ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Daughter of minister slain by terrorists backs freeing his killer for a hostage deal

Metzada Ze’evi, whose father Rehavam was murdered in 2001, says Ahmad Saadat should be flown ‘to the hell of Gaza’ if it helps bring back Israeli captives

Metzada Ze'evi, daughter of former tourism minister and IDF general Rehavam Ze'evi who was assassinated by Palestinian gunmen in 2001, on February 9, 2024. (Channel 12 news screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Metzada Ze'evi, daughter of former tourism minister and IDF general Rehavam Ze'evi who was assassinated by Palestinian gunmen in 2001, on February 9, 2024. (Channel 12 news screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The daughter of slain minister Rehavam Ze’evi said Friday she supported freeing the mastermind behind her father’s assassination if it means the return of hostages kidnapped by Hamas-led terrorists on October 7.

Multiple Hebrew media outlets have reported that Ahmad Saadat, the leader of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, is expected to be on Hamas’s wish list for prisoner releases as part of a potential deal.

“In my view, even though nobody has asked me, nor has the leadership taken my view into account — if it depends on us, let them pack up Ahmad Saadat and fly him to the hell of Gaza,” Metzada Ze’evi told Channel 12 Friday.

“I believe that the day of justice will come. I don’t deal in revenge. If his release brings back the hostages, there is no question. I would be more than happy to give him up. As a statement, I have no problem at all. My father is no longer here,” she added.

Considered a symbol in Palestinian society, Saadat arranged the 2001 assassination of then-tourism minister Ze’evi during the Second Intifada and was handed 30 life sentences. Last year, he was put into solitary confinement as part of a crackdown on a PFLP terror cell accused of attempting to carry out attacks in the West Bank and which was linked to members in jail.

Known by the nickname “Gandhi,” Ze’evi was an IDF general turned politician for the far-right Moledet party and had advocated the voluntary transfer of millions of Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza to neighboring Arab states.

PFLP Secretary-General Ahmad Saadat at the Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court in September 2012. (Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

He was shot dead by PFLP gunmen at Jerusalem’s Hyatt Hotel on October 17, 2001.

Qatari and Egyptian-mediated efforts to secure a release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas and a truce in the war have stalled over the past week, with Hamas making demands Israel has rejected, including a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners serving sentences for deadly attacks.

Tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi, assassinated by the PFLP in 2001 (photo credit: Flash90)
Slain tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi, assassinated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 2001. (Flash90)

Hamas and other terror factions are holding 132 of the 253 hostages taken on October 7, following a weeklong November truce deal that saw the release of 105 civilians, mostly women and children.

The IDF has said 29 of the 132 are dead, citing intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza. One more person has been listed as missing since October 7, and their fate is still unknown.

Hamas has also been holding the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Gaza Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

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