Man freed in Shalit deal 'killed cop'

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 26, 2014

A former Palestinian prisoner who was released under the Gilad Shalit deal has been charged with murder.

Ziad Awwad was indicted on Monday for the April 14 murder of Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi.

Mizrahi had been driving his family to Kiryat Arba to celebrate Pesach and was shot dead near Hebron. His wife was wounded in the attack.

Awwad was indicted along with his 18-year-old son, who was alleged to have been his driver during the attack. Awwad is a veteran Hamas member who had been serving a life sentence for assisting with the murder of Palestinians whom Hamas had accused of co-operating with Israel.

He was released in October 2011 as part of the exchange of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas in Gaza for five years.

Following the abduction of three Israeli teenagers two weeks ago, Israel has re-arrested more than 50 Hamas members who were released in the Shalit deal. Israel is examining whether the former prisoners broke the terms of their release.

The government is now working on a new law that would prevent the release of terrorists in future deals. The heads of the security establishment are opposed to the law, however.

Last updated: 5:45pm, June 26 2014