News yesterday about the Israeli authorities releasing 429 Palestinian prisoners in a "confidence-building measure" for Mahmoud Abbas (leaving, by the way, 8,800 Palestinian security prisoners in Israel's jails) brings a report on Palestinian recidivism released in September 2007 to mind.
Conducted by Almagor, an organization representing the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, it found that 12 percent, or 854 of the 6,912 convicted Palestinian terrorists released from Israeli jails between 1993 and 1999, were subsequently re-arrested for murder or attempted murder – and this number excludes those arrested for non-fatal terrorist activities, such as instruction or logistical support. They were collectively responsible for at least 30 terror attacks that took the lives of 177 Israelis.
It bears noting that this number is lower than that of Emmy Palmor, director of the Israeli Justice Ministry's Amnesty Department, who estimates that about 17 percent of released Palestinian prisoners convicted of terror-related offensives subsequently returned to terrorism.
Should past patterns hold, 53 of those just released will attempt to murder Israelis and 11 Israelis will end up paying with their lives for this latest "confidence-building measure."
Mar. 19, 2009 update: According to Haim Ramon, a member of Israel's Ministerial Committee on Security Prisoners, two-thirds of Hamas prisoners released in the past subsequently returned to terrorism.