Terror victims' families to boycott memorial ceremonies
Boycott in protest of expected release of terrorists in exchange for abducted soldier IDF Gilad Shalit.
Forty-nine families of terror victims Wednesday announced they would boycott the Remembrance Day commemoration ceremonies for those who died in terror attacks, in protest of the expected release of terrorists in exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.
"The terrorists responsible for my sister's murder will strike again. If not all, then some," said Ben Zion Ben-Shoham, spearhead of the decision to boycott the commemoration ceremonies. His sister, Limor, was murdered in the suicide bombing in Jerusalem's Cafe Moment five years ago.
The bereaved families, who have met several ministers including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, have asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, but so far in vain.
"Only a week ago it was reported that 35 people were murdered by terrorists who had been released in the Tannenbaum deal, so this issue must be considered rationally, not emotionally," he said.
"People close their eyes and say: Gilad must be brought back home. I'm with them but not this way. He may be released, but hundreds of others will die. Anyway, as long as we don't know where he is or receive a sign of life from him, we must not talk to them or enable family visits to the Palestinian murderers imprisoned in Israel," he said.
The unprecedented move is being contested by other bereaved families. The leader of the Almagor Terror Victims Association ("Almagor"), Meir Eindor, said that some families believe they must go to the cemeteries and make their voice heard.
Zion Savari, who lost his daughter, son and son-in-law in a terror attack on Road 443 six years ago, objects to the boycott.
"These are ceremonies to commemorate our children. There is no place to boycott them. We have disagreements with the government and can protest, but regardless of these commemoration ceremonies," he said.
"At this stage, Olmert is taking quite a firm stand about the prisoners. Had it been Sharon, there would have been cause to demonstrate. He released prisoners in the past. But Olmert hasn't freed a single terrorist so far. What we must do is end their comfortable conditions in jail, stop their family visits until Shalit's family is permitted to visit him," he said.
Almagor maintains that 80 percent of the released Palestinian terrorists resumed terror activity.
Security sources, however, say that only about 25 percent of the released Palestinians went back to terror activity.
Eindor says he has a list of terrorists who have been released from Israeli prisons and have resumed terror activity. The prominent attacks carried out by these people include the suicide bombing on Passover eve in Park Hotel in Netanya, the attack on Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem, the settlements of Adora and Carmei Tzur in the southern West Bank, suicide attacks in Jerusalem, the Afula bus terminal and other population centers.
Almagor's Web site carries 177 portraits of people who were murdered by terrorists released from prison.