GILA MOLCHO, sister of Ian Feinberg, who was murdered .
(photo credit: Reuters)
Gila Molcho celebrated her youngest daughter’s bat mitzva on Sunday night, but
only hours later her revelry came to a stunning halt. Early Monday morning,
Molcho learned that a man convicted of killing her brother would be going free
as part of this week’s prisoner release.
“I feel like I’m in some kind of
nightmare you have to wake up from,” she told The Jerusalem Post.
“Unfortunately, I’m not waking up from it.”
Her brother, Ian Feinberg,
was an attorney working on economic development in Gaza for a European aid
organization in 1993. In April of that year, two masked men armed with guns,
axes, knives and lead pipes burst into the organization’s offices and hacked
Feinberg to death.
One of the attackers, Rafat Ali Muhammad Aruki – who
was 23 at the time and knew Feinberg personally – was released as part of the
prisoner exchange that freed IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. A man convicted of having
knowledge of the murder, Yusuf Abdel Al, went free in the prisoner release this
past August. The second attacker, Omar Issa Rajib, who was 19 at the time, is
slated to go free early Wednesday morning.
“The family somehow has to
pull itself together for the fourth time,” Molcho said. “First time, his throat
was cut. And three times, we’ve been stabbed in the back.”
she was appalled that the state would release prisoners convicted of killing
“Jewish blood used to be sacred. It used to be above everything
else,” she said. “And it’s being given away as a gesture.”
she said, would beget more terror.
“You’re letting out murderers who
become celebs, and in order to maintain the celeb status, they have to keep on
[preaching] hate and terror,” she said. “You end up creating more hate and
She first heard the news from a reporter, not from the
According to the Almagor Terror Victims Association, half of
the victims’ families were not notified ahead of time about the planned
In a sign that other victims’ relatives may share Molcho’s
exasperation, no members of the victims’ families were present at the High Court
of Justice when officials from Almagor submitted a petition on Tuesday afternoon
to halt the release.
Lizi Hameiri, who is not related to any of the
victims, stood outside the High Court on Tuesday to show solidarity with the
families and criticize the state’s decision.
“We make gesture after
gesture, and all we get is terrorism,” she said, holding a banner that read, “We
are not going to be silent upon the release of the slaughterers of our people.”