Bereaved family relives horror as terror victim's killers set free

"I feel like I’m in some kind of nightmare," says bereaved sister of terror victim Ian Feinberg.

GILA MOLCHO, sister of Ian Feinberg, who was murdered  (photo credit: Reuters)
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.”
Molcho said she was appalled that the state would release prisoners convicted of killing Israelis.
“Jewish blood used to be sacred. It used to be above everything else,” she said. “And it’s being given away as a gesture.”
The release, 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 terror.”
She first heard the news from a reporter, not from the government.
According to the Almagor Terror Victims Association, half of the victims’ families were not notified ahead of time about the planned releases.
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.”