By Anav Silverman –
Tazpit News Agency –
Hundreds of people gathered together to demonstrate against the recent release of the 26 Palestinian terrorists at the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon, August 12. Protesters dipped their hands in red paint and covered banners and Israeli flags with red hand prints, saying that the deal will encourage further Israeli bloodshed, while also sending a terrible message to the terrorists and victims of terrorists.
“The message is that our blood is worthless,” said Gila Molcho, who like several other protesters was holding a photo of a loved one – her older brother Ian Feinberg — killed by a Palestinian terrorist.
On Monday, Israel released the list of the first 26 terrorists to be freed this week in the first stage of confidence-building measures with the PA, initiated by U.S. led peace talks held last month in Jordan and Washington. Among the 26 Palestinian security prisoners, some of whom have spent more than 20 years in prison, 17 are convicted murderers and the rest were in some way involved with the murder of Israelis.
As part of the peace negotiations, Israel will be releasing a total of 104 terrorists; 26 every month in the next nine months. The Israel Prisons Service publicized the names of the currently released terrorists on their website but not before the families of the prisoners’ victims were informed of their release.
One of the murderers being released is Fatah’s Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia, convicted of killing a Holocaust survivor, Isaac Rotenberg in Petah Tikvah in 1994. Another is Yusef Abdel Al, an accomplice in the 1993 deadly stabbing of Ian Feinberg, a young Israeli lawyer working in a European aid office in Gaza City at the time to promote Palestinian economic projects.
Families of victims who would like to appeal the planned release to Israel’s High Court have 48 hours to do so, although the court will probably not intervene in this case like other similar appeals in the past.
Also on Monday, August 12, bereaved families of loved ones killed by the terrorists sent a letter asking the panel of ministers who must make the decision to approve the release to at least listen to the families’ opposition to it.
Excerpts of the letter published in Israel Hayom read that: “Since, unlike other pardons, the decision regarding the release is in your hands due to security reasons, we ask that you devote at least an hour-long hearing to each family of a terror victim that is interested.”
“The victims, who lost their lives and futures as victims, are worthy of an hour of your time. We, the families of the murder victims who cannot make their voices heard, demand that our right to a hearing is not denied. We ask that you urgently comply with our request, as human compassion would not tolerate rejecting us.”
My Israel, one of the Israeli organizations behind the Tel Aviv demonstration on Monday, along with organizations Im Tirzu and the Almagor Terror Victims Association, told Tazpit News Agency that it stands together with the bereaved families. “The release of despicable murderers just for a political meeting is completely immoral,” a representative of the organization stated. “We call upon the government of Israel to stop this reckless process.”