Israel rejects request for release of dying terror convict Walid Daqqa

Committee rejects request by 61-year-old cancer patient, jailed after killing an Israeli soldier in 1984

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

An undated image of Palestinian security prisoner Walid Daqqa (Courtesy)
An undated image of Palestinian security prisoner Walid Daqqa (Courtesy)

A special judicial committee on Monday rejected a request for the early release of 61-year-old Arab Israeli security prisoner Walid Daqqa, sentenced to life behind bars for being part of a cell that abducted and killed Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.

According to the Haaretz daily, the decision was made contrary to the opinion of a medical expert from the Israel Prison Service, who concluded that Daqqa’s life was in “concrete danger” as a cancer patient.

A special committee that deals with prisoners sentenced to life, chaired by retired judge Zvi Segal, determined that Daqqa’s health status was not a sufficient condition for his early release, based on Israel’s anti-terror legislation that forbids early release for prisoners convicted of terrorist acts.

Daqqa, an Israeli citizen and one of the oldest security prisoners in the country, completed his time in prison for the killing of Moshe Tamam two months ago, after his life sentence had been commuted to 37 years.

However, he was sentenced to two additional years in 2017 for smuggling phone devices into Ketziot prison with the help of former Balad MK Basel Ghattas.

A spokesman for the Choose Life Forum, which represents families of Israeli terror victims, told the Israel Hayom daily that Daqqa “is a despicable terrorist who must finish his life behind bars,” and urged the judiciary to turn down “the growing number of early release requests coming from terrorists.”

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