A Palestinian man who murdered two Israeli hikers in 1984, and who was released from Israeli prison in October 2013 as part of a mass prisoner release that was a Palestinian precondition to restart peace talks, recently spoke to Palestinian television and calmly recounted the murders he committed.
On October 22, 1984, Issa Abd Rabbo happened upon two Israeli university students, Ron Levi and Revital Seri, as they rested under a pine tree during a hike south of Jerusalem. He tied them up at gunpoint, covered their heads with bags and fatally shot them both. He was arrested by Israeli authorities and was serving two life sentences before his unexpected early release last October. Abd Rabbo and other released murderers were welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the time as “heroes.”
Earlier this month Abd Rabbo spoke to Ma’an TV about the day of the murder. In a subtitled video provided by the watchdog Palestinian Media Watch, he described the act as an “improvisation.” He explained that he had been lying in wait near the road all day for a bus carrying IDF troops which had been scheduled to pass through, but which had failed to arrive.
A disappointed Abd Rabbo then saw the two hikers arrive by car and seized on the opportunity as he did not want to go back home “empty-handed.” He approached the two as they sat resting under a tree, told them they had stolen the Palestinians’ land, tied them up and “sentenced them to death.”
“I shot them, one bullet each,” Abd Rabbo told Ma’an, with no apparent remorse or regret.