The Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) has hidden crucial details about the terrorist murderer of Malachi Rosenfeld, 26, who succumbed to wounds sustained in a shooting attack near the communities of Shvut Rachel and Kida on June 29.
The murderer was one of several terrorists arrested in a terror cell busted last week in a mass operation by the ISA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.
On Friday, Shabbat newsletter Olam Katan revealed several new details about the case, including information pointing to oversights by both Israel and the US in allowing the killer to walk free.
Just four of seven terrorists in the cell were arrested by Israel, Olam Katan revealed – among them the murderer, named as Ma'ad Hamad.
Moreover, it revealed, not only did terror cell leader Ahmad Najar kill before – he was responsible for the deaths of no fewer than six Israelis during the Second Intifada, when he was the head of a terror cell busted in 2003.
Najar, 39, led the Silwad terror cell responsible for a string of shooting and other attacks against Israelis in Samaria (Shomron). In less than a year, Najar orchestrated attacks concentrated in the Binyamin area which killed six Israelis and injured dozens.
Among his victims:
- Esther Galia, from Kohav HaShahar, a mother of seven who was shot dead in her vehicle after a terrorist ambushed her car in the nearby town of Rimonim in 2002;
- Tzvi Goldstein, 47, from Eli, who was murdered as he drove to his son's wedding in June 2003;
- and Shalom (Shuli) Har-Melech, 25, from Homesh, who was murdered as he and his pregnant wife and child were driving along the Alon highway in August 2003.
Three of his victims were killed in an attack on soldiers patrolling a highway in Binyamin in October 2003:
- Sgt. Erez Idan, 20, of Rishon LeTzion;
- Sgt. Ro'i Yaakov Solomon, 21, of Tel Aviv; and
- Sgt. Elad Pollack, 19, of Kiryat Motzkin.
Rosenfeld's attack marks a return to the scene of the murders for Najar, who focused most of his attacks in the same small area of Samaria during the Second Intifada – and nearly all of the murders were shooting attacks.
Najar is also an American citizen, Olam Katan revealed – a fact the ISA has concealed since the announcement and which was omitted when he was released as part of the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.
The policy of covering up dual nationalities demonstrates a marked change since 2003, when the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) openly published that fact – and could have enabled Najar to strike again, as US citizenship could easily have provided him with easier freedom of movement throughout Samaria.
The revelation has sparked frustration for bereaved families.
Moshe Har-Melech, the father of Shuli, noted in frustration that the media barely allow the bereaved families to speak in protest to the mass media on the night of the Shalit deal and sadly added that such a 'hush-hush' policy has allowed Najar to strike again.
Har-Melech is a friend of the Rosenfeld family, which has already suffered another tragedy after losing their son Lt. Yitzchak-Menachem Rosenfeld, 22, in a jeep accident in 2002.
"It's very difficult to see how terrorist releases are a revolving door, and murderers are released and continue with their murderous ideology to kill Jews and to harm the State of Israel," Eliezer Rosenfeld, Malachi's father, stated Friday.
"It's clear to us today that there must be death penalties for terrorists," he noted, adding that that sentiment is "not out of revenge or hatred, but logic."
"If a man murders he must receive the maximum punishment the Torah and the tradition dictate," he added.
The PMO and ISA did not respond to requests for response, but embassy staff said to contact the US Justice Department over the issue; no response was received prior to publication.