Ignoring an official request submitted by Israel, Jordan released four Jordanian prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment. The murderers were sentenced in Israel for the murder of Capt. Yehuda Lifschitz and First Sgt. Pinchas Levy in 1990, and were handed over to the Jordanian authorities a year ago to continue serving their sentence.

The four – Salem Yousef Salame Abu-Jalun, Khaled Abd el-Rizek Abu Jalun, Amin Abd el-Karim Alsanae and Suleiman Tahah Mohammed Ajluni – were handed over to Jordan as a gesture to King Abdullah.

In the framework of their transfer, it was agreed that Jordan would not grant them an amnesty, at least for a year and a quarter after their transfer, meaning from December 2009, but a clause was added to the agreement stating that the king could grant them an amnesty if Israel decided on a massive release of prisoners as a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Since the cabinet on Sunday approved the release of 200 security prisoners, the Jordanians saw themselves as acting in accordance with the agreement.

When the issue was discussed through discreet channels, Israeli officials said it would prefer that the release be delayed by few more weeks so that it would not be linked to the gesture to Mr. Abbas. The Jordanians rejected the request and the four were released yesterday morning.

Reached at her home, Pinchas Levy’s mother told the Israeli media that she was greatly disappointed with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who had assured and reassured her that the murderer of her son would never be released from jail by Jordan.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com.

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.