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Hamas man arrested for Passover eve killing of Israeli man

Ziad Awad, released in Shalit deal, accused of shooting off-duty police officer Baruch Mizrahi; suspect’s son also held; PM orders their home demolished

BY MARISSA NEWMAN, TOI

Ziad Awad (L) and his son Izz Eddin (R) at Ofer Military court on June 23, 2014. The two were arrested on May 7 for the April 14 shooting of Baruch Mizrahi (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

fatherA Hamas operative released under the 2011 exchange for Gilad Shalit has been arrested for gunning down Baruch Mizrahi near Hebron on Passover eve, the Shin Bet security service announced on Monday, after a gag order on the case was lifted.

The cabinet ruled the suspect will have his home demolished, pending the approval of the High Court of Justice, a diplomatic official said Monday. His son was also arrested, and the two were indicted Monday.

“I gave the directive to destroy the home of the terrorist, a Hamas man, as part of the general effort to combat Hamas,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, praising the security services for what he called the speedy process of tracking down the killer.

Ziad Awad and his son Izz Eddin Hassan Ziad Awad were arrested on May 7 by the Israel Police’s elite counter-terrorism unit in collaboration with the Shin Bet security service for the April 14 shooting of the 47-year-old father of five. The senior Awad is accused of carrying out the shooting, while his son allegedly assisted him in planning the shooting and coordinating the escape.

The younger Awad, 18, handed over the Kalashnikov rifle used to kill Mizrahi during the interrogation, and provided information implicating his father in the shooting, a Shin Bet statement said.

Israeli soldiers scour the area where a gunman killed Israeli father-of-five Baruch Mizrahi near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The two are residents of the Palestinian village of Idhna, and during the course of an investigation confessed that the elder Ziad Awad had purchased the motorcycle and the Kalashnikov and scouted out the scene a week prior to the attack. He was said to have acted strangely both immediately before and after the killing.

The shooting was religiously motivated, the Shin Bet said, with the elder Awad telling his son that “according to Islam, whoever kills a Jew goes to heaven.”

Awad, who spent 12 years in an Israeli prison for the murder of Palestinian collaborators with Israel, was released in 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange for Shalit before completing his term. Over 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners were freed to secure the release of Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in a 2006 raid into southern Israel, who was held hostage in Gaza.

Noam Shalit, the father of the freed soldier, told the Ynet news website Monday that “we didn’t assemble the list of released prisoners, nor did we demand the release of these inmates or any others.”

Dozens of other Hamas men freed in the Shalit deal have been arrested in recent days in the West Bank for breaching the terms of their release, as Israel searches for three Israeli teenagers kidnapped, allegedly by Hamas, on June 12.

The Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett said the arrest of Awad for the April killing underlined that any further prisoner exchanges were untenable. “Today it was publicized that Baruch Mizrahi of blessed memory, who was killed in April, was killed by a terrorist released in the Shalit deal,” Economy Minister Bennett said in a statement. “When the Israeli government releases terrorists, at that very moment we seal the fate of entire families, we just don’t know yet the victims’ faces or names. After 30 years it is clear that Israel should not release any more terrorists, in any situation, period.”

“Today more than ever we need to say clearly: We will not release any more terrorists,” he added.

Baruch Mizrahi, who was killed in a shooting attack outside Hebron on Passover eve, Monday, April 14, 2014 (photo credit: courtesy)

Mizrahi, senior police officer, was killed while driving to Hebron to celebrate Passover with his wife’s family. His pregnant wife, Hadas, was moderately injured in the attack.

Hadas Mizrahi told the Ynet news website that, while driving, her husband had seen the terrorist and cried, “They’re shooting, they’re shooting, there’s a terrorist.” After her husband was shot, she took the wheel, drove out of sight, and alerted the authorities.

The funeral of Baruch Mizrahi, 47, who was shot while driving on a road near Hebron in the West Bank on Passover eve, at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on April 16, 2014. His widow Hadas is at center (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“I covered my blood with a rag,” said Hadas, who was shot twice and broke a rib. “I saw that Baruch was dead. When the soldiers arrived, I told them, ‘Bandage me and take the children to the armored vehicle, so that they don’t see their father lying [there] dead.’”

June 23, 2014 | 25 Comments »

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25 Comments / 25 Comments

  1. @ yamit82:

    “You have hundreds if not thousands of posted comments on this site attempting to explain virtually every verse in your ‘Holy Book’(sic) what the text says, but doesn’t really mean…”

    How would YOU (of all people) know — you who take nothing seriously in the whole book anyway — WHAT it does & doesn’t “really mean”?

    “NT… some divinely inspired work, when it never says what it means”

    Stating its literal meaning is not necessarily an index to the origin of an item’s inspiration. Leaving that out is more likely its protection. NT is essentially a metaphysical document; perhaps the first ever to be committed to writing (notwithstanding the danger of putting such things in writing).

    “There is no evidence from the Hebrew Bible that ancient Israelites had a conception of heaven or hell.”

    There is no evidence from the Hebrew Bible that the Almighty lived past the year 400 BC — or that if He did, He developed a chronic case of laryngitis at that juncture, and has been silent ever since.

    — So much for that kind of ‘evidence.’

    “Judaism believes that anyone who has lived a reasonable
    good life…”

    Define “good.”

    “…goes to some concept of heaven which have as many variants and beliefs as there are Jews.”

    If, as you say, there’s “no evidence from the Hebrew Bible that ancient Israelites had a conception of heaven or hell,” then it would seem, to your way of thinking, that there is CERTAINLY no place either for a “concept of heaven which have as many variants and beliefs as there are Jews.”

    Moreover, what you’re really saying is that your species of ‘Judaism’ is not grounded in objective reality, but is instead purely solipsistic. In effect, if one believes it, it’s true; if he doesn’t, it isn’t

    Fortunately for OTHER Jews, their own species of Judaism has a less tenuous grip on reality.

  2. @ yamit82:

    “What neither you, however, nor Hamlet nor any of the other propounders of that colorful imagery understand (whether they be Xtian or otherwise) is that the Lake of Fire is strictly a METAPHOR. It’s not a place, nor is its heat ‘physical’ — nor is it designated for the future. Its agonies are spiritual & emotional

    — and it’s HERE and NOW, in the eternal Present.”

    “You are a disingenuous piece of work.”

    How is what I said ‘disingenuous’?

    “You will change anything uncomfortable to your quirky beliefs…”
    “Change” FROM what TO what?

    — How do YOU know that what I’ve said isn’t, in fact, the original meaning?

    “… when it suits your personal needs.”P
    Sounds MUCHO mas like you than me, Señor Panchitissimo.

    “…’Lake of Fire a Metaphor but ‘Adam and Eve’ should be taken literally?”

    “Lake of fire” IS a metaphor, but I haven’t said Adam & Eve isn’t symbolic as
    well. What I’ve repeatedly said is that there’s nothing literal in scripture (e.g., Adam/Eve) that may not ALSO be metaphorical. However, the simplest reading of the two writings will show you right away that they are not comparable.

    The Adam & Eve story is offered as straight narrative and is couched between other narratives. The Book of Revelation, OTOH, is just that: revelation, and is clearly visionary; it’s LOADED with imagery, like much of Daniel, Ezekiel, etc. The Lake of Fire is no more about a lake or a fire than the vision of the ram & the goat & the horns is about rams, goats & horns.

    You think Nebuchadnezzar’s image — whose “head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly & thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay” — was just a statue?

    You really think the imagery of the Woman & the Dragon is literally about a woman and a dragon????

    Your maliciousness makes you amazingly dense, Yamit, where this stuff is concerned. (If you were any dumber, you’d have to be watered twice a week.)

  3. yamit82 Said:

    Judaism believes that anyone who has lived a reasonable good life goes to some concept of heaven which have as many variants and beliefs as there are Jews.

    Good explanation!!!! may I use it.

  4. dweller Said:

    What neither you, however, nor Hamlet nor any of the other propounders of that colorful imagery understand (whether they be Xtian or otherwise) is that the Lake of Fire is strictly a METAPHOR.

    It’s not a place, nor is its heat ‘physical’ — nor is it designated for the future.

    Its agonies are spiritual & emotional

    — and it’s HERE and NOW, in the eternal Present.

    You are a disingenuous piece of work. You will change anything uncomfortable to your quirky beliefs when it suits your personal needs.

    “Lake of Fire” a Metaphor but “Adam and Eve” should be taken literally???

    You have hundreds if not thousands of posted comments on this site attempting to explain virtually every verse in your ‘Holy Book'(sic) what the text says, but doesn’t really mean… You should have used “GARP” for a screen name instead of dweller.

    PS. NT… some divinely inspired work, when it never says what it means and what it means always lodges in the vivid imaginations of christian apologists like you.

    There is no evidence from the Hebrew Bible that ancient Israelites had a conception of heaven or hell. They were doctrines introduced to Judaism at a later period of time, either during the Babylonian exile or later, in the second century B.C.E. or so. I have always felt it significant that there is no universal Jewish belief in what will happen after we die. It points to the fact that Judaism is a mitzvah oriented religion, which focuses on our behavior during our lifetimes. Jews do not believe in “salvation” in the Christian sense as well. Judaism believes that anyone who has lived a reasonable good life goes to some concept of heaven which have as many variants and beliefs as there are Jews.

  5. @ yamit82:

    “The shooting was religiously motivated, the Shin Bet said, with the elder Awad telling his son that ‘according to Islam, whoever kills a Jew goes to heaven’.”

    “Well, then, it would appear that all that remains, at this point, is to give the fellow his wish

    — and send him to heaven, forthwith.”

    “I would rather send him to your christian Hell and it’s infamous Lake of Fire…”

    This is why Hamlet is actually as much of an a—hole as Claudius. [III, 3]

    Claudius’ ego won’t let him repent, but Hamlet — who overhears him praying & could easily kill him right then as he kneels — deliberately postpones dispatching him to a time when Claudius ISN’T thus engaged, in hopes that his sending his uncle to his death under less holy circumstances will (presumably) render Claudius’ anguish permanent, in ‘hell.’

    What neither you, however, nor Hamlet nor any of the other propounders of that colorful imagery understand (whether they be Xtian or otherwise) is that the Lake of Fire is strictly a METAPHOR.

    It’s not a place, nor is its heat ‘physical’ — nor is it designated for the future.

    Its agonies are spiritual & emotional

    — and it’s HERE and NOW, in the eternal Present.

  6. yamit82 Said:

    I would rather send him to your christian Hell and it’s infamous Lake of Fire

    The Christian Hell come from Norse Mythology , please give credit where credit is due.

  7. “The shooting was religiously motivated, the Shin Bet said, with the elder Awad telling his son that ‘according to Islam, whoever kills a Jew goes to heaven’.”

    Well, then, it would appear that all that remains, at this point, is to give the fellow his wish

    — and send him to heaven, forthwith.

  8. yamit82 Said:

    He wasn’t the only one!
    We should have killed him and his son.

    I believe the proper terminology is “capped his ass”. But, I would never say that. I would just do it!!!!

  9. yamit82 Said:

    lily-livered–yellow-bellied?? How about timorous???

    I, Sir, am a Southern Belle and don’t use such indecorous expressions.

  10. He was released as part of the Shalit deal.

    All because pusillanimous cowards in Israel’s government were afraid to use military force to rescue Shalit.

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