NEW YORK (Jul. 22)
A major American Jewish organization has assailed a decision by German prosecutors to release Shi’ite Muslim terrorist Abbas Hamadi from jail after serving just half of his 13-year sentence for kidnapping two German businessmen in 1988.
“We voice shock and outrage at the announcement” by German officials, said a statement issued by Seymour Reich, president of the American Zionist Movement, and Karen Rubinstein, the umbrella group’s executive director.
Abbas Hamadi, 32, kidnapped two Germans in Beirut to hold them hostage for the release of his brother Mohammed Hamadi, 28, from jail. The younger Hamadi is serving a life sentence in Germany for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA plane in which an American navy diver, Robert Stethem, was beaten to death and dumped on the tarmac of the Beirut Airport.
The businessmen held by Abbas Hamadi were released unharmed after Germany resisted the blackmail.
Germany’s pending release of Abbas Hamadi is further complicated by the issue that a third Hamadi brother, Abdel Hadi Hamadi, a Hezbollah leader in Lebanon, had held two German aid workers hostage in 1989 and released them last year after lengthy negotiations.
It is thought by some that Germany’s release of Abbas Hamadi was part of the deal worked out to free the two aid workers held by his brother Abdel Hadi Hamadi.
“Germany denies that its decision is part of a deal negotiated with Lebanon to free two German aid workers,” the AZM statement said, “but such a denial is difficult to accept.
“In view of its timing, Germany’s action will be widely seen and understood as a capitulation to terrorism,” AZM said.