meir indor 88.
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Parents who lost children in deadly terror attacks expressed hope on Wednesday that a deal to release convicted murderers in return for captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit would not go through.
The parents had held a meeting on the matter with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. Meir Indor, director of the terror victims organization Almagor told The Jerusalem Post that those in attendance got the impression from Netanyahu that the release of hundreds of terrorists for Schalit was not a foregone conclusion.
"It could just be wishful thinking, but we left the meeting with the impression from Netanyahu that it isn't over, that there's still time to prevent this deal," Indor said.
During the meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu assured the parents that when considering the various aspects of the prisoner exchange deal he was guided by the "need to retrieve captives and the need to protect Israeli citizens from future harm."
Indor said that Netanyahu appeared surprised at their fears that the deal was basically done. Indor said he believed that a media storm around the Schalit deal has led to a popular notion that the deal will be achieved in a matter of days, when in reality this is not the case.
Indor also believes that the campaign to free Schalit is receiving funds and support from abroad, from a number of organizations and governments who do not have Israel's best interests at heart.
Parents who were at the meeting with Netanyahu said it went well and that the prime minister did not appear nervous or uncomfortable. They said Netanyahu did not give the impression that the meeting was mere lip service, noting that he spent well over an hour speaking to them and listening to their real concerns about the deal.
Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, an activist with Almagor whose son Ohad was murdered in a terror attack in Wadi Kelt in 1995, told the Post Wednesday that the meeting with Netanyahu went "very well" and that he and the rest of the parents were able to present Netanyahu with their reservations about the deal.
Bachrach added that Netanyahu expressed to the group how important the meeting was for him and his office.
"The situation and the issue is very serious, but Netanyahu seemed very comfortable and very kind throughout, he didn't seem like he was forced to be there," Bachrach said.
Indor did relate that one parent, Tzion Saviyri, who lost his son, daughter, and son-in-law in a terror attack, asked Netanyahu as he was leaving the meeting, "When you go to the houses of those people who will be murdered by the terrorists you release, will you look into their eyes and say, yes I am the man who agreed to release them and I stand by this decision today?"
Indor said Netanyahu did not answer the question, and left the meeting.
Dvora Appelbaum, whose husband David and daughter Nava were killed in a suicide bombing at Jerusalem's CafÃ© Hillel in 2003, also attended the meeting, and brought a letter to Netanyahu.
She said she didn't speak much during the meeting, but added that she had the distinction of being a parent whose relatives were murdered by terrorists who had been freed in a previous prisoner exchange.
She also said the meeting went well as far as she could tell, but that the issue was far too complicated to be able to say if she got the impression the Schalit deal would go forward or not.
Regardless, Appelbaum said that she and Almagor stand firmly against "the idea of giving in to blackmail, to giving in to terrorists who will just do these things again and again."