Peres meets with families of terror victims in Jerusalem

President to guests: You are ones who paid terrible price of losing loved ones, saving life of one young man moral principle of highest order.

Peres 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Peres 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
Relatives of terror victims met with President Shimon Peres at his bureau in Jerusalem where they voiced their anger and pain at the pending release of 1,027 security prisoners as part of the deal to return IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
Peres told his guests “you are the ones who paid the most terrible price of losing your loved ones, but saving the life of one young man is a moral principle of the highest order. I’m not diminishing your pain but I cannot ignore the basic Israeli principle of saving a life.”
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Peres added, “I am very aware of the pain of bereaved families. Your loss that will not heal, I know there is no man who can repair your loss and no one who can heal your wounds that will last forever.”
Tzvika Shahak, head of the Terror Victims Association, told Peres “the bereaved families are not in agreement on the Schalit deal – some support it and some oppose it – but it is my desire to express to you the pain we felt when we first heard in the media of the release of the murderers of our children.
“We would expect to be treated with greater sensitivity and be told ahead of time about the release of terrorists.
Just as is done with the families of fallen soldiers, it would have been fitting to come to our houses with a social worker and give us the assistance we need in these difficult days.”
Yossi Tzur, whose son Asaf died in the bus 37 bombing in Haifa in 2003 gripped a picture of his son and told the president, “I hold this picture of my son everywhere I go and brought it here in order to try and convince you to think again and refuse to sign the pardons of the terrorists included in the Schalit deal.”
Tzur added, “I don’t understand how we got to this situation where we release over 1,000 terrorists who will return to the cycle of terror and murder more innocent civilians.”
At the close of the meeting, Peres told his guests, “I was pained to hear your words but in front of all of these considerations lies the fate of Gilad Schalit who has been held in captivity by a cruel and brutal terror organization for five years.”
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