PM sends letters to bereaved families of terror victims

Netanyahu tells those who lost loved ones "he shares their pain in seeing their murderers freed in return for Gilad"; families march in protest.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 17, 2011 12:22
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu at home 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent letters to those whose lost family members in attacks perpetrated by terrorists set to be released in return for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, the Prime Minister's Office said Monday morning.

Netanyahu told the bereaved families "that he shares their pain in seeing their loved ones' murderers go free in return for Gilad."

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Dozens of  protesters marched in Jerusalem Monday morning against the agreement to release prisoners responsible for terror attacks that killed members of their families.

They were marching from Har Herzl to the High Court of Justice, where a petition will be heard at noon against the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners involved in the exchange deal to release IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

The High Court of Justice ruled on Sunday to accept a request from Gilad Schalit's parents, Noam and Aviva Schalit, to be added as a respondent to a petition filed by terror victims' organization Almagor.

"We sympathize with the pain of the families of the terror victims, but ask that the court not make any change, however small, to the deal made by the government," Schalit's parents, Noam and Aviva, wrote to the justices.

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"Any delay, however small, will put Gilad's life in danger," the Schalits added.

The petition asks the court to delay the prisoner releases to allow bereaved families more time to examine the list of prisoners and to organize a response.

"Bereaved families are calling me all the time, they're asking me if the terrorists who murdered their family members are on the list of prisoners or not," Almagor CEO Meir Indor told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The petitioners include Yitzhak Maoz, whose daughter was murdered in the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem; Hovav Nuriel, whose father Sasson Nuriel was murdered by a Hamas terror cell in 2005; the Bloom family, who were injured by a petrol bomb; Ron Karmal whose daughter was murdered in a bus bombing in Haifa; and Rabbi Shmuel Weiss, whose son died fighting terrorists.

The Israel Prisons Service (IPS) on early Sunday morning published the list of the Palestinian prisoners slated for release in the first stage of the exchange deal. According to Israeli law, the government must provide citizens 48 hours to appeal the release of the prisoners.

The first group of 477 prisoners, whose names were published Sunday, are expected to be released on Tuesday at the same time that Hamas hands over Schalit. The list includes 450 males and 27 females.

Click for full JPost coverage of Gilad Schalit

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