The 13 Palestinian “senior terrorists” released from the Church of the Nativity were responsible for major attacks in the past two years, including the murder of a U.S. citizen, according to Israeli police profiles.
The men are at the seaside Hotel Flamingo in Cyprus awaiting exile to a European nation where they are expected to receive refugee status. Most refugees in Europe are given a monthly stipend, housing and clothing provisions.
Spanish Ambassador Ignacio Garcia-Valdecasas said today that he briefed the Palestinians on the decision by European foreign ministers Monday to take them in. Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain are prepared to receive the men.
Garcia-Valdecasas told reporters that the Palestinians are “in very good condition and very grateful to the European Union and the Cypriot government.”
Among the men are Ibrahim Moussa Salem Abayat, the head of the Fatah Tanzim terrorist organization in Bethlehem. Abayat is accused of involvement in the Jan. 15 abduction and murder of Avi Boaz, a U.S. citizen residing in Israel. Abayat’s operatives abducted Boaz at a Palestinian roadblock near Beit Sahour then took him to Bethlehem where he was shot to death upon Abayat’s command, according to the Israeli government.
Abayat directed and participated in the shooting and mortar attacks on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and on the Bethlehem bypass roads, Israel said. He also is accused of numerous deadly shooting and bomb attacks on Israeli citizens over the past year, including the killing of Devorah Friedman, a mother of four.
Ibrahim Mohammed Salem Abayat, a Hamas operative, financed terrorist shootings and planned attacks against civilians in Jerusalem, Israel said. He was directly involved in the shooting attacks on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and Israeli Defense Forces in Bethlehem.
Jihad Youssef Khalil Jaara is an operative both in the Hamas and Fatah Tanzim, according to Israeli police records. Jaara is accused of involvement in shooting attacks in the Jericho area, including the killing of Israeli officer Amir Zohar and a deadly shooting attack against a bus on the Jericho bypass road. On March 26, Jaara dispatched a suicide bomber in a failed attack near a shopping mall. In a BBC interview on March 30, Jaara spoke of his support for suicide bombings.
Abdullah Daoud Mohammed Abdullah Khader, the head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence apparatus in Bethlehem, allegedly provided assistance and instructions to senior Fatah Tanzim operatives who carried out fatal terrorist attacks. He also is said to have provided courses and training to Tanzim operatives, along with weapons and ammunition.
Daoud is believed to be responsible for operating a terrorist cell, for the execution of shooting attacks and for the murder of PLO dissidents. Israeli police records say he took part in directing the Feb. 25 shooting attack at the Tekoa junction that killed two men and severely wounded a pregnant woman.
Mohammed Said Atallah Salem is a senior operative in the Fatah Tanzim terrorist infrastructure of Ahmad Magharbi. He is accused of involvement in numerous suicide bomb attacks, including the March 2 assault in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem that killed 11 Israelis, including 4 children.
Mohammed Fouzi Mohammed Muhaneh, a member of the Special Forces of the General Intelligence apparatus under the command of Tawfik Tirawi, was trained in security through a course in the United States. He prepared explosives and trained members of his Tanzim terrorist cell, which was involved in the attacks on Gilo.
Rami Kamel Eid Kamel, a member of Tanzim, was one of the primary terrorists behind the shooting and mortar attacks against civilians in Gilo and took part in other fatal attacks, the police profile said.
Aziz Khalil Mohammed el Abayat, a pharmacist and armed Hamas operative, was able to purchase chemical compounds used in the manufacture of high explosives, according to Israel. He helped dispatch suicide bombers and was responsible for the activities of all Hamas armed operatives in the Bethlehem area.
Mamdoukh Akhsan Mohammed Wardiyan, also an armed operative of Hamas, was imprisoned in June 2001 for being a member of a Hamas terrorist cell, carrying out street violence and other charges. Arafat released him from prison, however, and he returned to his Hamas activities, the Israeli government said.
Khaled Mohammed Abd el Hamid Abu Najimeh was a member of a Tanzim-Fatah cell responsible for numerous fatal terrorist attacks originating in Bethlehem. Among them, according to the Israeli government, was the attack of a woman suicide bomber at a supermarket in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Yovel.
Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed al Hemamreh Ahmed Hemamreh, a Tanzim operative, tried to engineer a suicide bomb in a large Jerusalem shopping center during the Passover holiday when the mall was to have been filled with children on vacation.
Khalil Mohammed Abdullah Nawareh, of Tanzim, allegedely took part in numerous attacks, including the Feb. 11, 2001, murder of an Israeli civilian.
Annan Mohammed Hamis Tanjeh, a known Tanzim operative and member of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, carried out shooting attacks against the Tunnel Route, the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and Israeli Defense Forces around Bethlehem, the police profile said.