Jerusalem, 12 August 2001

PA Releases Three Hamas Terrorists
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

In the past few days, the Palestinian Authority has released from detention three Hamas terrorists who were involved in the June 1, 2001 attack at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium, as well as in additional attacks.

The three – Kasem Nazal Suwei, Ibrahim Dahmas and A’a Rahman Hamad, prominent Hamas militants from the Kalkilya area – had been detained by PA security services on various dates, in the wake of pressure which had been exerted on the PA following the Dolphinarium attack and the July 16, 2001 attack in Binyamina.

The Palestinian security services refrained from questioning the three and sufficed with holding them under lax supervision in comfortable circumstances. Last week, they were finally released.

Kassem Suwei is the brother of Tzalah, the terrorist who perpetrated the July 1994 suicide bombing on a #5 bus in Tel Aviv in which 21 people were killed. Kassem was active in the gang that also included Said Hotri, the terrorist who perpetrated the Dolphinarium attack.

A’a Rahman Hamad had been involved in the suicide attack on the #5 bus and served six years in an Israeli prison for this. Immediately upon his release in October 2000, he became involved with the Hamas military command in the Kalkilya region.

Ibrahim Dahmas is also a member of Hamas’s military wing. He was active in the gang that included Said Hotri (see above) and Fadi A’amar, the terrorist who perpetrated the March 28, 2001 bombing at Neveh Yamin. Dahmas had also been planning to perpetrate a suicide attack himself.

Since the arrest of the three, Hamas had exerted considerable pressure on the PA to release them.

Last week, the PA capitulated to Hamas and thus placed Israel in danger since the three will attempt to perpetrate additional suicide attacks.