Dozens of bereaved families gathered in front of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Jerusalem home Saturday night, in another wave of protests against next week’s upcoming release of 26 terrorists to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“Shame on you – you have forgotten us!” protestors chanted, waving pickets and sporting banners. Among them are slogans like “Jewish blood is not a ‘gesture'” and “(Defense) Minister (Moshe) Yaalon – you have forgotten us.”
The demonstration is yet another outcry against the upcoming release, which is slated for Monday night and early Tuesday morning. This week’s release is the third installment in a series of “gestures” to the PA, with a total of 104 convicted terrorists and murders slated for release by March 2014.
On Wednesday, another mass protest erupted at the Prime Minister’s residence, with relatives of terror victims standing in the cold to show public disdain for the slated releases. The protest came just hours after bereaved mothers met with Knesset members from all factions and called for a halt to the release.
“I call on the Prime Minister to reconsider the release of terrorists given the recent terror attacks,” declared Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon at the meeting.
“In a normal country in which a bus blows up on Sunday, a police officer is stabbed on Monday, and a worker fixing the security fence is shot to death on Tuesday, terrorists would not be freed the following week as a ‘gesture,'” Danon argued.
Thursday saw more protests, this time outside of a government compound in Tel Aviv. The protest was attended by dozens of families and members of Almagor, the terror victims’ advocacy organization who has opposed the releases throughout the entire negotiations process.
“We should say to John Kerry and to (US President Barack) Obama, don’t press Israel. No to double standards, Israelis and Americans have the same rights,” stated Almagor Chairman Meir Indor at the protest. He added that just as the US doesn’t release terrorist murderers, it shouldn’t press Israel to do so.
The Supreme Court also rejected a second petition against the release Thursday, stating “with all due understanding of the petitioners’ pain, their petition does not raise any legal ground for intervention. The claims have been raised and ruled on in the past.”
The previous terrorist release, in October, saw waves of protests across Israel. The demonstrations culminated in an emotional protest outside of the hotel room of US Secretary of State John Kerry and a petition submitted to the High Court to stop the releases.