What terror activists planned as a major anti-Israel rally turned into a small “welcome home” party without the planned incitement after police warned leaders in the village of Silwan in Yerushalayim that incitement and the flying of Hamas flags would result in “strong action” against demonstrators, police announced. As a result, the welcome home celebration for Ibrahim Abbasi turned out to be far smaller, milder and shorter than had been expected.
Abbasi was released over the weekend after serving 18 years in an Israeli prison for a string of terror attacks he participated in during the 1990s. Last month, under similar circumstances, a “release party” for released terrorist Sofian Abdo turned into a riot, as residents of Jabel Mukaber welcomed him home after 14 years in prison with Hamas flags and anti-Israel incitement. Several arrests were made, and Abdo himself was detained on incitement charges.
Eager to avoid a repeat, police warned leaders of the community not to act in the same way at Abbasi’s event, or they would descend on the event with force. In footage of the event filmed by police, speakers were restrained and no Hamas flags were in sight.
Maor Tzemach of the “Lach Yerushalayim” group, which advocates imposing Israeli sovereignty on all parts of the city, said that he welcomed the police action in this instance. “We call on prison release boards to take into account the possibility of incitement when a prisoner is released. Just like Israel has conditions for the release of the bodies of dead terrorists, so should it have for the release of live ones as well,” he added.