Family of Baruch Mizrahi mourns at his funeral at the military cemetery of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on April 16. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Shalit deal

A terrorist freed in the Gilad Shalit deal was arrested for the murder of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, a 47-year-old father of five.

shalit deal

Hamas terrorists march in the streets of Gaza City to mark the first anniversary of the Shalit deal on October 18, 2012. (Photo: Wissam Nassar/FLASH90)

A terrorist freed in the Shalit deal in 2011, in which captive Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian-Arab prisoners, was arrested for the murder on Passover eve of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, a 47-year-old father of five.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that together with the IDF, it arrested two Palestinian Arabs in May in connection with the Mizrahi case: Ziad Awad, a Hamas operative and resident of the Arab village of Idna near Hebron, and his 18-year-old son Izz-a-Din, also a member of Hamas.

Following the lifting of a gag order on Monday, the Shin Bet revealed that it was Awad who fatally shot Mizrachi; the son had assisted in planning the attack and in helping his father flee from the scene of the murder.

‘Whoever Kills a Jew Goes to Heaven’

According to the IDF blog, Awad had told his son that the reason for the attack was religious, saying that according to Islam, “whoever kills a Jew goes to heaven.”

shalit deal

Palestinian Arab demonstration last week in Ramallah in support of 125 terrorists detained in Israeli jails and who have been on a hunger strike. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Mizrahi was driving with his family from Modi’in to Hebron, where his wife’s family lives, in order to spend the Passover holiday together.

His wife was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital in critical condition. Their nine-year-old son, lightly injured, was taken to Hadassah University Medical Center.

Mizrahi had served in the IDF for 25 years in various positions, including operational, technological and as a lieutenant colonel in intelligence. In June 2011, he was inducted into the Israeli police force as a chief superintendent.

Growing Movement to End Early Pardoning of Terrorists

Since the beginning of Operation Brother’s Keeper – the IDF search for teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Frankel, who were kidnapped by Hamas – at least 55 terrorists released in the Shalit deal have been arrested.

shalit deal

Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino stands next to the son of Baruch Mizrahi during a flag-laying ceremony at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on April 30. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

Meanwhile, there is a growing movement among parliamentarians to put into law a prohibition against releasing terrorists from prison and early pardon.

“The idea of releasing terrorists has come to an end,” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett stated, following the announcement of Awad’s arrest.

“When the Israeli government releases terrorists, at that very moment we seal the fate of entire families; we just don’t know yet the victims’ faces or names. After 30 years it is clear that Israel should not release any more terrorists, in any situation, period.”

Author: Atara Beck
Staff Writer, United with Israel