and their supporters at the protest, saying they were vehemently opposed to Daqqa’s potential release.

“It’s impossible for a terrorist to be released from prison before serving all of his time. He should rot and die in prison,” MK Moshe Solomon (Religious Zionism) told Channel 14.

“This is a person who murdered an IDF soldier 37 years ago. I don’t understand why this is up for discussion at all…he has no humanitarian or medical rights, because he denied those rights to [the victim.]”

MK Yitzhak Kreuer of the Otzma Yehudit party expressed similar sentiments.

“I am ashamed that we are in this situation,” he said. “Terrorists should only have one punishment, and that’s the death penalty. There’s no reason for us to feel sorry for him.

“As the [rabbinic] sages have taught us, ‘those who are merciful to the cruel end up being cruel to the merciful,’” he added.