Sunday, February 8, 2015, 9:27 The Attorney General’s office announced that they would
not appeal the decision made by the Israeli Prison Service parole board to release Ofer Gamliel, a resident of Bat Ayin and one of the Bat Ayin Underground members still in prison. Gamliel has served over 13 years of a 15-year prison term, during the last three years of which a legal battle has been fought for his release.
In 2002 Gamliel and several other members of the Bat Ayin Underground were arrested on suspicion of planning an explosion at the exit of a Arab girls’ school in East Jerusalem in response to an attack on the community of Adora in the Har Hevron region in which four Jews were murdered, among them a five year old girl, Danielle Shefi. Gamliel and three other members were arrested and some of them sentenced to extended prison terms. See here for background information on the case.
The Attorney General’s office informed Honenu attorney Adi Kedar that they would not file an appeal on the decision by the parole board ordering the reduction of his sentence by approximately a year and a half. This is the third decision by the parole board ordering Gamliel’s release. After the previous two decisions the courts overturned the decision. See here and here.
In their decision the parole board noted that Gamliel had undergone rehabilitation, made impressive progress, and that the chance that he would carry out a similar act was negligible. The board was impressed by the fact that Gamliel was a supportive prisoner who guided other prisoners and acted as a mentor. Gamliel also gave lectures in prison and assisted new prisoners.
Honenu attorney Adi Kedar responded to the release: “After three years of a prolonged and complex legal battle which included many deliberations in all the courts, from the parole board to the Supreme Court, the parole board ordered for the third time the release of Ofer Gamliel. Ofer Gamliel has been an exemplary prisoner who has for several years met the criteria justifying his early release, however the insistence of the courts and the Attorney General’s office prevented it until today. I am pleased that in the end the State decided to honor the decision of the parole board and allow Ofer Gamliel to continue his rehabilitation outside of the prison, where his family awaits him. Despite the separation from his family Gamliel did everything within his power to educate his children with values. His children serve in the army and in National Service and are studying in institutions of higher learning.”