anti prisoner release demonstration 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Small crowds gathered outside the High Court of Justice on Monday waiting to
enter the hearing for the petition against the prisoner release in exchange for
For the victims of terror, it was a chance to try and make
their voices heard during a process in which they’ve felt largely ignored and
Defense Ministry green lights prisoner transfer
Gilad Schalit's release: The stage-by-stage timeline
Fifteen terror victims marched from the Har Herzl cemetery to
the courtroom to demonstrate their disagreement with the deal. Outside the
courtroom, supporters of the swap waited patiently along with victims of terror
who were appealing the deal.
“I want to know I did everything I could [to
keep him in prison],” Zeev Rapp said of the man who killed his daughter Helena
in Bat Yam in 1992.
Like many others, Rapp found out from a TV report
that the terrorists responsible for killing his daughter were being released as
part of the deal. He blasted the government for this insensitivity and for not
having the courtesy to notify families during such a difficult time.
feel like the walls aren’t moving, like you’re talking to a wall and it doesn’t
help, because we already know the answer,” said Chaya Rund after exiting the
courtroom. Rund’s son, Erez, was killed by a sniper on his way from Eli to Ofra
on June 6, 2002. “But it’s important to stand up and to talk and to yell and be
heard, it’s part of the process, that you didn’t just stand and shut up, but you
“The nation is in euphoria now,” Rund said. “I’m really
happy that Gilad is getting out, but the responsibility shouldn’t be on
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said he came to support the
bereaved families as he arrived at the courtroom at noon on
“Today every Arab child knows they can murder 20 or 30 Jews and
tomorrow they will go free,” he said, calling the prisoner swap a clear message
that “killing Jews is permissible.”
As the hearing stretched on through
the afternoon, young children from families affected by terrorism ran around the
lobby outside the courtroom, sliding on the slick surface and singing holiday
songs as dozens of members of the media waited for a response.
has come out squarely behind the Schalits and they make terror victims look bad,
like we’re very selfish, like we’re only thinking about ourselves,” said Alan
Bauer, a doctor from Jerusalem who was wounded along with his son in the March
21, 2002 bombing on King George Street that killed three and wounded
“But we’re not only thinking about ourselves, we’re thinking about
the future terror victims, not only the ones in the past,” he said as he entered
“My son is no different from Gilad Schalit. Why are his
rights any different from Gilad’s? He had a screw through his head,” said Bauer,
insisting that the terrorists responsible should finish their terms in
Some of the terror victims, however, supported the prisoner
“I support this deal, because they didn’t do it with Ron Arad
and they were sorry for it,” said Eliyahu Karamani, whose son Ronen was killed
on August 5, 1990. “It’s hard... but what if this were my son in captivity?” he
asked. “I’d be happy that people came to support me.”
Still, he said he
could identify with bereaved families who did not support the deal.
the right of everyone to decide what their feeling is. What they’re
feeling inside,” he said. “But I can’t compel the family of a son who killed my
son to stay [in prison],” he said.