Protesters angry at Israel's decision to release Palestinian prisoners as part of US-mediated peace talks interrupted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as he was set to deliver his address at the Remembrance Day ceremony for terror victims at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl on Monday.
The protesters were members of bereaved families who have lost relatives to terrorism. "Mr. prime minister, you are freeing the murderers of our children," a bereaved family member shouted as Netanyahu came to the podium to deliver his address.
Relatives of those killed in terror acts have repeatedly voiced their displeasure at Israel's decision to free Palestinian prisoners with "blood on their hands," as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority ahead of peace talks which have since failed.
Israel refused to release a scheduled fourth batch of 26 prisoners in late March, and talks eventually failed when PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to seek a unity government with the anti-Israel Hamas movement, however the bereaved families still voiced their protest.
Netanyahu said that he was aware protesters would interrupt his speech, but decided to come to the ceremony nonetheless. He said that the government has had to make many difficult decisions and that he respects the bereaved families stance against the release of prisoners.
"I knew I would meet you here, but I came to stand with you, on Remembrance Day to honor the dead," he said.
Earlier on Monday at Mount Herzl a ceremony was held for fallen soldiers following a two-minute long siren which brought the nation to a standstill.
This evening, Mount Herzl, named for Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, will become the focal point, as people from all over the country together with visitors from abroad come together with IDF personnel and the Knesset guard to usher in Israel’s 66th Independence Day.