On Friday, Hana Awwad asked us to join her in lamenting the lack of Wikipedia entries for 10 specific Palestinian prisoners who were released in the recent Israeli hostage-Palestinian criminal exchange and called on us to celebrate them. I would like to help rectify this anonymity by providing profiles behind some of the names she listed:
Sami Yunis kidnapped and murdered Avi Bromberg in 1983 and threw his body on the roadside. Hasan Salama was directly responsible for planning the 1995 and 1996 suicide bombings that took 46 Israeli lives. Ibrahim Jaber killed three Israelis and wounded 26 at the Jaffa Street bombing of ’82 and wounded another 15 visitors of the Western Wall with a grenade. Akram Mansour murdered Israeli Yitzhak Trumpeldor. Uthman Musala led a military unit that killed three Israelis and wounded 19.
This is not nearly a comprehensive list of the murderers who have been and are expected to be released — terrorists like Ahlam Tamimi, who smiled upon hearing that she had killed eight children in her Sbarro terrorist attack of 2001 — but those listed above were among the 10 whose release Awwad specifically suggested we celebrate. The others Hana listed were similarly serving multiple life sentences for murder and participation in acts of terrorism.
It is nearly impossible to attach human faces to a number as large 1,027. But I urge others to follow Ms. Awwad’s suggestion, for, the more we do, the more we discover the accountability behind the numbers. I celebrate the element of mercy in the exchange that brought Israel back the kidnapped hostage Gilad Shalit, and I hope desperately that the Palestinian criminals returning home will do so peacefully. But among the 1,027 are tried and convicted murderers and I, like Hana Awwad, lament their anonymity.
The writer is a junior in Davenport College.