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October 24, 2011

Released Terrorist at Luxury Hotel Dupes AP

AP's Tara Todras-Whitehill caught up with some of the released West Bank terrorists enjoying their free stay at a luxury Gaza hotel late last week. Her article was accompanied by a number of photographs of the smiling releasees. Among them, was this:

ap hamuda saleh.jpg
In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, freed Palestinian prisoner Hamuda Saleh, age 38, who was originally from the West Bank city of Nablus, prays near the pool at a hotel in Gaza City. Palestinian prisoners exiled to the Gaza Strip in a dramatic swap for a captive Israeli soldier last week are contemplating the rest of their lives after years behind bars. Some say they want to put their violent pasts behind them and move on with their lives, now that the celebrations marking their release have faded. In 1989 Saleh claims he was sentenced to multiple life sentences for being part of the 'Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam' militia, the military wing of Hamas.

Based on Ms. Todras-Whitehill's caption, Saleh would have been just 16 when he was supposedly sentenced to multiple life terms for his membership in Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam (but no specific terror act), a scenario which did not seem plausible. Indeed, a check of the Prison Service's list of prisoners released in the Shalit deal shows that Hamuda Said Abdul Rahim Saleh has been in prison since July 7, 2000, not since 1989. And his sentence was 22 years, not multiple life terms. (Also he was born in 1976, making him younger than 38.) We are still looking into his crime, but given that the rest of the information that he supplied to the AP was false, a dose of skepticism is in order regarding his claim that "being part of the 'Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam milita" was the sole reason for his imprisonment.

Todras-Whitehill does not specifically say that Mr. Saleh was one of those who claims he'd like to put his violent past behind him, but if he was, obviously that claim would be suspect as well.

UPDATE, 3:30 PM, EST: AP revises the photo caption to include the Prison Service information. Specifically, Mr. Saleh's violent crimes involved premeditated murder, planting a bomb and shooting at people.

Posted by TS at October 24, 2011 07:05 AM


The background of this picture does not look like any of the Gaza pictures that we are usually shown. Who has been hiding the fact that Gaza is not just Bomb Craters occupied by T.V. correspondents. There is an active society there seeking to live as well as they can but the news sources never show that part

Posted by: David Perelman at October 24, 2011 02:51 PM

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