Meet the Palestinian Prisoners Israel Could Soon Release

In deciding to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first had to make a tough concession: releasing 104 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody.

That decision has many Netanyahu critics at home and abroad seeing red, since the reported list of prisoners, who will be released in phases over the course of negotiations, includes individuals accused of carrying out devastating attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. It's also an emotional issue for Palestinians, many of whom regard the men and women detained over the long course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as political prisoners.

In an open letter to his citizens, Netanyahu described the anguish he felt in freeing the prisoners. "This is an incomparably difficult decision; it is painful for the bereaved families and it is painful for the entire nation and it is also very painful for me," he wrote. To get a sense of just how emotionally charged this tradeoff is, consider the following individuals, who appear on a list published by the Palestinian Prisoner Society on Sunday of prisoners expected to be released. (Israel's Ynet reports that Israeli authorities will eventually make the names public to allow for appeals to the country's Supreme Court, and the final list may look different; this week's New York Times and Washington Post reports on the prisoner release mention men not identified by the Palestinain Prisoner Society.) According to Haaretz, the prisoners identified by the Palestinian Prisoner Society have been involved in the death of some 55 Israeli civilians, 15 Israeli soldiers, one French tourist, and dozens of Palestinians thought to have collaborated with Israel.

Jum'a Ibrahim Juma Adam, imprisoned since 1988

In 1988, Rachel Weiss and her three children were traveling by bus to Jerusalem after attending a bar mitzvah in Tiberias. Weiss had moved with her children to the back of the bus to allow her husband, a rabbi, to study undisturbed at the front of the vehicle. When three Palestinian youths threw Molotov cocktails at the bus, one smashed a window and landed where her children were sitting. In vain, Weiss threw herself at her children to protect them. Everyone escaped from the bus except for Weiss and her children, who perished in the assault. David Delorosa, an Israeli soldier who entered the burning bus and tried to save those still trapped inside, also died in the attack.

Adam was one of the youths who threw the firebombs. The men behind the attack were not affiliated with a terrorist organization, and the attack was planned somewhat spontaneously over a game of cards. Some reports suggest that Mahmoud Kharbish, another perpetrator, will also be released.

Karim and Maher Younis, imprisoned since 1983

The Younis cousins, who landed in jail after kidnapping and killing a young Israeli soldier named Avraham Bromberg, are some of the longest-serving Arab prisoners in Israel. The Younis cousins picked up Bromberg, who was hitchhiking, on the side of the road in 1981 and later shot him in the head. They left him to die on the side of the road, and Bromberg succumbed to his wounds two days after being shot.

Ibrahim, Hassan, and Mustafa Ighbariya and Tawfiz Suliman, imprisoned since 1992

The brothers Ibrahim and Hassan Ighbariya, their cousin Mustafa Ighbariya, and Tawfiz Suliman infiltrated an Israeli army camp under the cover of darkness and brutally killed three Israeli soldiers using knives, axes, and a pitchfork. The four men, members of Islamic Jihad , killed the soldiers -- Yaakov Dubinsky, Yori Farda and Guy Friedman -- in their sleep, a crime that shocked Israel at the time both because of the brutality of the attack and the fact that the assailants were Israeli citizens. The four men were originally sentenced to three consecutive life terms, with an additional 15 years tacked on for other offenses. The murder of the three Israeli soldiers is now more commonly known as "the night of the pitchforks." 

Riziq Ali Khader Salah, imprisoned since 1993

While walking through Jerusalem's Valley of the Cross on his way to work in 1993, Menahem Stern, who at the time was an internationally renowned historian of the Second Temple period, was stabbed five times in the chest by Salah, who was alleged to have carried out the act as part of an admission test to Fatah, a Palestianian terror organization. Salah was handed a life sentence, and given another life sentence for the slaying a month later of the television technician Eli Amsalem . Israeli police alleged that Salah had to provide an identification card of the person he had killed; since Stern had not been carrying one, he proceeded to kill Amsalem as well.



A Sad Day for the French Language: Le Binge Drinking Gets Its Own Word

Authorities in France have struck yet another "Anglo-Saxon" term from the country's lexicon and replaced it with a domestic equivalent. As of this week, the French no longer engage in "le binge drinking" -- the proper term in la langue française is now "beuverie express" (literally "fast drinking").

The French General Commission of Terminology and Neology made the announcement on Sunday, and France 24 translated their definition as a "massive consumption of alcohol, usually as part of a group, designed to cause intoxication in a minimum amount of time." The French newspaper Le Monde quantified this as having more than four to five drinks in less than two hours -- although the news outlet did not specify the type of alcohol or precise portion size. (The French are well-known for weeding out foreign words from their language, with the Commission recently swapping the word "hashtag" for "mot-dièse.")

But this isn't simply a lighthearted story of overzealous French-language police. The vocabulary change coincides with an increase in binge drinking in France. In March, the French Society for the Study of Alcohol reported that alcohol-related hospital admissions had risen 30 percent in three years. In May, Le Monde published a piece called "Génération 'biture express'" (biture express is another term for binge drinking), while Le Parisien expressed concern about "Un problème majeur chez les jeunes" -- "A major problem among the young." An aide to the mayor of Paris told Le Parisien that the City of Light had seen an increase -- from 15 percent to 25 percent -- in repeated drunkenness in those younger than 18 from 2005 to 2010.

It looks like the country of champagne, cognac, and robust reds has a new problem on its hands.